Last weekend The Hubs and I headed off to Canberra for the weekend on his two wheeler (see what I wore here) and quite by accident our trip coincided with the Canberra Balloon Spectacular. The one thing that seems to be consistent with hot air ballooning is that the best time to lift off is at some ungodly hour of the morning, usually just on dawn. I am not a morning person. Especially on Sunday! I did however drag myself from under the doona at 5.30am last Sunday to catch a glimpse of these magnificent flying machines. The festival is on until 20 March so do yourself a favour and get on down there to check it out. Read on for all the details …
Let’s Get Social!
What Is The Canberra Balloon Spectacular
The Canberra Balloon Spectacular is one of the longest running balloon events in the world and rates in the world’s top 10 balloon events. The balloons launch at dawn in front of Old Parliament house daily over the nine day event (weather permitting!). This year special shape balloons from across the globe will be featured including the whale, helmet, owl and up, up and away balloons pictured here. The Belconnen Lions Club are also on hand serving up a hot breakfast to spectators until 10am.
When Is It Held?
The festival is held annually and in 2016 runs from 12 – 20th March. Balloon flights are completely dependent on the weather. A decision will be made by 6am each morning whether flights will occur or not. Check here for the latest updates before you head out there.
Where Is It Held?
The festival is held in Canberra ACT and the balloons launch on the lawns in front of Old Parliament House.
What To Expect
This is my first ever Balloon spectacular. To be honest I wasn’t expecting a lot. Maybe a handful of people and a couple of balloons launching. I was in for a surprise. There was at least 40 different balloons of all shapes and sizes and eager spectators crammed in to every available inch of space to watch them take flight. To get the complete experience you need to arrive before dawn to see all the balloons being laid out and inflated. In the early morning half light when the burners are fired up, a delightful yellow glow casts eerie shadows around and is not to be missed. Budding photographers are out in force, jostling with the crowd for the perfect place to set up their tripods. I felt woefully under prepared with my trusty iPhone! The special shape balloons certainly garnered the most attention and my favourites were the owl, the whale, the air force helmet and of course the bubble balloon which was inspired by the movie up, up and away. The event is free and family friendly. It was delightful watching the awe on the faces of so many little people in attendance. Some still in their pajamas! Many of the crowd choose to ‘chase’ the balloons after take off in the hopes of meeting them at their eventual landing place. If you are in (or close) to Canberra this weekend head down for an hour or two. You can always have a nanna nap in the afternoon to make up for the lack of sleep!
Have you ever been in a hot air balloon? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.
Until Next Time …
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