March 19, 2004
I went on the short Tuesday run. I met the pilot at the airport at 6:30am, and he figured my weight into the plane's payload for the day as we chatted. Shortly after 7:00am, we took off in a small twin engine mail plane. Up over the mountains, out of the rain that was falling in Cairns, into the bright sunshine on the other side.
I was the only passenger the day I went, so I got to sit up front with the pilot. He pointed out some of the unsual aspects of the landscape (strange outcroppings of rocks, isolated rivers, etc.) and filled me in on some of the history of the region. The runways ranged from grass tracks where the birds scattered at our approach to a nicely paved strip that served a small, isolated town.
Most of the stops were very quick ... but we did get out and have a "cuppa" and a chat with the folks at one of the cattle stations. I got to pet the orphaned kangaroo they were bottle feeding until it was old enough to go out on it's own. You got some sense of what it's like to live out there, and have your supplies and mail come out on a plane once a week.
This is one of the best things I've ever done on vacation. It wasn't cheap, but it was worth every penny. We were back by about noon, but I built a LOT of memories in a very short time.
From journal Australia 2004 - Cairns