About us 

Our club 

Situated at the northern tip of the southern alps, Nelson Lakes Gliding Club is one of NZ’s best soaring sites.

With around 40 members the club typically flies every weekend, usually on Saturdays. Flying camps are sometimes held during holidays and long weekends. With more members we could fly more days of the year.

As a winch launching club, there are few clubs anywhere in the country with cost structure as low as ours. Not having expensive towplanes allows the club to reinvest in facilities and aircraft so we have great glider availability and can launch quickly.


Our fleet

Our hanger houses 3 of the clubs fleet of 4 aircraft and the twin-drum launching Tost winch. Also parked on the airstrip are 10 or so privately owned gliders in their trailers. We have 2 Twin Astirs, AJ and MZ, a single Astir, NH and an LS4-a, CX. For more details on our gliders that fly out of Lake Station click here.


Flying Area

The winch launch gets us some 1600 feet above the valley floor and level with the two low ridges on either side. These nursery ridges give us ridge or thermal lift and from them we normally progress onto the Southern Alps. The local mountain peaks of the Southern Alps range from 5000 to over 7000 feet above sea level and are often snow-capped.


Much of this flying is over the Nelson Lakes National Park.


Lake Rotoiti and Lake Rotorua are the main side-by-side twin lakes with numerous other smaller lakes and tarns here and there. West is the accessible bush-clad Kahurangi National park. The closest mountain to the west is Mount Owen whose limestone scenery was used in the Lord of the Rings movie. To the East of us are the wide dry grasslands of Molesworth country. We have few airspace limitations from our site. Land-out options are limited but defined and our cross country flying is done within gliding range of them.


Location

Lake Station Airfield, 9km west of St Arnaud (one hour's drive south of Nelson, South Island, New Zealand). 

Lake Station is a large sheep and cattle farm owned by the McConochie families who allow our club to use their 1500 metre long airstrip, 1700 feet above sea level.