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Where to see the ADF’s flight displays this Australia Day

written by Staff reporter | January 25, 2022

An F-35A Joint Strike Fighter takes off at RAAF Base Richmond. (Defence)
An F-35A Joint Strike Fighter takes off at RAAF Base Richmond. (Defence)

The Australian Defence Force has planned a number of flight displays around the country to commemorate Australia Day 2022.

Here’s a round-up of where you can catch a glimpse:

New South Wales

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) will both be participating in flight displays over the iconic Sydney Harbour on 26 January.

A RAAF F-35A Lightning II will take to the skies to coincide with the last note of the Australian Anthem, during a Salute to Australia at 12:00pm, lasting around 15 minutes.

Plus, a RAN MH-60R Seahawk Romeo helicopter will perform additional air displays over the harbour between 11:30am and 1:30pm, with an Australian flag in tow.

Outside the city, a RAAF C-130J Hercules aircraft from Number 37 Squadron based at RAAF Richmond will conduct flypasts over Raymond Terrace at 10:30am, and Windsor at 7:30pm.



The RAAF aerobatic team, the Roulettes, will be performing an aerial display over Melbourne CBD with up to six Pilatus PC-21 aircraft at 12:30pm.

Departing from the Central Flying School at RAAF Base East Sale, the display will be performed above the Shrine of Remembrance on Birdwood Avenue.


Australian Capital Territory

In the nation’s capital, a RAAF C-17A III Globemaster will conduct a flypast off Canberra, above Commonwealth Park, at 10:13am.

The aircraft to be used is operated by Number 36 Squadron and based at RAAF Base Amberley.


As for the Sunshine State, a RAAF C-27J Spartan from Number 35 Squadron at RAAF Base Amberley is scheduled to conduct a flypast over Townsville in celebration of Australia Day.

The display is scheduled for 9:54am at Brigadier North Park, Jezzine Barracks.

Northern Territory

Territorians will get to see aerial displays from up to three RAAF F-35A Lightning II aircraft from Number 75 Squadron based at RAAF Base Tindal, in both Darwin and Katherine regions.

In Katherine, the display will take place at the GYRAAC Amphitheatre on Stuart Highway at 11:30am.

Meanwhile, in Darwin, the display will take place at 12:05pm, viewable over Darwin City, CBD and Waterfront, and later in Palmerston at 12:10pm.

Western Australia

In Western Australia, the RAAF will be conducting flying displays over Subiaco and Perth to ring in Australia Day.

First up is a flypast off Subiaco City performed in a Pilatus PC-21 aircraft from Number 2 Flying Training School at RAAF Base Pearce, which is due to take place at 8:15am.

Later in the day, up to four PC-21 aircraft will conduct a flypast over Perth City and the Swan River, at 7:10pm.

Comments (15)

  • Matt


    Nothing in South Australia?

    • Hannah Dowling


      Hi Matt, unforunately not from the look of things! It seems a lot of Australia Day celebrations were cancelled in SA.

  • Jim


    Disappointed not even a flypast over Mt Gambier SA. I love the smell of jetfuel.😄

  • Paul Darren Hastings


    What about South Australia and Tasmania – are there no events?

    • Hannah Dowling


      Hi Paul, unfortunately not from the look of things! It seems a lot of Australia Day celebrations were cancelled in SA.

  • Peter Hannah


    SERIOUSLY bad planning by either the Australia Day council – or the RAAF!!

    They are flying a C-17 from Amberley to Canberra – and a C27J Spartan from Amberley to Townsville – BUT NOTHING INTO BRISBANE! Surely a C130 could fly from Richmond – seeing that they are based in NSW?

    I thought that Amberley was near Brisbane – yet they are flying a huge C-17 to Canberra and back!! Why don’t they pay HARS to fly to Canberra in a Canberra? Fly the C-17 all over Brisbane – even though they train in those skies every day!

    • Gary Smith


      Can’t speak for BNE; however, in the 6 years I lived in Canberra, a C17 was always an annual fixture for Australia Day celebrations. I would have thought individual cities would have requested flypasts for their respective Celebrations, if so, did someone in BNE forget to ask?

  • John


    Nothing in Tasmania?
    Guess it takes time to cross Bass Strait????

  • Gary Smith


    Just to add for SA readers, don’t forget a number of P8s sustained damage in last years hail storm any may not yet be cleared to return to flying.

  • Jon


    Would have been nice to see a F-35 Lightning and a C-27j Spartan fly over Melbourne.

  • Robert Bullen


    Very disappointed on the central coast of NSW,no fly pass of any RAAF aircraft. And where so close to Sydney.

    • Nerdy Nev


      Maybe you meant ‘we’re’……

      Ever thought the RAAF doesn’t have the funds to be flying various aircrafts’ hither & thither just to stage a ‘flyover’ to please people?

      If you want to watch aircraft overhead, look up to the skies’ at commercial ones’!

  • Jtek


    In my experience in the RAAF you cannot expect flypasses everywhere. They do the best they can on the day!

    • Lindsay


      Yes, Jtek, & it always comes down to the almighty $……

      Doubt very much the RAAF has a spare million or two, to waste on various city/town ‘flyovers’.

  • Joseph Pisani


    When is the RAAF going to start holding yearly air shows at Richmond RAAF base in NSW just like they use too before it was stopped because of 9/11 attack on the twin towers in the USA ?

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