Come fly with me…

It’s noisy up here, but through our helmets we can hear the chatter of firstly the Caloundra Air Controller and later the Sunshine Coast Control. The plane rises and falls gently as the wind catches her and moves her – and us – about. It’s as if we’re riding the swell of the wind.

Below us the ocean sparkles in the sunlight. We look for whales but can see none.

We’re flying in a Waco open cockpit biplane – and the experience is about as far from an economy seat on a Jetstar flight as it’s possible to get. It’s flying with the wind in your hair, flying when it was really special, flying with more than a touch of 1930s glamour. It’s flying with the birds.

This “bird” is beautiful – sleek and smooth. Rodney, our pilot, tells us that she’s affectionately named Marilyn – a blonde, curvy American. The seats are upholstered leather – like an armchair – and it’s much warmer and more comfortable than I thought it would be.

Before we took off Rodney pointed out the different indicators and the pedals on the floor – which we were told not to touch. He also showed us where the compartment was for the breakfast carrier, or sick bags, in case we needed them – which we didn’t. The original use for these would have been to carry a businessman’s lunch or flask, I suppose.

This joyflight was a combined birthday present for Miss 19 and I. We chose the Caloundra Classic to Mooloolaba flight – a route that took us along the beaches of Caloundra, up the coast and over the Mooloolaba Spit, and turning around at the Maroochy River mouth before heading back.

Although we didn’t choose the aerobatics package, along the way Rodney tossed in a couple of sharp turns and “wing overs” which were enough to get our hearts raising.

Take off and landing (an old fashioned grass landing) was smooth, and the flight itself fabulous – the coast really is even more beautiful from up high.

The verdict?

A nostalgic trip back to a time when flying was romantic – and a flight to remember. From up here we got great views of the Glasshouse Mountains, Bribie Island and the Pumicestone Passage, and, of course, the fabulous Sunshine Coast through to Maroochydore.

How much?

Flights are available from $298 – and best part is that 2 of you can go up for that price.

What about the knees?

I was worried about getting in and out of the seat – and of stepping on the wrong part of the wing and causing damage. I needn’t have been concerned. Even with my dodgy back and knees it was all ok – and they use a step ladder to climb up and in.

How squishy?

Yeah, it’s a tad squishy, but if you’ve flown Jetstar lately… Seriously though, I wouldn’t want to fly for hours like this, but it’s surprising how much legroom you have. I, however, needed a booster cushion to be able to see out.

Did we feel safe?

Completely so.

More information?

You can find more information here. Fighter Pilot Jet Flights run biplane scenic flights from Caloundra Airport and Brisbane.

One Block Back

This place had me at warehouse style.

Located in a quiet street back from the main Moffat Beach Village, One Block Back would be equally at home in Abbotsford as it is here on the Sunshine Coast.

The space is huge – with plenty of room inside for working, eating, coffee, whatever. Outside there’s a little garden area with resident cheeky butcher birds and magpies and the occasional kookaburra.

As for the food? We’ve been a couple of times now and sampled the wagyu burger with piccalilli mayo – make sure you ask for sweet potato fries with that – the chicken BLT, and the smashed avo due with avo and pumpkin hummus.  Miss 19 loves the RAWR food treats that also come out of the kitchen. She recommends the raw wagon wheel or snickers – no nasties and apparently yummo. We haven’t tried the hotcakes, but watched a heap of them coming out on Saturday and boy, did they look pretty!

The service has been a tad on the whatever side – on our first visit (a Friday lunchtime) it was spot on, but last Saturday our meals staggered out, with the poached egg arriving for my smashed duo well after my smashed duo did. Not that it mattered – it was an overcast Saturday lunchtime and we had nowhere else we needed to be.  Besides, the food was fabulous – although I’m still unconvinced about this whole activated charcoal thing – and a thing it is.

Oh, and newish to One Block Back, but not on the menu yet are, wait for it…doughnut fries. Yes, really. They look like fries, they’re served in a little box like fries, but they’re strips of doughnut rolled in cinnamon and sugar…and even drizzled with nutmeg. Stop it already.

The verdict? 

A huge yes! Even if it’s just for that piccalilli mayo…or the sweet potato fries…or that pumpkin hummus. You know what? Just go.

The Details…

One Block Back is at 106 Nothling Street, Moffat Beach

Opening Hours 7am – 3pm

You can find them on Facebook here

January 2018 Update

One Block Back is now licensed, yes, you heard that right.

Pesto eggs

The menu has changed a tad – the hotcakes have been replaced by waffles and the beans have been moved to the winter reserves bench in favour of pesto eggs with beetroot and halloumi.

Acai bowls