Our niece and her family invited us to join them at a flying day at Temora – being adventurous and glad to spend time with them (as well as give the bus a run), we jumped at the opportunity. My Dad also loved Temora from his commercial travelling days, so not actually having been there previously, I was looking forward to checking out the joint.
On the way there we were overwhelmed by how much we love the Australian countryside in all her moods and hues. Temora is 402 km from Ermington according to google maps ( bit further with the usual detours). So Hume Highway to Goulbourn, then Yass, then turn right onto Burley Griffin Way to Harden and Temora. Big day’s drive through the Southern Highlands, then into limestone hills, granite outcrop pasture lands and getting pretty close to the plains. This week everything was so green (in an Aussie sort of way), late sowing of what looked like wheat going on, fat livestock, full dams in paddocks, brilliant. Some years ago driving through Yass (and probably as recently as last November I’m guessing) everything was desolate, dusty, struggling. The capacity of the land to revive is awe-inspiring. As an aside, we drove through Lithgow fire ground in February and the trees were all sprouting back, grass growing under them, etc.
The airport has its own well appointed camping ground, from the fences of which you can watch some of the action, and there were just enough mud puddles with the recent rain to give the kids (2 and 4 years old – goodness, you forget how cute but oh so full on they are!) a good work out.
For those not into camping, Temora offers lots of other types of accommodation, eateries and cafés, pubs and clubs – no wonder Dad liked it so much!
The aviation museum is on the site of the Empire Forces Training Centre where Australians were trained for WWII. The display hangar is so well presented – think War Memorial in Canberra quality – we were astounded.
The collection of FLYING aircraft they have is goosebumps territory, and they are flown according to a schedule throughout the year. They have:
The only fully operational Canberra bomber in the world and I think they said only one at all (gotta get back to see that bird fly!)
Ditto the only Hudson in the world ( six others not operational in the world) the engines sound so sweet and smooth when it is revving and flying
Two Spitfires fully operational and one they flew on the weekend did the full spitting fire warm up and wow factor aerial display
A Wirraway, which was built in Victoria at Fishermens Bend during the War – it warmed up during the show, but flew later in the day when the rain was no longer lurking (rain can wreck the paint work on these rare warbirds)
A Sabre jet -awesome! Claire’s family saw this one fly on an earlier visit, but the RAAF pilot explained it needed a minimum cloud ceiling of 2000ft for safe emergency procedures if required, and the cloud ceiling was staying at 500ft all day so he told us a lot about the plane anyway, and we were more than satisfied, and young Sam got to look in the cockpit too!
They also have a Cessna Dragonfly, a Meteor, and others I can’t remember
A very special bonus that day was a visit from a Vern Lancaster, aged 96, who had flown the very Spitfire they were flying on the weekend during WWII and had not been near one since.
The commentary was detailed, but interesting, the movies engaging, all in all a great experience
and the Mess Hall profits are split between the museum and the local RFS.