Runaway Photos: Gold Coast Looks a Bit Better on Hot Air Balloon

Flying over Queensland's hinterland

Floating above the Hinterland… on a hot air balloon

3:30 a.m. I jump out of bed. The window that usually shines bright with the rising sun is still completely dark. I can see some stars behind the tall buildings. I bundle up in my winter jacket, hat, gloves, and scarf, and walk out the door at 4. It’s a rare occasion that I wake up before sun does, but this is an exceptionally special occasion. I’m going on a hot air balloon ride!

We drove the 45 minutes from the Gold Coast to Canungra, our meeting place. It was a foggy winter morning in the Southern Hemisphere and unfortunately for me and a bus full of tourists, we had to wait a half hour for the fog to clear. Finally we got the okay sign and met our beautiful balloons at the launching site. The balloons were inflating by the time we got there. The sun was already up, but the sky was still glowing orange, post-sunrise.

Hot air balloons are the oldest successful human-carrying flight technology. Now we use them for recreation, but they have been the tool of challenge for many decades since its first flight in 1783. Pioneers always wanted to go further and higher, and hot air balloon adventures have been a part of it. Hot air balloons have crossed the ocean, and traveled around the globe. The human desire to fly and explore the world has continued to this day.

We flew over the picturesque hinterland of Queensland for a half an hour. The air was calm and crisp, like a winter morning should be. Our pilot controlled the balloon up and down whilst letting the wind take us. We floated over farms, looking down over the Advancetown Lake and hinterland. I felt like I was a part of Disney movie at one point. When ducks ran away from the shadow of the balloon, I could almost hear ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in the background.

The tour continued to O’Reilly’s Vinyard for a glass of champagne and breakfast. This is from the tradition of the old days, when people celebrated a successful hot air balloon flight with champagne.

Flying is a basic human desire from the olden days. That’s why we now get to enjoy airplanes, hot air balloons, hang-gliding, and so on. Of course, the hot air balloon ride is more intimate than flying in an airplane. There’s no window or seat belt, and you can feel the hot air whenever the pilot pumps the gas.

It was totally worth waking up at 3:30 a.m.

Getting ready to float!

Getting ready to float!

Inside of the hot air balloon

Inside of the hot air balloon

The second hot air balloon makes a great shot

The second hot air balloon makes a great shot

Two balloons are floating today

Two balloons are floating today

Our balloon was the biggest hot air balloon in Australia

Our balloon was the biggest hot air balloon in Australia

Looking down the farm land from the hot air balloon

Looking down the farm land from the hot air balloon

Morning fog in the countryside of Gold Coast

Morning fog in the countryside of Gold Coast

Our balloon departed first!

Our balloon departed first!

Morning fog in Queensland's hinterland

Morning fog in Queensland’s hinterland

Queensland's hinterland

Queensland’s hinterland

Morning sun on the Advancetown Lake

Morning sun on the Advancetown Lake

Two balloons in the sky

Two balloons in the sky

Fly away to Queensland's hinterland

Fly away to Queensland’s hinterland

#This post is a part of #ThisisQueensland #Room753 campaign in collaboration with Tourism and Events Queensland. All opinions are my own.
To read more posts from this campaign, please click — #Room753.

You can experience the hot air ballooning yourself with Hot Air Gold Coast.


About Juno Kim

17 Responses to “Runaway Photos: Gold Coast Looks a Bit Better on Hot Air Balloon”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Yuna says:

    Wow, cool! it’s indeed beautiful. :)

  2. I went on a hot air baloon over Cappadocia in Turkey and it was an incredible experience – the most peaceful form of transport and something I would love to do again

  3. Andrew says:

    How awesome does that look? I’ve always fancied hot air balloons but to be honest, I’m terrified of heights!

    • Juno says:

      They told us that if you are terrified of heights, look up not down. It looks kind of scary when we are ascending, but it gets better when you are in certain heights! :)

  4. What a great view. I have been on a hot air balloon once and I loved it- in Napa valley. This however really shows off the gold coast which I didn’t know what this beautiful. I guess I’ll have to extend my trip a bit to oz next year so I can spend some time here.

    • Juno Kim says:

      Please do! :) This was an hour drive away from the main Gold Coast area. There are many exciting attractions near Gold Coast. National Parks, mountains, and forests… such an amazing place!

  5. What gorgeous pics and an amazing view! I’ve never done the hot air balloon experience before — what a place to do it!!

  6. We were lucky enough to go hot air ballooning in Vang Vieng, Laos, and ever since we’re trying to find other gorgeous spots to do it again. The Gold Coast certainly makes that list!

  7. Jeremy @ College says:

    Wow awesome shots! Going in a hot air balloon is definitely on my bucket list!

  8. Everything looks better floating above on a hot air balloon. It all looks so magical!

    Beautiful photos!

  9. Ayngelina says:

    I never considered going on a hot air balloon in Australia but you’ve convinced me it’s the way to go.

  10. Laura says:

    Stunning photos! We’ve done hot air balloons in Egypt and Turkey and have absolutely loved them (even Lance, who is scared of heights).

  11. I always dreamed of making a trip like this. Maybe one day…

  12. Alex says:

    Love the photos as always but also love the musing on the hot air balloon experience and history :-) I loved my one ride in Laos, but I totally want to do it again!


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