Australian National Site Guide - Australian Capital Territory - Canberra and NSW surrounds

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Australian Capital Territory - Canberra and NSW surrounds - 5 sites

Map of Australian Capital Territory - Canberra and NSW surrounds sites
Name Location Type Conditions Rating Height
Honeysuckle
Lake George (South Launch) About 30 minutes north of Canberra on the road to Sydney. Inland Ridge E PG2 / HG Supervised 2400ft / 730m ASL, 180ft / 56m AGL
Lanyon About 20 minutes south of Canberra just past Tuggeranong. Inland Hill W PG2 / HG Supervised 900m ASL, 250m AGL
One Tree Hill, Gungahlin On the north edge of Canberra. Inland Hill NE-E PG4 (provisional) 2874ft MSL
Spring Hill About 20 minutes north of Canberra on the road to Yass. Inland Hill SW-NW PG4 / HG Intermediate 870m (2850') ASL, 200m (650') AGL
Australian Capital Territory - Canberra and NSW surrounds

Honeysuckle

The Honeysuckle site at Tumut provides launches for both paragliders and hang gliders. A dedicated ramp has been built for hang gliders.

Use of the site and granting of the permit by the Forestry Commission (FC) is conditional on the development of a Site Safety Plan and adherence to a number of Activity Conditions. These documents are linked to this page and you should familiarise yourself with the requirements of these documents and be prepared to abide by them before flying at Honeysuckle.

Importantly:

  • Do not drive off the marked roads or tracks
  • No smoking on launch or landing
  • The permit does not cover events and any planned events will require additional approval from FC

Before flying at Honeysuckle, ensure you have reviewed the risk and activity rules agreed with the Forestry Corporation here - Forestry Permit Activity Conditions and Site Safety Plan. It is a requirement of flying at Honeysuckle that you agree to abide by these conditions.

Please check ACTHPA guide for recent changes.

Landing

The landing zone is private property and the landowner requests we stay on marked tracks only. Do not drive through paddocks. Normal farm etiquette applies, please leave open gates open, and closed gates closed.
Australian Capital Territory - Canberra and NSW surrounds

Lake George (South Launch)

Lake George is an excellent inland soaring site.

The primary site used is known as the South Launch. It is just to the south of Geary's Gap where the Federal Highway meets the shores of the lake.

Pilots can either land on top of the escarpment on launch or use anywhere on the lakebed that is dry. If vehicle access to the lakebed is required, please contact someone from the ACTHP committee for a key to the gates indicated on the map. Please click on this Google Map Link for directions to Weereewa Lookout carpark.

Weather station: http://www.freeflightwx.com/acthpa/

Article: Flying Canberra

Please check ACTHPA guide for recent changes.

There is a secondary launch on the north side of the Federal Highway near Geary's Gap, however this site is currently closed. It is a short drive from the Weereewa Lookout car park across the Federal Highway onto Harlow Drive, taking the second right onto Ridge Road and then as you go through the gate the site is on your right on the escarpment. See the ACTHPA site for any updates on the status of the secondary launch site. At no point should anyone fly over the house or land over the fence adjacent to this launch.

Takeoff

Access is from Weereewa Lookout carpark. The launch is a small hike up the hill from the eastern side of the carpark near the fence. The path leads through a small gate (please keep it closed) and onto the ridge/escarpment (see the diagram below).

Mud map of the Lake George area.

Landing

Land anywhere on the lake that is dry. However, currently (2022) the lake is full and hence landing is confined to flat, dry areas shown in the images below.

Hazards/Comments

Before flying this site, please find an experienced local pilot, safety officer or contact the ACTHPA to obtain a site briefing.

Wedgetail eagles can be active to the north and south of the launch site. Recently (late 2021 and early 2022), there have been multiple instances of eagles tearing HG and PGs. A local experienced pilot will be able to provide further information about the behaviour of eagles and whether they are aggressive or not depending on the time of the year.

Airspace is quite low due to the proximity of Canberra Airport. AirCheck provides information about airspace restrictions or click here.

If landing in the small area near the corner in the fences, pilots should move to the side to pack up their wings to leave space for others to land.

If its busy when ridge soaring, pilots should be mindful of newer pilots and give them space and try to fly predictably and check they are clear before making turns.

When crossing the Federal Highway pilots should be aware of any bias in the wind direction (either from the north or south) and factor this in when deciding if they have enough height to make the crossing.

Pilots must keep at least 30 meters from the house on the north side of the Federal Highway and, if possible, stay well clear of the property boundary.

For an expanded site guide with PPG specific and additional general information and advice, please click here.

Map information

map
Australian Capital Territory - Canberra and NSW surrounds

Lanyon

This site is suitable for PG2 / HG2 and above pilots. It takes a westerly wind. The landing zone is susceptible to a northerly valley wind, especially on hot days. A strong valley wind makes this site is unflyable. When the wind is strong, wave lift off the Brindabella's can take a pilot quickly into controlled airspace. If Spring Hill is blown out this site might be flyable if there is a reducing wind gradient between Spring Hill and Lanyon. The ACTHPA maintains a wind talker at launch which can be accessed here. Please click here for directions to the LZ and here for directions to the start of the track up to the top of the hill.

