After a hearty breakfast we said bye to Helen and Ron and departed from Old Station, avoiding the Brahmans at the far end of the strip. We were flying IFR again, and ATC directed us out to the coast to avoid some traffic south of Rockhampton.
We passed to the east of Rockhampton and tracked northwards to the west of Shoalwater Bay military zone towards Mackay, where we refuelled.
After refuelling it was a short taxi and we took off, climbing out of Mackay and settling into our next leg at 8000ft.
We passed over Lindeman Island, with its grass airstrip, and Shaw Island.
From there it was directly overhead Hamilton Island where we turned and passed over Shute Harbour with its airstrip nestled between the hills.
The country started to green up as we headed into the tropics with its sugar cane farms.
We flew over Townsville and had a good view of Magnetic Island.
Tracking inland for the Atherton Tableland we flew over Lake Koombooloomba…
and were soon over the lush rolling hills of the Tableland, descending over the town of Atherton into Mareeba airport.
Lush green rolling hills surrounded Mareeba, where we landed and were met by John and Pat, our former neighbours, who took us to a local cafe for a decent cup of coffee.
The weather was so good we just had to offer Pat and John a flight around the area. They jumped at the opportunity so we headed out to the airport again and were soon rolling down RWY10 and skimming over the volcanic scenery around Atherton where they live. Amazing country from the air. This is a very scenic part of the country.
After our little joy flight we tied MSF down and headed to Yungaburra, a lovely little village located on the shores of Lake Tinarro, where John and Pat have lived since they retired and left Brisbane for the quiet life. Their wonderful pole house is situated on one of the arms of the lake with wonderful views into the surrounding nature. Needless to say, we enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine as we watched the sun go down from the deck.