Local similarity theory, an analogy to the Monin-Obukhov similarity theory, is successfully applied to airborne observations in a coastal area of South Australia. The boundary layer over this highly non-uniform surface is characterized by extensive variations in its thermal stratification and turbulence characteristics. However, the behaviour of some statistical parameters of second- and higher moments seems to be determined mainly by local forcing, while horizontal advection plays a less important role. For these parameters, local scaling is effective. It is shown that the dimensionless variances of vertical velocity and potential temperature are functions of z/λ only, where λ is the local Monin-Obukhov length and z is the height above ground. The dimensionless variance of horizontal velocity components is found to depend on h/λ, where h is the height of the oundary layer. Similarity relationships for some triple correlations are also discussed. The empirically determined local similarity relationships are found to agree with those obtained from surface-layer similarity. Finally, to illustrate the complexity of the local forcing, distributions of vertical energy and momentum fluxes, from which the local scaling parameters are derived, are shown.