Working in the travel industry & having shared some of my overseas adventures in the blogging world, I look forward to also sharing my experiences of what Brisbane & it's surrounds have to offer.
Published June 5th 2016
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon
I was in desperate need of a present for my other half's milestone birthday - the "bloke who has everything". In these types of scenarios, I start to think of experiences rather than items he really doesn't need. He mentioned in passing, months prior that hot-air ballooning looked great after seeing it on TV. So the idea was ingrained at the back of my mind until the special day.
I chose Hot-Air Ballooning who operate balloon tours over Beaudesert and the Gold Coast Hinterland with pick-ups from both Brisbane and the Gold Coast. As we were staying in Mt Tamborine for a few days, we chose the pick up from Canungra; it meant a saving on transfer costs and was only about a half hour drive from our accommodation.
Hot Air operate their balloon tours from both the Gold Coast and Brisbane.
The pick up at 5.00am at Canungra went as planned and we hopped on the bus and drove about 40 minutes to the launch site. This site can change slightly depending on weather and wind conditions. There were two balloons ready for launch when we arrived and they were really a sight to be seen.
Each balloon basket holds about 20 people plus two pilots in the middle. It may sound like a lot of people, however there are areas inside the basked sectioned off so your'e not all crowded against each other and everyone gets a great view.
For those of you scared of heights & who can't even approach the edge of a high-rise building (like me), this is a totally different experience. It isn't scary at all. In fact it's exhilarating. It's so peaceful just floating in the air and you don't feel that you are rising up into the sky.
As it was very early in the morning, we got great misty views to start with before it got a little warmer.
We paid for the 30 minute balloon ride but were probably in the air for a little longer than that. There are longer rides available should you wish to pay more, but we found that the 30 minute ride was ample.
Time to come down. We all braced ourselves as per the detailed instructions in the safety briefing before we took off, and the landing was actually very gentle with all the ground staff ready to grab the ropes and tie us down.
Once down on the ground and out of the basket, it was time to pack up the balloon and everyone is encouraged to participate (although it isn't compulsory). With everyone helping, it certainly helps pack everything up faster and you can appreciate what's involved in getting these huge devices ready to go into the air.
What goes up must eventually come down and the Hot Air team are ready for us.
Once we were finished we were driven back to Canungra and then on to O'Reilly's Canungra Valley Vineyards for a delicious buffet breakfast, starting off with a glass of bubbly on arrival. The breakfast and beautiful views were a fantastic way to end this wonderful experience. Also, if it's your birthday, Hot Air will provide a complimentary birthday cake complete with candles and a wonderful rendition of Happy Birthday. You just need to mention this when booking. I've written a more detailed review of the wonderful facilities at O'Reilly's Vineyard here.
We found the experience well worth the money and the Hot Air staff were both friendly and totally professional in their operations so we felt completely safe at all times. If you want to find something a little different for a present for a loved one, or just want to treat yourself, you'll find this whole experience really enjoyable and unforgettable.
Thank you for the very detailed information!
I always wanted to try this kind of adventure and very curious about the whole experience about hot air ballooning. My birthday is coming this October so I am very eager to go up there and see the whole horizon! ππ πΎπ
I have tried it in Capadoccia, Turkey and the experience was breathtaking..The views, the landscape! Awesome! And it was a little bit cheaper than they priced here. Maybe one day when a special event in my life will come then I will try it. Thank you for sharing.