Warbirds Over Wanaka - RAAF FA-18 HORNET 4 SHIP DISPLAY for Airshow

30 December 19

Ten years after they debuted at Warbirds Over Wanaka, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets are returning for Easter 2020.

Back in 2010 the jets were the undoubted stars of the show and they’re sure to wow the crowd once again.  The RAAF is planning to bring five Hornets to NZ providing a 4-ship for the Wanaka Airshow.   The Hornets are part of 77 Squadron and Commanding Officer Jason ‘Easty’ Easthope will be the leading the display.

Wing Commander Easthope was born in Rotorua and flew with the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) until the disbandment of the New Zealand strike force and sale of the A4 Skyhawks.  

“The team is very excited about coming to Wanaka.  It’s one of the world’s great Warbirds Airshows and we have had no trouble finding volunteers for the trip over,” says Easty.

While in New Zealand the RAAF will be hosted by the RNZAF and if all goes to plan, be based out of Queenstown Airport.   Warbirds Over Wanaka General Manager, Ed Taylor, is thrilled to have the Hornets back.  “We always get magnificent support from the RAAF.  Who will forget the F1-11 and C-17 displays of a few years ago and more lately we have had the Hawk jets along with the Spartan.”

“To have this many Hornets returning will be awesome.  With the Hornets being phased out over the next few years it will possibly be the final time we get to see a 4-ship of these fine aircraft flying in New Zealand,” says Ed.

The Hornets have been the backbone of the RAAF strike force for some 30 years.  They are based at Williamtown air base near Newcastle in New South Wales. The squadron will be converting to the new Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II from 2021.

When they were last in Wanaka back in 2010 keen aviator and All Black captain at the time, Ritchie McCaw, joined in the Airshow commentary from the backseat of one of the F/A-18s as it thundered through as part of the display.

For more information, visit www.gptnz.com/aviation

Stay Informed

Receive eNews & Special Offers

Brochure Request Order

Tour Reviews Read


All (138)

Special Offers (1)

Discover New Zealand (43)

General (25)

Tour Highlights (16)

In the Press (33)

Industry (3)

Ultimate Small Group Tours (5)

Cruise & Luxury Coach Tours (2)

Solo Travel (5)

Warbirds Over Wanaka Aviation Event (44)

Festive Season Tours (2)

Most Popular Articles

Travel Talk

Number of news items returned: 1 to 15 records of 138

Hobbiton Movie Set

07 December 2021


Discover the Real Middle Earth   The idyllic village of Hobbiton™ is Middle-earth at its best. Located within the rolling green farmland ...

Take an Ultimate Small Group Tour to New Zealand

31 March 2015


New Zealand has an endless array of world class experiences, sights, sounds and tastes for travellers to enjoy. The country ...

Discover New Zealand by Sea and Land

01 December 2016


Experience a holiday like never before with Grand Pacific Tours. Cruise on one of the most luxurious Superliners, the Celebrity ...

New Zealand is world's 'greenest' destination

24 November 2014


New Zealand has been named as the overall winner of this year's Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism awards. By Charles Starmer-Smith (telegraph.co.uk) New ...

Experience the best of New Zealand

03 November 2014


There’s a reason the sun shines on New Zealand before anywhere else – every new day in Aotearoa is something ...

New Zealand is magical by coach

27 October 2015


Whether you are marvelling at the spectacular glaciers, picturesque fiords or simply relaxing in a thermal pool, New Zealand is ...

TranzAlpine Rail Journey

14 August 2019


The journey of a lifetime Climb aboard one of the world’s most famous train journeys and travel between Christchurch and Arthur’s ...

Ultimate Small Group Tours

05 April 2019


  Experience business class on wheels The beauty of travelling aboard the Ultimate Coach in a small group is that every aspect of ...

Milford Sound Overnight Cruise

31 July 2018


Relax on the Milford Sound Overnight Cruise while you view the fiord’s spectacular waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife - you’re ...

Explore New Zealand in Ultimate Luxury

26 May 2020


There comes a time in our lives where we begin to prefer quality over quantity and crave more comfort and ...

An Introduction to Modern Luxury

02 January 2019


The Celebrity Solstice® offers you more than you ever imagined. Enjoy casual outdoor activities on a freshly manicured lawn on the ...

Southern Land

05 January 2015


Nuclear-free New Zealand takes the lead when it comes to conservation. Touring through the South Island, Casey-Ann Seaniger falls in ...

TSS Earnslaw & Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ

08 September 2015


Cruise Lake Wakatipu aboard the iconic steamship the TSS Earnslaw, undoubtedly one of the best ways to experience Queenstown’s famed ...

Queenstown secures its place on global Monopoly Board

27 March 2015


New Zealand’s adventure capital, Queenstown has yet another grand accolade to add to its already extensive collection. Source: www.newzealand.com The South Island ...

Discover NZ in stunning Spring or Autumn

17 April 2018


It is great to know that New Zealand exists. This uncrowded, green and peaceful country is the ultimate escape. Experience ...