ROCKET LAUNCH! MAHIA, NEW ZEALAND
Updated: Apr 26
Did you know New Zealand is home to a ROCKET LAUNCH PAD?!
Nope, me either. So imagine my surprise when we're free camping out near Mahia on the east coast and we get chatting to our lovely neighbours and they ask "are you here to see the rocket launch?". Ummm.. the what now? Sure enough, the very next day, from that very peninsula Rocket Lab was launching their first Rocket of the year (just chucking some satellites up into space, no biggie 😉) and only their 11th since they began operations in NZ.
As this is an event that rarely occurs, we figured it was worth sticking around for, although I did have my suspicions that it may just look like a wee little firework off in the distance and be a giant anticlimax...
We did lots of googling and discovered the Rocket had a window for take off between 1pm - 5pm, and that there was an area for public viewing a little further around the coast. So we packed up our caravan and arrived there dutifully at 12.30 ready to wait. And wait.. and wait a bit more. It was a super windy day, (and bloody hot) so the launch kept getting delayed.. 1pm.. 2.22.. 3.15.. 3.45.. backwards and forwards we went from the beach to the caravan sweating our butts off (so glad we took the caravan with us or we'd have bailed long ago) when finally it looked like it was going to kick off at 3.56.
So out we went, listening to the live feed so we'd hear the countdown (& actually see the rocket on the phone cause we sure couldn't see it with our eyes) and know when it was about to take off. But there must have been a delay in the feed because next minute we see this teeny little light begin to ascent towards the heavens. Much debate then began among us as to whether that was indeed the rocket, but it seemed it was. So we watched it climb ever higher, get a little bit of a jet stream, and after a few seconds disappear. And that was it! 🤣🤣🤣
Fortunately "see a rocket launch" was never on our bucket list, and our expectations were low, so we were not disappointed. We just carried on to our next campsite and watched the YouTube feed instead. I can assure you, it was a lot more exciting than watching it in person 🤣🤣
If you want to see the official launch video from Rocket Lab it's here: https://youtu.be/af-PplDIkbc
Or you can just check out our very exciting pictures below 😉