There really is no better time than sunrise to admire any city. As a photographer I usually look for a vantage point to capture the cityscape reflecting that glowy early morning light. However, what if you can see and capture this while flying over the city? Literally.
Well, if you’re in Melbourne, Australia, you can definitely do it. Actually, you have to do it!
I had my first hot air balloon experience here in Melbourne with Global Ballooning and all I can say is that it was wonderful. It surely is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and if I could recommend any way to see Melbourne in a unique and memorable way this would be it. As I’ve learnt there are very few major cities in the world that allow hot air balloons flying above them. Melbourne is one of those lucky few cities thanks to its “smooth” air currents and favourable geographic features.
There’s really no experience like hot air ballooning. From the gradual take off and panoramic views to the tranquillity and calmness you feel while watching the world come to life early in the morning. Plus that feeling of silently gliding above skyscrapers towards a glistening rising sun is really priceless.
Just like anywhere else, hot air balloon rides in Melbourne are very dependent on the weather. If it’s too windy, foggy, or rainy, your ride will not take off. Their number one concern is your safety, so they may need to reschedule if there are any concerns. I knew the flight would have taken place only the day before and still it may be cancelled on the very morning if the weather conditions are not suitable.
The hot air balloon flight lasted more than an hour. After about an hour or so of soaring and up and down over the city our pilot began to search for a nice and unobstructed place to land. Hot air balloons can’t really steer in any particular direction and they just float along with the air streams so there isn’t a designated landing spot; while flying the pilot looks for a piece of land that looks clear.
The panomara is just incredicle, watching Melbourne from above is an amazing experience. As you travel with the wind, gliding through the air at low and high altitudes, you can take great photos from above. The view of the sun rising over Melbourne was breathtaking. This is definitely the best way to see the city, nothing else comes close. Yes, it really is that good.