Perth Airport Viewing Area – Dunreath Road (west of Runway 03)

Copyright © 2016 David Eyre


ABOVE: Perth Airport Viewing Area, located near the threshold of Runway 03 at Perth Airport. The city of Perth can be seen in the distance.
Photographed during take-off from runway 21 on 5 October 2012.
Photo © Ian Moy

Airport Chart – PERTH (YPPH)

Opening Times:

April – September: 7.30am – 5.30pm
October – March: 6.30am – 7.00pm

Location:

The Airport Viewing Area is on Dunreath Road, to the west of Runway 03, near some mobile phone towers.

Dunreath Road can only be reached by car or taxi, from Tonkin Highway or from the west side of the airport (Domestic Terminals 3 and 4). To access the Airport Viewing Area from the east side of the airport (Terminals 1 and 2), use Airport Drive to get to Tonkin Highway, then drive north on Tonkin Highway and take the next exit and then turn right.

View Larger Map

Advantages:

  • Only 320 metres from centreline of runway 03/21. Excellent views of traffic landing on runway 03 and taking off runway 21. Recommend a zoom lens of 300mm or above to photograph smaller aircraft taking off or landing.
  • Only 100 metres from centreline of taxiway A3 which runs parallel to runway 03 on the west side (aircraft from T3 & T4 & GA/Regional areas). Only 200 metres from taxiway A11, where these aircraft turn east from taxiway A3 to line up on runway 03.
  • 600 metres from taxiway C1, which runs parallel to runway 03 on the east side (aircraft from T1 and T2). Only 400 metres from taxiway C11, where these aircraft turn west (nose-on) to line up on runway 03.
  • Great for afternoon or late morning photography.
  • Elevated position
  • Plenty of free car parking bays, and a bus parking bay
  • Disabled parking and wheelchair ramp access available
  • Shelters provide some protection from sun and rain
  • Seating available
  • Rubbish bins available

Disadvantages:

  • Wind sock and transmissometers sometimes get in the way of touchdown photos.
  • Most aircraft landing on runway 21 turn off before reaching the viewing area – aircraft for Terminals 1 and 2 often turn off at taxiway C9, over 840 metres away.
  • Some aircraft taking off from runway 03 turn onto runway before reaching the viewing area (using taxiways A9 or C9).
  • Early morning photography will be facing the sun.
  • Photographing smaller aircraft on runway requires a telephoto lens of at least 300mm-400mm.
  • Cannot photograph aircraft using Runway 06/24.
  • No toilets
  • No food/drink vending machines
  • Shelter is limited and as the afternoon progresses, seating is exposed to sun

Photographic Equipment: Canon EOS 550D digital SLR with a Canon EF 70-300 mm 1:4.5-5.6 IS USM (telephoto zoom lens) and Canon EF-S 17-55 mm 1:2.8 IS USM (wide-angle zoom lens), both fitted with Circular Polariser filters.

LEFT: The Airport Viewing Area is signposted from Dunreath Road.Photo © David Eyre
LEFT: To help protect the Airport Viewing Area from vandalism and other criminal activities, the area is closed at night. Photo © David Eyre
LEFT: Morning view of the Airport Viewing Area. It has plenty of parking, including a bus parking bay, and it is all FREE.

Photo © David Eyre

LEFT: Another view of car park, taken from the Airport Viewing Area. Dunreath Road is visible centre left, on the other side of the mobile phone towers.

Photo © David Eyre

LEFT: Afternoon view of the Airport Viewing Area, taken from the car park, showing the walkway which is also designed for wheelchair access.A Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 is visible, having just taken off from runway 21.

Photo © David Eyre

LEFT: Sign near the walkway, advising of the opening times and with warnings about not smoking.Please be careful with rubbish, which presents a hazard to aircraft.

Photo © David Eyre

LEFT: Sign near one of the disabled parking bays, and one of the rubbish bins.Please be careful with your rubbish, as it presents a hazard to aircraft.

