Friday, 23 August 2013

Sky High Expedition Cruising with Bill Peach

Bill Peach Journeys chartered Embraer 135LR in Longreach (R Eime)
Some time ago I was obliged to reappraise the concept of expedition cruising. It didn't have to be some swashbuckling, frostbitten adventure in either of the polar regions. The exhilaration of discovery beyond a deckchair and lurid cocktail and could easily extend to inland waterways, rivers and coastal enclaves. But know I'm even questioning whether expedition cruising needed to be aboard a ship.

Bill Peach
The concept of air cruising in Australia was promoted by pioneers like Dick Lang from Adelaide and continued and expanded by east-coasters like respected media personality Bill Peach who launched his own company off the back of his top-rating TV Series, "Peach's Australia" in 1983.

Travelling from point-to-point around Australia with a dedicated aircraft stopping to cherry-pick the key sites and locations, overnighting in quality hotels after a satisfying dinner, then setting off again for the next destination.

Bill Peach guests enjoy close
encounter with crocs in Kakadu.
Bill's signature journey would have to be the 'Great Australian Aircruise' which crosses the country from Sydney to the Top End, on to the Kimberley and back via the Red Centre, skimming the surface of this great country's spectacular scenic offerings in one 12-day aerial expedition cruise.

The product has remained remarkably similar, with the greatest changes being with the machinery. When the original F27 Fokker Friendship was retired a few years back, it was the oldest flying Fokker anywhere in the world. Its last flight was direct to Holland to retire in the Fokker Museum. Nowadays, state-of-art turboprop and jet aircraft are chartered and my journey is aboard the ultra sleek Embraer 135 corporate jet.

The original F-27 Fokker Friendship, now in the
Fokker Museum, Holland. (Daniel Tanner)
Check back here over the next few days for updates from around Australia as I travel with Bill Peach Journeys. (follow the tag)

Roderick Eime – editor – expeditioncruising.com