Yesterday I flew interstate on an unexpected trip to Brisbane. So what you might say…well, while I’ve made this journey many times, for some reason yesterday’s flight paths were out of the ordinary.
In Darwin, we took off in a westerly direction from the runway, all well and good except Brisbane is south. However the bonus was that we did a wide circuit over the harbour looking at the Wet Season green of the vegetation, the rivers and coastline fringed with white sand, the boats in the marina at Cullen Bay and out on the harbour. The sandbar near Cullen Bay was exposed, something that happens when the tide is particularly low. You could see the waterfront complex and all the new high rises in the city. As they tell you on the guided tours, Darwin harbour is about twice the size of Sydney’s world-renowned harbour so it’s impressive.
You’d be forgiven for thinking, as you look at this tropical magnificence, “oh if only I was down there swimming”. Sadly this isn’t possible most of the year and especially so in the Wet Season. Those beautiful waters are home to stingers which can kill you and they pull out about 200 crocodiles a year, bearing in mind they’re the ones they trap (and relocate). Of course there are no doubt sharks out there too but with the other two “deadlies” out there, what’s a shark between friends. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve swum in the harbour since we arrived in Darwin over a decade ago.
I had business papers to read on the flight so the 3.5 hours of the flight passed quickly among the clouds.
To add icing to the flight-path cake, on approach to Brisbane we came in from the west, which again doesn’t happen all that often. Usually the approach of Darwin flights is from the east over Moreton Island and the Brisbane river and mangrove flats. Yesterday we followed the river’s serpentine path as it flowed past The University of Queensland where I’ve spent many years of my life, parallel to the CBD with my old school off to one side a little, and the Gabba where Brisbane’s major cricket matches are played. We then angled around to come in over Teneriffe and Newstead House.
All in all a wonderful aerial tour of two cities I’ve lived in for many years, topped off by a smooth landing by the Qantas pilot.