Sunday, February 19, 2012

A visit to Temora Aviation Museum

Had a half day at work today as the plan for the trip out to Temora required us to get away at a reasonable hour. Got home just after 2pm and waited for my brother Damian to arrive. We left my house at around 3.30pm and started to negotiate the Friday afternoon traffic along with everyone else it seemed. Made our way out ot the M4 and after a pitstop for McDonalds we rejoined the freeway before taking the M7 south towards Goulburn. There was a bit of traffic and didn't being to get better until we were out near Picton. From that point onwards it was good express way driving.

Not long after passing the Yass turnoff on the Hume Highway we started to experience some rather heavy rain shows. These continued as we headed west towards Temora. The roads were suprisingly good and even though it was single lane each way we had no problem keeping to the 100kph limit. The country side was certainly picture-esque as the sun set.

We arrived in Temora not long after 8pm with lots of lightning and thunder annoucing our arrival. Finding the hotel that we were staying at was very easy thanks to the inbuilt GPS. After quickly unpacking the car we drove around to see what was still opened. That was certainly the biggest shock that you have on arriving late at a small country town, all shops are shut except for the pubs and the odd food outlet. We did happen to find the Ex-Services Memorial Club and decided to grab some food there. It was close to 9pm at this point and there wasn't too many people left so service was quick. Damian grabbed a T-Bone with the surface area close to one square metre and I had a lamb shank. Whilst the food was very nice we would have liked for the sizes to a bit bigger. 

To finish off the evening we drove around town before heading back to the hotel. We agreed on 8am as the time to get up the next morning and kept our fingers crossed for good weather.

Saturday 18th February 2012

Had a really average nights sleep. I had a headache which meant I wasn't able to get into any sort of coma. Needed to get some food into the stomach before bombing some Panadol, but first had to buy some Panadol. So we headed out to the local Woolworths. We thought at first that it wasn't opened because the car park was empty but 8am seemed to be a bit too early for the locals so I had the shop all to myself. Grabbed some drugs then headed off to find a cafe. We spotted two in the main street and I made a call on the Waratah Cafe. After parking the car we headed in and entered a time warp. This place hadn't changed since it was put in. Very dated decor but food was what we were after. Grabbed some toast and coffees before bidding them good bye and heading back to the hotel to pick up the camera gear. From there it was back to Woolworths as we didn't think there was food available at the aviation musuem.

We drove out on one of the main roads heading north west and found the airport. You can actually buy land and hangers next to the airport if you have a plane which we thought was quiet cool. Next to that was the aviation museum. We had to wait a little while for 10am to come around for the doors to open. I had bought the tickets for the day a couple of days ago so it was just a matter of showing them the form and getting a stamp. We passed through the gift store into the start of the aviation museum which had history of the planes that was on offer.

The next building had a number of static displays setup in a fantastic purpose built shed.You are first greeted with the Sabre on the right, a Hudson bomber straight ahead. Away to the right hand side was the Vampire and to the left the Meteor. There was also a Tigermoth and a Wirraway. I hadn't spotted the two Spitfires yet so they must be somewhere else. I stuck around and watched a video on helicopters in Vietnam and once that finished we headed out to the tarmac for the air show to begin.

All the planes that were going to appear were already on the tarmac. Weather was fantastic. Whilst there were a few whispy clouds in the sky, nothing looked threatening and there was some nice temperature which this summer has been lacking.

The air show for today had the theme of Korea to Vietnam Aircraft Showcase, which included a Cessna O-2A, A-37B Dragonfly, T-28 and Huey helicopter. The Huey was the first to take off followed by the Cessna O-2A, T-28 with the end of the flying rounded off by the A-37B Dragonfly. The day was compared by a gentlemen who was out on the tarmac with the planes and gave a running commentary, giving the history of the aircraft, the pilots involved and the area of Temora and it's associated with aviation. This meant the day flowed very well and people were not left wondering what was going to happen next.

The last component of the day was the starting up of the Canberra bomber. Whilst not flying they start up the engines and check other things like hydraulics etc. The firing of the engines was something unique as it requires large catridges that spin up the engines before they can run on their own.

With the end of the display we headed back to take a few more shots of the static displays before viewing the workshop from a raised platform. Here we spotted the 2 Spitfires both undergoing some maintenance. They looked absolutely amazing and even on the ground they are a sight to see. I ended up walking through the gift store buying some shot glasses before we headed back to the hotel at around 3pm. We watched some TV and I had a nana-nap before heading out for some food just after 6pm.

Apart from a Chinese restaurant and a pizza parlour the only options for eating is the Ex-Services Club and the 4-5 pubs. We chose the Hotel Temora and again I opted for a lamb shank whilst Damian had quail. We were both pretty hungry so didn't take long to get through it. Service was good and by the time we left a few more people, other than the locals, had turned up to eat.

Walked back to the hotel and watch some TV and some of the footage we had taken earlier on in the day. We called it quits and agreed to get up at 7.30am to make our way back to Sydney.

Sunday 19th February 2012

Had a good nights sleep and left Temora on a glorious looking day. We grabbed some fuel and a map and decided that we would grab some breakfast in Young which is a much bigger town than what Temora is. Young is located about 75km north of Temora. Again this is a nice little town with a few more shops and industry than what Temora had. But given the journey is less than an hour away you can see how people make the journey easily between towns to get things that their local town may not.

We grabbed some breakfast in a local cafe before getting back in the car and heading towards Yass and then onto Sydney. Traffic was good all the way back to my place where Damian dropped me off around 1pm.

Overall I had a great time travelling out to and experiencing the Temora Aviation Museum. Certainly if you love aviation then it is a worthwhile trip.