Cross the Ditch 9: Spring 2013

It's December, the spring weather is stirring in the Southern Hemisphere, and it's time once again to Cross the Ditch!

Featured for Cross the Ditch 9

  • Wave Format

    As has become our tradition, we're adopting the Wave Format for our Spring event. This unique and popular approach sees the event divided into five waves where the event route changes every few hours zig-zagging back and forth across the Tasman to create six mini-flyins.

    The route you fly is determined by the time you wish to depart; the routes are designed to highlight some of the fantastic scenery in this part of the world, and to create as much crossing traffic as possible. ATC will be assigned according to the schedule to ensure great coverage throughout each flight.

  • New Airport: Rotorua

    Cross the Ditch is excited to be adding another New Zealand airport to the Cross the Ditch catalogue! Rotorua is a smaller regional airport in the North Island's Volcanic Plateau. World famous for the geysers, mud-pools, lakes and terraces that make it one of the most geothermally active parts of the world, Rotorua is a major tourist destination with regular direct flights across the Tasman. Note: the short runway and limited parking limit Rotorua to B737/A320 sized aircraft and smaller, so larger aircraft will be able to operate out of Auckland for the Rotorua waves.

    The flight route for Wave 2 from Hobart to Rotorua has been selected to take pilots across some of the most spectacular scenery in New Zealand, from the South Island's majestic Southern Alps, to the volcanoes of the Tongariro National Park: Mts Ruapehu, Ngarahoe, and Tongariro, and legendary Lake Taupo.

  • New Airport: Canberra

    For the first time, Cross the Ditch is venturing to Australia's capital city, Canberra. Located half an hour south-west of Sydney and nestled in the foothills of the Australian Alps, Canberra is the seat of the Australian Federal Government and home to a busy airport.

What's it all about?

For twenty hours this December, the skies over the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand will be filled with aircraft all on a mission to Cross the Ditch.

An example of that typical down-under understatement, this "ditch" is over 1100nm wide. The flight routes all range from two and a half to four hours flight time.

Throughout the event, the Oceania region's two divisions will be providing full gate-to-gate ATC coverage, in the Southern Hemisphere's premiere oceanic event.

This is a great opportunity to experience Oceanic flying without the need to commit to an eight-hour flight!

If you're new to Oceanic Flying, our reporting tool makes taking part a breeze.

Event Times

This twenty hour event is timed to allow pilots from all over the world join the fun:


This season's event is organised in waves. Each airport will have a three-to-four hour departure window, during which time flights will be able to leave for the next destination. As the window closes, the departure window will open at the next destination.

Given each of the flights is 3 - 3.75hrs in length, the previous wave's flights will be arriving at the same airport as the next wave departs, maximising the amount of traffic at each airport.

NOTE: in order to ensure that you have ATC coverage throughout your flight, you MUST fly the wave route that is active at the time of your departure.

The individual routes are designed to ensure as much opposing traffic enroute as possible.

Each flight passes from one Oceania division to the other, and the result is six mini-flyins over the course of twenty hours!

The Waves for Cross the Ditch 9 - Spring 2013 are:

1 Christchurch (NZCH) to Hobart (YMHB) 1700-2000 0400-0700 0600-0900
2 Hobart (YMHB) to Rotorua (NZRO)
(B737/A320 and smaller)
2000-2330 0700-1030 0900-1230
2a Hobart (YMHB) to Auckland (NZAA)
(Large aircraft only)
2000-2330 0700-1030 0900-1230
3 Rotorua (NZRO) to Canberra (YSCB)
(B737/A320 and smaller)
2330-0300 1030-1400 1230-1600
3a Auckland (NZAA) to Canberra (YSCB)
(Large aircraft only)
2330-0300 1030-1400 1230-1600
4 Canberra (YSCB) to Auckland (NZAA) 0300-0700 1400-1800 1600-2000
5 Auckland (NZAA) to Melbourne (YMML) 0700-1000 1800-2100 2000-2300

Calling all Pilots and Controllers

Flight plans are available from the Flight Plans section.

Book your flights now from the Flight Bookings page. Bookings made on this site help us plan for the event, and will also show up in vroute.

Controllers wanting to get in on the action can also apply now at the event's ATC Applications page.

Cross the Ditch is brought to you by VATPAC and VATNZ VATNZ - VATSIM New Zealand VATPAC - VATSIM Australia/Pacific