HISS­ING PITS AND VOL­CANIC VIEWS IN TARANAKI. BY LUKE KENNEDY

Tracks - - Another Kind Of Paradise -

On a bleak, rain-swept Fri­day af­ter­noon we hit the tar­mac in New-Ply­mouth air­port go­ing side­ways. As the plane went in to a four-wheel slide Taj Bur­row, Jack Free­stone, Ryan Cal­li­nan, Creed McTag­gart, Kalani Ball and their en­tire en­tourage brie y won­dered if their air­craft would go ca­reen­ing off the run­way and dis­ap­pear into the stormy ocean that heaved and boiled right along­side the slip­pery land­ing track.

As we aqua­planed over the bi­tu­men ev­ery­one wished they’d paid just a lit­tle more at­ten­tion to the Air New Zealand in­struc­tional clip, which fun­nily enough had fea­tured Mick Fan­ning, Gabriel Me­d­ina, Alana Blan­chard and Laird Hamil­ton giv­ing the safety tips. It was a sur ng tragedy in the mak­ing. For­tu­nately the pi­lot pulled us out of the sideslip and by the time we stepped off the plane the land­ing had the buzz of a han­dled late take off.

“A lit­tle bit of Tokyo drift on land­ing there,” sug­gested Creed McTag­gart ex­cit­edly as we bee-lined for the bag­gage col­lec­tion con­veyor.

Creed was fresh off a trip across the Nullar­bor from West Aus’ to South Aus­tralia. He’d just ap­plied for his li­cense and gured the best way to rack up the RTA’s re­quired miles was to drive across Aus­tralia’s long­est stretch of straight road.

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