You can go for a fly in old beauties like the Boeing Stearman World War II open-cockpit bi-plane, or a Korean War era M.A.S.H chopper. The museum’s big hangar complex combines static displays with a viewing area so visitors can watch the classic aircraft roar into life.
In addition, the museum has thousands of pieces of memorabilia on show, from flying suits and helmets, to vintage motorbikes and cars. Winner of the 2006 ‘People’s Choice’ tourism award, Classic Flyers also has displays on early local flyers like Hilda Hewlett, an early founder of the Tauranga Aero Club and airfield.
The aviation-themed café and bar - AvGas – is open daily and late on Fridays. Next door, in another hangar, is the excellent Tauranga Military Collection – more than 10 rare military vehicles, weaponry, uniforms, flags, and knick knacks.
Admission to both Classic Flyers and the Military Collection is Adult $10, Children (5-15) & Seniors $5, family concession (2 adults, 3 children) $25. (Prices current October 2013). Museum open 10 to 4 pm daily.
Jean Batten Drive (entrance to Tauranga Airport), Mount Maunganui. (07) 572 4000. www.classicflyersnz.co.nz