Day Trip From Perth - Gliding

By Marla D · Dec 11, 2015


The Trip — Gliding in Cunderdin, WA

Duration — Day Trip from Perth

Type of Trip— Day Trip, $$$

Mode of Transportation — Car

Cost — $150 per person for a 30 minute flight

Accommodation — None required

Food and drink — just a late lunch of meat pies at the Cunderdin bakery. Lyndon, who is our resident pie expert, rated them a 7.

Our Experience

2 hour drive through scenic Avon Valley to arrive at the Gliding Club of WA in Cunderdin. It was 35 degrees in Perth and a balmy 42 degrees on the air strip. It certainly felt like it. It’s a cool setting for flying because the club resides at a former Austrlian airbase that was set up to defend against the Japanese during WWII. The orginal air base buildings still stand, unused and make for a dramatic and slightly eerie start to what is already a heart pumping activity.

12:30 pm and I’m getting buckled into my 1980, Romanian built glider. I’m reassured by the fact that my pilot has flown the same glider hundreds of times. It’s a pretty small feeling to take off in a glider. Ground crew hold it stable so the wings don’t scrape the ground while the tugger plane tightens the slack. I felt like I was in a paper airplane because I could feel every wind current and bump. Strangely, it wasn’t frightening! The tugger pulled us up to about 2000 feet at which point my pilot set us free, off to search for thermal vortexes that would push us up naturally to around 10,000 feet. In the 30 minutes of flight time, we didn’t get lucky with thermal vortexes and only got up to 4000 feet. Still, the idea that you are flying with no motor and still gaining altitude is incredible if not physically dizzying because of the tight circles you have to do to try and go up. As one last hurrah, I asked for a trick and my pilot was all too happy to oblige with a jackknife spin.

Lyndon was up next, and his pilot was absoultely mad about gliding. He apparently loses track of time searching for thermal vortexes and goes well over the 30 minute point. The club members told me this to reassure me that Lyndon was fine, when at the 1 hour mark he still wasn’t back! He was up in a beautiful German-made glider from 2010 and they got up to more than 7000 feet!

Marla getting ready

Why We Loved It

Even though gliding isn’t unique to Australia, it felt like an iconic thing to do here. The passion that the pilots had for gliding was contagious and made it even more enjoyable. Above all, the sensation of being 4000 feet in the air without a motor and trying to use the wind like a bird was absolutely thrilling.

Up there somewhere at 4000 feet!


Next time must bring (my own) hat, wear pants (dress was a dumb idea) and bring more water. A book would be a good idea too if you’re with others who are gliding. It’s super hot out there, there are heaps of flies and there is a fair bit of down time when you’re waiting for your turn or waiting for a friend to return. The scenery from the air isn’t breathtaking, as I expected it to be. The land was really dry and very flat, making the landscape look the same from 4000 feet. It’s not necessarily about the views though, it’s about the sensation of flying.

Lyndon getting ready


Rate the overall trip — 7/10

Rate the activity on your trip — 10/10

Rate the ease of logistics — 10/10

Luxury factor — 0/10

About The Traveller



My favourite trip as of late
Beach, culture and food in Sri Lanka

I often travel…
For work, and then extend my trip to explore

I would class myself as
an experienced traveller

I regularly go on the following types of trips
Culture, sporty, beach, gourmet, relax

Continent I know the best

First Last Name

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

I’m from Perth, Western Australia

My favourite trip as of late is New Zealand, solo travel in lots of nature for a soul-refresher.

My travelling style is to Book the first night, then wing it from there!

It’s a dealbreaker when I’m stuck around large groups of package tourists.

Continent I know best is Asia.

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