2023 Newsfeed

A spectacular morning at the Canberra Balloon Festival

FEATURE PHOTO - Hot air balloons in the sky - a few in the distance but there is one main green, blue, pink and purple balloon slightly off centre. Can also see Telstra Tower in the distance.

The sun rose over the lawns of Old Parliament House and the gathering crowd was warmed by the burning of propane from all directions. Canberra’s Balloon Spectacular was an event not to be missed. The stunning views of the inflating hot air balloons and their ascent to the sky was an incredible way to start a crisp morning.

My day started bright and early when I arrived at the Patrick White Lawns at 6:15 am. Just in time to watch the balloons begin to inflate.

It was a fresh autumn morning and I warmed up with a hot drink and breakfast on the lawns. The heat of the inflating helped with the chill as I watched on in awe of the massive balloons.

Hot air balloon in the process of inflating. Balloon is almost completely up right. The basket is completely upright however the balloon is slightly on the left. In the background there are other balloons at different stages of inflation. The sky is at sun rise state with light blue sky and sun at the bottom of the picture.

It was lovely to see the huge crowds. There were so many people walking their dogs, or bringing their kids down before school to really enjoy the morning. A family-friendly event that honestly made waking up so early entirely worth it.

There were plenty of places to have a seat and I found a comfy sport to enjoy some coffee and breakfast while watching the balloons prepare for launch. Among the food trucks available, I had to get some of the classic mini Dutch pancakes for breakfast (can’t go to a Canberra event without getting the Dutch Pancakes).

Pictured on the left is a box of mini pancakes with cream, strawberries and icing sugar. On the right is a coffee in a takeaway cup labelled "Latte Caramel". Both items are sitting on a white table

There were several breakfast and coffee options available with a total of six stalls at the venue. All of the stalls had juices, hot chocolates, and of course coffee options. My Dutch pancakes were from “Sylvie & Bruno” and they were fantastic. It was definitely a nice treat after waking up so early.

At about 6:45am the balloons began to take to the sky. This was the highlight of the morning. It was magical to watch the balloons take flight over the incredible sunrise.

Hot air balloons taking off into the sky. There are several in the distance that have launched successfully. Three at the bottom next to each other and one higher in the air still in the process of taking off.

The pilots were extremely professional as they prepared their take-offs in front of the gathering crowds. I imagine this process would be stressful for the pilots as they are all very close to each other during take-off, going up one at a time. They made it look easy. From an outside view, it seemed there were no issues as far as I am aware during the launches. It all looked perfect.

The experience was amazing from the views to the breakfast options. I definitely recommend that all Canberrans go for a visit to this free, local event when it returns next year.

The Canberra Balloon Spectacular was on from the 11-19th of March and is will be held around this time each year.

Keep an eye out for more information on next years event via the website.

Photos by Emily Kearney