Spotting Locations at Wellington airport

This page is intended to provide the locations of some reasonably accessible spotting and photography locations at Wellington International Airport.

While this page may provide a reasonable guide, there is no intention to provide a comprehensive list of all possible locations, nor is there any assurance that every location will be accessible or safe at every time or in every situation. Some sites may be come unavailable without notice. Please advise of any changes that you note.

You are responsible for ensuring that you comply with all applicable laws, and no responsibility will be accepted should you choose to use information on this page.

Locations are clockwise, from top right.

A. Calabar Rd/ Wexford Rd. This location is elevated and right across the road from the threshold of runway 16. It is perfect for arrivals and departures off runway 16, particularly in the morning when the sun will be behind you. Obviously, use the small parking area nearest the runway, not the main parks for the nearby buildings.

Click for Google map

B. Wellington Airport terminal. There are reasonable views from various places inside the terminal. In the morning light, reasonable snaps can be had through the glass. There is also the recently opened parking building. There are reasonable views fromt he top of that. Being an airport, the parking charges are outrageous! It's recommended that you park on a local street off the airport and walk 5 minutes to the terminal.

C. Old gun emplacement up on hills in Strathmore. It's a 5 minute walk from Ahuriri St or Kekerenga St past a gated entrance [foot access is fine] to the old gun emplacement. This location is well elevated and perfect for morning shots of aircraft on approach to runway 34 or departure from runway 16! You will usually be close to level with aircraft on approach. On a nice day, you may even capture part of the South Island in your photos. Magic!

Click for Google map

D. Spruce Goose cafe. The Spruce Goose is a cafe on Lyall Bay, right next to the RNZAF Air Movements Base. It's a great place for a bite and drink, and just perfect to capture aircraft approaching on runway 34 with unobstructed views to the south! Best times for photography are in the afternoon/ evening.

Click for Google map [ignore the rubble, imagery not updated as of Mar 2015!]

E.Official viewing area near Lyall Bay shopping centre. Go to the shopping centre, past the Warehouse and the Dick Smith to the right-hand footpath. There's a small sign there. The viewing area is small and exposed, but is close ot the midpoint of both runways which is very helpful! There's a fence to shoot pictures through or over. It's also near the Aero Club if you're interested in learning to fly!

Click for Google map [again, surface looks a bit rough, it's just the imagery hasn't been updated recently]

F. Official viewing area about 250 Coutts St. This is where the Wellington Aero Club used to be located a few years ago. There's an open grassy viewing area which gives good views of much of the runway, as well as a view of the Execujet hanger and down the length of the Western Apron.

Click for Google Map


anne said...

im plane spot in christchurch with some of my friends and im going to do a day spotting at welington and we didn't now where to spot and this helped alot thanks

Bill F. said...

Spotting used to be good from area F-the former site of the aero club.You used to be able to drive right up to the perimeter fence and spot from your car but alas this area is now constantly filled with parked cars....very annoying!