Australia: The best places to fly… & add ons and updates for Australia

We are going to merge reality with simulation on this one people, I fly in the real world for a job and have only just come to simulated aviation, I want to mix the two together and see how the experiment goes.

This topic is about all the best places to fly within Australia. Australia is full of unusual runways and helipads which are only known by a few people in real life (in cities, rural and remote areas). Within this thread, we hope you can help us to list them for everyone to use. I’ll be talking with sim and real world pilots to get their ideas on what has amazed them. We are also happy to answer any questions you may have about local Australian conditions.

Topics: Islands, dirt strips, interesting regional airports, hospital helipads, major airports, ILS approaches, interesting RNAV approaches, remote areas, areas with bad weather, ww2 airfields, unlisted runways, helipads and runways used by a single commercial operator.

Tourism Australia:

The real life Electronic flight bag I use for for Australia, the one I use for maps: OzRunways Electronic Flight Bag | OzRunways

Australian You Tube Channels:


YBCG - Gold Coast Airport
What better way to start this topic off than with the Gold Coast Airport in Queensland. It’s the most iconically Australian airport and region to fly in. Fly a short distance to the south west and you will be in rainforest, south you’re in Byron Bay and north your among the sky scrapers and the beaches of Surfers Paradise. It has an ILS approach and is know for its business jet, helicopter and A320/737 holiday maker air traffic.

Rainbow Bay Surf Life Saving Club

Surrounding the Gold Coast Airport (north)

  1. YBBN Brisbane International Airport
    Brisbane Airport is a full on International Airport.

  2. YSPT Southport
    Southport is the heart of Surfers Paradise. It’s a good sightseeing destination from the Gold Coast Airport. It’s a great waypoint to ensure you see the main landmarks of the area.

    YSWD - Sea World Helicopters Southport’s new helibase.

Surrounding the Gold Coast Airport (south)

  1. Byron Bay
    Byron Bay does not have an airport, the nearest regional airport is YBNA - Ballina Byron Gateway airport to the south (helicopters, private jets, training aircraft and A320/B737 at the terminal). It’s become super famous as a destination for the super famous, as they can just blend in to the local environment.

  2. Lismore - YLIS
    Lismore airport, has recently been updated in real life. It has a modern departure area for commuter aircraft (REX Airlines SAAB 340) and the Westpac Life Saver Helicopter Base (AW139) to the south and a general aviation hangar area to the north which includes the northern rivers aero club.

The surrounding area is interesting as Lismore is the most southern area of the volcanic region. You will see that the landscape to the south of the airport is flat river country (some of the best beef cattle land in Australia) and sugar cane fields. To the north, are the old volcanos which are now covered in rain forest.
YLIS to YCAS is a short but good run across cattle country.
YLIS to YBNA is a good run across very high quality farmland to the coast.

  1. Nimbin (hippy capital of Australia)
    To the north west of Lismore airport, is the famous hippy town of Nimbin, follow the road out from the northern end of the airport in a north west direction.


YBHM - Hamilton Island
Hamilton Island is one of Australia’s most exclusive island resorts. It is located off the Queensland Coast in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. It is home to helicopters, sea planes, private jets and tourist air traffic (A320/B737). There is an RNAV approach to the airport, which often has low cloud on approach, so its a little challenging. Landing in Hamilton Island (Queensland) Australia - Global Express Cockpit - YouTube

Surrounding Hamilton Island are a number of interesting destinations.

  1. YWHN - Whitehaven Beach
    Whitehaven Beach is the beach you see in all of the tourist ads for Australia. It is accessible by sea plane and some helicopters (sand).*F

  1. YSHR - Shute Harbour
    Shute Harbour has a very narrow and short runway, its a challenge to get into and out of.

  2. YLIN - Lindeman Island
    An island to the south of Hamilton Island, it has a challenging runway.

  3. YBPN - Proserpine Airport
    Proserpine Airport is a regional airport which is suitable for larger aircraft A320/B737. It is a good short hop across the water in an A320 to or from Hamilton Island. It has an RNAV approach.


YBMK - Mackay Airport Queensland
Mackay Airport has been released by Orbx.

Mackay is at the base of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. It is a major regional centre for tourism, mining and agriculture.


This thread could be merged with:


Great information via links on Australian Airports.


Hi Frank, thanks for the post. I think that the Gold Coast airport would be a great area to enhance with the new world update. It is very scenic and is iconic within Australia. The airport itself has a good RNAV/ILS approach across the water and some mountains.

Helicopter use in this area is also very high in real life. There are some good heliports around the nearby area which will be very popular once helicopters are released. I have added a picture of one of Australias busiest heliports at Sea World Helicopters in my post above. Its located right at the entrance to Sea World.


Not my work

Airstrips near Fuel, Pub and Food - Google My Maps


Qantas is Australia’s largest airline.


Thanks for the link, we will use some of these destinations in upcoming posts.

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Hello everyone. I have a questions for you all, what areas within Australia would you like Microsoft to do well / focus on within the next world update? Can you list them here…….

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Is there a nice Bushtrip out there that covers these airports? If not, maybe an idea for one?

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I’ll start putting something together for a bush trip route. Does anyone have any good ideas for one. How about an Australian Island hop? We have some good groupings of islands in Tasmania and Queensland.

surprise me :wink:

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What are your favourite places to fly in Australia?

Where I seem to fly most:
YSSY - Sydney
Shellharbour / Wollongong
Gold Coast
Coffs Harbour
Prosperpine and Hamilton Island

Regular Routes
Sydney to Brisbane, Sydney to Gold Coast and Sydney to Tullamarine (Melbourne)

Being an Aussie expat in Canada, I’ll fly anywhere in Australia when I feel homesick, especially the region I’m from, but I think the most underrated place to fly is the filming location of the movie “Australia”. A bush trip from Wyndham through to Lake Argyle is a really nice way to experience this untouched part of the country, it was a real eye opener for me!


I was talking with my workmates about this new thread yesterday, who have flown all over the country. They also mentioned that some of their best flying experiences were in the northern remote parts of Australia. That’s what makes Australia unique is the sheer remoteness of some areas. I’ll collect some of the names of the locations they have mentioned and post them on here.

When you get on the sim over there in Canada, which parts of Australia do you fly in other than Wyndham and Lake Argyle?

The Kimberley Region Home of the Cessna Caravan

Photo taken on departure from YPKU

Real Life Flight Plans

Just for everyone’s information the airport code for Wyndham is YWYM

And Lake Argyle YARG

They are the towns for the area, but…. There are lots of cattle stations nearby each with runways.

Check the air strip out at El Questro Station YEQO it’s one of Australia’s most famous cattle stations.

Landing YWYM


I am looking to do some simming in Australia as I haven’t been there in RL so keep the recommendations coming guys. This thread is really helpful!

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