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  1. From Fitzroy Crossing it is just a short flight to the coast... ... passing settlements like Noonkanbah, ... ... along (dry) Fitzroy River... ... and getting in touch of the sea near Curtin. The approach offers a first, great perspective of Broome. A bit off the usual routes, but the scenery is absolutely worth some detour. And we are obviously awaited: The tarmac is getting perfectly cleaned.
  2. A "frontier" flight takes us from The Granites, Northern Territory ... ... along Tanami Road. Hard to see the road, impossible to see the border to West Australia - but there might even be travel restrictions nowadays with Covid! The next settlement to see is Balgo Hill, ... ... perfectly OZX-ed, ... ... then we follow the road to Bililuna... ... and the nearby attraction, Wolfe Creek Crater. Halls Creek, an important road crossing point in the Northwest, ... ... and soon (in the plane, not so soon in the 4WD) we reach Fitzroy Crossing. Only 2500 km away from the state capital this settlement has most amenities with two roadhouses, a self-serve 24-hour diesel station, supermarket, post office, newsagent, clothes shops, accommodation, mechanics, electricians, plumbers, cafes and restaurants. Fitzroy Crossing also has a swimming pool and a grassed Aussie Rules football oval. Like Alice Springs this meeting point of cultures has lead to vibrancies in Aboriginal life, along with the common problems.
  3. The next day in my outback tour ... ... started early at Kings Creek Station. A lovely and well-depicted OZx scenery, ... ... giving the virtual pilot a good impression of the place. Lovely outback views... ... on the short hop to Kings Canyon. The mesh looks a bit unspectacular here, ... ... reality has more to show. When you accidently come along, do not miss to do the 6 km rim walk! Afterwards you have deserved a break at the nearby BBQ area, you can see the loop in the sim... ... in reality it looks like this: We follow the Meerenie Loop road... ... and find Gosses Bluff Crater just north of it. But we do not continue to Alice Springs, as the usual route would be. Instead, we take a shortcut... ... over the West Macs... ... across Tilmouth Well... ... and Yuendumu... ... towards The Granites, another mining station out here.
  4. We continue the flight from my last post ... ... with a BBQ lunch at Yulara campground, unfortunately you cannot see the smoke from the white roof below. Heading east we follow the (only) road and pass Curtin Springs. A roadhouse to be recommended, and why won´t anybody be stopping here - with cold drinks, hot air and a good sense of humour? North of Lasseter Highway is a big salt pan... ... to the south you can see the 3rd big rock in the area: Fooluru. Aka Mt. Conner, aka Artila. Navigation is easy here: We took the first crossroad to the north, onto Luritja Road. A while later Giles Road splits off to the east. It does not only look different in the sim... ... it also requires a bit different driving style, if you want to use it as a shortcut to Henbury Craters and Alice Springs. But we headed north along the George Gill Ranges... ... until it was time to look for Kings Creek Station airstrip. There it is, together with a notorious tree. And a fine campground just next to the runway. Indeed.
  5. Very rare that I have to split a flight report in two posts, but this one just had too many sights. This is a replication of a highlight day of our last family vacation: It started at Yulara, ... ... watching the sunrise at Uluru was followed by hiking through the nearby rock formation: The longer of the famous Kata Tjuta hikes leads through the Valley of the Winds, ... ... passes a helipad at the north side... ... and includes the Karingana lookout. The parking lot is south of Kata Tjuta. It just looks fascinating. As does the second rock formation nearby. In the foregound you can see the "sunset parking" bays for buses (left) and cars (right). This is the loneliness in the desert at sunset. We wave goodbye... ... and leave the Uluru Kata Tjuta NP at the gate; you can see it in the bottom left here. To be continued...
  6. Here we go again from Kingsford Smith, ... ... Sydney, ... ... over the Blue Mountains to the bush. Lake Eyre, ... ... pure desert, ... ... and, after about 4 hours, some sacred rocks appear. Sand dunes make the final into Ayers Rock airport a bit more challenging, ... ... but pure trust brings us down. Let´s go to the teminal!
  7. ... just between P3D and the real one. And we clearly see where MSFS is superior. Kingsford Smith airport (FT) is fine in any sim, ... ... but Darling Harbour is way off from reality in P3D. The same with the coathanger: P3D... ... and the real thing. Same effect with the panorama, from the copter, ... ... and from the ferry. A day at the Opera. View from Vaucluse: And finally Bondi. Indeed the potential of MSFS leaves no doubt when it comes to sightseeing.
