Fly By Down Under: A Successful Round Country Plane Trip


Australia. She’s a beauty, isn’t she? Almost 7.7 million kilometres of pure untamed splendour on this side of down under. With all that area, it’s tough for any person to witness all this continent has to give and it will take a whole item for any one man to visit every nook and cranny of this ancient continent. It’s pretty from the coasts and the ground, but Australia’s true allure can only be witnessed from the skies. Anyone who’s been lucky to fly over the country from coast to coast knows what I’m talking about.

In the spirit of explorations, for those who have the means to rent or own a personal small plane, this text is for you. We want to give you an idea for a cross country plane trip, what you should pack and places you should check out during your round trip.

Fuel Up Your Plane

First thing you need is of course a plane. We know that not everyone has the means for such an extravagant luxury, but technology being what it is, more and more people own or rent planes on a regular basis. Now that you’ve settled, it’s time to fuel up your plane and get ready to go on your way. “But where do I go?” you may ask, to which I say – pack a map and rudimentary navigation equipment.

Pack a Map

When it comes to a map, especially a navigational Australian airspace map, you need to know what you’re looking for. Being mentioned that Australia is a big place, different sectors have different flight routes and paths with varying control towers and protocols. So, if you are intending to go on this avionic adventure, you will need an Australian airspace map. These are the basics on air services Australia charts/maps and what they do. How can one read these is a whole other topic entirely that takes training and practice.

wac charts australia

Visual Terminal Charts (VTC)

VFCs provide aeronautical and topographical information at a scale of 1:250,000 for Visual Flight Rule (VFR) operations in the vicinity of the major airports. Some of these charts show the details of flight tracks and significant landmarks which are used by pilots of VFR aircraft to avoid the inadvertent invasion of controlled airspaces.

Visual Navigation Charts (VNC)

VNCs help your plan your flight in relation to controlled airspace. When operating around terminal areas, the charts will make the transition from the WAC to the VTC. In addition, VNCs will help you navigate when nearing Controlled Airspace or Restricted or Danger areas. It’s topographical information at a scale of 1:500,000

Terminal Area Charts (TAC)

TACs are used in terminal areas where these charts provide airspace, air-routes, prohibited, restricted and danger areas, navigation aids and radio frequencies. They are made to display aeronautical information on a larger scale for easier use in congested areas. Each chart varies in scale

En-Route Chart Low (ERC Low)

ERC L are drawn to various scales for easier accommodation of significant air traffic route areas and shows controlled airspace, prohibited, restricted and danger areas, air routes, ATS and radio-navigation services.

World Aeronautical Charts (WAC)

WACs are designed for pre-flight planning as well as pilotage. These charts at a 1:1,000,000 scale are constructed using Lambert’s conformal conic projections and conform to ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) specifications.

En-Route Chart High (ERC High)

ERC H are designed to provide selected information similar to the ERC (L) series info and are primarily for use by aircraft operating on transcontinental routes at FL200 and above.

Planning Chart

Planning Charts for Australia contains meteorological Area Forecast boundaries and locations, communication coverage outside the controlled airspace and WAC coverage.

Pick a Destination

Now with the basic navigational maps being settled, time to plan your route and decide what locations you are to visit. We have compiled a list of must-see gorgeous places along your flight path over Australia. How you go from one to the other and in what order is entirely up to you.

australia vfr charts

Uluru and Kata Tjuta (Ayer’s Rock and the Olgas)

Probably the most well-known Australian location to foreigners, Uluru rises from a flat and endless desert. It stands 348m tall and can be seen on the ground from over 65km away. It’s difficult to truly appreciate the scale of this icon without getting above it. The colour of Uluru changes dramatically as the sun sets which makes for a simply spectacular end to any day.

The Flinders Ranges

The Flinders is the largest mountain range in South Australia. It stretches for more than 400km from Port Pirie to Lake Callabonna. In the centre of the ranges sits the breathtaking Wilpena Pound. When heading further north, the Arkaroola Wilderness Resort is perched on the northern end of the ranges. Though set on the land which was originally determined unsuitable for grazing, the resort offers a stunning at over 40km of the most rugged tracks in the ranges.

Horizontal Water Falls

Located north of Derby, Western Australia, lay the Horizontal Water Falls. Massive tidal movements which combined with two small gaps in the McLarty Ranges in the Kimberley, give rise to this spectacular flow of water. Combined with the remote location, it provides a naturally scenic flight and a splendid view from above.

The Bungle Bungles

The Purnululu National Park is a World Heritage Site and home to the distinctive rock formations known as the Bungle Bungles. Over millions of years, the wind and weathering have formed domes of rock similar to beehives. Lake Argyle glimmers in the distance and right below it lie the network of canyons and valleys between the domes as you fly over the national park.

Lake Eyre

Officially known as Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre, Lake Eyre is the largest lake in Australia, covering over 9,500km2. Appreciating this national park is almost impossible from the ground and one must soar into the air for the best look.