Williamtown RAAF base is located about a 20 minute drive north of Newcastle on Nelson Bay road. The base is Australia’s premier fighter base and as such you will not get access to the base itself unless you have a legitimate reason to be there. And ,no, tipping security a twenty and promising you wont touch a thing does not work. The RAAF are very strict with their security for obvious reasons. There is only one way that the general public will get a tour of the base and that is with the very good bus tours offered by Fighter World during school holidays. If you are part of a sporting or social group that would like to visit Fighter World and have a tour of the base, one can be arranged through Fighter World phone 49651810 for info. Also remember when planning your trip that the RAAF do not normally fly on the weekends or public holidays.

But there are some other good reasons to go to Williamtown if you have an interest in military aircraft like myself ( there is a good chance that you would not be reading this if I were not ). Number one on the list has to be Fighter World in this museum you can walk around and touch the aircraft as well as being able to sit in a couple. The aircraft on display are mainly of RAAF origin from various eras. One out of the ordinary aircraft that you will find is a very good example of a Mig 21. You will also find a large collection of models, photos and bits and piece’s from bombs to ejection seats. Fighter World also has an observation deck with scanner so you can listen to the varies aircraft as they come and go and a cafe where you can enjoy a coffee or lunch.

Apart from Fighter World there are a couple of good viewing areas where you can see the aircraft come and go. There is a viewing area at the end of the run way on Medowie Rd where the aircraft will fly straight over your head as well as an area near Newcastle airport terminal see map below. Depending on wind direction ( which way the aircraft are taking off ) as to which one is the best. If you would like to take some photos while you are there a couple of rules to remember to get best results are:
1.The RAAF do not normally fly on the weekends or public holidays so if you are after military aircraft try to get there on a week day.
2. If the weather is overcast leave the camera in the car. With the matt finish on military aircraft you will not get enough light from the plane for a good photo you will only end up with a dark silhouette in the middle of your photo. Trust me I have plenty of these photos in my collection.
3. Always try to shoot with the sun behind you.
4. Wait till the aircraft just about fills your view finder before taking the shot. It may look OK in the view finder but unless the aircraft is taking up a large portion of it you will probably end up with a grey dot in the middle of a blue photo.
5. The most important rule enjoy yourself and have respect for your surroundings.

See below for map and key to Williamtown RAAF base.

Paul's RAAF base Williamtown page www.cust.idl.net.au/0999000010/paul/raaf.htm