There is something magical about flying an aircraft into an new destination then stopping for lunch or an overnight stay.
As the owner of a busy flying school I often get asked by pilots who have obtained their cross country endorsement, about places to fly to for the day or for an overnight stay.
Knowing that most of my customers will be taking their partner, I usually suggest a place within a two hundred nautical mile range, so that the maximum flight time each way is around two hours. I don’t know about you, but I find that two hours is about the maximum time my bladder can last before a rest stop is required.
Below I have included just three of the many day or overnight trips which can be done from the Sunshine Coast area if you’re travelling in an aircraft that cruises around 100kts.
ORCHID BEACH, FRASER ISLAND
This runway is situated on the northern tip of Fraser Island. The beach is spectacular and the grass runway is conveniently situated in between the pub and the beach!
There are also plenty of well-priced units and houses within walking distance of the runway to rent for an overnight stay. The runway is a little rough but can handle a recreational aircraft with not too many issues. I took the 4 seater Cessna when I went. The aerodrome is privately owned and you need to ring Orchid Beach Trading Post store for more information on 07 4127 9220. They are very friendly and encourage pilots to land there, as the strip does not get a lot of use.
It is an exciting runway to land on as you have two large sand dunes either end of the runway. You have to complete a slightly angled final approach on both runways to give better clearance of these sand dunes. The runway itself is quite easy to land on providing the winds are below 15 kts.
It is around a 3 hour round trip from Caloundra in our Sling aircraft. For more information go to www.orchidbeachrentals.com and https://airportguide.com/airport/runway/YORC
CHERRABAH HOMESTEAD RESORT
Cherrabah Homestead Resort is a low-key country retreat situated outside of country Warwick, situated high on a mountain on 5086 acres and 3000 feet above sea level with views overlooking Elbow Valley and the Great Dividing Range. It has its own sealed runway which they allow guests to land on. The resort has tennis courts, horse riding, quad bikes and oher activities for guests.
From Caloundra allow 2 to 2.5 hours in the Sling aircraft. While I have not been to this resort myself, plenty of my customers have flown in and spent the night in rural QLD. For more info, go to www.cherrabah.com.au and for runway info go to https://airportguide.com/airport/info/YCHB.
Evans head on the beautiful north coast of NSW is a great place to visit for a day or overnight stay. The public runway is situated about 2km from town (a long walk or very cheap uber trip) and the beach.
The town has plenty of accommodation options and restaurants. It is only a two and a half hour flight from the Sunshine Coast in a Sling or Texan aircraft. The aerodrome also has its own museum. For more information go to www.evansheadairpark.com.au and https://airportguide.com/airport/info/EVH
These are just some of the wonderful destinations you can easily visit in a day. There are many more towns and airports within this range all over southern QLD and northern NSW. I would recommend using Google maps and your ERSA book to discover other great destinations.
One of our Sling aircraft is available for day and overnight hire. Further information from our website or by calling 0426 282 226.
(Please be advised this is only general advice only and it is the responsibility of the pilot in command to research all runway information in relation to suggested destinations.)
CEO, GoFly Group
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