Spotting opportunities at Tasmania’s busiest GA airfield
Located just a few kilometers from Hobart Airport, Cambridge Aerodrome has been instrumental in the growth of aviation in Tasmania, and today remains a critical part of the state’s transport industry, with a variety of small charter, scheduled and seasonal firefighting operators based at the Aerodrome.
A brief history of Cambridge Aerodrome
First used as a landing strip some time in the 1920s, Cambridge Aerodrome was Hobart’s sole airport, until the vast majority of airline services moved to the newly constructed Hobart Airport a few kilometers south-east in 1956. Cambridge has remained the home of general aviation in Hobart, with limited intra-state services remaining.
The aerodrome is now owned and operated by Par Avion who, on top of their RPT and bushwalker services, operate a world-class flying school, Par Avion Flight Training, and a variety of charter services.
Airlines and Aircraft types
As Cambridge is a primarily general aviation aerodrome, most of the operations are not predictable, however I have included the below table just for completeness.
|Par Avion/Airlines of Tasmania||Britten Norman BN2 Islander, Cessna 206, Cessna 404 Titan, Piper PA-31 Navajo||Cape Barren Island, Launceston, Melaleuca, Melbourne1, Strahan|
|Above and Beyond Tasmania||De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver||Derwent River|
Due to the increase in development around Cambridge Aerodrome in recent years, the spotting locations are somewhat limited, but nonetheless provide some excellent views of the operations.
One of the best spotting locations at Cambridge is along the recently constructed road along the original length of runway 09. Though industrial units will progressively obscure some of the views, it should remain an excellent spot for the time being. Most GPS systems, and Google Maps are yet to map the road, but it’s fairly easy to find, the first left after Veolia when heading eastwards, and the first right after Par Avion when heading westwards along Kennedy Drive. While you’re there, don’t forget to have a peek at the stored Tasair Piper over near the end of the runways
Next up is the Par Avion terminal itself, with an excellent outdoors area with low fences, providing views of most of the aircraft parking, and limited views of all 3 runways. The area can be accessed when flying with Par Avion, though I imagine they’d be happy to allow a polite avgeek access if you ask.
What may surprise some, is that one Hobart Airport’s better spotting locations, Tower Hill, is also suitable for photographing some of Cambridge’s operations, with most Runway 30 arrivals approaching over HBA, allowing unique angles with a suitable lens.
I hope this has been a useful addition to my series of Tasmanian Airport Spotting guides, though, as I am Hobart based, it’ll probably be a while till I get around to the state’s other major airports up north.