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Blue Snoopy is a 2012 Nova Vita Caravan pulled by a 2012 Nissan Navara ST Dual Cab Ute.

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10 July 2016 – Kununurra WA

Late yesterday “He” was informed that “He” had won a scenic flight from a local operator, AVIAIR.  Due to our planned intention of leaving Kununurra on Monday, the AVIAIR staff member was asked if a flight could be undertaken today.  “He” was informed that the company could be contacted at 7:00am so our alarm was set early so the call could be made.

By 10:00am “He” had been booked onto an afternoon flight that would cover Lake Argyle, the Bungle Bungles, the Argyle Diamond Mine and the river system near Wyndham.

Shortly after the flight was arranged, we also discovered that the cost for unpowered camping at Lake Argyle for Monday and Tuesday was $1.00 less than what we are currently paying.  With this in mind and following a discussion with fellow campers, “He” was able to increase our booking for a further two days.  If only we had known earlier, “He” could have enjoyed the entire experience that AVIAIR had offered.

With a couple of hours to spare before the flight, we decided to visit a zebra rock mine, or that is what “He” understood.  Actually, the intended destination was a gallery that sold the zebra rock. So, on the understanding that the mine was the destination, “He” headed towards the NT border and the location of the mine.  It was only when we were close to the turnoff to Lake Argyle that the misunderstanding became clear.

Being so close to Lake Argyle, we continued our drive.  As the passed the Lake Argyle caravan park, our decision not to relocate was confirmed as we saw a very busy caravan park with minimal space and several vehicles waiting patiently to get sites.

We drove to the dam wall and the area beyond where photographs were taken.  The day was not ideal for pictures as a heavy smog from hazard reduction hung low over the area.

We returned to our campsite in time for lunch and in time for the arrival of transport for the trip to the airport.

Russell, one of the AVIAIR pilots provided the transport to the airport where check-in took place.  All of the passengers had to be weighed and “He” was delighted to have the scales confirm that his planned weight loss that started before we left home had continued.

AVIAIR have their own terminal at Kununurra Airport.  The initial impression was that of a well organised and professional operation.  The staff welcoming the passengers were very helpful and it is a delight to see smiling faces for once.

We did not have to wait long before the people present were split between two aircraft.

We were given a briefing of the intended route by one of the pilots and also information in the form of a handout to compliment the in-flight commentary.  Our pilot also provided safety information before we walked to the aircraft.  For a joy flight, this approach was outstanding and as mentioned earlier, very professional.

The aircraft for the flight was a Cessna 208B caravan.  The plane was actually built in 1996 and appeared to be in excellent condition for its age.  Obviously maintenance is a high priority of the operator.  The aircraft is actually a prop jet that seats 14 persons including the pilot.  It is also ideal for scenic flights with good visibility from all of the windows due to the plane having a high wing.

“He” asked for and was granted the front seat next to the pilot.

The trip was an experience of a lifetime as we flew over the Diversion Dam, then Lake Argyle, the Bungle Bungles, the Argyle Diamond Mine, the El Questro resort, the area to the west of Wyndham and finally over the Ord River and some of the Ord Irrigation Scheme.  The only disappointing part of the flight was the level of pollution from hazard reduction but the pilot, Russell, did his best to place the aircraft at an altitude to minimise the effect of the smog.

The Cessna is a great aircraft to fly in and “He” walked away with just under 400 pictures of the experience.

“He” was returned to our campsite following the flight by AVIAIR staff.

AVIAIR is one company that “He” considers is doing things right for the tourist industry.  This part of Australia has some magnificent scenery and a flight over the area is probably the best way to see the scenery.

Whilst “He” was up in the clouds (actually there were not any clouds), “She” went to the zebra rock gallery where several pieces of rock were purchased.  Something will be done with the rock when we finally return home.

We enjoyed happy hour before heading back to the caravan where we had hamburgers for tea.  The pictures from the flight were looked at and despite the interference from the smog, we have some great visual memories of the afternoon.

We both slept well although we had to keep vents closed due to the smell from the smoke in the air.

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