If you’re scared of flying, you may want to avert your eyes now.
But if you’re still reading you might discover a fun way to spend a day in lovely ol’ Sydney Town.
Ordinarily, I’m not a fan of mechanical hybrids. I prefer my planes to be planes and my boats to be, well boats. The idea of landing on water seemed, well… frankly ridiculous.
But I’d heard wonderful things about Sydney Seaplanes and Jonah’s Restaurant and didn’t fancy the drive, so I thought why not a seaplane?
Why not indeed?
Well, herein lies the problem. I decided to fly with the world’s most nervous passenger. My mum.
A surprise was out of the question, so I called dad to suss him out. He was 50/50.
And not bad odds for a nervous flyer. So I told her and she was again surprisingly encouraging. “That sounds lovely dear”.
I booked two seats on the seaplane to Palm Beach for a 3-course lunch the following Saturday.
Mum was flying up from Adelaide to Sydney so I thought she’d conquer any butterflies on that leg of the trip, and come Saturday she’d take to the experience like a proverbial duck.
Never underestimate the power of fear
At 11am I cracked a 2000 Vintage Veuve Clicquot to take the edge off. She seemed to be smiling but it could have been indigestion. I had no idea she was already absolutely terrified.
By the time we arrived at the departure lounge, she had broken out in a sweat and was shaking.
And then she saw the plane
I won’t describe in detail how I managed to coax her onto the plane. Instead I will distract you with pictures of the amazing meal we had at Jonah’s once we arrived. Suffice to say, initially she refused to even get on the plane; there were tears; there were vociferous protestations and I seem to remember the pilot had to hold her hand sometime before and during takeoff.
But we arrived safely.
The fare at Jonah’s Restaurant … and yes it tastes as good as it looks.
After the plane lands at Palm Beach a small boat comes out to collect you and takes you to the transport nearby, which whisks you up the hill to Jonah’s Restaurant.
The return trip was AMAZING. Well lubricated by a couple of glasses of Shaw & Smith Sauvignon Blanc, fright turned to delight as we enjoyed the 20-minute flight back to Rose Bay in Sydney.
I try not to gush over things too much but occasionally an experience takes my breath away. And this was one of those times.
Don’t worry if you’re a nervous flyer, if mum can do it ANYONE can.
The intrepid traveller herself
Go to Sydney Seaplanes.
Go to Jonah’s.