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Catalina Festival


Sun 25 Oct 2015, 9:00am–4:00pm

Where: Rathmines Park, Stilling Street, Rathmines, Lake Macquarie District

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • general admission on the day: $5.00
  • Additional fees may apply

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Listed by: ian86

The 8th annual Catalina Festival at Rathmines Lake Macquarie is on Sunday the 25th October

“The 2015 Festival will be one of largest yet,” said Penny Furner, the festival chairperson. “We have a large air display, a wide range of land based activities for families to see, touch and experience, sea planes, gliders and a lot of History”.

“We aim to honour those who served during WW11, highlight the business and tourism potential of Western Lake Macquarie and help to educate the future generations of the proud history Rathmines provided in defence of Australia” Penny continued. “This festival is the main fundraising initiative for the Rathmines Catalina Memorial Park Association INC and our greatest opportunity to showcase our aims and present the rich history of Western Lake Macquarie.”

The former RAAF seaplane base at Rathmines, once the largest flying boat base in the South Pacific, will host a tightly packed and spectacular air show that will have visitors in awe of breathtaking stunts and flying manoeuvres. Paul Bennet Airshows has created a program with 15 different aircraft, including 1 Squadron and flight teams which will fly until the end of the festival with the highlight being the Catalina Flyover in the afternoon.

“The Airshow we have created includes a Wirraway, Tigermoths, a Wolf Pitts Pro, an Avenger, a P-51 mustang and more,” said Paul Bennett of Paul Bennett Airshows. Our aircraft are some of the best in the world with for example the Wolf Pitts Pro being the highest performing biplane in the world with a 400hp Lycon engine and a weight of 600kg” Paul continued.

The festival will feature the Australian defence Army. Navy and Air Force, seaplane joy flights, helicopter joy flights, the Australian Army Band, seaplane displays, historical diving displays, the Australian Air League and lots more.

“Catalina flying boats arrived at the Rathmines RAAF Base in February 1941. The Base at Rathmines became the largest RAAF flying boat Base in the southern hemisphere, with almost 3000 RAAF personnel in 1944-45.

Between 1941 and 1952, the RAAF operated a total of 168 Catalina’s, flown by four frontline squadrons, two communications units and three air-sea rescue flights” said Penny Furner, the festival chairperson.

“The Festival will be a great showcase event for the former RAAF Base Rathmines and Lake Macquarie, a touch of history with some of the base personnel attending, awesome Air Acrobatics, Military displays, seaplanes, historical Mirage Fighter Jet cockpits, a Beaufighter cockpit, Catalina displays and stalls, live music and great food” she continued.