Milawa fly away, a brilliant day away and only an hour’s flight from Melbourne that even the weariest of passengers will enjoy!
Milawa is a quiet country town and home to the famous Brown Brothers Wines which makes for a great fly away. For those that frequent the high country on road, you may have passed through the town and not even noticed it.
It’s about a three hour drive to Milawa, but a leisurely 65 minute flight in TBL depending on which way you plan your flight.
The last time we flew to Milawa, we planned our route north over the top of Sugarloaf Reservoir and planned a climb up to A055 after we cleared the 1500ft steps around the city. We found the best bet was to submit a flight plan and request a climb up through Class C as you we were heading out the east side. The alternative, if you want to avoid Class C, is to plan through the inland route up to Kilmore then out the east on the northern side of the ranges. Be aware of the inland route procedures if going that way.
The strip at Milawa is a maintained grass strip aligned 01/19. There is 820m usable and it is located across the road from the Brown Brothers Winery. Prior to departing, you need to organise prior permission via the airstrip permission form which is included below. There is no fuel available on site, with the nearest fuel available being at Wangaratta – just a short flight up the road from Milawa.
Most people fly into Milawa to head to Brown Brothers Wines. It is a must for lunch and, while you are there, you can explore the grounds of Brown Brothers which makes a brilliant unwind for you and your passengers after the flight up.
Once you have had something to eat and passengers have had something to drink, there are plenty of other must see things in the town whilst you are there. After enjoying the surrounds of Brown Brothers, one suggestion is to head down the road and check out the Milawa Cheese Factory.
Make sure you allow for a bit additional weight in the aircraft on the way home to carry all of the cheese and wine you collected on your trip
On the trip home, we picked up a VFR flight following service (as we did on the way up). Once distinct advantage of this was that we planned to fly home in the reverse to our trip up and, as we had flight following, the controller transitioned us into a Class C clearance to transit through the Melbourne Basin and stepped us down to come out near Altona, rather than having to worry about getting in and under the steps.
In summary, you can plan a mid-morning departure for lunch in Milawa then explore the town a bit prior to being home late afternoon. It is a great day away and should be added to the list of places to visit.