Three young and weary soldiers hastily drag their wounded comrade from the cockpit. A nurse pulls up in an ancient jeep, ready to spring into action. She’s about to have her crisp blue and white uniform splattered with mud. Hey, wait a minute, the mud isn’t real and neither are the soldiers. This illusion is testament to the wizardry created by the WETA Workshop. Didn’t expect to enjoy this but I’m loving the magic! The Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre displays a magnificent collection of World War 1 flying machines and memorabilia to equal any collection of it’s type in the world. It’s easy to see Sir Peter Jackson’s influence here, many of the exhibits being from his private collection. Pay those few extra dollars to hire a guide, all of whom are volunteers with a strong background in aviation. They love their job – it’s their passion.
I’m looking at restored footage of old film taken from the wing of a plane. A soldier is hurtling bombs out of the plane with his own two hands! No, it’s not a Charlie Chaplin film, but real chilling footage. Aviation buffs are gonna love the mechanical side of the exhibits – the beautifully crafted propellers and the engines showing the latest techology of that era. Gotta love the beautiful embroidery stitched by dedicated French women for their troops – a stark contrast to the scene showing a 25 year old ‘Red Baron’ (Von Richthofen) lying dead, killed instantly with a shot to the heart. The victors are pulling his boots off to keep as souvenirs – bit shameful really. The Omaka Aviation Musem now provide flights for one or two in a Tiger Moth – very popular with honeymoon couples. Give it a go, you’ll love it…ahhhhh just another great adventure on the great Kiwi Road Trip.