Let us take you on a journey to one of the most remarkable rescue efforts in Australian History. You will be led through the beautiful Lamington National Park to locate Westray’s Grave and then taken to the Stinson Wreck itself, where there is some remaining fuselage of the Stinson Airliner crash that occurred in February 1937 and a memorial plaque. This amazing survival and rescue story started when the plane carrying 2 pilots and 5 passengers disappeared en route from Brisbane to Sydney. Most believed that the plane crashed out to sea off Sydney, however after reading news reports, Bernard O’Reilly was certain it crashed somewhere in Lamington National Park. Bernard started harbouring suspicions that the search had been conducted in the wrong place and after looking at his map, Bernard, had pinpointed four ridges in the McPherson Range on which the aircraft could have crashed had it been on that route. Bernard was an experienced bushman and set out on his expedition to locate the aircraft with only a few provisions. Due to his experience he made fast progress. Bernard had managed to see some burnt foliage in the distance as he was able to gain a look out over the ridges he was following. It was out of place in the dense green of the rainforest canopy. Two days and one night after leaving the Green Mountains, Bernard stumbled upon the burnt-out wreckage. He found two survivors who were in a desperate state; John Proud, whose leg was badly broken, and Joe Binstead. There was a third survivor, Jim Westray, who left the site in search of help. Bernard had found Jim Westray dead at the bottom of a waterfall. Around nightfall, Bernard made it to Kerry Valley to get help where two rescue parties were organised. Finally, two days and nights after Bernard had found the survivors, they were carried out to safety. Bernard was running on adrenaline and sheer will power. This hike is a must if you want to walk in the footsteps of Australian living history. The story of the discovery of this plane crash and the rescue of the survivors is a genuine epic and is retraced on this gorgeous walk amongst ancient rainforest and steep rocky escarpments.
Full expedition lunch and snack packs provided, transport to/from MBL included