Eveline Harvey takes a short hop over the Hauraki Gulf

The plane:

A Cessna 172 Skyhawk.

Airport experience: Our main issue was directing our Uber driver to the right building — our booking form said only Ardmore Airport. Nothing a quick phone call couldn't clarify though. For future reference, you're after the Dennis Thompson International building at 690 Harvard Lane.


My seat: In the back seat, behind our affable captain for the day, Cameron Moring. He did explain before we took off that one of us would have to sit in the front for the return journey.

Price: Our package deal — return scenic flights, three-course vineyard lunch and degustation wine-tasting — costs $338 per person. Scenic flights departing from Ardmore start from $179.

How full? We could've squeezed in one more person.

On time? Timetables are a little less rigid when you're the only passengers ... though we did have a wine-tasting date to keep.

Other passengers: One of my besties. This was a girls' day out par excellence.

Rules: Yes, you can have the windows open. Yes, you can use your phone (good luck hearing anybody over the noise of the engine though). Selfies while wearing your in-flight headset are basically compulsory.

Pick the right day for your flight and you'll have unrivalled views of Waiheke Island and the Hauraki Gulf. Photo / Eveline Harvey
Pick the right day for your flight and you'll have unrivalled views of Waiheke Island and the Hauraki Gulf. Photo / Eveline Harvey

The route:

Up, up and away over Duder Regional Park and out across a sparkling Hauraki Gulf. This city of ours really is something else from the air on a fine summer's day. We peered into the enviable backyards of Waiheke lifestylers before touching down at the perfectly-situated Waiheke Island Aerodrome, adjacent to our destination: Peacock Sky Vineyard. (Ladies, when selecting your footwear for this outing, bear in mind you'll be clambering over a stile to leave the runway).

Food and drink: BYO if you must, or hold out for the few minutes it takes to fly you to Auckland's vineyard capital.

Entertainment: Seeing your city from a whole new angle. Being asked for directions by the pilot. Pretending this Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous malarkey is your everyday reality.

Luggage: Check with the pilot before ordering a case of wine to bring back with you.

Crew: Cam made our day — a young pilot with big dreams and a great sense of humour, he struck the perfect balance between competent tour guide and girls' day out hijinks enabler.

Would I fly again? Absolutely! Save this one for a special occasion — you won't be disappointed.