Gold Coast Hot Air Balloon Flights
A hot air balloon is an idyllic way to see the Gold Coast... floating high above the ground aboard one of the most romantic, old-fashioned forms of transport...
If you're not a 'morning' person, you may gasp at the early starting time – but I can guarantee you'll be glad you made the effort when you clamber into the traditional wicker basket in time to see the sun peep above the horizon and start to spread its cheering glow across the landscape.
Besides, you can always sleep in tomorrow, right?
Lifted gently by the early morning breeze, you'll float dreamily above patchwork fields, the sparkling Gold Coast waterways, and the magnificent Pacific Ocean. And you're sure to get fabulous aerial views of the dense rainforests of Lamington National Park and Springbrook National Park.
You may catch a glimpse of Hinze Dam, the primary water source for Gold Coast city, in the Gold Coast Hinterland. And if it's a clear morning, Mt Warning's peak may be seen in the south, beyond the Tweed Valley and Coast.
Don't be fooled though, into thinking that you've seen it all before from an airplane window... it's an entirely different experience peering over the edge of a basket in the open air!
If you choose, you may help set up the balloon in preparation for your journey. There's a certain sense of anticipation and excitement in seeing the balloon come to life as hot air slowly fills the canopy...
But the real thrill hits once you climb aboard. The burner flares into action, the tethers are released and the hot air balloon lifts slowly from the ground.
Next thing you know, you're drifting gently with the breeze... the only sound, the occasional flare of the propane burner, and awed exclamations from your fellow passengers.
The pace is leisurely and the atmosphere serene - and with your focus on the beautiful scenery laid out before you, it's easy to temporarily forget the real world. Because you're floating with the wind, you won't even feel a breeze. What could be more peaceful?
Generally, the hot air balloon will fly between 500-1500 feet - and for those who may be wondering, you don't need any oxygen. That's required only above 10,000 feet.
You'll also find that although hot air balloons can't be steered in the traditional sense, the pilot can adjust the altitude to catch air currents 'going your way!'
Using this method, your return to base is judged with almost pinpoint accuracy and the crew - who have been in radio contact with the pilot throughout the flight - will be on hand to assist at the landing site and to tether the balloon to the ground.
After gently bumping back to earth, you can enjoy a 200 year old tradition... celebrate your balloon flight with a glass of chilled champagne! And be sure to bring your camera - you'll definitely want to preserve the memory of this fabulous activity.
Gold Coast hot air balloon flights are available most days, however are dependent on suitable weather conditions. If your flight is cancelled, you may re-book for another day, or receive a full refund.
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History of Ballooning
The first form of human flight took place in a hot air balloon in France during 1783. Ill-fated French King, Louis XVI and his queen, Marie Antoinette were present to watch the world's first aeronauts, Jean-Francois de Rozier and Francois d'Arlandes, prepare for this historic flight.
Consisting of rag paper with a linen lining, and inflated with choking smoke, the balloon slowly ascended over the crowd of spectators and traveled a total of 5.5 miles on its maiden voyage, before landing safely 25 minutes later.
The first hot air balloon flight in Australia was attempted in 1856, at the Sydney Domain grounds. However the police had to step in to control crowds when the attempted hot air balloon demonstration by Frenchman, Pierre Maigre, failed to lift off.
Two years later, Joseph Dean made the first successful balloon flight in this country with a 25 minute flight in Richmond, Victoria.
The interest in ballooning effectively came to an end in 1903 when the Wright Brothers invented the airplane. This was what everybody had been waiting for and men and women of vision quickly shifted their focus to advancing the airplane.
The development of the propane gas burner in 1960, by American Edward Yost, however, led to a resurgent interest in hot air ballooning as a sport. Suddenly, it was possible to travel long hours and distances while the small propane burners kept hot air circulating inside the balloon's canopy.
Manufacturers began making canopies from nylon, which is strong, airtight and lightweight and people all over the world can now enjoy an early morning balloon flight with relative ease!