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Top Places to go Planespotting Around Adelaide Airport

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by Michael Genrich (subscribe)
Freelance writer living in Adelaide. Visit me at www.outdoorstype.com.au
Published November 25th 2018
There's not much that's free at Adelaide Airport anymore
Adelaide Airport, planespotting, adelaide, weekend, photgraphy
Adelaide Airport terminal from Britton Street

You might need to kill some time waiting for someone's flight to arrive or may want to stick around to watch their plane leave after you've waved them goodbye. You might be a tragic planespotter that just loves watching planes and taking photos of them. Either way, here are the best spots to get up close to runway 23 as the planes come and go from Adelaide Airport.

Airport, planespotting, Adelaide
Three locations to spot planes - Courtesy Google Maps

The most popular spot to watch planes take-off and land is along Tapleys Hill Road. It's between Africaine Road and Harbortown on the 80km/h stretch of road. You must be heading south to access the carpark. Veer off the road and find a park (there are plenty). It's an excellent, safe, and easy vantage point that's good for kids too.

Adelaide Airport, planespotting, adelaide, weekend, photgraphy
Viewing area carpark on Tapleys Hill Road

Adelaide Airport, planespotting, adelaide, weekend, photgraphy
View from Tapleys Hill Road to runway 23

Adelaide Airport, planespotting, adelaide, weekend, photgraphy, antonov
Antonov Cargo plane taking off in front of a crowd at Tapleys Hill Road - Courtesy Adelaide Airport Facebook


The second spot is just down the road at the Adelaide Shores Skate and BMX Park. Fond a carpark nearby and climb to the top of the massive half pipe for a breathtaking view along the length of runway 23. It's an excellent spot to see the underside of the planes as they literally thunder overhead at low altitude on both take-off and landing.

Adelaide Airport, planespotting, adelaide, weekend, photgraphy
Runway 23 at Adelaide Airport from West Beach Skate and BMX Park

One of the spots is nestled in amongst a residential and semi-industrial area. It's not pretty, but it offers close up views of the terminal and the end of runway 23 where most flights begin their take-off roll. You can almost feel the wind as the pilots go full throttle to begin their run down the runway. There is a small park nearby for kids with some play equipment if you need to keep them out of your hair while you take photos.

Adelaide Airport, planespotting, adelaide, weekend, photgraphy
A Virgin flight rolls onto runway 23 for take-off


Last but not least is the most obvious spot. The terminal itself! Adelaide Airport is well known for having one of the most amenable arrivals and departure areas in the country with massive windows offering uninterrupted views of the apron and the gates. Not so great for professional photography as you need to pass security, but excellent for the closest views of the planes as they stand at the air-bridges.

Adelaide Airport, planespotting, adelaide, weekend, photgraphy
Courtesy Adelaide Airport Facebook


To augment the planespotting experience I recommend you use Flight Radar 24 (on the web or as an app) to track flights in the air in real time, and LiveATC.Net to listen into the radio chatter between pilots and air traffic control. Using them adds another dimension to the experience and puts you right in the heart of the action.

Planespotting is easy, free, and interesting. Why not stop by one of the places in this article next time you're down near the airport?
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Why? Something that's still free at the airport!
When: Anytime between 6am and 11pm
Where: Around Adelaide Airport
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Very innovative idea for an article, Michael. Well done with the Silver Award!
by Elaine (score: 3|5712) 17 days ago
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