Balloon flights mostly take place at Dawn/Sunrise when conditions are at their coolest and calmest.This allows us to inflate and launch easily, and makes landing the hot air balloon safer. Watching the Valley come to life as the sun rises is a magical experience. Horrible time to wake up, but a beautiful time to fly!
- A light jacket, heavier in Winter.
- Comfortable layers of clothing.
- Sturdy closed-toe shoes/boots are mandatory, and warm socks. We will be walking on grassy and sometimes muddy paddocks so heels are not acceptable. Your boots may get wet so we recommend that you bring a change of footware so you are comfortable at breakfast.
- A hat, cap or beanie. The burners radiate heat, so we recommend a hat, or a beanie in winter.
- Gloves in winter.
For your personal safety on the day long hair must be tied back and scarves should be tucked inside jackets or shirts, to prevent them from becoming entangled in inflation fans or ballooning equipment.
The coldest part of the morning is on the launch site while your balloon is inflating. It will generally be no colder in the air, although on a few memorable occasions we have been snowed on! Your Pilot will advise you of the expected weather conditions and forecast temperatures when you check-in on the evening prior to your flight. Because your balloon moves with the wind, you won’t feel any wind chill.
We launch our balloons from Council reserves, local airfields, or on local farm paddocks. The exact site is chosen on the morning according to the wind speeds and directions.
Your hot air balloon will fly in the direction of the winds on the morning. Your balloon crew will choose a launch site on the day which allows your pilot to take best advantage of the available winds to steer to available farms and landing areas. Launch and landing sites change almost daily!
Generally we fly between 500 – 2500 feet, sometimes higher and sometimes lower, your pilots will endeavour to spend some time at higher altitudes for a birds eye view, and also spend some time at a lower altitude if you are not disturbing stock on the ground or local residents.
Our hot air balloon flights last for roughly an hour, sometimes more, sometimes less. This depends on the wind speed on the morning, and when your Pilot finds the safest and most suitable landing site.
Ballooning is a weather dependant activity and it is not safe to fly if the weather is unsuitable. This could be because of too much wind, not enough wind, turbulence or thermal activity, poor visibility due to low cloud, fog or smoke or storms, lightning or rain. If our pilots decide that the weather is not suitable for flying, they will cancel the flight. Your pilot will advise you of the expected weather conditions when you check-in the evening prior to your flight. We understand that is disappointing to have your flight cancelled, but our pilot will make a decision based on safety, and also the quality of you flight and ballooning experience. Sometimes Mother Nature works with us, and sometimes she works against us! If you flight is cancelled you will need to call our office to reschedule your flight to another day. The expiry date of your ticket will also be extended.
Your balloon does not have a steering wheel! Your pilot can change the direction that you are travelling by changing altitude. At different heights, the wind direction is often quite different, and your pilot can change altitude by using the burners to use these different wind directions.
Our balloons are actually registered aircraft operating under the same regulations as Australian airlines! Your Pilot has a Commercial License issued by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, and the balloons have regular inspections and safety checks conducted by CASA Licensed Maintenance personnel.