Tuesday, 24 April 2007


We awoke to another clear beautiful morning on the NSW coast. After breakfast in the restaurant of the Palm Court Motel and collected our washing – all neatly folded by our hostess Lorraine we headed off for a walk into town. Kev needed a hair cut and us girls needed clothes browsing time. We also were having computer problems and so dropped into a store where the tech. found and fixed our problem in no time. Due to Easter holidays I had not been able to access Bigpond to update our system and we had overrun our monthly usage. But we are all fixed now (all thanks to the tech) J

The shopping was enjoyable with lots of tourist shops as well as commercial chain stores.
I purchased some light weight jeans as well as new sunglasses. We walked to the water front and along the foreshore. Tied up at the jetty was the wooden tri-masted ketch the Alma Doepel. I remembered the name as my Dad had worked on it in his younger days and Mum had painted a painting of it. We were going to take a look over it, when I received a call from Deb back at Colwyn Park.

The Alma Doepel at Port Macquarie Jetty

Unfortunately the news was that our young Roo, who had injured herself again, had died. We had a long chat about all the other ‘family members’ back home – and confirmed that they were all well. As the mood was somewhat subdued we wandered along the foreshore back to the township, then purchased sandwiches for our lunch stop, tracked back to the motel for our luggage and taxied back to the airfield. After refueling and re-packing etc we headed off for our next stop.

The sky was somewhat overcast but the coastline beautiful. We overflew all points and bays and made a point of circling the Byron Bay lighthouse – the Eastern most point of Australia. So we had flown as far South and East in Aussie as well as commencing from the West. In between beautiful beaches and inlets were either scrubby tree-covered wet lands or hills that rolled down to the sea.

We passed by Coolengatta with it’s busy airport, the miles of marinas and the high rise buildings of the Gold Coast. One building the Q1 was higher than any building by at least 10 stories.

Gold Coast Skyline!! Visibility not good.

The ongoing mile after mile of man-made housing lots perched between waterways was almost boring. We wondered what would happen in the event of a tsunami or tornado or even a large storm. Would these houses survive?

The greatest view was of Sea World with it’s huge ferris wheel and pools with multiple shows ongoing all day. We were envious that we could not go down there to see it all.

We left the coast to enter the GA corridor into Archerfield. Careful navigation ensured we did not enter controlled airspace. Recognising the landmarks was a little easier due to the helpful traffic controllers. Archerfield seemed huge. The dual runways running 10 were easily accessed for full-stop landings from a right base entry. We landed reasonably well considering the cross wind and taxied all the way up to the parking grassed area. Outside Barry Hemple’s hangars were two very unusual planes. Neither of which we could recognize.

Brisbane skyline from airport Unknown type of craft - Hempels' Brisbane

Whilst unpacking we phoned Rob Flynn an ex-Swan Brewery supply manager who was promoted to XXXX in Brisbane. He and his wife Rose and their two boys Ben and Zac had moved here only 4 months earlier. Rob made arrangements to collect us. Whilst waiting we strolled around the local cemetery that was started by a local family – very interesting stuff.

Back at the Flynn’s 2 story home, we enjoyed a Bar be que (listened to the cane toads in the garden) and chatted long into the night before settling down. We never did see a toad that night.

Stinson Reliant SR8C VH-UXL

Stinson Reliant SR8C VH-UXL
over Perth city (Photo: Greg Hill)

About Us

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Flying farming couple who live on 135 acres. Kev is obsessed by aeroplanes. Vicki is devoted to horses and White Swiss Shepherds.