Derek shares his story with us about the experience of hot air ballooning over the Yarra Valley AND his wedding proposal to now fiancee, Susan.
"I organised a surprise hot air ballooning overnight stay for my partner as a romantic lead up to my proposal! The ballooning was the perfect event to not only share a magical weekend but to thoroughly distract my partner so I could surprise her and pop the question at the vineyard just before heading home.
I chose Global Ballooning because of its excellent reputation and its affiliation with Balgownie Estate, allowing a memorable winery experience before and after the flight.
My beautiful fiancée Susan! We had just finished a couple of busy months working as health professionals and wanted to take some time back with each other, so a surprise getaway weekend with the incredible ballooning experience was the best option!
Before the flight, I was especially anxious for it to go ahead, and once we got the green light that the flight would continue that morning I knew everything was going to fall into place. The balloon trip itself was amazing, we were so excited and to see the Yarra Valley from that height was simply breathtaking! Our pilot was experienced and very entertaining. We had fun packing up the balloon once the flight was done, and loved the champagne breakfast to wrap things up, enjoying the company of other couples who had come along on the same flight.
We flew over multiple vineyards and fields with many farm animals; my partner is an avid animal lover and loved seeing the scores of cows across the countryside!
1-night accommodation with champagne breakfast included post-flight. This allowed us to get settled in the night before, have an excellent dinner at a nearby winery and then soak up the ballooning experience and Balgownie Estate’s restaurant the next day. Balgownie also sits uniquely on top of a hill in the area, featuring a beautiful panoramic view of the nearby vineyards, creating the perfect setting for a proposal.
Heading into the clouds above the Yarra Valley; it was a crisp clear morning and the stillness in the sky coupled with the roar of the flame heating up the balloon was an incredible moment.
Exceeded every expectation; it was so serene yet exhilarating at the same time. To see such beautiful countryside from that perspective, to feel the intense warmth of the flame on a crisp Autumn morning, the excitement of the take-off and landing, we couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
I would recommend ballooning to anyone and everyone! It’s a great way to see a vast landscape and is both relaxing, exhilarating and deeply special as an experience. Even if you do it once, it is something you will fondly remember for the rest of your life.
After our amazing flight and champagne breakfast experience, my partner and I went back to the room for a rest. Close to our departure, I encouraged her to go for one last walk amongst the vineyards, and she reluctantly agreed (at this point tired and engrossed in a documentary). We made our way up to the top of the hill amongst the vines, where Balgownie had perfectly set up a champagne picnic for us, and after a few words I plucked up the courage to get down on one knee and ask her to marry me. She said yes! We fondly remember this as one of the best days of our lives and thanks to Global Ballooning I was able to create the perfect proposal. We look forward to coming back and doing it all again after we celebrate our wedding!
We could not be more grateful for the amazing day we had with Global Ballooning that has set the stage for the rest of our lives. Thank you for the opportunity to share our experience."
by Erin Tucci/ Derek Liddall
UPDATE 21 Sept 2020: To all our wonderful passengers, in line with the recent Victorian government announcement, all flights are currently suspended until further notice. Please follow our Facebook & Instagram pages for key updates.
If you would like to enjoy a balloon flight with your loved ones or colleagues when we re-open OR celebrating a special occasion during this current isolation period, we will be most grateful you considered a gift voucher - there is nothing quite like a hot air balloon flight to look forward to when restrictions are lifted!
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