  8. After some days of wilderness hiking in Tasmania it is now time to change the perspective and leave Launceston. Climbing out over the green plains... ... and the charming city, ... ... we reach the coast, east of Bridport. Flinders Island is the biggest remainder of the land bridge that disappeared some 10.000 years ago in the floods of Bass Strait, ... ... a smaller one is Deal Island ahead of the Bus´es engine. OZx has brought some oil rigs to the sea. Canberra from flight level. And you can see the blue haze over the Blue Mountains... ... before we turn in over YSSY. A nice view of Sydney from the office... ... leads to a safe landing at Kingsford Smith.
  9. After some days of hiking is it time to leave the Cradle Mountain area. This airstrip is really wonderfully placed into the valley next to Cradle Mountain Road. We follow the road further eastwards... ... until we cross Forth River down of the Lake Cethana Dam. The lake appears smaller on this old picture taken in autumn. But Mt. Roland appears big enough, ... ... just above the Claude Road airstrip. We pass the mountain towards Minnow River, ... ... and follow the Mole Creek Karst valley towards Trowunna Wildlife park. Cosy creatures there. Next stop could be Westbury, with the famous extraction factory north of the motorway. Closing in towards Launceston we cross a golf court. Just left of the H-shaped lake with the little island in it is the Country Club & Casino, ... ... from which the lake looks like this. Launceston city in its full glory, ... ... and the airport as well. Its replication in P3D is in the early 2000s look, ... ... when the baggage collection area already showed how this post would be named many years later.
  10. Todays program is just a short hop for a pilot, but a giant hike for the walker. From the campgrounds at Cradle Mountain airstrip... ... up Cradle Mountain Road... ... to Dove Lake parking. Meanwhile the car access is limited, once it´s reached full capacity you´d better take the bus to get here. That was easier 18 years ago. But we had to face the usual weather. A hard climb uphill leads you to Marions Lookout, overlooking the entire Dove Lake. We walked around it, but couldn´t climb up in the old times, so this lookout is still on the list...
  11. The next leg of this Summer´s Tasmania tour initially leads us from Strahan down to Macquarie Heads. The main entrance into Macquarie harbour was named "Hells Gates" in the convict time, as one of the first British penal stations in Australia was located on Sarah Island in this inlet. We escape and turn back north again over Strahan city, ... ... and along Henty Dunes at Ocean Beach. Turning inland we cross a number of nature reserves towards Zeehan village, ... ... follow A10 north to Lake Que, ... ... and fly along Cradle Mountain Road eastwards. A good base for our next hike would be Cradle Mountain Village (just right of the runway), with a number of accomodation options... ... and an airstrip in true OZx style.
  12. Then join me on the way out of Tasmanias state capital, with both city airports below, ... ... over the Tasman Bridge and CBD, ... ... along River Derwent to New Norfolk. A slight detour brings us to Mt. Field NP and the famous Russell Falls... ... before joining Lyell Highway again to get to Tarraleah´s serpentines. Derwent Bridge is a hikers hotspot between Lake St. Clair and Lake King William, ... ... while Queenstown was famous as a miners hotspot for decades. Finally we come the Tasmanias west coast, famous for the long Ocean Beach and (often called) the World´s cleanest air. Strahan is one of the few settlements here. And it has an OZx airstrip! Plus clean rain...
  13. Founded in 1804 Hobart watches the mouth of River Derwent. The city center around Battery Point summarizes a lot of attractions, be it the Salamanca Market or (Bill) Lark´s distillery. Just a short flight (or a long walk) to the west is Mt. Wellington, ... ... which offers a great view over city and river. Tasman Bridge, rebuilt after a collapse caused by a colliding ship in 1975, is now high enough for the commercial ship traffic. The Cadbury chocolate plant has been added by Terry @teecee. Not shown in the scenery is MONA, a touristical highlight and probably another "must-see" here. Our tour ends here, as we spend the rest of the virtual day in the museum...
  14. After a bumpy takeoff from Friendly Beaches airstrip we head eastwards to the coastline... ... and turn south, checking the sandy runway once again. A few seconds later we spot Cape Tourville lighthouse, ... ... just on top of some spectacular cliffs. Extra view for @Jack Sawyer . Turning back westwards we meet Wineglass Beach and the hills of The Hazards. From the top of Mt. Amos you´d have a magnificient view, too. The village Coles Bay at the left end of Richardsons Beach... ... as you can see with a number of sailboats parking, sheltered from the Ocean swell. We head on to Swansea, ... ... southwards to Triabunna, ... ... and follow the roads to Sorell, ... ... where we get ready to land in Hobart. There is an OZx rendition of the airport, but slightly blurry, so I don´t show it here.
