Future Tours

Australia/Avalon 2021 tour added

Tour advert for Australia/Avalon 2021 – Wednesday 17th November to Wednesday 1st December 2021

Hi all,

For those of you who have expressed an interest in doing Australia next year, then what follows is the provisional hit list of things to try and do. The trip will have to be at least two weeks (14 days) to have any hope of getting it all done.

Unconfirmed dates that I’m working to at the moment are Wednesday 17th November to Wednesday 1st December 2021 with Avalon show being held 23rd-28th November 2021.

There are lots of smaller locations not being done as I look to maximise the return as is usual on my trips. For example we will not be visiting the many smaller GA fields as most seem to have lock-ups with very little left outside to be seen.

The whole purpose of this trip is to visit the excellent bi-annual Avalon show which will be the main vehicle for the Royal Australian Air Force to celebrate its 100th anniversary with the general public. Past reports I have seen from these shows indicate very good static and flying displays. We will spend two days at the show which also attracts lot of general aviation visitors.

We will visit the following 6 military bases, all of which have views from outside should permission to visit not be granted. We of course expect to see quite a lot of the Australian military at the Avalon show;

Royal Australian Air Force base Amberley (C-17A, C-27J, EA-18G, F/A-18F & KC-30A)
Royal Australian Air Force base Pearce (Hawk Mk.127, PC-9/A & PC-21 and Republic of Singapore Air Force S211 detachment)
Royal Australian Air Force base Richmond (C-130J-30)
Royal Australian Air Force base Williamtown (E-7A, F/A-18A, F/A-18B, F-35A, Hawk Mk.127 & PC-9/A)
Australian Army base Oakey (MRH90 & Tiger ARH)
Royal Australian Navy base Nowra/HMAS Albatross (EC.135T2, MH-60R & MRH90)

There are a possible 13 museums that are open and another 2 that are closed (pre-COVID) that I will try and arrange access to. The 13 are listed below.
Perth – Perth/Aviation Heritage Museum (x 22)
Melbourne – Moorabbin/Australian National Aviation Museum (x 43)
Melbourne – Point Cook/RAAF Museum (x 56)
Sydney – Luskintyre/Aviation Flying Museum
Sydney – Nowra/HMAS Albatross, Australian Fleet Air Arm Museum (x 28)
Sydney – Shellharbour/Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (x 36)
Sydney – Sydney/Australian National Maritime Museum (x 1)
Sydney – Sydney/Powerhouse Museum (x 6)
Sydney – RAAF Williamtown/Fighterworld Museum (x 13)
Brisbane – RAAF Amberley/Aviation Heritage Center (x 10)
Brisbane – Caboolture/Warplane Museum (x 14)
Brisbane – Caloundra/Queensland Air Museum (x 83)
Brisbane – Oakey/Museum of Australian Army Flying (x 19)

As is usual, we will devote some time to the main airports and stay near them when possible, see as many wrecks & relics without going too far off route and visit General Aviation fields that are likely to reap a return. Permission to visit to get greater access will be requested, but naturally could be denied, even more so now in these COVID times.

So the original plan for this year was to have broken the trip up into 4 parts, starting off in Perth, Western Australia. Before COVID, there was a direct QANTAS flight from London to Perth, but in the absence of that service now, I have to assume that next year, we will take a return flight towards one of the other Australian cities, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam or Hong Kong and then take single flights between there and the Australian cities.

We were also to split the single internal flights in between Tigerair, Jetstar, Virgin Australia & QANTAS. Tigerair has ceased operations but the others continue for now, post restructuring. It’s far too early to be settling on which flights and so that decision will come later.

So the current plan is to do this little lot based around 4 cities.

Perth

1) Jandakot airfield
2) RAAF Pearce
3) Perth airport
4) Perth – Aviation Heritage Museum (x 22)
5) Wanneroo (Vampire)

Melbourne

1) Avalon (2 days at show)
2) Baybrook (Vampire)
3) Cranbourne (MB.326)
4) Dandenong (UH-1)
5) Dingley Village ( 2 x Commander)
6) Essendon airfield
7) Melbourne (Canberra)
8) Melbourne airport
9) Melbourne (Bell 47)
10) Moorabbin airfield & Australian National Aviation Museum (x 43)
11) Point Cook (RAAF Williams) – RAAF Museum (x 56)
12) Tooradin airfield
13) Tyabb airfield
14) Werribee (B-24 on rebuild)

Sydney

1) Balickera (UH-1 x 2)
2) Bankstown airfield & closed Australian Aviation Museum but will try for access
3) Clyde (Heron)
4) Harrington Park – closed but will try for access – Camden Museum of Aviation (x 23)
5) Luskintyre airfield & Aviation Flying Museum
6) Nowra (UH-1)
7) Nowra/HMAS Albatross, Australian Fleet Air Arm Museum (x 28)
8) RAAF Richmond
9) Shellharbour airfield & Historical Aircraft Restoration Society ( x 36)
10) Sydney – Australian National Maritime Museum (x 1)
11) Sydney – Powerhouse Museum (x 6)
12) Sydney airport
13) RAAF Williamtown & Fighterworld Museum (x 13)

Brisbane

1) RAAF Amberley & Aviation Heritage Center (x 10)
2) Archerfield airfield
3) Brisbane airport
4) Caboolture airfield & Warplane Museum (x 14)
5) Caloundra airfield & Queensland Air Museum (x 83)
6) Caloundra (UH-1)
7) Calvert (Vampire)
8) Australian Army base Oakey – Museum of Australian Army Flying (x 19)
9) Sunshine Coast airfield

I have to assume that you are all fully aware of COVID-19 and the way that this has changed things beyond our control, but some things still need to be pointed out.

Firstly, the Avalon show has already been moved once and Australia is still closed to us as visitors. COVID is on the rise again here and in many parts of the World with no sign yet of a cure and of course Winter is coming – where have I heard that before?

So of course this trip may not even be able to take place and even if it does, there may be restrictions, cancellations and closures of things when we get in-country that would obviously lead to disappointment. Also to take into account is your family, health and employment.

Anyone travelling at the moment, must be ready to self isolate on return to the UK according to the Government rules at that time. This of course would impact on your family and your employer…..

Please only show your interest if you are fully understanding and accepting of these things. I’m quite proud to say that all my customers got their money back on all the COVID cancelled trips that were due to run this year and that is largely thanks to making sure that the trips were ATOL protected.

Naturally involving a third party increases costs but also gives you and I the peace of mind that money can be refunded, should the trip have to be cancelled. With this in mind, the rough budget for this tour is looking likely to be between £2,500 – £3,000 for the two weeks but of course this is to be confirmed. The plan is that everything is included apart from food and spending money.

I’m also open to anyone wanting to extend their stay Down Under for tourist opportunities or to go on to New Zealand and indeed I myself will be meeting the wife out there. You of course could make your own arrangements to and from Australia and just grab a land only price which is not yet known.

Get in touch Cobbers!

Best regards,

Grant Robinson
http://www.facebook.com/groups/oxfordaviationgroup
https://www.flickr.com/photos/62861611@N08/albums

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