Queen Charlotte Sound: By Air

Pelorus Air Cessna 172
#1218. Rollei Vario Chrome 200-400, Canon Canonet QL17 Giii.
When Sarah and I visited Marlborough, we took a few days to explore Queen Charlotte Sound by air, sea and land. Sarah knew I wanted to see and do just about everything on my first visit to New Zealand and so she surprised me by booking a scenic flight over Queen Charlotte Sound with Pelorus Air.


Waikawa New Zealand from the air
#1219. Waikawa, NZ from the air. Rollei Vario Chrome 200-400, Canon Canonet QL17 Giii.
Out at the Picton Aerodrome, we boarded a small Cessna 172. It was just us and the pilot. There wasn’t much more room on the tiny plane. I had never flown in anything so small before and so naturally, I was both excited and a little nervous. It was a beautiful sunny day with clear blue skies and the entire 20 minute flight over the Sound was spectacular. But despite the amazing experience. I don’t think I will ever want to get in such a small plane ever again. Even though it was a smooth flight, I felt as if we could fall out of the sky at any moment. It was incredibly unnerving to feel my stomach drop with every movement of the plane. I’ve been in a helicopter before flying into the cone of an active volcano and you could just feel the raw power and stability of the helicopter. It inspired confidence. But the tiny Cessna didn’t feel anything like that. Instead it just reminded me of how tenuous life is.


Queen Charlotte Sound New Zealand from the air
#1220. Rollei Vario Chrome 200-400, Canon Canonet QL17 Giii.
Despite my nervousness during the flight, I wasn’t at all worried when the pilot didn’t land the plane on the runway. It was a thrilling and perfect landing but not what I was expecting. I recorded the landing on video if you want to see what I mean.


Queen Charlotte Sound New Zealand from the air
#1221. Rollei Vario Chrome 200-400, Canon Canonet QL17 Giii.
I snapped as many photos as I could on the flight and was rather disappointed with the results. I wish I had something other than Rollei Vario Chrome in my camera that day. As I mentioned in my last post, Rollei Vario Chrome creates photos that resemble those shot with Adox Color Implosion: washed out, faded and grainy. Vario Chrome was an old, long-expired film that Rollei marketed as an experimental limited edition film. I had such high hopes that it would produce something unique, but after shooting a roll, I don’t think that I would recommend this film. I have two more rolls of Vario Chrome in my freezer, so my opinion might change once I shoot those.


Picton & Waikawa New Zealand from the air
#1222. Rollei Vario Chrome 200-400, Canon Canonet QL17 Giii.

Queen Charlotte Sound New Zealand from the air
#1223. Rollei Vario Chrome 200-400, Canon Canonet QL17 Giii.

Queen Charlotte Sound New Zealand from the air
#1224. Rollei Vario Chrome 200-400, Canon Canonet QL17 Giii.

Waikawa New Zealand from the air
#1225. Waikawa, NZ. Rollei Vario Chrome 200-400, Canon Canonet QL17 Giii.

Picton New Zealand from the air
#1226. Picton, NZ. Rollei Vario Chrome 200-400, Canon Canonet QL17 Giii.

Cessna 172 cockpit
#1227. Rollei Vario Chrome 200-400, Canon Canonet QL17 Giii.

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