Floating with Scenic Rim backdrop - Image courtesy: Floating Images
Floating amidst the imposing landscape of Ipswich & the Scenic Rim we rose gently skywards with silence bar the occasional blast of the burners inflating the Floating Images balloon.
Cows, horses and trucks became small specks as we float upward and onwards to cruise at a comfortable 800 metres.
I and my fellow passengers are surrounded to the west by the volcanic cradle of the Scenc Rim and its breathtaking vistas. The D'Aguilar Range stretches to the north alongside the TV pylons atop Mount Coo-tha. The skyscrapers of Brisbane and even the glimmering waters of Moreton Bay can be seen eastward in the far distance on this beautiful cool autumnal day.
Setting up the balloon
I am part of a small and excited group who have gathered in the misty early dawn in the outer paddocks of the Rosewood Golf Club, just 15 minutes west of the Ipswich CBD.
Our group is celebrating special days, family time and life in general. The breathtaking scenery that greets us on our flight gives perfect justice to this special morning.
Floating Images Pilot Graeme Day
Graeme, our Floating Images pilot – and owner – of 22 years experience points out with expert knowledge all the views within the 360 degree landscape surrounding us. Each mountain and small community is identified along with landmarks as we float over the racetracks at Willowbank.
Views from up high
Graeme enthuses his passion for ballooning and the local Ipswich and Scenic Rim region. He chose to settle and develop his business here after finding his love for ballooning whilst backpacking in Europe and being trained by the French government.
Scenic Rim landscape
We drift carefree for an hour and more over rolling countryside, paddocks, woods and a quarry. The only sound is the excited chatter of the group and the gas burner as it carries us effortlessly with the wind.
Soon we are descending at a peaceful rate with no power lines, forests or buildings to impede us as we land smoothly in an open paddock much to the bemusement of some startled cows. Shortly the recovery driver Rudi appears along with the friendly farm owner atop his quad bike and with kelpie in hand that greets the happy travellers.
We are all hands on deck as we pack up the balloon that is akin to folding up 100 family size tents. It makes for part of the whole experience of being involved in the adventure.
Metro Ipswich International Hotel
Soon we are in the 4WD and arrive back at the luxury Metro Ipswich International Hotel in the CBD where we gathered in the pre-dawn. We are treated to a hearty breakfast in the light and contemporary designed Platform 9 restaurant. Toasting our pilot and trip with a glass of bubbles we reflect on the experience and what a special morning it has been as Graeme hands out certificates and offers a souvenir CD for those that want to revisit the ride.
Floating homewards - Image courtesy: Floating Images
A Floating Images balloon flight is a great way to celebrate any special occasion. Graeme has witnessed proposals and even a wedding on his many flights. It's also a superb way to celebrate any day and is just 30 minutes from Brisbane's CBD. It truly is an experience to realise how wonderful the landscape is just a short drive from a capital city.
Floating images offer a variety of packages including overnight accommodation at the Metro Ipswich International hotel
. Check out their website
or give Graeme a call on (07) 3294 8770.
It really is a South East Queensland 'must do' experience.