Hello, my name is Mitch and I’m a plane spotter from Adelaide, South Australia. You may know me from my Instagram page: @meeshboiaviation . In this blog post, I will be explaining what it is like being an aviation spotter in Australia.
We’re quite lucky in Australia to be allowed to take photos of aircraft around and even inside of airport terminals. I know of plenty of surrounding countries, especially like Malaysia which prohibit the entry into the terminal without a boarding pass. Fortunately in Australia, you are able to enter the domestic airport terminal without having to board a flight. This makes it very easy to take photos of aircraft parked at the gate or taxiing into or away from the terminal. Especially in Adelaide, the Adelaide Airport terminal is amazing for spotting as the glass is non tinted, massive in size and you can see the runway and taxiways with excellent ease. The terminal is also a good location for night spotting, as you can do long exposures of aircraft parked at the gate.
Being outside of the terminal is also a pretty easy task. Most major airports in Australia have sufficient spotting locations, especially airports like Sydney where the scenery seen in photos can be recognised very quickly. All airports are boarded by around a 2-meter-tall mesh fence, which can easily be overseen with a ladder. However, keep in mind that its recommended that you keep your ladder at least 3 meters away from the fence… That’s if you don’t want to be approached by the Australian Federal Police. Still, most airports in Australia encourage spotting, and some airport even have designated spotting areas that can be utilised. A good way to plan your spotting trip is to find a spotting guide on www.spotterguide.net (I wrote the Adelaide one!) Not to mention there are also hundreds of GA and smaller aerodrome airfields and airports you can visit if GA is more your style.
Traffic in Australia is fairly decent. Domestic airlines like Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Tigerair fly into almost all major airports in the country, along with their regional counter parts like QantasLink, Virgin Australia Regional Airlines and most notably Regional Express. International traffic varies between each international airport. Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth along with Adelaide receive good selection of international traffic, obviously with Sydney having the most variety. Unfortunately, we don’t have too many airlines coming from Europe, with the exception of British Airways as the distances are upwards of 16 hours.
Remember that Australia gets very hot during the summer. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen and try to avoid the sun a lot. However, winter mornings can be very cold, especially the lower you get in the country. Queensland is very humid, which can be good for condensation on the wings, however you get sticky quickly. Getting around airports usually requires a car, however you can get Uber rides if that’s more your thing. Or in my case, make sure you have a mate in the state who can drive you to the airport and let you use the roof of his 4WD as a ladder!
Overall, if your planning to spot in Australia, it is defiantly worth it! You get a great variety of traffic and scenery and it is lots of fun. If you want to see my photos, please don’t hesitate to follow me on Instagram @meeshboiaviation or view my website: www.meeshboiphotos.com