Early Morning Hang Gliding Flight at Apollo Bay

Hang gliding is the simplest form of flying for humans, and for me it is the most beautiful. When hang gliding in a place as beautiful as Apollo Bay, the enjoyment starts well before becoming airborne and endures for quite some time after landing.

This flight was my first for the summer season. Bruce, a very experienced local pilot, flew with me.

Many Apollo Bay residents have uninterrupted views of the launch sites

The arrow points to a takeoff site.

Views during an early morning drive up the hill for a flight

The hang gliders being loaded on to a tractor for the final part of the drive to launch

The track to the takeoff site is worth seeing purely for the scenery. It includes a section through pristine cool temperate rainforest.

Hang gliders on tractor driving down narrow bushy lane
Hang gliders on tractor driving through cool temperate rainforest in the Otway Ranges

Towering eucalypt forest surrounds the track as it nears the takeoff site

Eucalypt forest in the Otway Ranges near Apollo Bay

The recently mown hang glider set-up area, out of the breeze but with a view of the coast and Bass Strait below

Hang glider launch site at Apollo Bay
Hang glider launch site at Apollo Bay

The hang gliders completely assembled, inspected and ready for flight

Bruce’s high performance Aeros Combat 13.5. The sky starting to come alive as the day warmed up. We had the entire local coast to ourselves for a very enjoyable flight during what turned out to be the most suitable flying-weather window for the day.

Assessing the wind strength and direction

Taxiway Alpha

Hang glider launch site at Apollo Bay

Runway 13. Elevation 800 feet above sea level.

Hang glider launch site at Apollo Bay

I took less than one third of this distance to become airborne on the day these photos were taken. The wind was about 10 knots from the SSE for my takeoff.

The view looking straight down immediately after liftoffdense temperate rainforest

View of temperate rainforest from hang glider just after takeoff

The silver tube is the base bar of the hang glider. The black object on the left is one of two neoprene mitts fixed to the basebar to keep my hands warm in cold air.

Climbing away from the launch site in good lift, with great views of the town and most of my favourite ocean swimming locations.

Apollo Bay photographed from hang glider banking in flight

During the flight the wind backed around from SSE to SE, and eventually to the ESE which was when it also began to drop. When the lift started to fade I left the ridge while I still had good height and glided out to the beach for a landing into a light headwind. I was soaring for just over an hour. For most of the flight I was around 1000-1200 feet above sea level, in ridge lift. But there was the occasional thermal, in which I circled and gained some extra height. My maximum altitude, thermal assisted, was 1500 feet. Bruce landed on the beach at Wild Dog Creek.

The hang glider parked out of the wind after the flight and beach landing

Hang glider ready to be packed up near service station in Apollo Bay

The takeoff location is visible on the ridge exactly above the nose of the hang glider

Hang glider ready to be packed up near service station in Apollo Bay

The pleasure of a hang gliding flight does not end upon landing. Packing up a hang glider after a flight is a pleasure that I never feel like rushing.

Done and dusted

Hang glider and harness packed up near beach

6 thoughts on “Early Morning Hang Gliding Flight at Apollo Bay

    1. Thanks Dan. The two who flew did the hike back to the tractor. But we got a lift from the beach back up the hill to where the gliders were loaded on to the tractor. Walking that track is no hardship.

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  1. Great Blogg as per usual John,
    I was not even aware of you taking pics on the way and set up gliders.
    Some day Ill look back upon your fabulous records of our amazing adventures of making out like birds.
    From one old sea eagle
    Bruce

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Bruce. It was a great morning. Thanks for your many contributions to this enjoyable flight. Always good to fly with one of you young blokes. That ‘new’ glider of yours performs well. You’ve more than earned your sea eagle status. My guess is you will always be too busy having adventures to ever have time to look back over photos of them.
      Cheers, John.

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