I'm a retired photographer living in Lilydale mainly researching and writing on Australian aviation history. Now writing more on general subjects.
Published March 8th 2019
Dine like a King on King Island
The chance of a flight in a Douglas DC-3 doesn't happen every day, but Air Nostalgia, operating out of Essendon Aerodrome makes it happen on a regular basis. Using their DC-3, VH-TMQ, Air Nostalgia make regular Sunday day trips to King Island in Bass Strait.
The details of the day is best described by their advertisement recently published on the back page of Flightpath magazine. It reads: "King Island Gourmet Tour."
"Includes return flights from Melbourne to King Island, Boomerang by the Sea, 3 course seafood and roast beef buffet lunch with a house drink and King Island Cheese platter. Bus tour and visit to the King Island Cheese factory."
Every word of their ad was true and then some.
The assembled passengers congregated in the comfortable passenger lounge of hangar 81, on Bristol Street at Essendon Airport.
My first observation was that most of the passengers were older than the 70-year-old aircraft we were about to depart in.
When the flight crew arrived, my wife remarked that the average age of the people on board wasn't going to be reduced by much.
Just like it was 50 years ago, passengers walking to their waiting aircraft on the tarmac.
Our tour bus awaited outside the modern terminal. As islands go, King Island isn't that big, so I was worried about the bus driver's navigation skills when he handed out a map of King Island to each passenger.
Very relieved to find it was a tourist's guide.
Lunch lived up to expectations. Moroccan pumpkin soup, oysters, mussels, smoked salmon, huge prawns and the most tender roast beef I have ever tasted. Salads and vegetables complemented the feast. A choice of several deserts followed by a cheese platter, tea and coffee.
Truly a gourmet buffet. I was so anxious to tuck in, I forgot to take any photos of the feast.
After an hour and a half of culinary delights was a two-hour bus tour around Currie.