Photo © David Eyre

LEFT: View from the Airport Viewing Area of the walkway, which is also designed for wheelchair accessPhoto © David Eyre
LEFT: Welcome sign at Airport Viewing Area. Photo © David Eyre
LEFT: This straight pathway at the Airport Viewing Area is 120 feet long – the same distance as that flown by the Wright Brothers on their first flight. Photo © David Eyre
LEFT:
Perth Airport Viewing Area, facing towards the International Terminal.
The shelter design is based upon the upper deck structure of a Boeing 747.Photo © David Eyre
LEFT:
Perth Airport Viewing Area, facing towards the threshold of runway 03.
Photo © David Eyre
LEFT:
Perth Airport Viewing Area, facing towards Dunreath Road and the carpark.
Photo © David Eyre
LEFT:
Perth Airport Viewing Area, facing towards the International Terminal.
The signs on the handrailing overlooking the runway and taxiway are designed to loosely resemble aircraft passenger windows.Photo © David Eyre
LEFT:
These were the first children to visit the Airport Viewing Area, watching as a Boeing 717 of QantasLink lands on runway 03 at 10:42am as flight QF1903 from Karratha, on the official opening day – 16 December 2011.
Photo © David Eyre
LEFT:
Spectators watching a Boeing 747-438 of Qantas (VH-OJE) approaching runway 03 for landing, as flight QF581 from Sydney.
Photo © David Eyre
LEFT:
Unfortunately, three trees at the left partially obscure the view of aircraft rotating for take-off, as this photo of a Qantas A330 shows.
Photo © David Eyre
LEFT:
The trees also partially obscure the view of aircraft taxying along taxiway A3, as this photo of a Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 shows. There is a taller tree to the left of this which blocks the view entirely.
Photo © David Eyre
LEFT:
The wind sock is positioned near the touch down position on runway 03, so care needs to be taken to avoid photos like this.
VH-OJE Boeing 747-438 of Qantas landing on runway 03 as flight QF581 from Sydney.

** The centreline of the runway is only 320 metres from the Airport Viewing Area. **


Photo © David Eyre

LEFT:
B-6502 Airbus A330-343X of China Southern Airlines, operating flight CZ320 from Perth to Guangzhou and Beijing, taxying along taxiway A3, on its way to runway 03, at 10:31am.
Photo © David Eyre
LEFT:
B-6502 Airbus A330-343X of China Southern Airlines, operating flight CZ320 from Perth to Guangzhou and Beijing, taxying along taxiway A3, towards taxiway M at 10:31am, before lining up for take-off from runway 03.

** The centreline of taxiway A3 is only 100 metres from the viewing area, meaning the wing tip of this A330 passed only 70 metres away. **

Photo © David Eyre

LEFT:
VH-VUR Boeing 737-8FE of Virgin Australia, named “Star City”, taxying past at 10:33am as flight DJ1437 to Darwin.
Note the First Officer in the cockpit looking at the guests assembled for the opening ceremony.Photo © David Eyre
LEFT:
VH-VUR Boeing 737-8FE of Virgin Australia, named “Star City”, holding on taxiway M whilst VH-NXK Boeing 717-231 of QantasLink lands on runway 03 as flight QF1803 from Paraburdoo at 10:34am.

Taxiway M is only 200 metres from the viewing area.

Photo © David Eyre

LEFT:
VH-OJE Boeing 747-438 of Qantas, named “City of Adelaide”. Operating flight QF582 to Sydney, climbing after takeoff from runway 21 at 1:53pm.

This shows some of the close-up views you can obtain with a telephoto lens.

