Disclaimer: Thank you to Hot Air Balloon Brisbane for hosting us as your guests. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely our own.
Hot Air Balloons have always been engineering marvels, somehow stimulating not just the mind but also the imagination. They have transcended their purpose of transportation and become mystical wonders floating high in the sky; you can imagine our excitement when we were given the opportunity to fulfill our bucket list dreams with Hot Air Balloon Brisbane.
Our morning started with a 3:30 am pick up from our hotel. Talk about bright and early, but we were filled with excitement for the events of the day so we didn’t mind. We drove past miles of winding back country roads and farmland as the sun slowly rose over the surrounding hillsides. We briefly watched a safety video as we approached our drop off location. Upon arrival, our Pilot, Paco who's been piloting balloons for over 20 years, was there to greet us as we boarded our bright yellow balloon.
Sitting at 12 stories high and weighing 450 kilos (992 pounds) while holding up to 25 people (including the pilot), our hot air balloon was known for being one of the largest balloons in all of Australia. We were slightly nervous prior to take off, but as we slowly began to rise silently towards the clouds, smoothly ascending into the sky, a calming presence came over us. Here you are at the mercy of the wind, everything is still, and you are just floating, with a 360 degree view of the world below.
Our balloon slowly glided over the spectacular farmland of Queensland, Australia. The hues of bright green, burnt orange and blue melded together to create an incredible tapestry of colors as the sun slowly rose above them. We have tried our fair share of adventurous activities, but no other experience we’ve done has offered such a unique combination of exhilaration and serenity. We were truly left speechless.
For one hour, we felt so free as we floated our way through the sunlit skies. Our pilot did a fantastic job guiding our balloon to 5,000 feet (the highest you can go is 7,500 feet) but we were just fine with a 5,000 foot marker (especially when you’re not the biggest fan of heights...) Hot Air Balloon Brisbane’s team of pilots are known for being some of the most experienced pilots Australia has to offer and we experienced first hand why.
As we slowly began our descent at 300 to 500 feet per minute, which at first glance sounds absolutely terrifying, we were surprised how well we floated with ease. Approaching the land beneath us, we weren’t sure what to expect, but our pilot landed us flawlessly as we softly touched the ground below. We were escorted off the vessel and were given the opportunity to help pack up the balloon which we gladly accepted. Once everything was packed and prepped, we boarded the SUV and trailer awaiting us for a short drive to O’Reilly’s Grand Homestead and Boutique Vineyard for a highly anticipated champagne breakfast.
Upon arrival, we were provided with a glass of champagne to toast our morning success, along with a freshly cooked buffet breakfast of poached eggs, crispy bacon, fruit, pastries, and more. Here we had exclusive access to O’Reillys Vineyard where we could relax in the serenity of the surrounding vineyards and picturesque landscape. It was the perfect end to our already incredible day.
This was a one of a kind, unforgettable experience and Hot Air Balloon Brisbane captured it perfectly with their souvenir ballooning photos that were taken during our flight. They made our group photos available online for purchase the following day, giving us a unique perspective of our aerial adventure. We made memories that will last a lifetime and truly can not wait to one day do it all over again...