Revisiting 
AUSTRALIA
2005

 

 

Route from Broome to Perth

After a few days of resting, sleeping in the same bed twice, and playing in the warm sea, we felt that urge to move on. We are not sure whether we had been Gypsies or Nomads in one of our earlier lives. The weather was still great and the daily legs were comfortable three hour flying jaunts. Packing the plane had become a routine with everything slotting into it's assigned place. (Only during the flight did we have an occasional hassle with locating the map needed at that moment - somewhere on the cockpit floor, perhaps behind, between, scrunched under our seats or someplace - like on our laps! Is age catching up with us? )

 
Joan talking to BrieferJoan talks to the briefer in the shade of the wing to get the LATEST updates. Oil funnel the old fashion wayThe old fashion way, replenishing the oil. Fortunately, oil consumption was low, giving us much confidence in a bird we had only flown for less than a week.

Joan, the liaison officer, chats with the briefer to get the latest weather array of the day and collect some additional wisdom about aviating in Australia. Ueli on the other hand, did his job to keep the plane running smoothly and get his hands dirty, again. From Broome it was a straight shot along the coast to Katharra. Shortly before our destination we flew past Port Hedland, the Port where the iron ore from Newman is loaded and shipped out. Another product produced locally is salt.

 
Port Hedland with iron ore from NewmanPort Hedland with loading facilities in the foreground, the salt production ponds in the back and the City on the left. There is not too much to do here, but all is neat and tidy - it is simply red and white. Helicopter serving the offshore gas platformsThis workhorse and lifeline helicopter is the connection between the oil rigs and land.

Arriving at Karratha, we learned much about offshore oil production. Transportation was from this airport. In a steady rhythm, large helicopters brought workers to and from the rigs or picked up parts of equipment which needed replacing. Two weeks on and two weeks off was the schedule for the guys and girls out on the rigs. After living in such close confines, coming landside, some felt alone and would return after a few days to the rigs at sea to be around their "Rig family." It is a hard life, but it suits many people.

Reef at Coral BayCoral Bay with breakers crashing against the reef, giving calm waters on the beaches, yet lots of snorkeling and fishing opportunity out on the reef. Runway at Coral BayA real dirt and sand strip only a mile from Coral Bay is all there is at this airport. Even the wind sock is faded and tattered blending in with the soil. If you do not know exactly where it is, you do not see it.

After one night in Karratha, we took a little detour into the Hamersley Range ( see the Hamersley Page) before settling in for a few days at Coral Bay. There we wanted to check out the possibilities to see the great whale sharks and do some scuba diving. Having traveled a few degrees closer to Antarctica, the ocean water had cooled substantially compared the warm waters of Broome. Coral Bay turned out to be a typical resort hot spot with the focus on beach activities and snorkeling. The rooms at the resort were large and offered the possibility to cook in. There were no phones in the room, but in today's time everyone had their own cell phones.

 
Zuitdorp CliffsThe Zuytdorp Cliffs, north of Geraldton are an impressive sight. The ocean slowly chews away the land. Murchison GorgeThe Murchison River Canyon at Kalbarri is another impressive site, not to be missed from the air.
 
Back in zivilisationThe closer we get to Perth, the more signs of civilization appear.

Tawk Jet TrainerHawk trainers wait at Geraldton. The military restricted airspace nearby is "hot" and we see why it is better to stay out of there.

From Coral Bay, it was a straight shot south to Perth. Some sightseeing points were marked on the map and due to the headwinds, we decided to stop for refueling in Carnavon and Geraldton. Meeting the guys with the fueling trucks is always a pleasure. Information on local activities and airside assistance can sometimes make or break the day.

 
Harbour apartments north of PerthFancy new marinas with pier side condos are still being built the closer we get to Perth. More and more people are discovering the great climate in this corner of Australia. Perth City CenterThe sky line is a backdrop above the homes on the hills in the far off distance.

The closer we came to Perth, the more signs of civilization appeared. At first, it was only cultivated farm land, then an assortment of houses started to pop up. Large shore developments with harbors for pleasure boats and fancy villas also appeared. Finally, the skyline of Perth came into view. We found our reporting points for approach into Jandakot Airport, the home base of our plane and The Royal Aero Club of Western Australia. It has almost been two weeks since we left this busy airport. We were greeted like old friends.

 
Fremantle yacht harbourThe famous yachting marina of Fremantle is close to our reporting point for Jandakot Airport. Jandakot Airfiel, south of PerthJandakot, our home field. We are just about to turn downwind for 24R.
 
Joan back home at JandakotWe made it.

Let's start unloading!

Perth from our hotel windowA beautiful sunset from our hotel room.

A great two week trip by air has come to an end. We logged 30 hours, flew about 3900 nm and burned about 1460 liters (390 US gallons) of fuel and 3 quarts of oil.

 
 

Don't hesitate to give us your impressions.

You can contact us via    wefly4fun2@aol.com

 

This page was last modified on 30. April 2005