Wellington gales cause travel troubles

TIM DONOGHUE
Last updated 17:28 11/08/2014

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North westerly gales at Wellington Airport this afternoon resulted in a Qantas flight from Sydney, scheduled to land at 5pm, having to be briefly divert to Auckland.

After touching down in Auckland the Qantas flight then headed south to Wellington where it landed about 6pm, an hour behind its scheduled arrival time in the capital.

MetService duty forecaster Liz Walsh said northwesterly gales at Wellington Airport had been clocked up to 93kms per hour this afternoon.

Because of the high winds Qantas flight 161 from Sydney was briefly diverted to Auckland.

Two other Auckland-Wellington flights had to return to Auckland earlier this afternoon because of the high winds.

A Wellington Airport spokeswoman said the Auckland-Wellington passenger backlog was quickly resolved as the winds gradually reduced in the early evening. 

One would-be late afternoon flyer from Auckland to Wellington, Matt Elwood, tweeted he was stuck at Auckland Airport as passengers had been advised Wellington airport was too stormy to land.

Walsh said passengers coming in to Wellington on domestic flights this evening should expect a rocky ride.

Mt Kaukau recorded the highest gust this afternoon with a reading of 128 kms per hour.

Walsh predicted the norwesterly gales would die down between 9pm and midnight tonight and would be replaced by a south westerly front which would visit the Wellington region tomorrow. 

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