Whether you glide over farmland in Narrogin or paraglide above the epic national parks near Albany, soaring is a great way to see the landscape – there are even tandem flights on offer for those who are just starting out.
WHERE TO GO
NorthWest | If you’re travelling through the top of the country and would like to get some time in the air, your best bet would be to contact the Hang Gliding Association of WA. While there are no official clubs in the northwest, there are hang gliders in the region who can help you get in contact with location owners in regards to use of their land.
Coral Coast | If you’re around Geraldton, hill launch sites in the Chapman Valley are popular, but it’s important to contact the HGAWA for site requirements. Exmouth’s great for hang gliding, and if you want to enjoy a view of Ningaloo Reef from a microlight, you’re in luck, with tandem flights available courtesy of Birds Eye View Ningaloo.
Perth Surrounds | In the metro area, clubs like the Western Soarers and Cloudbase Paragliding Club can help you with details on primary locations for hang gliding and paragliding. Many of the beaches and coastal sites offer great opportunities, but regulations apply, so it’s best to check first.
Golden Outback | This is peak gliding area that includes the Beverley Soaring Society, Gliding Club of Western Australian in Cunderdin, Narrogin Gliding Club, and Morawa Gliding Club spread throughout the general region. Mt Bakewell, overlooking York, is a premier hang gliding and paragliding site, but contact the HGAWA to ensure you use an appropriate linking road. Try the Hill Flyers Club WA and Goldfields Dust Devils for more information on popular Goldfields sites.
SouthWest | Down south is a prime hang gliding and paragliding region. Albany is a Mecca, with its high coastal sites, and the Albany Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club is a great source for up-to-date location details. The WA Paragliding Academy in Albany offers both lessons and tandem flights.
TYPES OF GLIDING
Paragliding | With easily portable equipment (a fabric wing that inflates, creating an aerodynamic shape), paragliding is a fantastic way to experience the rush of flying through the air. Tandem flights are also fun; children through to those in their nineties can enjoy paragliding with an experienced practitioner.
Hang gliding | A beautiful way to soar, the structure of a hang glider includes a rigid frame as well as a fabric wing and harness. Movement through the air is controlled by weight-shifting. For the inexperienced wanting to see WA from a bird’s eye view, tandem flights are a great idea.
Gliding | Imagine yourself in an unpowered ultralight aircraft, one that flies noiselessly (keeping in mind gliders require assistance to launch). Gliding in WA is generally focused around the Wheatfield region, offering beautiful expansive views of the open landscape. The curious might consider booking a flight with an experienced pilot.
NEED TO KNOW
Please keep in mind you need a licence to take to the air solo in Western Australia. International travelling pilots need a local licence as well. If you do plan on hitting the air in WA, make sure you initiate contact with an organised body first, like the Hang Gliding Association of WA or one of the gliding clubs in Western Australia. This way you can find out if there are specific requirements, regulations and site inductions associated with each location. The HGAWA can also put you in contact with clubs in your area.
TOP PLACES TO LEARN
Leading Edge Hang Gliding Centre 0402 020 098, [email protected]
West Australian Paragliding Academy 0417 776 550, waparagliding.com
Beverley Soaring Society 0407 385 361, beverley-soaring.org.au
The Gliding Club of Western Australia 0409 683 159, glidingwa.com.au
Narrogin Gliding Club 0407 088 314, narroginglidingclub.org.au
Morawa Gliding Club (08) 9971 1775, sites.google.com/site/glidingwesternaustralia/