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  1. For many weeks I have been flying across virtual Australia, now be prepared for a surprise. The choice of plane and livery in Melbourne already gives an indication. Get her up... ... out of Tullamarine, with the city behind. Such an office view is fantastic. Summer-y Melbourne at the end of Port Philip Bay. Here we climb along Wilsons Prom. NP, the southernmost point of Australias mainland. You may spot the oil rigs of Bass Strait below... ... and the Furneaux island group right/south of us. This time we do not visit Tasmania... ... but continue over water until we make landfall over Franz Josef and Fox - New Zealand welcomes. The two most prominent glaciers of the Southern Alps. Mt. Cook NP, covered with snow - in Summer. It gets warmer as we descend eastwards to the plains of NZSI. And Rakaia River brings the melted snow down to the Pacific. Here you can spot our runway at Christchurch... ... a bit more obvious... ... even more obvious. Now: grab your bags and go hiking!
  2. An early summer morning saw us leaving Cobden airfield... ... towards Warrnambool, one of the bigger settlements at the Great Ocean road coast. We left the coast at Tower Hill Lake, which I assume can best be overseen from the air. In contrast, Mt. Rouse is hardly to be seen from this perspective. And here we came to the magnificient Grampian mountains. The view from the Balconies lookout might be more spectacular in reality. Halls Gap below, the most common place to stay for a trekking vacation in the region. And a little orientation help.
  3. In continuation of the last post... ... I flew over Bells Beach, a Surfer´s paradise... ... to Anglesea, dominated by a coal mine & power plant, which is located directly next to a National Protection area. The industrial site was closed in August 2015 and is now the subject of restorative work. Fairhaven Beach at Airey´s Inlet, which in reality shows quite a fancy holiday home: The Pole House. And this is Kennett River, where Koalas can be spotted nearby. As long as their habitat exists. For Jack: Cape Otway and its famous lighthouse. The second-southernmost cape of the mainland. The Twelve Apostels in beautiful Summer weather. Rain continued over Port Campbell, where I turned inland... ... towards Cobden. Some grass on the runway, probably all mowers have beed transported to PNG by Ken Hall.
  4. ... force me to split this flight into two posts. It began in Melbourne Tullamarine already on the ground, where i saw one of our fellow forum collegues in a parking lot. Essendon airfield (and business park). From this altitude I could not spot the Orbx offices - in which building is it? Here we close in towards Merbourne´s center, ... - don´t get sick - ... before we head south over Victoria´s plains. Wrong timing for the Avalon Airshow. Always a good timing to visit Torquay Tiger Moth World, though we pass it today. To be continued...
  5. Today we leave the outhouse at Bundaberg airport... ... climb over the city... ... and have a look at the famous distillery. Look at all these wagons with sugar cane, waiting to be processed to a higher level. Back to serious tourism. Here we cross Hervey Bay towards Fraser Island. The earliest known name of the island is "K'gari" in the Butchulla (Badjala) language (pronounced "gurri"). It means paradise, but also has a creation story relating to it. According to the Butchulla Dreaming story, the creator being Beiral sent his messenger Yendingie to create land and sea for the people. His helper, a "beautiful white spirit called Princess K’gari", worked hard to create the shores and the land, but afterwards persuaded Yedingie to let stay on their beautiful creation. In order to stay, she had to be changed into an island, so Yedingie created lakes, vegetation, animals and people to keep her company. She remains today, happy "in, and as a 'paradise'". At exactly this point... ... this picture was taken, when real life travel was still possible. And there is even some kind of replication in the sim. At the northern tip of Fraser Island we find Orchid Beach airport & settlement. And at the west coast we come to the famous wreck of SS Maheno. Air Fraser offers short scenic flights, using the beach as an airstrip. At Eurong we turn inland, ... ... over Central Station (a settlement with quite a story), ... ... towards Lake McKenzie. Due to its water source (a perched lake with water filtered through sand), the freshwater lakes on the island are some of the cleanest in the world. We pass the beautiful Kingfisher Bay Resort... ... make landfall back at the mainland at River Heads... ... and turn into Hervey Bay airport. I think it may be worth to read about the island https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraser_Island . Or just go there.
  6. Rockhampton is a perfect place to start a tour over the southern Great Barrier Reef islands. But first we had to come clear from the exploiting industry at East End Mine, ... ... Aldoga Mine, ... ... the huge deepwater harbour at Gladstone... ... and Tannum Sands. I do not know what this red lake is, have to check a guide book. However, just ahead of all this is Heron Island. No, Bernd with his yacht "Münster" was not here yet! So I went on to One Tree Island, ... ... Lady Musgrave Island... ... and Lady Elliott Island. That one looked so inviting, I had to stop there and go for a swim. But as I did not have an accomodation booked on the island, I went on towards the mainland at Burnett Heads... ... crossed the river of the same name... ... and reached Bundaberg. If I might get a drink there? Here´s the executed route of today.
