Botany Bay is where Captain James Cook first stepped ashore from HMS Endeavour on April 29th 1770. Initially thinking this to be a suitable site for the 1st settlement, he changed his mind upon sailing 10 miles north to the mouth of what became Sydney Harbour.
Forster and Tuncurry guard the entrance to a complex series of lakes. The three main lakes to the south are Wallis Lake. Smith's Lake and Myall Lake. In this flight take the coast south and return inland along the Pacific Highway.
The Jacaranda capital of Australia, Grafton lays astride the Clarence river and features Edwardian and Victorian architecture.
Fly east of Grafton to the coast and then north to the coastal towns of Wooli, Minnie Water, Sandon, Brooms Head, Angourie Point and Yamba. Then return to Grafton via the Clarence River.
Grafton sits on a large plain and your first waypoint, Shannon Creek Dam, is just inside the mountains at the western edge of that plain. Explore the Mann and Clarence Rivers to the north-west of Grafton.
Copmanhurst, population 300, is a popular camping and kayaking spot on the Clarence River.
Byron Bay was traditionally a sanctuary for 'Age of Aquarians', which peaked in the 1960s. Nowadays it remains a popular tourist resort and hosts an annual blues festival which looks back longingly to Woodstock and Australia's own Sunbury. Tweed Head (NSW) and Coolangatta (QLD) sit astride the N.S.W./Queensland border and are known as the "Twin Towns".
Mount Warning is a volcanic plug, with about half the crater walls remaining and forming a very distinctive landmark. It last erupted about 23 million years back so 'Bob's your uncle' as we say down under.
Casino is the 'Beef Capital of Australia' and has a population around the 12,000 mark. 12,000 people that is, the cattle population is much higher. It was originally named 'Cassino' after Monte Cassino in Italy, but a bureaucratic error led to the current spelling becoming official. C'est la vie.
Check out a few of the spectacular valleys in the Great Dividing Range, to the east of the Northern Tablelands.
The Mann River and Boyd Rivers run all year and are part of the Clarence River catchment.
Enjoy the of lush river valleys to the south east of Australia's Capital of Country Music: Tamworth. Tamworth YSTW is one of the few airports in the New England region with a control tower amd two parallel runways.
Say that four times quickly! With a population of around 3,000, Quirindi is typical of many small country towns in Australia. Like many place names in Australia, Quirindi is a word from one of the 400 plus Aboriginal languages. It's meaning is not agreed upon.
Wallabadah, population ~ 300 is named after an Aboriginal word meaning 'stone'. Wallabadah Airport appears to be a grass strip NE of town. Currabubula, population ~ 300, named after a word from the Kamilaroi language.
The Bathurst races have been a fixture of Australian culture for as long as I can remember. They fuelled the aspirations of many an Aussie teenager as they saved their pennies to get 'into the race' with their own version of an Aussie Supercar.
Parkes Radio Telescope has been operating continuously for more than 50 years and represents a 20th century confluence of mathematics, engineering and astronomy. It is part of the CSIRO Parkes Observatory and in 2016 found the only discovered binary system of two pulsars.
Latin: Sieze the copper! This region of NSW has enormous reserves of copper.
Copper has been serving mankind for about 11,000 years in weaponry and cookware. Since the work of Franklin and Faraday in the 19c it has been the circulatory system of the modern world, conducting electricity across continents into our homes, and around our electronic devices.
The Lachlan River runs east to west through Forbes. It is named after Governor Lachlan Macquarie, the fifth governor of NSW from 1810 to 1821. It also features in the iconic Aussie poem "Clancy of the Overflow" by Banjo Paterson. NOTAM: The plains around the Lachlan River are so flat that hills of 500 feet stand out starkly and are useful aids to navigation. Where there is no terrain relief at all, look for junctions of straight lines such as road and rail intersections.
Condobolin is 4 miles south of Mount Tilga (329 feet), which is regarded as the geographical centre of New South Wales. Visit Lake Cowal Gold Mine which presents a stunning warm palette next to the cool waters of Lake Cowal.
Lake Cargelligo was first surveyed in 1817 by John Oxley, but didn't attract an appreciable population until gold was discovered by a cook in 1873. The combination of wheat and fruit growing in the aread attracts a variety of birds which congregate around the lake. If you sit quietly by the lake you can hear them sing!
Back o' Bourke: is an expression allegedly minted by poet Henry Lawson, and refers to Bourke's place at the edge of civilisation. Bourke is at the western edge of the agricultural regions of New South Wales and is a gateway to the vast and arid Australian outback.
Take a short trip around the local farms and marvel at the vast, dry red plains beyond.
In 1995 MiGMan and PC paid a visit to Amberley, a RAAF base in sunny Queensland, Australia. as guests of No.1 Squadron. Australia is the only country in the world operating the F-111, the Americans called it the "Aardvark", or "Vark"... the Aussies call it the "Pig". Aardvaark is Afrikaans for "Earth Pig"
Acquired this in December 2022 and I am really enjoying it. The virtual cockpit scales nicely with my physical cockpit and it gives a really most immersive "you are there" feeling to the whole experience.
Breaking every rule in the book I fly under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, through a football stadium, and frighten the diners 60 floors up in Centrepoint Tower's revolving restaurant! Oh, and it's at night in a Vought Corsair, which Microsoft thoughtfully provided for us in every copy of Flight Sim 2004.
And then I land at Sydney International Airport... probably in the wrong direction...
On an unusually grey Sydney afternoon in October 2006 MiGMan was a guest of Microsoft at the launch of their new flagship product - Microsoft Flight Simulator X.
The creme-de-la-creme of Australia's gaming journalists gathered at Kingsford Smith Airport, Sydney, and embarked on a champagne flight over Sydney Harbour in a C-47, the military transport version of the Douglas DC-3.
After getting special permission from a nervous civil aviation authority an RAAF F-111 was granted permission to fly at under 500 feet altitude - practically IN the stadium during the closing ceremony. As it passed over the flame the pilot engaged afterburner and then dumped fuel, resulting in the trademark 100 foot plus trail of fire - as if a chariot of the gods had picked up the flame on the way to Greece.
As it flew 14 kilometres towards the Sydney Harbour Bridge it was accompanied by a sea of flame as the Parramatta River seemed to explode, with fireworks every 500 metres.