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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hot Air Balloon USA, LLC

Hot Air Balloon, originally uploaded by Joe_B.
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You expect lots of hot air in Canberra when parliament's sitting but you ain't seen nothing if you've missed the annual balloon festival when up to 50 gaily coloured inflatables rise and float over Parliament House and Lake Burley Griffin. The really good thing is you can take part by booking a flight.

You've missed out this year (the week-long festival ran from March 6 to March 14) but that means there's still plenty of time to make it next year.

There are many, many balloon flights available across Australia in some spectacular locations (Alice Springs, Barossa Valley, Atherton Tableland and Gold Coast to name a few) but the ACT gathering is special. The sunrise takeoff area on the lawns in front of Old Parliament House is surely hard to beat.

Flights last around 45 minutes and afterwards there's champagne (de rigeur for balloon flights) and a hot breakfast prepared by the Lions Club, followed by any number of free festival concerts and events.

You'll save money if you can make a weekday flight at $290 per adult or $250 per child 6-12; at the weekend it's $340 and $250 with Balloon Aloft at If you're a first timer the usual dawn takeoff time for any balloon flight may be a downer. It appears the main reason is that balloons need cool, calm winds to operate effectively and sunrise is when you're most likely to get those conditions, rather than in the full heat of the day.

If winds are strong or it's raining the flight will probably be called off.

The experts say those prone to vertigo may be surprised to find they're untroubled in a balloon gondola as the ascent and flight is so gentle. You travel where the wind takes you (they work out beforehand where that's likely to be so you can be picked up).

And how about those wicker baskets ? Again the experts say they're still used because they're light and strong - and they look so nice.

Copyright 2010 ACP Magazines, distributed by

Source Citation
"Travel Wise: So Nice up in the Air Afloat in a Balloon." Money 7 Apr. 2010. General OneFile. Web. 17 Apr. 2010.
Document URL

Gale Document Number:A223881212

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