Shakes Plain, Middle Range, Parkes Creek, Carmichael Crag, Kings Canyon
38 days away
475 km / 295 miles since last post
8,183 km / 5,085 miles total
We were up earlier than usual this morning in preparation for our helicopter flight. We were both really excited to see the region from the air having completed the Kings Canyon rim walk yesterday. The weather was on our side and the visibility was a lot better today.
On arrival we notified the pilot that we'd like to do the long flight, totalling 50 minutes of air time for $380 AUD each. Having paid a similar amount to jump out of a plane for 60 seconds 'air time' we figured that this was good value! We were given a very brief safety talk and then loaded the camera equipment into the helicopter. We were joined by a ranger as we were entering a designated remote area and we'd need their skills and survival knowledge if anything were to go wrong.
After that we took off and headed out on our trip. I sat in the front and had the door removed in order for me to take pictures. Sarah sat in the back and had really good visibility out of her window. It was a little nervy sitting on a small foam seat with one of your legs practically dangling out the side of the helicopter but it was really worth it.
I must say, I am really chuffed to have captured some good photos. I managed to shoot well over 300 pictures, totalling some 10GB! The one thing I would change in hindsight is swapping my telephoto lens for the wildlife shots - oh well, it was my first aerial photography trip. My one tip would be to either have an image stabilised lens or go for a high shutter speed as it gets rather bumpy!
I won't bore you with the description of our flight as it's one of those things you need to experience for yourself. Instead, I encourage you to take a look at the pictures below.
After the flight we continued our route north up to Alice Springs. We have decided to embark on the complete circular trip and to head up to Katherine and around Western Australia. Weather permitting perhaps taking in Darwin as well. We were encouraged that we can cover distance if we need to and we'd both really like to see Western Australia, especially Perth.
On a happy note from home we've just received a belated text message that good friends of ours, Chris and Debbie Hills have welcomed two beautiful twin girls, Chloe and Isabelle, into the world on 2nd January. We wish the family well and look forward to seeing them when we return to the UK.