  7. Even though many of you enjoy Australia now in new and enhanced optics, I keep on with my continous report in P3D. At least you can take profit from the routing ideas - and compare. And if you comment with some screenies of this comparison I would be really happy! Here we leave the Whitsunday Islands... ... cross Mackay (and avoid comparison shots of the airport)... ... and reach Hay Point Coal facility. Obviously another place where tourism will not make much money in the next 100 years. And again, do not forget the ships that need to pass through... ... these beautiful islands ahead of the coast. By chance this one is named "Avoid Island". Finally we fly up Herbert Creek... ... and Fitzroy River... ... towards Rockhampton. Quite the easy routing today, I suppose you won´t need a map?
  8. I had to check if I could find some detail of the Great Barrier Reef in Auv2. So I took off from Hamilton, ... ... headed eastwards over Hill Inlet and Whitehaven Beach... ... to the outer reef. On this GPS position there should be... ... Heart Reef, as in this photo. But I could not identify it in the sim. Has someone else been more successful? However, I went back to Lindeman Island for a plane change...
  9. The ground crew in Airlie Beach/Shute Harbour gave us a warm greeting before departure, ... ... no surprise we left quickly... ... towards Molle Channel. A beautiful sunrise over the Whitsunday passage. Still we took care to climb high enough over Mt. Robinson. The famous Whitehaven Beach, with Hill Inlet to the right. Here we fly downwind over Hamilton Island. Be careful with you hotel selection, if you want a big block or rather a small lodge. And here we go into Hamilton, the main airport of the WhitSUNDAY Islands. I can already smell the cocktails...
  10. Just ahead of Townsville... ... Magnetic Island is a famous point for touristic excursions, be it to lonely beaches or Koala spotting. Further south we cross Bowling Green NP, probably a good place for Croc spotting. If one so desires. One off the less touristic spots is Abbott Point, the most northerly deepwater coal port of Australia. Not only does it mean exploitation of Australian ground to enhance burning coal in India, it also promotes intense ship traffic through the Great Barrier Reef. Easier reversable, in case needed, would be the colours of the Bowen salt ponds. We go on to another touristic hotspot, Airlie Beach. An airstrip with a slightly tricky location, as it lies in a valley with a hill just at the southern end of the runway. From the map you can already guess where I go next...
  11. This flight along the Queensland coast starts at a slightly different parking position at Cairns than... ... this one. But the takeoff generally leads over the city. Here we climb out southwesterly... ... to Atherton... ... and the famous Tablelands of the same name. The mountains below belong to Wooroonooran National Pork. I mean park. 15 minutes later, a totally different landscape. This is Orpheus Island, ... ... and after another 20 minutes we arrive at Townsville ... ... with some clearer skies! The usual orientation aid:
  12. Yesterday I left the Australian mainland northbound towards the southern Torres Strait Islands: And there is more to discover. I couldn´t carry all passengers arriving with the Qantas flight in Horn Island, only the bravest. Maybe they already doubt if this was a good decision just after takeoff. Nevertheless we approach Warral Island, ... ... and avoid the forest landing here. Over 270 islands (with only about 14 inhabited) form the Torres Strait Islands, a remainder of what was the landbridge between Asia and Australia until about 6000 years ago. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torres_Strait_Islands Moa Island is one of the bigger. Badu Island has an airfield as well. And Mabuiag is almost a metropolis. They say there might be an airstrip on Gebbar Island as well. Hard to spot - and only Jack would bring a 747 to this place. Yam Island is definetively easier to land. Even for me. Surprising how fast this shower ended, though it is rain season. For the geography lovers: A map of the Strait.
  13. On my tour across the Torres Strait I have come closer to Papua New Guinea than to Australia. And I have found some confusing parking lots at Yam Island... ... an island that has some detail. Anyway: time to leave. Tudu island, quite green I would say. And even there is an airstrip, for the brave & slow. More obvious is the one on Sassie Island... ... did I ever mention that I love the enthusiasm of the OZx community? Coconut Island, not much more than a runway. There are enough lonely islands in the Torres group. This one is not lonely, and famous for Orbx flyers: Murray Island. Easy to land... ... and the ground crew is already waiting to finish maintenance and paperwork. PS: Today´s extra service for the geography lovers:
  14. You never know how the weather will be when you fly in rain season in North Queensland, but the start out of Weipa was okay. Some rain over Scherger airfield, but not too heavy. Only 20°C over the Cape York peninsula... ... and its attractive West Coast. The Box Yellyfish has a nice habitat! Crab Island is the mark to turn eastwards again... ... across Bamaga... ... and into YBAM airfield.
