MUM IN THE OUTBACK (AUSTRALIA) by Mr Christopher McGough [VHMUM at bigpond.com]
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May 2004 saw Chris, Susie, Biggles (Susie is pregnant) and Mum (look at rego) make a four day outback pilgrimage. Day one saw 480 miles conquered in 3.4 hours, from Kyneton International to Comeroo Camel Station. We travelled over the well known areas of Victoria and quickly found ourselves travelling over very remote country. Surprisingly there were many strips with homesteads along the way, a reassuring site however we did carry emergency supplies just incase. We flew over the homestead at Comeroo and as we landed were then greeted by Bruce Sharpe, the station owner. The station is 100,000 acres of Outback NSW near the Queensland border. The station run both camels and cattle and Bruce has an amazing collection of rabbit traps, tractor seats and 510 cow bells. The afternoon and evening were very relaxing, the company was great and the bush tucker was great. The accommodation was clean and basic and the evening campfire was entertaining and warm. Refueling the RV in the outback was a pleasant surprise with AVGAS at $1.20Litre. http://www.comeroo.com/
Day two, saw the troops continue to Longreach in Central West Queensland, covering a distance of 360NM . A flight of just over 2.5 hours and MUM was parked along side EBQ, the Qantas 747 for the obligatory mug shot. The tour of the Qantas museum and the 747 was great. Details of the 747, such as the airconditioning being as large as an in ground pool, and the amount of fuel able to be carried was amazing. The weather in Longreach was certainly an improvement on Kyneton, it was 30degrees. The refueling at the Air BP pump was surprising again at $1.18 per litre, of course with the SAAA discount, $1.12Litre.
Day three, was the beginning of the trip home. Longreach to Whitecliffs, with two diversions around showers, saw 3.1hours a distance of 451NM We had phoned Whitecliffs the day before to arrange transport from the airport and refuleing $1.40 Ltr. While waiting for the refueler the phone in the shack at Whitelcliffs rang, Chris answered and a voice said "Is that you Chris?" Talk about a small town, it was the tour guide and transport to town. A tour of the town, which only has 200 residents, was two hours. It included the mine field which was fascinating and showrooms of opals. We stayed at an underground B&B which was excellent we mean excelent. We had a tour of their mine, that was out the back of one of the rooms!!!! They estimate that building a new room, digging it out, takes about three months to dig. The walls and ceiling are then covered in Bond Crete, then plaster slurry before being painted. Pics of White Cliffs and before and after of dugout.
A five star dinner was provided by Joanne and then a comfortable nights sleep. Imagine not having to heat or cool your house and the temperature throughout the year is always 22 degrees!!!
Back to Kyneton international
Day four, the return trip to Kyneton....not so simple. The weather at Whitecliffs saw impending rain and wind. The area forecast suggested that afternoon flying was not advisable. In the air at 8.50 am saw us head south a distance of 400NM with a huge tailwaind, giving us up to 200 knots groundspeed!!! There was a large front to the west of our track all the way through NSW. We continued on but divertng as we went to keep close to airstrips and landed at Echuca after 1.9 hours for a short break. We checked weather for YKTN and then on our way for the last hop. After getting weather forecast and the wind aloft at Echuca we expected to have a cross wind at Kyneton. Someone was smiling on us, and the wind was directly from the North.
With the outback adventure, completed and enjoyed by all, the next trip is being planned. MUM did not miss a beat and ofcourse our Aerosport 0320 just purred!!
Anyone want to join us in Broken Hill??