"Strathpine South A3 Field" at Brendale

“Strathpine South A3 Field” at Brendale

A3 AirfieldA3 Airfield

In previous posts I told you about the A1 Airfield at Lawnton and the A2 (Spitfire Avenue) Airfield at Strathpine.

Today we visited the last of these three airfields – the Strathpine South A3 Field.

It’s in Brendale near the corner of South Pine Road and Linkfield Street.

An industrial estate mostly occupied by warehouses, the council has set aside one corner of the former airfield as a croquet field.

The airstrip was mostly used for emergency landings when the main A2 strip was unavailable due to wind direction.

Echoes in the Vineyard

Echoes in the Vineyard

Ebert VineyardEbert VineyardEbert VineyardEbert Vineyard

Just north of Lawnton Station, in a quiet back street, you’ll find an old grape vine growing on a chainwire fence next to the railway line.

It’s all that remains of a vineyard that Nikolaus and Christina Ebert planted on this spot in the 1860’s

His house was about 100 metres north of these vines, on what is now Ebert Parade.

Nikolaus, Christina and other members of the family are buried just up the road in Lawnton Cemetery alongside some of the other pioneers of the area.

The vineyards were ripped up before the railway line to Petrie and Gympie was laid. This vine re-grew and is a beautiful example of how the echoes from a bygone era may still be heard today.

Spitfires over Lawnton

Spitfires over Lawnton

A1 Airstrip - LawntonA1 Airstrip - LawntonA1 Airstrip - LawntonA1 Airstrip - Lawnton

There were three airfields in the Pine Rivers area during World War 2.

Most people are aware of the “Spitfire Avenue” Airstrip, also known as the A2 Strip in Strathpine. It was paved, and used heavily.

But not many people are aware of the A1 grass Strip which was built in the vicinity of Lawnton Pocket and Bells Pocket Roads.

It wasn’t paved, and was built as an emergency strip at an angle of about 60 degrees to the A2 strip. When planes were unable to land on the A2 strip due to wind, they could use the A1 strip.

Nothing much of it remains today. You can’t see any sign of it, except for the memorial erected by the council in 1995.

But the land is pretty flat!

There’s also a third strip south of here in Brendale. The A3 strip. One of these days I’ll ride down there and photograph it too!

In the meantime, I won’t have to try too hard to imagine the drone of Spitfires flying over my house.

UPDATE: I’ve just discovered Peter Dunn’s excellent Australia @ War site. He records that in 1942 2nd Lieutenant Maxwell J Jones (0429769) was tragically killed when his P-400 aicraft struck a tree while landing at the A1 airfield. Peter writes that the airfield was dangerous due to the fact that it was surrounded by large trees, and pilots often had to fly in an “S” shaped path on approach to the airfield in order to keep it in view – something that was very dangerous at low speed and low altitude.

The Bike Monster is gonna get you

The Bike Monster is gonna get you

At the half way point on our 62km cycle around Lake Samsonvale I got an SMS from the kids asking how I was going, so I sent them this pic to let them know I was still alive.

In hindsight, this pic doesn’t say “I’m alive”. More like “I’m the bike monster and I’m going to eat you”. Sorry kids 🙂

Thanks for taking the photo, Steve.

That shirt is a bit bright, isn’t it? And I really need to cut those cable ties off the helmet! The magpies have gone for another year.

The ride itself was hard work. We rode from Petrie, north west to Dayboro, south through Samsonvale to Mount Samson and Yugar, then North East through Draper and Warner home.

The total climb was about 740m or 2,500 feet. That’s the most I’ve ever done in one ride.

I really enjoyed it, but was pretty tired afterwards.

The map below gives you an idea of the route. If you’re interested, here’s a link to Steve’s record of the route which has a nifty little animation that shows you us moving around the map.

Cycling 50km for a Beer

Cycling 50km for a Beer

Riding on the Old Hornibrook Bridge

We rode from Lawnton to Redcliffe and back today. The round trip was about 50km and took us just over 90 minutes each way. Luckily the trip is mostly flat, so once you settle into a rhythm, it’s pretty effortless. (Honestly, it is!). I’m really impressed with the quality of bikeways along the way, and love the way that the old Hornibrook bridge is available for use by pedestrians and cyclists. It’s a beautiful old bridge, a little run down, but as you can see in this photo, it still has a bit of old charm.

Biking Brothers

Four of us rode: My mate Simon from next door, Isaac, Harrison and me. The good thing about cycling is that although it’s hard work at times, you get to have some good conversations with the people you’re riding with. Sometimes one or two people might go ahead for a while, but it was a team effort, so we all tried to stick together.

A hard earned thirst

Lunch at the Woody Point pub was a highlight for me. Cold beer tastes magic when you’ve ridden 25km in the heat beforehand. I’d love to do this ride again!
You can see where we went on the map below. Unfortunately the batteries on my phone ran out halfway on the way back, but we started and finished at the same point so it gives you an idea of the route.

Rail Trails

Rail Trails

Rail Trail (1)Rail Trail (2)Rail Trail (3)Rail Trail (4)Rail Trail (5)

A few decades ago there used to be a rail service that operated westwards from Caboolture out over the D’Aguilar range. It’s no longer operational, and some of the track has been ripped up and converted into a “Rail Trail“.

The trail meanders through state forest, and because it was originally built for rail there are no steep inclines (unless you venture off the main trail).

It’s open for hikers, horse riders, and Mountain Bikers.

Motorized vehicles like trailbikes are prohibited (although we did catch a few motor bikes “in the act”).

The Wamuran-D’Aguilar rail trail is beautiful. We’ll definitely be going back soon!

Cycling at the Racetrack

Cycling at the Racetrack

Cycling at the race-track (2)Cycling at the race-track (1)

The Moreton Bay council organized a cycling morning at Lakeside Raceway this morning.

Between 6.30 and 8.30am cyclists were allowed around the track, and we got a free drink at the end of the morning too.

At first I got a bit frustrated that Lilly was going so slow till I realized she had a flat front tyre. (Silly Neil). So I pumped it up and she flew. When she took the "kids shortcut" that cut out one of the hills, I had trouble keeping up with her.

I think it’s great that the council is organizing things like this. And it was good to see at least one of our local councillors, David Dwyer, out on the track in his bright yellow spandex. Good on ya David!

The second best thing about the ride this morning was being on bitumen and not having to worry about cars.

The best thing was having some fun exercise with the kids.

If you’re looking for a fun way to get fit, buy a bike!