Wonderful memories of my hot air balloon ride many years ago have been brought back whilst reading about Balloon Aloft's upcoming Balloon Fiesta in September. You'll have to rise early for this event in the Hunter Valley but it will be worth it as it is an experience you have to do at least once in your lifetime.
Approximately twenty five balloons will launch at sunrise each day and you can book a 1hour flight on one or you can follow along on the ground. Excitement and anticipation builds for those flying, before riding high in the sky and floating majestically over beautiful wine country. Your spirits will be lifted to new heights and you'll feel a magical sense of freedom, a world away from the stress of city life.
Helping to launch your balloon is part of the experience
Amazing views of the picturesque Hunter Valley
An amazing display of colour will have your camera lens clicking away from dawn on the launch field to when you are in the air and afterwards as you celebrate back at Peterson House Winery with a gourmet breakfast, chocolates and champagne tasting on the deck of Restaurant Cuvee, whilst enjoying live music.
The beautiful Peterson House Winery. The deck at the back overlooks a picturesque lake.
These sticky date pancakes with butterscotch date ice cream are just one of the options on the breakfast menu
The cost to fly starts from $269 per adult and $235 per child (minimum age 7yrs). An E-Photobook voucher is included in the price so you can create your own digital photo album of your flight. Bookings can be made online
or by calling Balloon Aloft on 1300 723 279. A confirmation email will be sent to you with a map of the meeting point (Peterson House Winery) and instructions for flight check-in. Your ticket is valid for 12 months. Should the weather be not suitable for flying, then you can re-book within the validity period. FAQ's can be found here
If you do not wish to fly be sure to visit the Balloon Aloft Facebook
page on how to follow the fiesta from the ground. Details will be posted closer to the event date and if you would like to join family or friends for breakfast alone, you can do so by calling 02 4990 9242 to make a booking.
But wait there's more. You might want to arrange some accommodation and stay for the weekend or at least do an overnighter as this annual fiesta sees a new addition this year that's worth sticking around for – the Night Glow. On Saturday evening over at Roche Estate, one of the Hunter Valley's premier wineries, nine balloons will light up on the lawn in a spectacular show choreographed to music. There's also an opportunity to walk through a semi-inflated balloon and learn how it operates. Furthermore, you'll find a mini balloon flight display, face painting and children's activities, a family-friendly night market showcasing some of the best food and wine from the region, live musical performances and a fireworks finale.
Stick around for the Night Glow and a whole lot more
Tickets for the Night Glow can be pre-purchased online
for $16 per adult and $7 per child (4-15yrs). Children 3yrs and under are free of charge. Tickets purchased at the gate are $20 per adult and $11 per child.
Bring a blanket and some seating to relax and enjoy this evening extravaganza that runs from 5pm-9pm. Plenty of free parking is available onsite.