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Plane Watching in Melbourne – A Free Event Every Few Minutes

Home > Melbourne > Free | Fun for Children | Lookouts | Quirky | Unusual Things to do
by Jeni Wilson (subscribe)
Teacher educator and author of many teacher reference books. Amused by random ideas and loves random acts of kindness. Enjoys writing humour...seriously!Please see my Instagram: wilsonjeni
Published September 23rd 2014
Cheap Thrills For Diehard Plane Fans
How many events can you just turn up to any time of the day or night, stay for as long as you like, leave when you wish and never pay cent for?

Planes, plane viewing area, planes watching, free event, 24/7 activity
…and there's another one!


It might sound like a cheap thrill, but the excitement of spotting the dots that turn out to be landing lights getting closer and closer is enough to have little kids jumping up and down and adults quickly emerging from their cars to look directly above their heads. I thought the electric sunroof would be sufficient for me, but I too felt the pull of the planes invisible magnets. We were imagining if we could throw a ball it would hit the planes overhead.

Planes, plane viewing area, planes watching, free event, 24/7 activity
It looks like you can nearly touch them


With each plane there was much chatter about its pending arrival. It sounded something like this: 'It look small, it's like a remote-control plane until it gets closer, look at the wings, the little wings. It's getting bigger, it's getting close, it's really big, it's massive!

Planes, plane viewing area, planes watching, free event, 24/7 activity
The cows don't seem to notice


There are many viewing spots but the one we like is on the corner of Sunbury Rd and Oaklands Rd on the way to Sunbury. Many cars parked along the side of the road and in the car parks that are set up for plane watching. You can tell that many people have done this before. Boots are open and set up with picnic baskets and thermoses. If you don't want to bring your own is a food there is a take away food van with hot food, coffee, cold drinks and ice cream. A rainbow ice-cream will set you back about $4. It's adrenalin food not the healthy variety.

Planes, plane viewing area, planes watching, free event, 24/7 activity
Food and planes … what more could you ask for?



There are many preschoolers but the audience is not limited to this age group. The women in the car next to us explained that sometimes, depending on the wind, the planes might be departing rather than arriving which according to her is much more exciting. She told us that one of her sons has a plane obsession and that plane watching was their favourite pastime. They lived in Kilmore and would come at least once a week. I suspect that the obsession was hereditary as she also mentioned that she had been visiting the same spot since she was five years old.

Planes, plane viewing area, planes watching, free event, 24/7 activity
Getting bigger and bigger


A grandmother was sitting on one of the chairs set up for plane watchers. She told me that she comes also comes regularly and sometimes she brings her granddaughter. At other times she might just buy an ice cream or a snack and sit for a while to watch the planes. She said she absolutely loved it.

The roar of the engine as the plane is taking off or landing is not deafening but enough to set your heart pounding and increasing anticipation for the next plane. Bets are on about the size and carrier.

Can good free entertainments get any better?
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Why? For a free adventure for plane lovers
When: Anytime
Where: Corner Sunbury and Oakover Rds Tullamarine
Cost: Free or cheap
Your Comment
Well done for coming 3rd.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12388) 1716 days ago
I cannot find oakover rds. is this correct ?
by ebida (score: 0|5) 1730 days ago
So much fun
by Jeni Wilson (score: 3|1849) 1735 days ago
The kids loved it
by Jeni Wilson (score: 3|1849) 1735 days ago
Oh that's the first I've heard of it!
by Jeni Wilson (score: 3|1849) 1716 days ago
What a wonderful idea. I'm going to mention this to friends of mine looking for entertainment for the kids on these school holidays. Perfect I reckon.
by eve.c (score: 2|302) 1735 days ago
i did not relise that you were into plane watching it is a big past time expecialy when the weather gets warmer and in day light savings
by Grant (score: 2|294) 1735 days ago
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