On a recent visit to Queensland, Australia, somebody claimed it looks better from the air, fortunately they also treated me to a couple of charter flights over the region. Therefore, it’s easy to confirm what a beautiful place it is, mature, green forests, punctuated with impressive city skylines, and long sweeping beaches. Queensland has wow factor, especially from the air.
Both flights were to isolated islands, Keswick Island in the Whitsundays, and Lady Elliot Island in the Great Barrier Reef. Flying low over some of Australia’s coastline is a fantastic experience, but seeing some of the offshore islands from the air is even more special.
Secluded sandy coves, and surrounding protective reefs, ideal for exploring are easily visible from the vantage point of a small plane. Even at less than a thousand feet, boats appear tiny, and people are minute specks on beaches, tracks or single track roads.
Lady Elliot Island was especially striking from above, appearing almost lonely, an atoll in the vast expanse of the aquamarine ocean, with a coral ‘halo’ all around it. Travelling there, in a single propeller Cessna Caravan, flying parallel to the coastline between Surfer’s Paradise, and Brisbane the long beach stretched to the distant horizon.
The beach is just one attraction of the Gold Coast, but it’s bordered by cities all along it’s length, people drawn to the ocean, and a lifestyle of living within earshot of the surf. Dozens of marinas, with hundreds of yachts dot the coast of the Sunshine state, testament to our love for the ocean.
Tall skyscrapers reach upwards, into the sky, as if trying to pluck our little charter plane from it’s lofty vantage point. Cities amidst dense woodland, appearing like islands of civilisation in the green wilderness, beyond this low-lying hills break-up the horizon. Sprouting above a late afternoon heat haze, they are the misty mountains of Queensland. They probably have names, but I’m unaware of them, their unfamiliarity, adds to their mystique, and I’m happy to remain ignorant.
Clouds can also appear spectacular, like a rolling landscape of fluffy, white hills. There are deep chasms, and long valleys, which reach down to the ocean below. As the plane progresses, glimpses of clear ocean are seen from the cockpit, a blue oasis in a desert of cloud.
Even industrial sites, or busy ports seem more attractive from the air. Stood in the middle of these sites they are unattractive, even ugly. However, with the wider perspective of an aerial view they appear less harsh, more appealing.
I thoroughly enjoyed flying over the coastline, and islands of Queensland, it provides a completely different perspective, and the views are spectacular. However, the photography is challenging, a fast-moving plane, scratched windows, and reflections are just a few considerations to deal with.
Queensland, still needs exploring on the ground, nothing beats walking through the rainforest. Majestic, ancient trees, unique wildlife, and unexpected waterfalls, few of which are visible from the air. Getting sand between the toes, on the everlasting beaches, or secluded bays is appealing too, I enjoy these immersive experiences, they appeal to my spirit of adventure. I may fly, but will always prefer to walk.