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trips, thermal and XC courses​

up-skill – travel – have fun – fly with friends

At Wings & Waves, your journey into flying does not finish with your PG2 rating – there is so much more to learn and to explore.


We offer a variety of courses and trips to our PG2 pilots to offer different ways of progressing and enjoying your flying to the max once you have your intermediate rating. You may want to brush up on a few skills or learn new launching skills in our refresher courses or step up to thermalling and XC flying.

Check out our calendar page for trips and dates currently planned!


In 3-10 days trips and courses we focus on certain skills set, such as thermalling or XC flying, but also ground handling and other skills. Flying for several days in a row, with daily instructions, weather briefings, in-flight instructions, morning briefings and evening de-briefs and theory sessions to fill in the gaps, such trips often catapult a new PG2 coastal pilot to the level of a very competent and confient XC pilot. Of course, you can learn all these skills slowly over time by yourself or with friends, but such courses simply accellerate your learning and increase your confidence immensly in a short period of time.

Our thermalling and XC clinics and trips are very popular, they often book out straight away, months before the travel. Many people join us over and over, simply because the trips are so much fun, you learn so much, they are well organised and they are always in good company.


We pick the best flying locations for the time of the year, so that your chances of good flying conditions and many hours are exceptionally good. One of the best locations for this course is nearly on our doorstep, at the Kaimais in the Waikato area. Once a year, we go to Bright in Victoria, Australia, usually late summer. Wanaka / Queenstown is always a popular flying destination which we often do mid summer. Europe is fantastic in NZ winter / Euro summer; my favourite is probably France. 

instructor team – young and old and male and female

Our instructor teams have over 30 years experience, Eva has run such trips as long as anyone can remember. But to make sure nothing ever goes stale, we re-invent and adjust the courses every time, add new and young and differently talented instructors to the mix, the programme and location all the time to make sure it is a success every time. 

Most trips are run by Eva plus either a local instructor and / or young Lukas as the second instructor. We either just take a small number of participants for one instructor or make up the perfect teams, splitting the instructor roles and task perfectly with usually 1 instructor on the ground helping to find and center thermals, the other one marking thermals in the air and helping with in-flight instructions. When everyone is off, the second instructor joins the group in the air and off we go!!! This way, we can help all our pilots in the air and assist them to reach their personal goals, whether that is learning to thermal, getting extra airtime or achieving a specific XC goal. Often, e.g on our last Wanaka trip, we reach the 30km mark even with entirely in-experienced pilots, very often we out-fly the locals and their groups by miles. Many pilots have done both their first XC, their first 20 and 30 and 50 km flights all in one week. That requires some weather luck, of course.

Eva has developed this little super-power over the years, to get new PG2 pilots thermalling high and well in a very short period of time. With some focussed theory, then practical exercises, then inflight thermal instructions, it takes little time to get pilots to develop their own feel of how to thermal efficiently, safely and confidently. So, if that's what you want to learn to do well, join our next course!

At least as important is the social side of these trips: We hand pick beautiful places to run the courses with plenty of non-flying activities we do, have BBQs and dinners, theory sessions and individual training session. All in all, it is always a great experience and holiday as well as a paragliding course.

Check out our calendar page for trips and dates currently planned!

This is a great opportunity for PG2 pilots to get confident thermalling and XC flying. We will fly for 6 days, have theory sessions, weather briefings, learn flight planning, have daily de-briefs.

Course Content for thermal courses:

  • get to learn about and fly at local sites safely

  • learn to thermal efficiently

  • learn to handle turbulence

  • improve your confidence in the air

  • learn to read mountain flying conditions

  • learn to connect thermals and understand XC flights

  • learn to use your instruments effectively

  • flying confidently in gaggles

  • learn about weather predictions, generally and locally at the site

XC courses cover in addition:

  • XC weather theory

  • using competition turn points and fly some typical tasks

  • use your instruments to optimise your flying 

  • use your instrument in future competitions 

  • fly with the instructors along an XC course and get helped along for long flights. 

  • theory lessons to back all this up

  • in-flight coaching

  • some special tips from local experts

  • de-brief with track log comparisons 

depending on flying time / weather / time for theory, we also cover

  • ideal harness adjustments

  • planning XC

  • instrument geeking

  • weather geeking 

  • comp tactics

  • and many more...

Also included

  • transport during the course

  • airport transfers on the day before and after the course if needed

  • instructions included, with 1 instructors per 4 to 5 pilots maximum

NOT included

  • accommodation

  • food / drink

  • fuel for the team van

  • local site fees

  • towing or extra courses we do (our instructions are included)

  • anything else not explicitly included


  • you need to be a NZ PG2 or equivalent intermediate level pilot

  • be o.k launching, flying and landing unsupervised. We assist whenever possible and pick good conditions, but don't supervise every part of the flight during these courses.

  • be a current member of the NZHGPA

  • have all equipment suitable to your level of flying with a current WOF and acceptable to Wings & Waves

  • reserve, radio, vario, helmet etc

  • we can help with any part of the above: We supply high quality gear at good prices, repair, repack, service, do WOF checks

Course participants get discounts on all equipment. Ask us for a quote!

Price is roughly $220 per day, including vehicle and instructor, but not accommodation. 


Book asap, these courses book out fast.

Thank you, Jori, for this clip about our 2022 trip to Wanaka!!

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