21.1.06

Paragliding Down Under

Welcome Paragliding in Australia has one internationally famous location and Manilla is it. Whether you are a pilot coming to fly XC(cross country) or keen to take a course and learn at one of the best flying schools in the world, Manilla has got it all! This is also where one can learn the sport it seems as well and I reckon as well as providing a thrill it will also show you a region of New South Wales known as New England. Fossicking for gem stones was very popular the last time I was here which was oh maybe six years ago; indeed Manilla is situated on the Fossicker’s way. This is the route to Warialda near the Queensland border and several small friendly places are on it, you would get a pleasant surprise I know I did the first time I ever travelled along it. ! The friendly Lake Keepit Soaring Club also offers gliding joy flights and courses; I did not know this but I have been to lake Keepit many times as it is a beaut place and one can fish there; heaps of wildlife Para and Hang gliding pilots use rising currents of warm air called 'thermals' (just like the eagles and conventional Gliding pilots do!) to provide lift. By finding a number of these thermals, a course can be completed with height gains up to 10,000ft (3 kilometres)! The 'Big Sky Country' of North West NSW (5hrs drive from Sydney) is ideal for such flying, and the launch location - Mount Borah - is one of the world’s best. Mt Borah with its 4 large launches and landing areas also provides easy ridge soaring for all levels. Mt Borah close to Manilla is and has been home to multiple World Records and Australian National Records so I can see why it was chosen for the 2007 world championships. It also attracts pilots from around the world seeking some of the best (and safest) cross country (XC) flying to be found anywhere. So come along and enjoy, the folk are real friendly as well.

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