We recently had the lovely Joanna Romano of @fitbackpacker fly with us over the Yarra Valley, and here is a little piece on what she thought of it:
Hot air ballooning as the sun rises should be on everybody’s bucket list! The feeling that you get witnessing one of nature’s most amazing spectacles, suspended in a basket hundreds of metres above the ground is indescribable.
Although I had been hot air ballooning once before here in Melbourne, there was absolutely no comparison with the experience I had recently, floating over the Yarra Valley as the sunrise turned the fields below orange.
My day started nice and early, waking up at 3 am to make it for the transfer taking me from Albert Park to the Yarra Valley at 4. My comfortable ride to the launch point lasted a little over an hour, and most of my fellow passengers took the opportunity to catch up on some sleep while the lights remained turned off. I was really really tired, but couldn’t get back to sleep as I was too excited for what was about to happen!
We arrived in the Yarra Valley before daybreak and stopped at the restaurant of a local hotel where we met our pilot and had time to drink a much needed coffee before heading onwards for our flight!
After hearing instructions and the safety briefing, we returned to the van and continued to the take off point, which varies day-to-day depending on the wind on the day of your flight.
Despite heading out on my flight during summertime, it was chilly this early in the morning and I’m really glad I had a warm jacket with me! A tip for your trip, bring a woolly hat or cap along with to protect you from the heat used to power the balloon during the flight.
After inflating the balloon,our group all hopped in to the basket and before I knew it we were already up in the air! The flight itself was very smooth and other than the flames firing up in to the balloon, it was a very quiet and peaceful experience. Nothing to be scared about here!
I’ve watched a lot of sunrises during my travels, but watching it from up high is difficult to describe with words. I think I had a smile on my face for the entire flight, as I gazed out at the fields and wineries below, wishing I could stay up there for hours and hours.
Our pilot for the day was called Brian, who was really fun and happy. He showed us how the balloon worked, told us all sorts of funny stories, and got us all to sing happy birthday to a girl who was celebrating her big day in the basket!
As we finally began to descend back to other, we saw two kangaroos jumping around down below. Our pilot told us that he sees kangaroos almost every day during the flight.
The landing was very gentle and almost as smooth as the take off. After landing, I spent a couple of minutes just taking in my surroundings and the amazing experience that we had all just shared.
Everybody then helped out as we deconstructed the balloon together which was a lot of fun! One of the best things about the whole experience is that if you want to learn and take part, you have the opportunity to get involved at every stage of the flight (apart from the actual flying!). I couldn’t help but jump right in throughout the morning.
On the way back to Melbourne, we stopped to enjoy a Champagne breakfast in the same hotel that we had enjoyed a coffee at earlier. The selection was fantastic, and it really topped off the whole experience.
The whole morning unforgettable, from the people involved, to the views we took in, to the sensation of flying over the Yarra Valley. I couldn’t be more of a fan of Global Ballooning, and would definitely highly recommend that you give it a go!