True enthusiasts of flight know that taking to the skies in the basket of a hot air balloon is an experience unlike any other. The hum of engine noise usually associated with going skyward is replaced by quiet, punctuated by occasional flare noise from the burner. The journey up is smooth, devoid of jolts, giving passengers ample time to take in the landscapes below.
Balloons Over Waikato is New Zealand’s premier ballooning festival, and takes place in the central North Island city of Hamilton. The mighty Waikato river threads through town, and becomes a central focus point for those who decide to go from spectator to rider and book one of the early morning balloon rides the festival offers.
Held over 4 days, the annual event is geared towards early morning ‘inflation times’, with the exception of The Zuru Nightglow, an evening event where balloons glow to orchestrated music finishing with a fireworks display and carnival entertainment.
Judging from past events, the opening morning is the most impressive, with a 7:30am mass lift off from the Innes Common, Hamilton Lake.
WORDS OF WISDOM
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