  15. I think I do a virtual tour around Tasmania every year, and mostly I start from Launceston, as shown here. Just a few captures of this 5-hour-drive, the first ones from Binalong Bay, ... ... then St. Helens, ... ... and, down the east coast, Bicheno. The perfect break is made at Friendly Beaches, with some good places to stay, hike and relax nearby. Parked!
  16. Another simulated real-life flight takes us to a neighboring state, out of Melbourne... ... throwing some noise over the city center, ... ... and heading down over the outskirts... ... towards Philip Island. Wilsons Promontory NP (in the background) marks Australias southernmost point, of the mainland that is. Even more southerly is this state, under Down Under. Approaching Launceston, Tasmania. Here we are about to capture the localizer... Got it. Ready for deboarding. The freebie airport is now massively outdated. I wonder how this looks in MSFS... That is the looks of 6 years ago: The building has become white, and received a number of cosmetic (and functional) additions.
  17. After some days of hiking in the Grampians we leave the nicely OZx-ed airstrip... ... climb over the hills... ... and get a final view of the Balconies lookout. We wave goodbye to the cabins and B&Bs at Halls Gap, ... ... before we follow the road eastwards past Ararat. The M8 gets bigger and transforms into the Western Freeway, ... ... leading us over Melton... ... back to Melbourne. Amongst the numerous Orbx airports here we choose Tullamarine again, because we want to catch a connection to our next destination.
  18. Here we leave Warrnambool airfield, ... ... and throw a look to the city at the Southern Ocean coast. Just west of it there is Tower Hill Lake, the remainder of an inactive volcano. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_Hill_(volcano) Turning north we can see the next coastal settlement, Port Fairy, in the distance... ... but we follow the road via Penshurst, where another extinct volcano, Mount Rouse, can be seen. https://www.visitgreaterhamilton.com.au/mount-rouse/ Just a bit further north, at Dunkeld, some mountains come into view. The Grampians. With a nice tourist road following a valley... ... up to the central village, Halls Gap. Easy for us to climb the street westwards, which leads us to the famous Balconies lookout. Unfortunately the rock formations are three-dimensional and missing in the sim. Fortunately the Grampians airfield has been made available by as OZx artist, ... ... complete with the local bush cabins. With planes instead of 4WDs parking in front of them .
  19. The Great Ocean Road I mean. Our plane takes off where we landed recently, Tullamarine. Soon after we cross the Orbx headquarter at Essendon, ... ... before we pick up some tourists at the CBD hotels. The cityscape is P3D at its finest. Then we follow the road along Port Philip, ... ... Avalon... ... and Geelong / Ceres. Can you see the curved runway under the plane? This was the first OZx airstrip I ever attempted to land at, and I will not forget this impression. Many of the world's most famous surf companies have their home in Torquay, including Rip Curl and Quiksilver- all of which make up part of the Surf Coast Plaza, which provides shopping and eating, as well as the Surf World Museum. This is also the city where the Great Ocean Road officially begins. Anglesea, where Alcoa operated a power station and open-cut coal mine near the town from 1969 until August 2015. The site is now the subject of restorative work. The Great Ocean Road was built by approximately 3,000 returned servicemen, keeping them in employment, as a memorial for fellow servicemen who had been killed in World War I. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Ocean_Road Apollo Bay, a good place to make a break - even with a nice OZx airfield. But we go on along Cape Otway, the secondmost southerly cape of the continent. The NP is famous for its Koala population. And the coastline for its natural limestone and sandstone rock formations including Loch Ard Gorge, The Grotto, London Arch (formerly London Bridge) and The Twelve Apostles. I would love to have more details here... Port Campbell, todays destination. By car this would be... in the air we have to find a safe place to land nearby.
  20. Not many flights are currently left in real airline flight schedules. There is not even the direct connection I use today: From Darwin... ... climbing out southbound across the dams of Manton and Darwin river. The Red colour begins around Tennant Creek, ... ... some hours later the full glory at Simpson Desert, ... ... and Lake Eyre. Same area, different airline. And closer to the lake. Lake Frome and... ... Broken Hill are also dominated by red colour. The biggest river of the continent, Murray River, makes the landscape turn to green. Here we are descending downwind into Melbourne, ... ... with a nice city view for the cockpit crew... ... and the scenery on final. Touchdown and ... ... deboarding.
  21. The last day of our Kakadu trip sees us making a morning tour on Yellow River, ... ... before leaving Cooinda. Next stop is famous Nourlangie Rock, ... ... before we pass the big city (Jabiru) with the Bowali visitor center. Heading west along Arnhem Highway we cross South Alligator River, ... ... Mary River, ... ... and Adelaide River, ... ... before joining Stuart Highway. Here we are, back in Darwin, ... ... and safely landed!
  22. Oenpelli airstrip in Arnhem Land seems to be depicted already in Covid mode: the airport is closed. At least we could head into our trusty Cessna 185 and fly over Ubirr Rock, with its sacred places and famous rock paintings, which are up to 40.000 years old https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubirr . The major city in Kakadu NP is Jabiru, founded as an Uranium mine and now home of tourist activity. Nourlangie Rock (hard to spot here) is below us. Again a place with famous rock art and occupied for about 20.000 years. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nourlangie_Rock We follow Jim Jim Falls (4WD) road west of the rim... ... and meet the falls and its lake at the road´s end, here shown in dry season. It would be a walk of about one hour to reach Twin Falls. You can see the path across this picture. The scenery´s vector data are great. Not too far to go to our next restplace, Cooinda.
  23. Maybe one fine day we get the chance again to travel into this beautiful land. To spend some time in Darwin and visit the market at Mindil Beach... ... walk the Esplanade and test the bars... ... before driving down Stuart Highway. My preferred tour operator suggests to turn left on Batchelor Road... ... passing the city (and airstrip) of the same name... ... on the way to Florence Falls. Remark: For this flight the season was set to "dry", not "rain". Then go "around the corner" to Wangi Falls and their pools (you can see the big one below), ... ... and, after lunch, head east past Lake Bennett. Arnhem Highway gets you to Mary River fast (probably not wise to swim there), ... ... but Old Jim Jim Road (one of the turn-rights) you could only take with a 4WD. This time we stay on the Highway and cross South Alligator River - hey, I am absolutely sure this river if free from Alligators. For good reason. Later the day you´d reach Jabiru, the main city of Kakadu NP. We go on to see the Arnhem Plateau (port side in the distance), ... ... watch the sunset from Ubirr Rock, ... ... and deviate to Oenpelli.
  24. The longer these travel bans last, the more I long to return to Australia. At least, I can do this virtually. And I had my last plane parked in a good place to continue: Ready to leave... ... Singers. A little view of Borneo (this flight will surely be repeated with OLC Asia). Traffic, traffic. Flores island. Timor already looks interesting, the mesh helps a lot. Now the next continent shows up, with Melville Island ahead. A first view to Cox peninsula, while already descending. And here is the proof: Darwin was right! Full brakes on an airport just slightly upgraded with OZx. Sorry I had to choose Jetstar, but I could not find a Silk Air livery for the AeroBus - and it would have been fictional, as they only use 737s for this route (MI801, Singapore-Darwin, 08:45 - 14:45).
  25. Following yesterdays arrival... ... my favourite airline with one of my favourite jets is getting ready in Christchurch. A thorough inspection might be wise before this flight. But all looks well maintained... ... so we can take off to the west, ... ... with a last view to the Pacific. Crossing Arthurs Pass NP... ... and Hokitika Gorge, ... ... before we leave island 1: New Zealand. Here we are already at island 2. Ya might guess the city below, even with the payware airport inactive. The lovely Blue Mountains, with the chain of settlements to our right. The "X" is Katoomba airstrip, added with OZx. Uuups, that was obviously the wrong altitude... Now much better. Alice Springs. I suspect all famous places can be seen here. A little close-up for the thirsty souls. Right from the plane one of the many salt lakes show up, Lake Gregory. And Cape Leveque is the point where we leave the 2nd island of this flight. Here we pass Bali (island 3), ... ... turn west towards Pulau Singkep, ... ... descend... ... over Pulau Bintan. I am really looking forward to OLC Asia... Now a quick turn into Singers... ... overlooking famous Tanah Merah golf club. And here we are. Could be on the way back to Europe - but I´ll reveal my plan soon...
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