Gooney Bird over Melbourne

Last night, we took the Gooney Bird flight over Melbourne. It was a dinner flight and we began with champagne, and finished with port and chocolates.
The Gooney Bird (aka DC3) first began flying in the 1930s, only┬áthirty years after Wilbur and Orville┬ádid their thing.┬áThis particular Gooney Bird was one┬áof the last┬áproduction models, and was owned by the military until 1989. It’s done relatively few miles compared with jets of today.
We had picked the best night of the year to fly. It was clear with just enough clouds to make brilliant the sunset.

We took off from Essendon Airport, headed for Westgate Bridge then turned right.

Locals might recognise Altona’s Cherry Lake and Kororoit Creek

past Werribee to the sea to the sea …

Once we reached the heads, we crossed coasts and travelled up the Peninsula to Melbourne. In the bottom right St Kilda Pier. To the right of the bright lights, Albert Park Lake.

The Gooney Bird seats 28 and includes a lounge.

This is Melbourne’s first passenger terminal (just the bit with the fence). Tiny. Hard to imagine really.
Most of the passengers had flown on Gooney Birds before. We met two people who like us had travelled from PNG to Australian boarding schools. For one, the smell and sounds took her back to those days. Others had worked on them and/or flown them.
Our trip was a gift from our sons. It was fabulous.

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Open House

We went into Melbourne city yesterday for Melbourne Open House. Fed Square, St Paul’s Cathedral, CH2, Regent Theatre and more, opened up rooms/buildings generally not accessible to the hoi polloi.

They, whoever ‘they’ are, underestimated the interest and queues for some buildings were hours long. We only stood in one queue, to see CH2 – a ‘green’ office block partially designed and occupied by Melbourne City Council. Tower showers, passive cooling, rolling concrete ceilings, vertical shade panels that move with the sun. Just a few of the innovations in this building which boasts decreased sick days and other people benefits. They also are a net provider of water into the ‘system’ – taking black water and producing drinking quality water which is used in cooling systems, toilets and sent to other buildings for toilets and the like. Quite staggering really what’s possible. And the roof top garden was a tranquil place with great views.

The Regent Theatre basement ballroom was a sight to behold. Part village square, part theatre, part ballroom. Art deco and more. I’ve included a few photos from this amazing room, because to describe it would be to miss something…

a column of masks and shields

roof detail

…tucked into a corner this…umm…

wall lighting


Apparently, before renovations, this room was for a time an accidental swimming pool, part filled with water from the leaking water feature in the neighbouring City Square.