Balloon Fiesta's are popular events and take place throughout the year all over the world, from France, to Switzerland, Swedish Lapland, Slovenia, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, California, Iowa, New York, Illinois, Utah, New Zealand, Georgia, Canberra and our very own Pokolbin - Hunter Valley.
Since providing the very fist passenger balloon flights inAustralia in 1980, Balloon Aloft has become Australia's longest operating ballooning company - flying appoximately 7,000 people each year in Australia alone.
Balloon Aloft is now part of one of the world's busiest ballooning companies ''The International Balloon Company'' and is once again hosting the annual and very colourful Hunter Valley Balloon Fiesta. Twenty hot air balloonists from around the country will take to the skies in a beautiful display of colour on the weekend of 17 and 18 October.
For those taking part in the fiesta and also or those who prefer to have their feet on terra firma, it is a breathtaking sight andeven more spectacular when accompanied by the surrounding silence that comes with the dawn.
Joining them will be local pilot and current Women’s World Hot Air Ballooning Champion, Nicola Scaife. Nicola, wife of event organiser Matthew Scaife of Balloon Aloft, said the company, for whom she is a pilot, was staging the event for the fith time.
“Prior to our fist fiesta, an vent such as this had never been staged before over the Hunter Valley. It really is a breathtaking experience to be on board one of the many balloons as they float ogether at dawn over the vineyards. We are looking forward to the opportunity to do it all again,” she said.
Matthew Scaife, who has more than 22 years flying ht air balloons and is the Australian National Ballooning Champion, said the company has been overwhelmed by attendance at the fiesta since its inaugural vent in 2011 when 130 passengers took the opportunity to be part of history. “It was a breathtaking experience to be on board one of the 20 balloons as they floaed over the vineyards together. After the success of previous years, it is our intention to continue to stage the fiestaeach year, weather permitting of course,” he said.
With beautiful weather conditions usually experienced in the Valley during spring, those taking part in this year’s event are expecting to take in some spectacular views. The company is hoping to have over 100 ballooning enthusiasts take part as passengers on board one of the 20 balloons flying in the fiesta. There are limied flight ouchers available so for those people interested in taking part they are encouraged to book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
For balloon enthusiasts and even those who have never been ballooning, a breathtaking early morning view from a hot-air balloon is a wondrous way to view the Hunter Valley vineyards and mountain ranges and is for many a rarely presented thrill of a lifetime.Whether flying or just anting the chance to view the fiestafrom the ground, passengers and spectators will have an early start meeting at Peterson House at around 5am.
For more information on the Hunter Valley Fiesta please visit the Balloon Aloft website www.balloonaloft.com or to book your special price flight oucher call (02) 4990 9242.