Paragliding on the West Coast

New Zealand part II - Posted On

Nadège writes:

When we reach Raglan and an Internet spot, we see that a French couple of pilots we contacted before flying the Taranaki, Vincent and Cathy are arriving this very morning on the spot. Both of them are passionate about hike and fly concept. After a few flying sessions on the raglan spot we go for something a bit more… into the wild. We improvise a “hike and fly” around Mt Karioi, south to Raglan. The hike is very pleasant among sheep and raspberries even though the fly is very short in the end. Sharing this is very encouraging!

We also meet another French friend, Benjamin from Wellington, travelling around New Zealand in a van. We leave Vincent and Cathy and bike up to the North Island’s West coast until the Kariotaki beach, close to Waiuku, with Benjamin, still in his van.

Benjamin is very keen to paraglide, as it is his old kid’s dream to achieve. Sounds goods because the coast and its cliffs are perfect to do gentle soaring for hours.

We settle on the beach for a few days, and Olivier enjoys some good weather with soft wind to teach Benjamin some ground handling. After a few days working on it, it’s time for the student to do his first big fly, led on radio by Ruben, from the Auckland’s paragliding school « Wings and Wave ». This guy is definitely the nicest man I ever met in the paragliding world!

That’s it, the kid’s addicted! Although he is about to go backpacking to Indonesia for the next few months, he bought his own Ozone Ultralite wing and will start a formation in local school along the way to fly always higher.