Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Spectacular Morning: Our Hot Air Balloon Adventure

It's a long weekend here in Canberra. Hooray! The highlight so far would have to be the Balloon Spectacular. On the lawns in front of Old Parliament House, hot air balloons of all shapes and sizes inflate and take off into the sky. 

The alarm was set for the wee hours of the morning and with camera in hand we set off to watch 30 or so hot air balloons from around the world take flight. 

With the night sky as a backdrop, the flames of the burners were a stunning sight to see. It's always so exciting to get up close and watch the whole process. I was certainly impressed by the talent of the balloon pilots when they were using the burners, changing the direction of the flame depending on how the balloon rose.

The kids loved this little purple Nudie Juice guy. 

Pete the Peg Leg Pirate Parrot come all the way from the United States but unfortunately he did not take off int the air this morning. It was wonderful to see him being inflated though and the balloon pilot was more than happy to answer questions.

One of the highlights for me was seeing the Skywhale up close. Until today I had only seen photos of the infamous hot air balloon and of course, I had heard lots of people share their opinions. The Skywhale was commissioned by the ACT government as part of the centenary celebrations last year. It was designed by sculptor Patricia Piccinini. 

It was wonderful to see it in person and judge for it myself. Once I looked past her "assets" I was truly amazed by the intricate detail that has gone into creating this creature of the air. I must admit I am a bit of a convert. I love that Skywhale has inspired such heated debate here in Canberra.

One of the highlights for the kids was that they were given their own cameras and were able to take their own photos of the experience. They loved it and there was certainly many, many happy snaps taken. This was a wonderful opportunity for them to capture the experience for themselves and share with us how they viewed the balloon spectacular and what interested them. They actually took a few nice photos too! After the event was over and we were sitting at a restaurant tucking in to our breakfast, they showed us their photos. This was a great prompt for them to chat about the experience and what they enjoyed.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend, and for my Canberra readers, enjoy the long weekend.


  1. They are so cool! I would love to go to a hot air balloon event looks so fun!

  2. They are pretty amazing and watching them up close and seeing the burners light up in the dark is a pretty awesome experience. Makes getting up at 5:30am worth it :)