Photo © David Eyre

LEFT:
VH-VZD Boeing 737-838 of Qantas, named “Port Geelong” and wearing a special colourscheme for the Optus / Qantas Frequent Flyer promotion.
Operating flight QF1114 to Port Hedland, climbing after takeoff from runway 21 at 2:16pm.Photo © David Eyre
LEFT:
VH-NHP Fokker 100 of Network Aviation.
Operating a flight to Camp Nifty Airport (YCNF), climbing after takeoff from runway 21 at 1:29pm.Photo © David Eyre
LEFT:
PK-GMO Boeing 737-8U3 of Garuda Indonesia.
Operating flight GA725 to Denpasar (Bali), climbing after takeoff from runway 21 at 3:16pm.Photo © David Eyre
LEFT:
9V-SRQ Boeing 777-212ER of Singapore Airlines.
Operating flight SQ226 to Singapore, climbing after takeoff from runway 21 at 4:10pm.Photo © David Eyre

7 thoughts on “Perth Airport Viewing Area – Dunreath Road (west of Runway 03)

  • October 16, 2013 at 3:55 pm
    Permalink

    When is Runway 03/21 open..I’ve been down three times and the planes have been taking off and landing from the other end

    Reply
    • October 16, 2013 at 7:11 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Chisomo,
      Aircraft usually land and take-off into the wind. Therefore, if there is a southerly or south-westerly or south-easterly wind, aircraft will land or take off from north to south – i.e. on Runway 21 (or 24 when it is in use).
      When the wind is northerly, north-westerly, easterly or north-easterly, aircraft will land or take-off from south to north – i.e. on Runway 03 – near the viewing area.
      If there is little or no wind, then runway 21 is the preferred runway.
      You just need to check the wind on the day you are going to the airport, in order to know which end they will be using. Another way to check is using FlightRadar24.com or Planefinder.net, as you can view the aircraft and see which way they are going.
      Regards,
      David Eyre

      Reply
  • March 14, 2016 at 10:44 am
    Permalink

    THANK YOU FOR SUCH A GREAT COVERAGE OF PERTH AIRPORT. I WAS THERE ON OPENING DAY CANT REMEMBER THE EXACT DAY HOWEVER THERE WAS A BOEING 747 QANTAS. SOME WHERE IN MY COLLECTION I HAVE A PHOTO WILL TRY AND FIND AND SEND IT OVER.
    TO ME THE MEMORIES ARE GREAT.
    REGARDS TERRY BOURKE

    Reply
  • August 14, 2016 at 5:29 am
    Permalink

    Dear all,
    I am a plane spotter from CGN/Germany.
    i will arrivve in Perth on the 21.08.
    Photos can be only from the Viewing areas or there are another positions to take pictures.
    Kind regards
    Bernhard

    Reply
    • August 14, 2016 at 1:23 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Bernhard,
      Have sent you an email.
      Kind Regards,
      David Eyre

      Reply
  • February 15, 2017 at 7:39 pm
    Permalink

    I want to video the A 380 landing but can only do this when its landing from south to north. Problem is I Live aprox 20 k,m away so 3 times now i,ve watched and seen planes landing Sth to Nth but 3 times I arrive at viewing area 20 minutes before due time of the big beast landing and they switch the landing direction. Wind direction change 3 times 20 minutes prior, coincidece? Or more convienient for such a big airplane arriving from the north???

    Reply
    • February 17, 2017 at 5:09 pm
      Permalink

      Runway selection is influenced by noise abatement procedures, wind direction and operational requirements.
      Generally, runways 21 and 24 (landings at north end) are preferred, as it has better access from terminals to the runway threshold, and provides Air Traffic Controllers with more airspace to manage the mixture of slow and fast aircraft. It is also preferred from a noise abatement perspective, as less homes will be overflown on landing. Perth often has southerly or southwesterly winds in the afternoon, which is another reason to use that runway.
      From 6 February to 25 March 2017, the main runway 03/21 is closed Monday to Saturday between 8AM to 5PM, as they are installing new Category III higher intensity runway lights. During those times, the shorter runway (06/24) is the sole runway used and nothing can be seen from the Public Viewing Area on Dunreath Drive, as aircraft cannot use the main runway 03/21.
      If you check smartphone apps like FlightRadar24 or Planefinder, you can see which runway is being used.

      Reply

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