Follow my journey as I embark on an adventure to serve as a pilot with Mission Aviation Fellowship. I am currently based in Mareeba, QLD, Australia.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Church, Chillagoe, and the local newspaper

Here are a few random photos from the last two weeks!

1. Church

Once again Tablelands Presbyterian Church is taking part in Operation Christmas Child. Here's a picture of the many shoeboxes that were dedicated a couple of Sundays ago.

2. Chillagoe

I am taking Kori through her PPL navigation training. Her first flight was last week, out to Chillagoe. Here are a couple of pictures: one on the ground marvelling at the 40 degree heat, and the second of the town on our take-off.

From Mareeba, it takes about 2 hours to drive to Chillagoe... or 30 minutes in the plane!

3. The local newspaper

Here's a copy of an article that appeared in the local paper this week, with a photo of all of us praying for the last of the six Caravans going to Papua New Guinea.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

More critters

On yesterday's walks I saw some more critters (in addition to these seen earlier)...

Tropical rockmaster damselfly

Ulysses butterfly (unfortunately I was unable to take a photo of them so had to steal this picture off the internet)

Golden orb weaver spider - the body was about 5 cm long

Kayakers at Barron Gorge

My first croc!

Stoney Creek Falls and Crystal Cascades

Yesterday (Mon 7 Oct) was a public holiday in Queensland, so I decided to tick a couple of short walks off my list.

The first was Stoney Creek. Yes, I have walked to Stoney Creek before, but the section above the falls (which cannot be seen from any point on the track). This time I started at the bottom and attempted to walk up.

The first part of the walk is a track from the carpark up to a weir, which took around 20 minutes. Since it's currently the end of the dry season, the water level is pretty low and it looked possible to continue up the creek. There were a few deep pools along the way which looked very inviting. There were also a number of significant obstacles in the form of large rocks and steep sections, which thankfully I was able to navigate both up and down. I made it all the way to the falls at the railway viaduct. But I don't think I would risk going again by myself.
From the weir to the falls was about an hour each way.

Waterfall and swimming hole just below the weir

Rock-hopping further upstream

Railway viaduct and Stoney Creek Falls

The second walk I did was at Crystal Cascades. This time the track was a four-lane paved highway, and was very popular with people picnicking and swimming in the river.
I was keen to do the Copperlode Dam track but it was closed for maintenance. Another time!

Crystal Cascades

Finally, because I could, I drove up the Barron Gorge to have a look. It was pretty impressive. (Note this is downstream from the Barron Falls.)

Powerhouse at Barron Gorge

Saturday, 5 October 2019

End of an era

One by one, the six brand new Caravans have been coming from the US to Mareeba for fitting out, and then being flown up to Papua New Guinea.

Yesterday the first of the aircraft they are replacing, a Twin Otter, was flown from PNG back to Mareeba. In a few months they will all be retired from MAF service - the end of an era.

A speck in the distance turns into a Twin Otter

Touching down


Pretty roomy inside! (Note the MAF-specific fold-up seating)

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Raewyn's visit

My friend Raewyn came to visit last weekend! Here are some photos of what we got up to:

Went on a scenic flight from Mareeba over the Great Barrier Reef,
down to Tully for lunch, then back to Mareeba via Mount Garnet

Saw the Curtain Fig Tree (near Yungaburra)

Visited the Herberton Historic Village

Went for a bush walk at the top of Stoney Creek

Monday, 23 September 2019

Herberton Historic Village

Herberton is a small town south of Atherton, population 855 and home to the Herberton Historic Village. It's an interactive museum made up of around 60 buildings, each housing displays of various items from yesteryear. If you're into that sort of thing, be prepared to spend the whole day there!

School house

Blacksmith at work

Apothecary (pharmacy)

One of the 'streets'


Printing shop


Tuesday, 10 September 2019


As part of my EPP (Emergency procedure proficiency) training, I had to demonstrate the use of a lifejacket.

Step one: place over your nose and mouth head

Doing my best flight attendant impression of blowing into the tubes

Pulling on the red tags does work

'In water lifejacket experience' can now be ticked off the list!