Dreamtime by Air 2005 – Part 10

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Previous installment is here.

A map of the trip is here.

Monday 22 August 2005 – Normanton to Adels Grove

Normanton (S17 41.1 E141 04.2) -> Adels Grove (S18 42.0 E138 32.0)

Tent accommodation at Adels GroveBar and restaurant area at Adels GroveAfter an early start from Normanton, we had some views of Lawn Hill gorge as we came in to land at Adels Grove. where the airfield is right next to the camping area, bar and restaurant. We were in tents with comfortable proper beds. We were in A row, which overlooks Lawn Hill Creek.

We had a nice little gurgling waterfall across the pond from our tent. The sunlight reflecting from the water painted dappled shades on a ghost gum by the stream. Adels Grove is the only serviced accommodation anywhere near Lawn Hill. We had some time to wander around the area before tucking into a large salad lunch.

Canoeing in Lawn Hill GorgeLawn Hill GorgeOur afternoon was occupied by a visit to Lawn Hill Gorge (18 36S 138 33E) by bus. Although only 4 kilometres from our site, the only road in takes 10 km to reach the Lawn Hill National Park gorge. At Lawn Hill, half the group paddled canoes while the others walked into the gorge to meet the canoes at the falls. They took the longer high trail with its lookout views.

Back at Adels Grove, several people went swimming in the creek below our tent. Dinner was corned beef and mashed potatoes (very good). There was such a crowd from the tour buses that the restaurant was fully booked out with 90 people attending.

Tuesday 23 August 2005 – Adels Grove to Sydney

Adels Grove (S18 42.0 E138 32.0) -> Mt Isa (S20 39.83 E139 29.31) -> Longreach (S23 26.05 E144 16.81) -> Charleville (S26 24.8 E146 15.75) -> Walgett (S30 01.96 E148 07.55) -> Bankstown (S33 55.46 E150 59.30)

A long flight, with many stops for fuel, so we needed to be away from Adels Grove early. First refuelling stop, the great mining town of Mt Isa, in northwest Queensland. One of the ground staff kindly let us use tea making and other facilities in the refuelling area. The general aviation area is close to the commercial flights at Mt Isa, so they are touchy about people wandering around the airfield. We got away around 10:35 for the hour and a half flight to Longreach, with tanks as full as we could manage.

Qantas Fouders Museu, LongreachWe checked out the entry to the Qantas Founders Museum at Longreach. It seemed much expanded from our previous visit, so we’d like a chance to visit it again. We got away from the coffee shop and into the air around 12:17.

The group with the tour bannerNext leg is over 200nm to Charleville, taking about an hour and a half. Here we took the traditional group photographs with the Dreamtime by Air banner.

The last stop was Walgett, where David produced a couple of bottles of wine as a farewell drink. Our flight then took us over Coonabarabran, so we had a good view of the Siding Springs astronomical observatory. We were delighted to see these from the air, as we had visited them by car the previous year.

We overflew Scone and Richmond on our way to Bankstown, with only a restricted range of directions allowed for our inward flight track.

After that it was all anticlimax. Unloading bags for the final time. Farewells, hasty in some cases as people got lifts. One of the Airtex staff was kind enough to drop us at the Banksia Motel at Bass Hill, on his way home. He knew the local streets a lot better than the taxi drivers.

Wednesday 24 August 2005

Shopping day in Sydney.

Thursday 25 August 2005 – Sydney to home

We had a JetStar flight booked from Sydney back to Whitsunday Coast. It was originally scheduled at around 5 PM, giving us most of the day in Sydney. Some time after we booked, JetStar changed the flight to around 7:30 AM. To say we are unhappy with JetStar is a considerable understatement. If they weren’t the cheapest choice by far (and have more comfortable seats), we’d stick with Virgin Blue.

The end!

Page last updated 28 May 2006