West Coast

Landing areas, aerodromes and airports

The flight plan with Instructor Kayle had us tracking up the Derwent Valley to Derwent Bridge and then west to descend through the King River Valley landing in Strahan, then north to Wynyard, Devonport, Launceston and home to Cambridge. It can be a challenge to get good flying weather on all coasts of Tasmania on a single day, so that made the weather on this day very special. As a keen bushwalker, I like to fly away from National Parks as far as possible, so tracking to Derwent Bridge is a good option and also helps to keep the flight closer to the major west coast highway, the Lyell Highway. The views north to the Lake St Clair National Park were stunning with many of the mountains in the National Park on display. Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff are on the northern end of the National Park and Mt Ossa, Tasmania's highest mountain, further south. Tracking west to Strahan is Frenchmans Cap in the Franklin-Gordon Rivers National Park. Another highlight on this flightpath is the descent through the King River Valley into Strahan with views to Mt Lyell and Mt Owen.  The lower image shows the GPS log on descent to Strahan. We joined the circuit at Strahan mid-field crosswind for runway 36.

The track north had us flying over the wild and remote west coast landscape of lakes, mountains and isolated mining and hydro towns such as Tullah and Roseberry. There are few alternative landing options in this part of the State after Strahan and Queenstown. There is an old landing area at Waratah; however, its suitability as an emergency landing area is unknown (see YWRT).