Ever dreamed of floating high above where the clouds are home and only the birds can venture…
Well this wispy world of wonderfulness can all be yours to explore when you hop on board a giant balloon in the Atherton Tablelands.
Recently my man and I did just this and took to the skies with Cairns Hot Air Balloon Co. for an experience that certainly lived up to our dreams.
If you’re considering trying this for yourself then here is a quick run down of what you can expect from a hot air balloon ride in beautiful TNQ.
Be sure to set an early alarm however take my word for it… this bucket list worthy experience will leave you with no regrets, even if it means dragging yourself out of bed at 3am!
The awesome crew from Cairns Hot Air Balloon Co. offer a bus service for passengers from their hotel in either Cairns, Palm Cove or Trinity Beach or if you have your own car, then you’re welcome to self drive and perhaps spend the rest of the day exploring all that you have just floated above.
We opted to self drive and set off from Cairns at 3:30am for 4:30am start from the township of Mareeba and because we arrived a little earlier than the rest of the passengers, we were fortunate enough to watch the balloons as they come to life!
It’s safe to say it was chilly at this time of the morning in the higher regions of TNQ and with a definite bite to the air we were a slightly concerned about freezing our butts off for the whole trip.
@Frankkkylynch and I are cold blooded sooks you see and we just don’t cope well when the mercury drops.
Much to our surprise however, we climbed into a toasty warm padded basket! – Yes that’s right, these things are built for comfort.
You’ll find yourself cruising in style as a hot air balloon is nothing like you’d expect. I was all geared up for a windy, adrenaline fuelled experience but oh how I was mistaken. (Thanks Mum for vividly warning me about crash landings only the night before!)
The balloon literally just floats along almost as if you are not moving at all.
Its a truely surreal experience and one I’d sign up for any day!
If there has ever been a photo-worthy moment then this is it!
Get ready for breathtaking views as you float high above the endless stretches of farmlands and surrounding mountain ranges of the Atherton Tablelands. Not only is the scenery amazing but don’t forget that it’s also sunrise, so you know – the lighting is nothing short of epic!
Think misty mountains and a golden haze… you are currently floating around in a photographer’s dreams.
Fun fact: The Balloons don’t fly at sunrise because it is a pretty spectacle, rather because this is the only time of the day when there is enough light to navigate and when the earth’s atmosphere remains constant enough for it to be safe to fly. Safety is their number one concern, so as soon as that sun starts to peak the pilots will to begin looking for a place to land.
That’s right, put the camera down for a minute and make sure you use your own eyes to take it all in, trust me this is a memory you will never forget.
Now the landing is the part that I was warned about and on occasion it can be a little rough but that’s what the extra padding is for. We were given a run down of the landing position to assume prior to take off, so when the pilot found a paddock he was happy with (not someone’s backyard) we crouched down and held on for dear life.
All a little bit dramatic to be honest, it was cruisey as!
And we have touch down, a few bumps on the ground and just like that we had landed. It was important for everybody to stay in the balloon as our weight was the only thing keeping it grounded. Lucky my weight wasn’t needed though and the awesome crew let me jump out to take some more photos as they finished off the landing.