Western Australia > Wheatbelt
Windmill Hill, Toodyay
|300ft / 90m agl
|PG: Intermediate with Site Induction; HG: Advanced (not recommended)
In the Avon Valley near Toodyay, about 1.5 hours drive east of Perth.
This stunning house perched above Toodyay used to belong to a Cloudbase club member, but no longer does. It's a small site spoilt by powerlines and restricted landing options. Not flown in years, site information needs to be updated. The first pilots on site each day must check in with the owner before flying. This site has not been flown since the last change in ownership, the owner needs to be approached with this in mind. If you haven't been here before, contact Cloudbase Paragliding Club or the Hill Soarers Club, check on the current access arrangements, and organise your first flight with a club member who has good knowledge of this site, and where the powerlines are. There is an uncontrolled railway crossing of the main trans Australia line on the way in, take the stop sign seriously. Access is 2WD but very steep, parking at TO is limited.
Nice grassy takeoff.
Apart from the powerlines it's not too bad, can be turbulent due to the railway, trees and hills in front in stronger winds. Normally if the wind's still blowing you can top land on the nice takeoff area. One of the few sites where a top landing is safer than a bottom landing.
This site is quite small, it can very easily become crowded in light conditions. There are numerous dead trees on the face that could catch lines, harness etc. if scratching too close, a power line up the ridge, and the landing here is a serious business due to the powerlines. Expect rough thermic conditions in summer, especially in strong winds due to the hills in front. Aside from that it's quite good fun, with a fantastic view down the Avon Valley to Toodyay.
Hazards / Comments
As all inland sites, this site has the potential to be treacherous. The site at its best requires a northwesterly wind. The most obvious hazard here is the powerlines. There is a high-tension powerline running across the base of the hill to a power pole near the shed, and then up the face to the house. The powerline to the house lies directly across the normal ridge soaring flight path and is very hard to see. Don't fly to the right of the gully unless you can see the powerlines. The powerlines also cuts across the landing area at the bottom of the hill. Be sure you know where they are and plan a landing area before taking off. The landing area also has a downhill slope. Do not fly this site unless you know you can land exactly where you want to. If you have enough height it is possible to fly over the powerlines and land near the dam. The landing areas are not suitable for hanggliders due to limited space and slope.