National Launch Day

National Launch Day

Sunday March 3rd 2024

Experience the sight and sound of New Zealand's largest amateur rockets in action! Accelerating from zero to hundreds of kilometers an hour in just a few seconds, propelled skywards on a massive flame with the same signature crackle and roar as full size rockets.

This annual public launch event attracts hundreds of visitors to a fun afternoon watching rockets launch. National Launch Day has been entertaining and educating New Zealanders since 2001.

Location is 1 hour 15 minutes from Auckland, 20 minutes from Hamilton on Arthur Alan Thomas's farm. Bring something to sit on and sunscreen. Toilets and free parking on site. Food and drink vendors on site.

Many large rockets will be flown on the day.

Gates open 10:30. Flights from 12pm to 4pm.  Tickets purchased through Eventfinda or at the gate via Eftpos or cash. 

Check the front page of this website at 8 am on the day for cancellations.


New Zealand Rocketry Association is a not for profit community organisation.

Food and drink vendors on site (cash preferred)

Don’t forget: Water, sunglasses, outdoor chairs, hats, sunblock. No pets/animals.

Gates open 10:30 for mid-day start.

Site is 1hr 20 minutes from Auckland, 20 minutes from Hamilton. Maps 

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See the bottom of this page for driving instructions and map.

On site 88mhz FM Radio Announcements

Don't miss out on that big launch.  Listen to launch announcements anywhere on site via your portable FM or car radio.   

Virtual Radar. 2021 NZRA Member Jeremy Matthews is bringing an array of radio gear in addition to the low power FM equipment including virtual radar telemetry & live 3D trajectory plotting.  Not all aircraft share positional data with 3rd party sites so this adds the ability to 'see through the clouds' to detect aircraft encroaching on the no fly area. 

Build a 'have a go rocket'

Kids or adults keen to give rocketry a go can build and launch a small rocket on the day from between $ 20 and $40

Ready to Launch


From Auckland: Instructions below. Travel time is about 1hr 20min. Kneebone road is not sealed so please drive slowly on it to minimise dust. 

From Hamilton:  Travel time is about 30min. Take the Gordonton turnoff from SH1 at Taupiri. Hang a left turn at Orini Rd and go down to Rutherfurd. Left on Rutherfurd and right on Kneebone and your are there at the launch site a little ways down the road!

See NZRA event page for maps and weather.

National Launch Day Videos

From Auckland 1-2

Take the motorway south and continue on past Meremere and the Rangiriri Tavern until you reach the turnoff at Ohiniwai Tahuna. Turn left at the stop sign then straight through the roundaboout to continue for 8 minutes (11km) along Tahuna Road.

From Auckland 2-2

11km down Tahuna road turn right into Rutherfurd Road in the middle of the sweeping left hand bend (photo left). Drive for 3 minutes (4.6km) down Rutherfurd Road and then turn left into Kneebone road. Entrance to the launch site is opposite the quary hill.