The Tour Specialists Tour Blog
Hot Air Ballooning with Hot Air
Posted on December 5, 2009 by admin
This memorable morning starts with a pick up from your accommodation bright and early at approximately 4:30am. Your comfortable air conditioned ride then journeys up the Kuranda Range towards Mareeba so you can have a little sleep on the way. As you get to the top of the range, the sun is beginning to rise over the mountains, and the unique environment of the tablelands is a gorgeous backdrop against the budding pink sky.
Around this time your driver will start to explain to you what is going to happen once you arrive at the Hot Air balloon departure point. While you are cruising up the range, the Hot Air crew is busy setting up these massive balloons in farmer’s fields and your arrival is timed perfectly with the crew putting the finishing touches on the ‘aircrafts’. As you see them being filled with gas and hot air, it is like watching them literally come to life!
Climbing aboard and learning the ‘landing position’ is next and after a brief safety tutorial you are up up and away! Almost before you realize what’s happened – you’re off the ground and slowly climbing towards the clouds. It is absolutely amazing. The tablelands stretched out before you, a thin layer of foggy cloud hovering over the mountain tops and an absolutely breathtaking sunrise – and you are flying in a hot air balloon through it all! Looking towards the ground, there are sugarcane fields, farmer’s paddocks, mango orchards, banana trees – even wallabies bounding through the early morning scenery. Everywhere you look, it’s a different picture, a different memory. The only way to fully understand the beauty of this fantastic flight is to see it with your own eyes. At times you are as high as the mountain tops, and others you are close enough to the ground to say G’day to the farmers below. Due to the fact that you cannot steer the balloons, the pilots rely on wind currents for their direction. Therefore, the balloon is ‘steered’ towards the ground to catch a different wind current, and then back up again to head in a different direction.
All too soon, you find yourself in the landing position preparing to touch down. After a safe touchdown, you hop out of the balloon while the next group hops in and prepares for their flight. While they are taking in the views, the friendly crew snaps a few photos of you and then it’s back on the bus to‘chase’ the other balloon! Again, since the balloon cannot be steered, it is difficult to predict where it will land. This is half the fun though! It’s so exciting with the driver on the radio to the pilot trying to determine where to meet him on the ground. Finally, the second hot air balloon flight touches down in a different random field and its time to pack it up.
As with everything on this excursion, the crew makes the packing up process really fun and enjoyable for everyone. The hot air balloon is packed up with as much entertainment as possible before one final group photo is taken. After this, it’s back on the bus to head over to Ringer’s Rest for breakfast!
Breakfast is served buffet style with enough selection for everyone to be happy. There’s also more than enough champagne to go around! While you’re enjoying your breakfast, the crew is busy loading all the photos onto a slideshow that you are able to view while eating. From here, you can purchase the pictures individually or as a disc loaded with snaps of the history of hot air ballooning, as well as all the photos taken of you during the day.
After filling your boots, it’s all aboard the bus for the ride back to your accommodation. This morning is one of the most memorable experiences on offer in Cairns Tropical North Queensland and it is an absolute must do. As the saying goes – I’ve always wanted to do that!
For more about this tour please visit The Tour Specialists
By: Andrea Teed, TTS Tour Consultant
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