  15. Getting ready at Bamaga airfield for a flight into the Torres Strait I met some tourists from Jandakot. Quite the distance they have come with a heli... 36°C and no A/C - all is set for a hot flight. Jackey Jackey Creek is probably a nice place for bigger reptiles. Turtle Head Island doesn´t look much like a turtle´s head from above. Here we left the Australian mainland and travelled further north to Taikan Islet, ... ... Mt. Adolphus Island, ... ... Lacey Island and Little Adolphus Island. But for an intermediate landing I chose Horn Island.
  16. ... how it´s called in Germany - the english name for the sports would be Urban Golf https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_golf , but that doesn´t fit to this flight: We´ll cross the Carpentaria Gulf in northeastern Australia - unfortunately in rain season. And do not see much land after taking off from Gove... ... and through the clouds. Do not underestimate distance or weather... ... but about one hour later we meet land again, near Weipa. Passing the OZx Aluminium mine... ... before getting ready for a plane change in rain season at Weipa. Now we´ll head north...
  17. This flight crosses a more remote region, and mostly indigenous protected areas. Arnhemland covers about 97,000 square kilometres (37,000 sq mi, about the size of Portugal or Indiana) and has an estimated population of 16,000. A substantial proportion of the population, which is mostly Aboriginal, lives on small outstations or homelands. These population groups have very little Western influence culturally speaking, and Arnhem Land is arguably one of the last areas in Australia that could be seen as a completely separate country. We take off from Oenpelli, ... ... over the "city", ... ... and eastwards into the green lands. Crossing Liverpool River (and better not swim there), ... ... we fly over Maningrida. That scenery looked so good, I had to make a stopover there. Classical OZx style. Then I went on along the coast, to cross rivers and wetlands... Finally we approach Gove, at the eastern end of Arnhemland. Which means at the coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria. The peninsula became strategically important during World War II when a Royal Australian Air Force base was constructed at what is now Gove Airport. The land was involved in a famous court case known as the Gove land rights case, when local Yolngu people tried to claim native title over their traditional lands in 1971, after the Australian Government had granted a mineral lease to a bauxite mining company without consulting the local peoples. Today the land is owned by the Yolngu people. The Aluminium refinery was closed in 2014.
  18. Today we are going to visit two famous NPs in North Australia. But before we leave Darwin, listen and learn: Okay, you are prepared. Now get up, with a turn over the city... ... and towards Stuart Highway. This lovely city is called Humpty Doo. Not sure if they take it for serious if you apply for a visa with that adress. We pass Emkatyee, ... ... leave the highway westwards... ... and pass Southport at the Darwin River... ... on our way to the Litchfield NP. Wangi Falls area below us (at the end of the road circles)... ... and nearby are Florence Falls. No time for a swim today, ... ... though Batchelor airstrip is not far. But we head east and follow the Arnhem Highway across Mary River... ... before turning south onto Old Jim Jim Road. A road you should drive with care in wet season, as it is unpaved... ... and you need to drive through South Alligator River here, unfortunately not visible in this screenie. I do not think it is wise to leave the car if flooding gets you stuck there. Well, much easier with a plane. Just to go on into Kakadu NP, Yellow Waters here. Now we close in to Nourlangie Rock, with its rock paintings that are approx. 20000 years old. Passing Jabiru city, with its hotels, the Uranium mine and the airstrip... ... on our way to the Nadap floodplain around East Alligator River... ... and Oenpelli. Enough attractions for at least 3 days of road travel. If you survive.
  19. We were called for a tourist to pick him up at Kings Creek Station. The report said he was run down by a "gigantic, fierce man or bear", fell and got "severly" injured. An unknown time later he was found "somehow lying on the ground of his tent, not able to speak in understandable words". When he woke up he claimed that he only had "one beer, maybe two" during the evening. Upon our arrival he was found stable, but with a severe headache. No traces of the offender were seen, and none of the other tourists reported any uncommon observation. Even the crowd of Big Reds aside the cattle station were quiet... So we just put him into the Jeep and drove him to our plane. Off we went, following Larapinta Drive to the north, ... ... passing Kings Canyon NP. Not a big sight in the sim, but should be in real. (Will be checked next year...) The road winds itself up northwards through the western ridges (there should be a lookout point)... ... and finally turns to the east at "Camels Hump". I wonder how this name was found. Into the western MacDonnell Ranges... you see the crossroad bottom left? As our patient seemed to be in stable condition, we did this little detour... ... seeing Gosses Bluff meteroite crater up the road. We continued to follow Larapinta Drive, which goes right east through Hermannsburg. A few minutes later we passed Pine Gap tracking station (to the right), still following the road towards YBAS. The city of Alice Springs to the left. Descending over the ranges... ... into the 13. Do not land on the dragway to the right! After a safe & soft landing... ... our passenger was taken to the nearby RFDS center. No more symptoms left! In the afternoon he was picked up by his bunch. They also returned the trash from their tour. Maybe this "one beer" is an explanation for all symptoms and observations of our patient.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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