Tuesday, 26 April 2011

April 25 – Gympie to Rockhampton via Bundaberg

Unfortunately we had to leave today.  Kevin wanted to see the Local Museum early so Sam drove him into town whilst I rested and waited for Issy to wake up.  She finally awoke and we had a coffee (Sam and I – not Issy) whilst playing Mastermind.  Mill came around just as Kevin phoned to say he was ready to leave for the airfield as the weather was getting overcast and drizzly.

Sam and I finished packing the car, bought the last few essentials (dry ginger to go with the Scotch) and met the others back at the field.

The sky looked very dark and foreboding however the weather radar showed only isolated local patches of rain clouds with nothing to the north.  So even though it looked bad and was raining slightly we headed off for the next leg.

'Bye sweet one'
I was soooo sad to go.  Sam and I get on really well – like sisters and little Isabella is such a gorgeous loving 10 year old.  We never get to see each other very often. L

Rainbow Beach

Blue Lake on Fraser Island
Heading slightly south east toward clear air we made the coast and then turned north.  The weather ahead looked OK.  We passed beautiful Rainbow Beach, Tin Can Bay then over to Fraser Island.  Unfortunately the cloud cover made the beaches and water “not so” impressive but it still looked interesting to me.

We over flew the lakes, heaps of 4WD travelers, tourist parks, motels etc.  Except for the thick bush covering the island there was little to see except lots of other tourists.

Refueling at Bundaberg
We turned left again and headed back to the mainland overflying Hervey Bay and soon had Bundaberg in our sights.  We had made excellent time due to a 25 knot tailwind.

Having refueled the Stinson, moved her to a safe place and enjoyed our lovely sandwiches prepared by Sam, we then caught a taxi into town.  Our plans were to see the Bert Hinkler Museum, Botanical Gardens, Bundaberg Rum distillery etc etc but as it was Anzac Day (oops Dummies) nothing was open.  So the driver took us on a lovely tour around the city, past most of the attractions and then back via a different route back to the airport.  We were very impressed with the vast open streets and lovely building in Bundy.
Hedlow airstrip - US

Back at the airport we quickly loaded up, and shot off to the next planned stop which was to be Hedlow Field – a private field some 10 nauticals ne of Rockhampton.  Upon arriving at Hedlow, a precautionary pass showed an X on the ground adjacent to the cross strips which meant it was unserviceable.  Climbing back up to a safe height we replanned, quickly called Rockhampton for a clearance to enter and land there for the evening.

Upon arrival – luckily 1 minute in front of a Dash 8 RPT – we taxied to the GA area to find a row of empty open fronted hangars with lovely grassed areas in front.

Local aviators advised us to park down the line away from the others which we did.  It took us quite a while to set up the tent, table, cooker, chairs etc etc.  We dined on Butter Chicken (out of a can) with cous cous (out of a packet) washed down with dry ginger and followed by a superb piece of Sam’s almond/strawberry cake she had packed for us.

Campsite Rockhampton
Our view for the evening is the Stinson right in front of security lights, lit up windsock and the tower beacon going round and round and round in the dark.

Our music is the crickets and the hourly arrival and departure of RPTs.  He he.  How much sleep are we going to get tonight??

1 comment:

Son John n Lizzy said...

Good to see you guys finally roughing it!...(Ha Ha)

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.