A Flight to Forget?

There is a crack in everything  –That’s how the light gets in.

Leonard Cohen “Anthem”

I interpret the lyric above to mean that we can gain from experiences that are cracked – that is less than the “perfect offering” and my flight over Lake Argyll, the Bungle Bungles and the Argyll Diamond Mine was not perfect.

Everyone we met had raved about the experience and Julie and I had spent some time debating whether to take the sea plane which takes off from Lake Kununurra, lands and takes off twice on Lake Argyll, once for cheese and bikkies and a chance for sunset wildlife pictures on one of the Lake Argyll before returning to our home base in Kununurra or the land based aircraft from the local airfield. As you can see from the picture we chose the latter.


Julie contemplates entering the aircraft, which was just a Combi wagon with wings. Space for 10 passengers, each with a window but no space to move.

Pilots always sit on the left (except helicopters which are right wheel fly). I was right behind the pilot.

Our pilot, Emma looked about 21 but might have been a little older. The plane was newish but noisy – it took off and landed automatically. Within a few minutes of taking off I was really struggling. While photographing Kununurra, the agricultural area around the Packsaddle Range and the Ord River as it ran down from the Lake Argyll I had to grad for the strategically place “souvenir”” (sic) bag and for the next 90 minutes I was continually sick. Despite this when I caught a glimpse of the Bungles I made a few attempts to use the camera. They were photographed through the perspex side window of the plane and at great personal cost so worthy of display.

How did “the light get in” ? Well I have added to the list many things that I cannot or will not do again flying in light aircraft. To think that years ago I read heaps of books on gliders with the idea that one day I might fly in one and ditto for helicopters – I think not. The rest of the images are from Julie’s camera with Julie in charge.

The rich agricultural areas surrounding Kununurra are laid out underneath the wings of the aircraft as it rises from the airfield

The Ord now flows consistently into the Diversion Dam which holds back Kununurra Lake and provides the cheapest irrigation water in Australia

Lake Argyll from the air

The unmistakable shape of the heavily eroded Bungle Bungles

Closeup of one of the massive Bungles

One of my few usable images shows a wider viewpoint of the landscape



9 thoughts on “A Flight to Forget?

  1. Hi Gary & Julie, sorry to learn that you found your ‘light’ spot Gary the hard way…Lovely photos though must have made it worth while..

    • Yes Ross, I am not unhappy we made the trip but I wouldn’t do it again. While we were there a helicopter was buzzing around below us zooming through the canyons and someone suggested that was the best way to see but for me an expensive way to get rid of breakfast and lunch.

    • Term 3 is always hard work Paula. How is Phil? I have had a reply from Ian. Believe it or not I was driving through the Kimberleys today thinking about making a movie – not about the here – its been done and starred Nicole – but another School movie. I am not yet over my addiction but I am working on replacing it with amazing things to do and see.

  2. Wow I love the pics of the bungle bungles uncle Gary and aunty Julie. You both look like you are enjoying your trip. We miss you here in Sydney but are glad you are seeing the country together.
    Look forward to your next post. Love Melissa

  3. I sympathize Gary! I travel nowhere these days without travel sickness tablets. They got me through a flight over Wilpena Pound and a boat trip out into the ocean to watch whales. Without the tablets I’d have my head in the bag the whole time!

    • Jeanette I keep getting caught over nearly forty years I keep on thinking “I’ll be OK this time and then !!!!!” I was ok whale watching. Julie blames the camera by the way

  4. I can’t believe with all Julie’s ear problems over the past few years, you were the one that got air sick, Gary! I agree with Julie – I’m sure it was the camera that started you off! A Father’s day fishing trip with Graham out to sea did the same thing for me 2 years ago! I can truly sympathise with you, brother Gary! Anyway, Julie’s photos were amazing!!! My compliments, Julie!

    • Julie’s camera has had two turns this trip. At Lark Quarry I hadn’t taken my spare battery and used her camera and in the plane, all but one of the shots were taken by Julie. I have often been seasick, but never sick in a plane before – small planes are very noisy and unstable in comparison with the bigger jets.

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