Other information may be able to be found on the ACTHPA’s website here.

Takeoff

Launch is from a grassy saddle at the top of the hill. In recent years thistles and other weeds have made launching difficult at times. The ACTHPA endeavours to keep the launch area clear. Pilots should wear strong soled shoes to protect against injury from protruding woody weed storks after clearing has taken place.

Access to launch is either by hiking up the face or the track as indicated below. It is possible to drive to the top (4-wheel drive only), passing through two locked gates which can be opened with an ACTHPA key. The drive up takes about 10 minutes. The Rangers must be contacted before driving up. Rangers’ ph. numbers: 0435 400 077 or 0409 787 080.

Do not use the dirt track behind the houses from the water tower to the LZ. People walk their dogs on this track and vehicles cause dust which can result in complaints.

Before visiting this site please find an experienced local pilot, safety officer or contact the club to arrange a site briefing before flying.

Landing

PG landing options are good. The designed LZ is quite tight but landing further out near the water tank provides a larger area. The designated LZ is very tight for HG which will need to use the larger area near the water tank or further towards to Tharwa Drive. Packing up should be done quickly and pilots should leave the paddock being careful not to damage the fence.

Hazards/Comments

If the wind is not straight up the front rotor from terrain and trees can result. Controlled airspace is low due to the proximity of Canberra Airport and its approach flight paths. Pilots can look at the different layers on AirCheck or click on the image below to see the airspace restrictions.

Lanyon Airspace

Map information

map
Australian Capital Territory - Canberra and NSW surrounds

One Tree Hill, Gungahlin

One Tree Hill is a north-south ridge on the western side of Gungahlin. The site takes a northeast to easterly wind. The ridge height is 2874ft MSL and class C airspace starts at 3500ft MSL, so to remain clear of air space the maximum flying height is 626ft AGL.

The nearest real-time wind station is at Spring Hill 5.5 km to the north. If the wind at Spring Hill is easterly and is below the red limit, that is less than 35 km/h, it is likely to be flyable at One Tree Hill.

This site is a PG hike-and-fly site.

Takeoff

The launch site is adjacent to the Bicentenary Track in front of the One Tree Hill lookout (see photo below).

The take-off is tight, between two trees directly in front of the lookout.

The land on the right side of the fence near the lookout is private property. The ACTHPA does not have permission to access this land for launches or landings. Please do not climb over the fence.

When first flying this site please first obtain a site briefing from a duty pilot, a safety officer or via contacting the club.

Landing

Landing options are limited and are shown in the diagrams below. It is recommended to visit and familiarise yourself with the landing areas before flying.

Blue – walking track to launch Red – launch Yellow – landing area

Red – launch Yellow – landing area

Hazards/Comments

Airspace is low due to the proximity of Canberra Airport. Airspace maps can be found here. The launch is close to a public lookout and spectators may congregate to watch pilots fly. This site is close to the suburb of Taylor and hence avoid overflying residential properties, particularly when landing.

This site is provisionally rated for PG 4 pilots and above due to the tightness of launch and landing areas, it being close to a public lookout, and since the landing areas slope downhill into wind.

Map information

map
Australian Capital Territory - Canberra and NSW surrounds

Spring Hill

Spring Hill is the primary site for the Canberra region. It takes SW to NW winds. When the wind talker is in the range 16 - 28 km/hr you can easily soar the ridge. At other times it is often a thermal soaring site. If the wind talker is gusting greather than 25km/hr for supervised PG pilots or 40 km/hr for supervised HG pilots then conditions are likely too strong to fly.

Weather station: http://www.freeflightwx.com/acthpa/

Article: Flying Canberra

Please check ACTHPA guide for recent changes.

If it is your first time at the site, please find a duty pilot, safety officer or contact the club to have a site briefing prior to flying. The following link is some information you should be familiar with regarding the site: Spring Hill.pdf

Restrictions: This beautiful site is on private property. There is an honesty box located in a post on the right just after the dam. It is $10 a day for use of the site, or for a year's access you can leave $250 with Phil, or alternatively donate a day's labour assisting Phil on the property. Prior contact needs to be made with Phil Robinson on 0419 030 016 or Twitter: @SpringHillPhil before flying at Spring Hill.

Takeoff

Only 4x4 vehicles have permission to use the site, i.e. not wrx's and skylines etc, so please leave all other vehicle at the carpark in the LZ. It's a 25-30 minute walk to the top, or maybe you can carpool or catch a lift with someone driving up. Club protocol is to offer the driver $5 per lift up the hill to cover fuel and vehicle wear and tear. It is at the vehicle owner's discretion as to whether they accept payment.

The launch is accessible by a 4WD road that leads up the east spur of the ridge from the landing paddock.

Landing

The primarly landing is in the paddock to the right of the dirt road that leads up to launch.

Flight

XC and ridge soaring flights are common.

Hazards/Comments

Airspace is quite low due to the close proximity of Canberra Airport. You can have a look at the different layers on AirCheck or just click on the image below to give you an idea of the airspace restrictions.

Airspace around Spring Hill

Map information

map