It took about 10 hours for "May" to fly across Australia, with an overnight stay in Tennant Creek. I flew past many enormous cattle stations (up to 4 million square acres) spread out across the desolate outback.
Oz air traffic control requires pilots to blindly broadcast position reports on shared multi-frequency repeaters located near the cattle stations. I passed by remote landing strips with proper Australian names like Margaret River Station, Halls Creek, Browns Range, Herbertvale Cattleyards, and Century Mine. All those Nevil Shute books I read in my childhood were coming to life.
Perfect weather, moderate winter temperatures, and one content pilot flying at 10,000 ft over the outback of Australia. I rode 40 knot tail winds across the entire Australian continent.
The indomitable outback of Australia
Jon Johanson, (a famous Australian aviator and a mentor) who flew around the world three times in his experimental RV4 (east, west, polar) reminded me to not underestimate the outback. If you are forced down, you may never be found if your ELT and PLB are destroyed in the crash. He equated the risk to that of the north Atlantic crossing. My plane carried extra water and survival equipment for polar, desert, and marine environments.
Tennant Creek. A brief stay in an authentic outback town in the northern territory of Australia.
May Koehler admired Australia. While May never visited Australia in her lifetime, she finally made it to the land "down under" in spirit. I think she would have loved flying over the outback in a tiny plane.