Day 045, Wednesday, 13 May 2009


Distance travelled – 21.2 km
Avg speed – 18.1 kph
Max speed – 33.9 kph


Today we went to have a look at the Hinkler Hall of Aviation, which commemorates the contribution Bert Hinkler made to aviation. Why is the Hall in Bundaberg? Because Burt was born in Bundaberg and he designed and flew his first glider here at the age of 19 in 1912.

The Hinkler Hall of Aviation is located in the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens which itself is worth the time to explore. Given our limited time it was nice to have our bikes to be able to ride around the gardens for a quick look.

I recommend a visit to the Hall by anyone coming to Bundaberg. From my perspective if I only had one day and had to choose between the Hall of Aviation and the Bundaberg Bondstore, I would pick the Hall of Aviation. We both spent 2 hours in the Hall before feeling we needed to have lunch at the 1928 Café.

Given the navigation technology we have available to us today it is rather amazing to find that Bert Hinkler navigated on many of his record breaking flights using a copy of the Times Atlas. Given the complaints we have reported in these pages about our GPS I suspect Bert Hinkler had the correct approach, but then again he did not have any option. If an adventurer set off today to fly across the South Atlantic with no radio and only an atlas for navigation they would probably be labelled as irresponsible, not a hero as Bert Hinkler now is. Haven’t times changed?

There was one exhibit within the exhibition that is just amazing.  On January 28 1986 the space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after it was launched, killing all seven astronauts on board. As a tribute to Hinkler’s contribution to early flight Challenger’s Commander, Dick Scobee, was carrying a small section of Bert Hinkler’s 1912 glider in his personal locker. Miraculously the piece of glider was recovered after the explosion, undamaged in its plastic bag, from the Atlantic Ocean. The following year Scobee’s widow presented the mounted section with pictures of the 7 astronauts to the people of Bundaberg. Given the ferocity of the explosion it is amazing to think that this small piece of wood survived undamaged.

A funny thing happened on our way back to the caravan park. We stopped at a bicycle shop looking for a replacement mirror for Denise’s bike as one of the arms had split. Although we thought we had a spare with us we were not totally sure so we thought it best to try and buy another. Now I think you would agree that it is not normally easy for a car to park a bicycle into an open space so it is difficult to get the bike out again, but whilst I was in the shop the shop’s van returned and the driver squeezed itself within 5 cm of the front wheel of my parked bike. Ordinarily I would not have minded but I had a loaded trailer attached, which meant I had to pick the bicycle up and twist it out of the tight space. This is not an easy task with a single wheeled trailer. One would have thought the courteous thing would have been for the driver to ask Denise to move the bike before he drove in. The amusing thing is Denise had her helmet camera running and captured it all on tape. Anyway have a look at the video (with a few expletives removed).

It didn’t rain today!

Zoom into the map and use the 'Satellite' layer to see our new location.


Bert Hinkler's house "Mon Repos" was moved from the UK to Bundaberg in 1983.

Section of Hinkler's 1912 glider recovered from the 1986 Challenger disaster. Hinkler Hall of Aviation, Bundaberg.

Passers by inspect our bikes outside Bert Hinkler's House

Burnett River from Burnett Bridge, Bundaberg

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