Cattle station – airshow – camping
In May 2016 my son Tim and I flew up to the “Old Station”, west of Gladstone, together with Bryan Galvin, another aero club member. Old Station is a 40,000 acre cattle station whose owner is a private pilot and constructed a 2km long grass runway in a very long paddock just near the homestead. This weekend was their annual fly-in and about 100 aircraft flew in from all around Queensland.
Our flight up there went from Redcliffe to Caloundra (where we picked up Tim) and then direct to Old Station. There was a bit of traffic on the way up, with most people heading for Old Station. After 90 minutes we were 10 miles out and hearing that runway 24 was the active one set ourselves up for a down wind join. We had our eyes peeled for the property but it wasn’t until we were about 5 miles out that it appeared from behind a hill and was quite a sight, with about 80 or so aircraft there already and over 100 camper vans and caravans. We followed another plane on downwind, did a wide base to give him plenty of time to land and vacate the runway then headed down to the grass strip.
As we bumped onto the taxiway we couldn’t help but notice a Jabiru with a bend nose wheel. Obviously the strip wasn’t as smooth as we’d been told.
It’s quite a big event and has been going for about 20 years. There was an impressive range of aircraft including aerobatics, some vintage replicas and warbirds.
Various aerobatic teams put on a two hour show in a variety of planes on Saturday afternoon.
In the evening there was a band with live music and four massive braziers filled with ironbark posts that kept the chill of the night away from the visitors.
They used a number of neighbouring paddocks to provide room to park the aircraft and over 100 caravans and camper vans that arrived for the weekend.
We camped out under the wing of the plane (literally).
On Sunday morning they served a big country breakfast and we packed up our tents and headed back down south. We flew via Bundaberg and then followed the coast down to Hervey Bay and Fraser Island.
Then it was on past Rainbow Beach and Noosa, and the Sunshine Coast aerodrome and Caloundra, where we dropped Tim off and then headed back to Redcliffe. It was perfect flying weather with blue sky and very few clouds.