Review: Hot Air Balloon Over The Gold Coast

By |2020-04-10T09:00:58+10:00November 13th, 2018|

Rise and shine at 3am. I've been excited to go on a hot air balloon ride since 2006, no kidding!

Back then, I was travelling through Australia's outback and wanted to go on a hot air balloon in the early hours over the red desert. However, the weather didn't play as we would've liked and so the flight got cancelled.

Fast forward a mere 12 years. Holy, where did those years go?!

My second ever attempt to go hot air ballooning actually took two attempts as well. Not because I slept in and missed the bus (wouldn't you laugh!), but again because the wind wasn't in our favour and so we needed to try your luck twice. Oh well.

Finally, on a beautiful Saturday morning it was time to get ready for a scenic hot air balloon ride over the Gold Coast, booked with KKday and operated through Hot Air. In total darkness, the bus picked us up and wheeled us out west.

I must have snoozed off for a bit as I woke up to the sound of the driver announcing the last toilet stop before we would drive to the location from where the balloon would launch.

Through the mist lingering over the fields near Canungra, I saw the crew laying out the balloons. Another bus arrived and we were split into two groups.

Hot Air Gold Coast
Hot Air Balloon Ride Gold Coast

Soon after, the balloons were slowly taking shape. It takes roughly 20 to 30 minutes to inflate a hot air balloon and it was impressive watching the pilots and crew firing them up.

By the way, did you know that those hot air balloons stand taller than a ten storey building? What I also didn't know was that the balloon baskets are actually quite big and could fit up to 20 people.

hot air balloon gold coast review
hot air balloon gold coast hinterland
hot air balloon gold coast

And then it was boarding time.

One last wave goodbye and we are well on our way up into the sky. The views were stunning and while I saw some other balloons before we took off, there was only us and another balloon which made for some great snaps as they took off. Kinda like looking into a mirror.

Hot air ballooning over the Gold Coast hinterland looks amazingly green, I dare you to count the cows and farm houses, or marvel at the mountains in the distance and the river flowing underneath. Stunning.

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While I can see often see hot air balloons flying over the hinterland from my apartment in Mermaid Beach, we couldn't see the beach or ocean from up there.

However, in the distance suddenly appeared the sparkling skyline of Brisbane! I thought we were a long time away from the city, how could it look so close?

It is utterly silent when you ride a hot air balloon, except for the occasional flame heating up the air in the balloon. Quite a funny feeling that you possibly haven't experienced ever before.

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The hot air balloon ride over the Gold Coast hinterland lasts about half an hour until the pilots prepare to come back down.

Landing spot? Right between the cows.

There is even a landing position you take, almost like storing your tray tables and putting your seat belts on when on the plane! I am not scared of heights and really loved the flight but was glad to hear that the pilot had been flying hot air balloons since the 1980's. I think we'll be fine doing a soft landing.

What I didn't know is that usually, the basket bounces off the ground a few times before coming to a stop. After all, they don't have wheels, right. What I also didn't know is that it is fairly common to tip over with the basket at the end too. Of course, we couldn't go past that experience. Everyone took it with a lot of laughs.

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Finally, it was time to get a well-deserved champagne breakfast at O'Reilly's Canungra Valley Vineyards, which is just a short drive away.

We were welcomed with a glass of bubbly and then had free choice at the freshly-cooked buffet to enjoy on the veranda. Croissants, eggs, fresh orange juice. Yum.

Now, why is there often a champagne breakfast after a hot air balloon ride? Back in the days, when the first brave men landed the first hot air balloon, they celebrated on a field in France with champagne. There you have it. An essential part according to history to celebrate safe landings!

Canungra valley vineyards
Champagne breakfast hot air balloon
O'Reilly's Cangungra Valley Vineyards

Don't forget to have a little walk around the vineyard to say hello to the alpacas in the backyard and enjoy the serenity. Or have a look if you can spot turtles or even platypus in the river nearby. This is a popular picnic spot for locals.

After an leisurely hour, it's back on the bus to arrive back at Broadbeach around 10.30am.

What an adventurous morning it has been! I think this was definitely not the last time and I wonder where will I be hot air ballooning next?

Is hot air ballooning on your bucket list as well?

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About the Author:

Carolin is a travel expert born in Germany. She has been travelling around the world since 2014 and now lives in her adopted soul home Australia. Her travel advice has been featured on Forbes, Daily Mail, News.com.au, Tour Radar, Expedia and she's also been named one of the top travel bloggers you need to follow by Tourism Queensland.