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Balloon Spectacular

words by annie brown

Adventurer, I am not.

Bungee jumping – no way. Skydiving – forget it!

Heights are not my forte, especially when I am attached to a harness or parachute.

There is something incredibly romantic however about drifting into the ethers with your loved one in a big balloon, particularly when followed by a champagne brunch (my two favourite words).

There is an event that heralds the subtle shift into Autumn as the mornings turn crisp and the light shifts from stark to subdued. As our eyes divert to the sky, the light isn’t the only thing that sparks attention.

There is something much more overt and equally spectacular – a plethora of hot-air balloons that dance above, enchanting children and petrifying pets all at once.

Running from March 11 – 19, The Canberra Balloon Spectacular is considered to be one of the best and longest running hot air ballooning events in the world. Let’s be frank, our fair Capital is a very pretty city and to see it from above is a vantage point tempting for the throngs of locals and visitors alike who take to the skies on an exhilarating ride over Canberra’s national attractions.

And then there are the balloons themselves! Is there anything more delightful than a gigantic pirate parrot or backwards-cap-wearing turtle floating around as you sit in traffic on the morning commute? Less delightful but certainly more appealing to Star Wars fans is the humungous Darth Vader hovering around in years passed, omitting a noise that could be confused with his staggered breathing (eerily but luckily the balloon keeping itself afloat).

Whether a spectator or a participant, there’s no denying that the festival is an enchanting addition to our Autumn events calendar. The balloons take flight from the lawns of Old Parliament House in a couple of weeks so if you would like to say you have flown around Canberra in a giant novelty turtle or similar, head on over here to book.


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