Story: Australians

Wings across the Tasman

Wings across the Tasman

The first flight across the Tasman Sea was the 14-hour journey by Charles Kingsford Smith and his crew on 10–11 September 1928. He touched down safely at Wigram aerodrome. Guy Menzies (pictured here) made the first solo flight on 7 January 1931, breaking the flight time by 2½ hours. The flight ended with a forced landing in a Westland swamp. The first regular air service across the Tasman was inaugurated by flying boat on 30 April 1940. It was then a nine-hour flight, but today’s flying time is three hours.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: MNZ-0780-1/4-F

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

John Wilson, 'Australians - Into the present', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 March 2023)

Story by John Wilson, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 10 Mar 2015