I'm a Victorian freelance writer & photographer living in the Macedon Ranges north of Melbourne.
Hot air balloon spectacular
Still at a bit of a loose end for the rapidly approaching Queen's Birthday Long Weekend? Well, you could do a lot worse than make the trip to Victoria's picturesque King Valley for a spot of wine tasting, gourmet food sampling and while you're there, enjoy the colourful spectacle of the annual King Valley Balloon Festival.
Enjoy the spectacle of up to 20 hot air balloons drifting over Victoria's spectacular high country during the annual King Valley Balloon Festival. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
This fabulous event sees balloon enthusiasts team up with local gourmet producers for three days of flying and high country hospitality with as many as 20 hot air balloons of all shapes & sizes gathering to drift above the spectacularly beautiful King Valley.
The crisp early winter mornings in the King Valley make for ideal ballooning conditions. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
Visitors are welcome to view the mass ascent of balloons from Brown Brothers Milawa airfield at sunrise on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th June. There'll also be another sunrise launch on Monday 11th from a location yet to be determined. Each launch is scheduled to take place between 6.45 and 7.30 AM but the exact launch time is subject to weather.
These are free events with local primary schools providing a fundraising BBQ breakfast.
A feature of the Festival is the Saturday Brown Brothers Night Glow where all the balloons light up in unison – an unbelievable visual spectacular. Cost is $10 for Adults and children free. This is a no BYO food or alcohol event. Check the Brown Brothers website for full details and bookings.
The heat is on. A pilot heats air in the balloon to make it climb. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
Goldrush Ballooning will be offering passenger flights throughout the festival. Flights depart Brown Brothers Milawa airfield, last approximately 4-hours and cost $385. Check their website for full details.
Brown Brothers Milawa airfield is directly across the road from the winery on Milawa – Bobinawarrah Road, Milawa.
Milawa is 258 Kilometres northeast of Melbourne, about a 2 hour 45 minute drive via the National Highway/M31 and Snow Road/M522.
Don't miss the colourful spectacle that is the King Valley Balloon Festival over the Queens Birthday Long Weekend at Brown Brothers Milawa airfield. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank