Mt Barney Blog

Qld Stinson Wreck Expedition

Tuesday, January 15, 2019


Let Mt Barney Lodge take you on a journey to one of the most remarkable rescue efforts in Australian History.

You will be guided through the beautiful Lamington National Park to locate Westray’s Grave and then taken to the remaining Stinson Wreck fuselage and memorial plaque.


In February 1937, Bernard O’Reilly had started harbouring suspicions that the failed search for the Stinson Airliner, whose flight path planned for Brisbane to Sydney via Lismore had been conducted in the wrong place. After looking at his map, Bernard 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 through the dense rainforest. 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 green rainforest canopy.

Two days and one night after leaving the Green Mountains, Bernard stumbled upon the burnt-out wreckage. He found two survivors, 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. Later, Bernard 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. To add to your overall experience, our eco-guides provide interpretaive information about the history of this event and the landscapes you are walking through.



Cost: $170 per person (Includes return transfer from Mt Barney Lodge, a full expedition food pack per person, all ropes required, all first aid equipment, and public liability insurance)
Age: 15+
Requirement for group numbers: 3 - 10 people, or minimum 3 person tariff.
Start Time: Early morning
Duration of Activity: All day (8-14hrs)
Meeting Place: the Office
What to bring: 3 litres of water, hat, sunscreen, any medication, warm clothes/raincoat, a small day pack and wear comfortable closed-in shoes.
Fitness Requirement: This is a full day expedition which requires a high fitness level and the ability to carry a daypack with equipment and own personal gear.

Please see our Mountain Expedition T's and C's before booking!


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