Celebrations will take flight tomorrow night as Illawarra aviation buffs commemorate the 75th anniversary of the first commercial flight between Australia and New Zealand.
The historic journey, executed by legendary pilot Sir Charles Kingford Smith, took off from Gerroa's Seven Mile Beach in the early hours of January 11 in 1933, landing more than 14 hours later at New Plymouth on New Zealand's North Island.
Gerringong and District Historical Society president Colin Sharpe was almost six years old when he witnessed Kingsford Smith land the Southern Cross on the beach at Gerroa before the trans-Tasman journey.
Now he is looking forward to the anniversary celebration tomorrow.
"It was quite a historical event, it's also being commemorated by the New Plymouth Aero Club in New Zealand," he said.
"I can quite vividly recall being on the beach as they just finished refuelling, it was enormous.
"My dad lifted me up so I could look in the window of the plane. It was something that was awe-inspiring."
Thousands of people travelled to Gerroa for the chance to meet the adventurous pilot and see the mighty Southern Cross speed down the flare-lined beach and into the crisp night sky.
Five men were aboard Kingsford Smith's historic flight including two paying passengers.
The former stunt pilot had planned to establish a regular service between the two countries but discovered that giving joy flights was more lucrative.
Anniversary celebrations will kick off at the Gerringong Museum in Blackwood St at 7.30pm.
Adults are asked to make a $10 donation, children are free.