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 [^].
The CannibalRabbits are just back from Sydney. We headed up there to see the passing of the two Queens – Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2 and the new Queen Victoria.
There are more photos on the Photo Gallery [^]
We were lucky enough to have booked a harbour cruise for the big event. This meant that we had grandstand seats to watch the passing of the two Queens. It was amazing the number of people that decided to join us the shores of the Harbour all around Mrs Macquaries Seat and Cremorne Point and Ashton Park on the north side of the Harbour were absolutely crowded. On the Harbour itself had every size of vessel from ten-foot tinnies up to the 90,000 ton, 965 foot long, 179 foot tall Queen Victoria.
The passing was billed by Cunard as a Royal Rendezvous. This was the QE2’s 29th and final visit to Sydney, and marked the 30th anniversary of her first visit to Sydney on the 24th February 1978. Once this world cruise is over she will be turned into a luxury floating hotel in Dubai. The Queen Victoria was on her maiden world voyage. While passing on either side of Fort Denison the liners sounded a whistle salute, which could heard 16km (10miles) away.
Cunard Press Release [^]
Sydney Morning Herald Photo Gallery:
Queen Victoria [^]
Queen Elizabeth 2 [^]
We are coming towards the end of our Trans-Tasman jaunt. Today we have some photos of the Auckland skyline from Mt Victoria in Devonport.
Rather than taking the easy option and driving the car up to the top, I thought that I would “enjoy” the walk instead. This may have been as a result of the belief that exercise is supposed to be good for you. I’m not sure if this is right or not, perhaps it is just a nasty rumour. The fifteen minute walk up from the town centre was rewarded by some magnificent views. I was up the top at about a hour before sunset, and the weather couldn’t make up it’s mind what was going to happen next – whether we were going to have a final blast of clear sky, or it was going to absolutely bucket-down. It made for a couple of good photos either way.
Yes, I managed to escape and go sightseeing again. The problem has actually been trying to find some time at the computer to be non-productive.
Auckland is currently experiencing what they refer to as summer – today we managed something like a balmy 22°C. This sure ain’t Australia, there were actually Kiwi’s on the beach – not just tourists.
This photo is the pier at Takaparawha Point a little way down the Harbour Coast from Auckland – with unobstructed views of Rangitoto Island.
Rangitoto is the youngest of the Auckland volcanic cones, erupting around 600 years ago.