A sunrise hot air balloon flight over Melbourne is a truly remarkable experience.
There are few major cities in the world that can be traversed by hot air balloon and there certainly is no better way to take in Australia's second largest city.
In the early morning light our balloons drift by the array of parks and gardens that make Melbourne the world's most liveable city. As the city comes to life you will look down from your balloon onto some of the cities iconic sporting venues like the MCG, Melbourne Park and Albert Park racetrack.
If you are looking for a romantic soft adventure that gives you a peek at city life from a totally different angle, then ballooning over Melbourne is a must.
Located just 1 hour from Melbourne, is the Yarra Valley. Well known for its countryside glamour, wildlife and wine varieties. Hot air balloon flights began here by Global Ballooning Australia in 1992 and have been a popular region to fly balloons ever since.
The Yarra Valley provides views of rolling hills, green landscapes and the chance to see some kangaroos feeding on breakfast as you fly over them during sunrise.
Ballooning and wine have always had a traditional relationship with legend saying that early French aeronauts carried champagne to appease angry or frightened spectators at the landing site.
Nowadays we take our passengers to a beautiful Yarra Valley vineyard after our flight for a delicious champagne breakfast made from produce collected from the Valley we fly over.
Known for being New Zealand’s adrenaline seeker hotspot, Queenstown is full of adventure activities, from bungee jumping to skydiving.
On top of the variety of thrill seeking activities, Queenstown boasts some of the most picturesque landscapes in the region, which played a huge role in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit!
(Photo credit: http://www.ballooningnz.com)
The world famous Masai Mara is home to the greatest natural spectacle on Earth, the Great Migration, which sees up to two million wildebeest make their annual migration across the banks of the Mara river.
Imagine the magic of a balloon ride, combined with the adventure of spotting lions, elephants, cheetahs and a variety of African wildlife in the world’s most famous game park.
Definitely a unique ballooning experience, so much so that one of our pilots, Brian Garth regularly flies there in the Australian low season and you can read about his African adventures here: https://www.globalballooning.com.au/blog/kenya-ballooning
(Photo credit: http://www.maraballooning.com)
Deep within Turkey’s Anatolian region lies possibly the world’s strangest topography.
More akin to moonscape, the land is dotted with limestone chimneys and has a one of a kind prehistoric appearance.
An extremely popular hot air ballooning location, expect stunning views of the iconic “fairy chimneys” accompanied by dozens of other balloons gracing the sunrise skies.
Located just south of Paris, the Loire Valley boasts a stunning collection of heritage castles and manor houses set amongst pristine grassland and vineyards.
Travelling along the beautiful Loire river, flying over some of the most beautifully preserved French aristocratic architecture and the chance for an authentic French wine tasting experience afterwards make this another ballooning bucket list location!
(Photo credit: https://www.france-balloons.com)
Most of the locations on this list have made the cut because of the unique locations they fly over, and the incredible diversity in landscapes that they offer.
Our final must visit ballooning location is Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Every year in October, Albuquerque hosts the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which sees hundreds and hundreds of balloons from all over the world fly all day long in a truly spectacular exhibition of ballooning mastery.
Most people who attend the festival come to watch the hundreds of uniquely coloured and shaped balloons soar, but operators also take a select number of passengers up with them, allowing for the ultimate ballooning treat!
(Photo credit: http://www.balloonfiesta.com)
At the end of the day, hot air ballooning is a truly magical experience, and flying in a hot air balloon is special enough, but combining it with a visit to one of the spectacular locations above really puts it at the top of anyone's bucket list!
As usual, please feel free to contact our friendly team of ballooning enthusiasts at Global Balloonig Australia, and we'll do our part to give you that once in a lifetime flight!