Tamborine Mountain Launch overlooks the beautiful Canungra Valley and is approximately 30km from the Gold Coast and 70km from Brisbane. With it's breath-taking views and scenery, it's clean mountain air and local art shops, quaint coffee shops and restaurants, and with it's country markets and friendly atmosphere, it is a popular site any weekend for pilots and spectators.
Mount Tamborine takes a general Westerly wind direction, and as such it is "on" quite often in the Winter. It is popular for high glide top to bottom sled runs early in the morning, it is good for boating around mid-day on buoyant days or for going on local cross country flights. Winter day thermals can be smooth and enjoyable and on electric blue-sky blue-thermal days, the view of the Gold Coast is simply breath-taking.
As the coast is to the East (with Airspace ceiling that steps down rapidly in altitude), you have to punch headwind towards the West to do any distance. As such, the XC club record for Tamborine is relatively short compared to the Easterly sites.
Mount Tamborine Launch is open to club members and visiting pilots. It is a prime spectator spot on a main road, and is common for the Launch area to be full of tourists taking photos of the many colourful gliders.
Rating: Paragliding - PG4 (PG2 or PG3, if under supervision of Instructor or Club Safety Officer.) Hang Gliding - Restricted
Required Wind Direction: NW through to SW
Altitude: 1798ft/548m ASL
CTA: Above 7500ft (CTAF behind launch)
Weather Station: Tamborine has it's own dedicated windstation. It can be accessed on the windstation page of this site.
Waypoints: Launch: [ to do ]
Facilities: Toilets at launch site. Shops within 5 mins drive north
The first thing you'll notice when standing on Tamborine Launch is the amount of trees between you and the landing area.
The thing with Tamborine is there is little room for error, and it catches new pilots out EVERYTIME. No matter how much the Safety Officer emphasises on the following points, there is always one person that doesn't take it in. Don't be one of those pilots. Please read the following carefully, so that you don't end up in the trees and risk injuring yourself.
There can be very strong thermic cycles at Mt. Tamborine. Essentially what that means is that when air is going up very fast at Tambo, air very close to it is going down very quickly. A pilot will see another pilot going up in the near distance and head out, only to suddenly find themselves in extreme sink with little hope of making either the distant pilot or the landing area! Combine an unpredictable strong sink cycle with strong head wind and it will almost guarantee you end up in the trees, so the number one rule with Mount Tamborine is:
If you are not going up, head out to the landing field.
Now in case you're one of those people that skip over red bold writing, here it is again:
There are two official bombouts. Our property on Wagon Wheel Road and the adjacent public land, and the Hugh Mahoney Reserve on the Mundoolin Connection Road. There is also land which can be utilised in an “emergency”. It is the first open paddock at the edge of the trees along Wagon Wheel Road on the north side of the road (or the paddock adjacent to the second house on the right as you fly out from launch). Please see the Online Maps page for more detail. Landing outside these 3 areas is against CHGC policy.
When pre- or post- thermic, our main landing area is easily makeable by all paragliders and hang gliders. However this changes dramatically when thermals are present. Landing short at Tambo is a safety issue. Landing on the road is illegal and extremely risky and leaves ourselves open for litigation. Landing short at Tamborine is the result of not assessing the conditions correctly and it is considered extremely poor judgement to land short of the bombout after scratching low in front of launch or out on the left hand spur.
The CHGC enforces a Standard Operating Procedure for Safety Incidents. Also known as a Three Strike Rule that applies if landing in a No-Landing area. There may be increase risk of short landing at Tamborine by paraglider or hang glider pilots of modest experience on less glide performance wings in lighter conditions in winter, glide reduced by stronger headwind, or caught out of position in changing weather such as katabatic winds late in the day before sunset.
It is in your best interest to Reference CHGC / Safety paragraph title "Standard Operating Procedure for Safety Incidents". And you and your flying buddies can Read CHGC / Safety/General-Site-Rules Note paragraph "Fly Safe Advice".
The top landing area is the TMSA sports complex on Long Rd, Tamborine Mountain. If at all possible we are to land on the undeveloped portion of the land up near the road. If you have to land in a playing field, use the square one. Stay away from the oval one. Especially the cricket pitch in the centre.
Aerial view of Bombout
Dave Seib lands high performance topless Hang Glider at Moriarty Park within Football field
The Aussie Lawn Concepts Turf Farm in Boyland is kindly available as a last resort landing option .
Other landing options nearby are strongly encouraged. Primary goal is the Tamborine bombout / Club house approved landing area. A good choice for most conditions including strong West or East winds. Be aware of possible light katabatic east near sunset. XC pilot returning may consider Model Field North South grass runway & approved landing zone. Which is ideal for northerly wind. Before flying refer to CHGC maps. And consult your instructor / Senior Safety Officers for the safety brief on the allowed and safe landing fields in Canungra suitable for your aircraft type, performance and your skill level with respect to the weather. If you have exhausted all other options, then the turf farm is a safe landing option.
Landing at the turf farm is conditional; subject to respecting farming biological issues and the property owners rules.
At all times, position your flight path according to the weather conditions and according to the performance of your flying equipment and your experience so you always have glide to a safe landing option.
Darren flying Tamborine to Casino Aero Club