On the way back to Wollongong

We left Wagga after another look at the RAAF Museum aircraft in the sunshine.

The Gloster Meteor with its resident Willie Wagtail

The Gloster Meteor is a twin-engine jet fighter, the first jet aircraft to serve with the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the only Allied jet aircraft in combat during World War II. Almost 4,000 were produced, mostly in
service with the RAF between 1944 and 1965. In 1946 a Meteor captured newspaper headlines when it flew over Melbourne, Victoria at 788 km/h (490mph). However, it was not until 1951, when Meteors
went into action with No. 77 Squadron in Korea, that these aircraft made their mark in RAAF history. Ninety-three Meteor F8s and six Meteor T7s were allocated to the Korean War, they were used mainly in
the ground-attack role, but also accounted for three enemy MIG-15s in air to air combat. The enemy MIG-15 proved to be a more capable adversary and despite significant success in the ground attack role, the cost of RAAF Meteor operations in Korea saw the loss of 32 pilots and 53 Meteors from No. 77 Sauadron. The RAAF “officially” retired the Meteor in 1963. However, Meteors with RAF and RAF serial numbers
continued to fly on Ministry of Supply trials at Edinburgh and Woomera.

English Electric/GAF
Canberra Mk 20

A84-235 was acquired by the RAAF on 22 October 1956 and was allocated to No. 1 Aircraft Depot (1AD) at Laverton, Victoria. Later that vear it was reallocated to No. 82 Wing at Amberley, Queensland. It flew with No.6 Squadron and was then allocated to No. 2 Squadron at RAF Butterworth in Malaysia. Canberras from No. 2 Squadron became the first Australian jet bombers to perform a combat sortie in September 1958 when an attack against guerrillas in Northern Malaya was carried
out, the first of many such missions. In May 1967, A84-235 was in service with No. 2 Squadron in Vietnam as part of the United States
Air Force (USAF) 35th Tactical Fighter Wing. No. 2 Squadron’s Canberras flew just six per cent of the Wing’s sorties, but inflicted 16 per cent of the damage. Overall, 11,963 sorties were flown in Vietnam, 76,389 bombs dropped and two aircraft lost. In 1971, during a bombing run, Flying Officer Michael Herbert and Pilot Officer Robert Carver were killed when their Canberra came under attack. They were
not recovered during the war and it was in April 2009 that the wreckage of their aircraft was found and their remains returned to Australia. By the time it returned to Australia, No. 2 Squadron was the last RAF operational Canberra unit and A84-235 retired from service 27 July 1973.

Storm clouds massing to the east, the journey back was uneventful but we encountered some rainstorms on the high ground. Rest stop with just 110 miles to go.

Overlooking Breadalbane

Arrived back at Sea View at 16:00 hrs. And recovered from the drive with a nice cup of tea.

Torrential rain on Monday so we returned the car to Budget and had an Uber back to the house and in the evening had a lovely meal with the family.

Tuesday was a lazy day, sitting in the sun in the garden, sorting stuff out and wondering whether it’ll all go in the suitcase, followed by a lovely meal out at the ChanChaLa.

Chan Cha La

Chanchala is a Sanskrit adjective basically referring to the unsteady vacillating nature of human mind and actions which need to be stilled, neutralized or controlled for gaining right speech and vision… food for thought maybe!

Last Full Day of the Trip

WATER TANK ART. RAAF Base Wagga Wagga NSW. Artist – Sam Brooks

“THEN. NOW. ALWAYS”. Commissioned as part of 100 Year Centenary of the RAAFThe vision was to understand the connection, contribution & sacrifice Riverina residents made during WW2. A training mission undertaken 1939-1945 where 27,387 aircrew were trained in Aviation, Navigation, Engineering & ground operations.

Throughout the mural –
The CAC Wirraway. (Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation)
Tiger Moth.
Avro Anson.
Maps of the Riverina.
141 Stars – The 141 aviators that lost their life in the Riverina whilst training.
Sqn Ldr N. Parry AFC of Deniliquin (wearing the Mae West)
William Ellis Newton VC
Womens Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF)

Dassault Mirage III, located as a gate guardian at RAAF Base Wagga in the 1980s
English Electric Canberra, which flew during the Vietnam War and located as a gate guardian at RAAF Base Wagga in the 1980s.
Macchi A7
Gloster Meteor Mk8
Wiradjuri walking track along the Murrumbidgee River
The track hardly visible under the water of the swollen river.
A concerned onlooker!
Path to the beach under water. https://wagga.nsw.gov.au/parks-and-recreation/parks-beaches-lakes/wagga-beach
Stopped in our tracks by the floods.

Thursday in Melbourne.

The City Circle (Melbourne tram route 35) is a free tram running around the Melbourne CBD. Aimed mainly at tourists, the route passes many attractions while running along the city centre’s outermost thoroughfares, as well as the developing Docklands waterfront precinct. Trams are a major form of public transport in Melbourne, the Melbourne tramway network consists of around 250 kilometres of double track, 493 trams, 24 routes, and 1,763 tram stops. The system is the largest operational urban tram network in the world.

We rode the historic vintage tram mainly run for tourists around the free tram zone. Whilst it was an interesting experience with a running commentary give us the relative comfort of the modern equivalent any day.

On the Tram
Swanky New Development at the Docks from the Tram

We did the whole circuit with it’s sometimes inaudible commentary and then back to the Docks to have a look around.

Mission to Seafarers c1917. https://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/756/download-report

After seeing the Seafarers Mission we wandered towards Port Melbourne over the Seafarers Bridge and eventually along the South Bank.

The Polly Woodside Museum Ship.
A litter trap on the Yarra River
At Yassas we each enjoyed a lovely lunch of moussaka and salad.

The balcony restaurant affords a lovely view of the Yarra Rver

Flinders Street Station is Australia’s oldest train station, and with its prominent green copper dome, distinctive yellow facade, arched entrance, tower, and clocks, it is one of Melbourne’s most recognisable landmarks. The station was completed in 1910, and the upper floors were purpose-built to house a library, gym, and lecture hall, later used as a ballroom. Its 708-metre main platform is the fourth longest railway platform in the world. Today, heritage-listed Flinders Street Station is the one of the busiest suburban railway stations in the Southern Hemisphere, with over 1500 trains and 110,000 commuters passing through each day.

Long Journey Friday 21st

Starting at 10.00 hrs from Melbourne rather we had a long drive through rural Victoria, as we got further north we were on the look out for flooding. The Winton Wetlands were much wetter than normal and along the way many areas were under water.


Winton Wetlands Lunch Stop with a beautifully decorated toilet block.
White bellied sea eagle

Thankfully we arrived safely at around 16:00hrs after a few uneventful stops along the way.