Flying CNY – an older 172

Cessna 172 – Mount Gambier – Blue Lake – Port McDonnell – Ewens Ponds – Nelson

Early in February 2018, during a visit to Mt Gambier, I did a check flight in a Cessna 172 that belongs to Bob Rowe, one of the local aero club members. Bob signed me off as capable so it means I can now hire it when I’m visiting.

I took mum and dad’s neighbour Simon for a flight the following day, and he kindly acted as photographer.

The Cessna 172 is an older aircraft that has been well looked after. It’s fairly basic with dials, no glass cockpit, no auto pilot and a basic GPS. It also has a carburettor rather than fuel injection.


After waiting for a REX plane to land we took off from RWY 18, heading straight for Mt Gambier city about 10km away.

Mt Gambier city

Soon we were over the Blue Lake at 2000ft, and did a couple of orbits over the city.

The lakes

The Valley Lake is on the left and the Blue Lake on the right. The Lakes golf course bottom right.

The lakes again

We flew over the city centre and Simon got a good snap of Bay Road leading up to mum and dad’s place, hidden amongst the trees.

Bay Road

Then it was off to the coast, where we passed by Port McDonnell with its breakwater.

Port Mac

And on along the coast to the east, where the beaches were clean and inviting. The sea was calm as there was almost no wind. The sky was clear too and at about 25C perfect weather for flying.

These are Ewans Ponds, a series of freshwater ponds that are fed by a spring. The water flows into Eight Mile Creek and on to the coast a few km away. These ponds are great for scuba diving but you need a wet suit!

Ewans Ponds

Picannini Ponds, at the bottom of this shot, are a favourite spot for cave diving enthusiasts.

Picanninie Ponds

We flew along to the mouth of the Glenelg River, near Nelson.

Glenelg river mouth

And over Nelson itself.


We followed the Glenelg River upstream to Dartmoor then headed back to “The Mount”. Soon we were turning onto final for RWY 18.

Turning final RWY18

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