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Rose Bay – Sydney Seaplanes

Rose Bay Seaplane
de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver – VH-AQU – Sydney Seaplanes

I have had this as the title image for this site for a while now.  I thought that it was time for an explanation.  Rose Bay is the site of Australia’s first international airport – a seaport.  When we went out on a Harbour cruise to see the passing of the Two Queens on Sydney Harbour we managed to get down to Rose Bay, in Sydney’s Inner-Eastern suburbs.  While we were there we saw a couple of Sydney Seaplane’s flying boats come in to land.

In 1938 Qantas Empire Airways launched it’s luxurious flying boat service to England from Rose Bay.  The 15 passengers onboard paid a little more than the average annual wage of the time for the privilege of a ten day flight rather than a six week voyage.  The flight took ten days and had 31 stops.  As would be expected with the price they had paid the guests were pampered all the way with meals being served on china and there was enough room on-board to play quoits, and the nights were spent in top hotels on land. 

Today Qantas is gone from Rose Bay, but there is a regular flying boat service to Palm Beach, Gosford and Newcastle, as well as Sydney joyflights (Sydney Seaplanes [^]).  On the tourist-busy weekend that Sydney was experiencing with the two Queens in town, it seemed as though Rose Bay was busier than Sydney’s “real” airport at Mascot.  Even with this steady flow it was still hard to get a good photo.  This one had the bonus of having the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House in the background, making this unmistakable photo of Sydney.

Sources: Sydney Seaplanes [^], abc.net.au [^], Airways Museum [^], Afloat Magazine [^], Qantas [^].

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