Hunter Valley Balloon Fiesta organisers are hoping this year’s event will be the biggest and most spectacular yet.
Now in its seventh year, the balloon fiesta will take to the skies over the Hunter Valley from Friday, September 29 to Monday, October 2.
The popular event has been extended from two days to four this year, and also includes the inaugural Hunter Valley Night Glow on the Saturday evening.
Balloon Aloft senior pilot Matthew Scaife said the event has been expanded with the aim of allowing twice as many passengers to take part, and that they are looking to fly over 400 ballooning enthusiasts throughout the fiesta.
“With beautiful weather conditions usually experienced in the valley during springtime those taking part in the event are expecting to take in some spectacular views,” he said.
The Hunter Valley Night Glow will take place at Roche Estate the Saturday evening (September 30).
Nine hot air balloons will light up their burners in the dark, choreographed to music, for this spectacular event – which will be a first for the Hunter region.
The night glow will include the newly-launched Roche Estate balloon (which is the biggest passenger balloon built in Australia and the latest addition to the Balloon Aloft fleet), along with special-shaped balloons such as the Dodo, Nudie and a Sherrin football balloon.
“We are so excited to have these balloons taking part and know passengers and spectators alike will be too. There will be no shortage of photographic opportunities,” Mr Scaife said.
Patrons will have the chance to walk through a semi-inflated hot air balloon and learn how a balloon operates with a pilot on hand to answer any of your ballooning questions.
The Hunter Valley Night Glow will also include a family-friendly night market, offering some of the Hunter Valley’s best food and wine, along with musical performances, jumping castles and face painting.
Gates open at 5pm and the balloons will light up around 7.30pm. The event will conclude with a fireworks display.
Online tickets for the night glow are $16 for adults and $7 for children and are available at balloonaloft.com. Balloon fiesta flights can also be booked via the website.