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Frequent Flyers Episode 1

April 27, 2015

Our friends Guillaume and Perrine spent the better part of a year traveling around the world to fly. The result of their journey is being chronicled in a three part series, the first of which is available now. Check out this beautiful film, and if you want more info on visiting the locations in this episode, see their report below!

Cheers, from all the Team.


Traveling for an extended period of time (more than 8 months), especially with a wing, harness, and a reserve parachute, clearly deviates from the ordinary. There is always the question of weight, bulk…. When you are traveling in “backpacker-mode” and you don’t plan to fly every day, you can really wonder whether it’s worth to take your glider or not … But even if your wing, harness, helmet (and maybe a rescue!) add weight and volume to your original bag, traveling with your paraglider in some remote areas opens up a range of amazing discoveries and encounters, that you would have never imagined as a “simple tourist”. We are two regular pilots. We do not seek to break records or doing some crazy tricks, but only to have fun, to fly on original sites and to meet this fabulous small community of free flying world. During our trip, we stopped in New Zealand. Here is a the first movie of our long journey around the world.

During our journey, we mostly flew around Wanaka, and also on coastal flights, in the Northern Island.
– Mt Maunganui (-37.640799, 176.178327)
– Ruby’s Bay (-41.237071, 173.087868)
– Karioitahi (-37.283175, 174.655827)
– Wanaka – Treble Cone (-44.635569, 168.897414)
– Wanaka – Breast Hill (-44.564740, 169.366667)
– Wanaka – Snow Farm (-44.878893, 169.128943)

– December to February look like the better timing to fly in the South Island. Bring with you a strong bug repellent, as sand flies are really turning your evening crazy sometimes (but that’s part of the adventure!)

– If you head to Wanaka, be sure to sleep at “Flying Kiwi Backpackers”. Those guys are very nice, the atmosphere is really relax, the owners are pilots, and many paragliders are passing by, so you will definitely find someone to fly with.

– As we were traveling for several months, sometimes without flying, we left many times our paragliding equipment in some places, to be able to travel on a “light-backpacker-mode”. Even though we had to do some detours to take back our equipment, it’s worth to do it, instead of being stuck because the bus or the taxi is too small for your bag…

– Regarding gear: After many discussions, we finally choose to bring some real gliders with good harnesses and rescues, instead of bringing an ultra-minimalist gear (like a very small wing, an extreme lightweight harness and no rescue). This point can be discussed forever, but we have chosen to maximize the days we flew, and also to be able to fly on strong thermal conditions and crowded places. If you do mostly coastal flights, for sure you can choose a small glider and no rescue. But when we were flying in Wanaka with +4m/s thermal, we were happy to get a solid equipment…

– In New Zealand, people are very nice and helpful, but you have some rules to respect. As you will surely rent a van, be attentive or where you sleep. There is places you can sleep, sometimes free, sometimes not. “CamperMate” is an application that shows you the spots where to sleep. Don’t sleep beside the road, you can get a fine for this.

– We had serious problems to rent a van with WickedCampers (we had 3 breakdowns with 3 differents vans, and many issues to fix it), so be sure to NOT rent a van with those guys!! There is many other van agencies in NZ, and putting an extra-dollar per day can save a precious time, managing the breakdown… If you have a doubt, just Google “wicked campers problems” and you can read the forums…

– If you do Hike’n’Fly, be sure to respect the fences and cattle. Better to ask to the farmer if you can cross or not. In South Island, there is basically fences everywhere!

– You can get a good maps of New Zealand (IGN style) with TopoMap co.nz. Simply download the App, and you can find your way with the GPS (no extra-datas);

Windugru is very precise about conditions for the day after. We used it many times to check the conditions all over the World.

So there you go, you got everything! So don’t hesitate to break your piggy bank to fly there, you won’t regret it!!

Special thanks to the people who believed in our project !

Ozone Paragliders
Lowe Alpine
Ice Breaker
Adidas Eyewear
Le BipBip

Be sure to like our Facebook page for the next movies to come!