In this podcast episode, Allen Suss sits down with Tony Kirkhope, founder of Kirkhope Aviation, a Melbourne-based business specialising in outback tours and corporate charters.
About Tony Kirkhope and Kirkhope Aviation
Tony was born in Melbourne 1950. He graduated as a Metallurgical Engineer in 1971, and was first employed in Wollongong for 4 years in Copper Smelting. He learnt to fly while there as a hobby.
In 1976, Tony moved to Victoria and worked commissioning the Hot Strip Rolling Mill at Lysaghts in Hastings. In 1979, Tony joined his brother and began a 25 year involvement with him owning Diana Ferrari Pty Ltd, a footwear manufacturing company.
Tony married my wife Sandy in 1983 and purchased a house in Camberwell. During these years Kirkhope Aviation developed as an outback air tour operator in Melbourne. Tony and Sandy also purchased a car wash business which Sandy ran for 14 years.
In 2001 they purchased a 500,000 acre property in the Top End of Australia and ran that as a “glamping“ tourist resort where they flew clients in from Melbourne. The Aviation business moved to Moorabbin where it is based today and continues to provide luxury air tours and corporate charter utilizing it’s three aircraft.
Tony’s hobbies, as well as flying, included competition water skiing, playing in a blue grass/country band and hobby farming at Gembrook.