Fly high at the Canberra Balloon Spectacular

Fly high at the Canberra Balloon Spectacular

Hot air balloons have a history dating all the way back to the early 1780s, when the very first fire-heated globes constructed from fabric took off over the earth. Since these humble beginnings, hot air ballooning has come a very long way, and mankind has well and truly embraced this past time as a thrilling way of getting a unique perspective on Australia's stunning landscapes.

Such is the popularity of hot air balloons that each year dozens of cities around the world host large-scale hot air balloon festivals. One of the best of these takes place in our very own Canberra, and it's about to celebrate its 29th birthday. Introducing the Canberra Balloon Spectacular 2015.

Where and when?

The festival takes place during the week of 7-15 March on the lawns of Old Parliament House in Parkes. The balloons will inflate each day from 6:15am, with breakfast running until 10am and the balloon launch between 6:30 and 7am.


One of the world's premier hot air ballooning events, the Canberra Balloon Spectacular, is well worth making the trip to Canberra for. Pilots gather on the Old Parliament House lawns each day to inflate their balloons and set sail over the city's most significant attractions, creating a visually stunning effect for all who attend the event.

This year's event will see balloons in special shapes take to the sky alongside the classic spherical styles, which will bring a sense of whimsy to each day of flying. Expect bright colours to light up the sky, with tasty breakfast served up daily by the Belconnen Lions Club. The early bird catches the worm at the Canberra Balloon Spectacular, so make sure you're up bright and early to see the balloons fill the sky at 7am.

As with all hot air ballooning, the Spectacular is weather-dependant to ensure safety and good visibility, so keep your fingers crossed for still conditions and plenty of sunshine! Check in with Canberra Connect or EventsACT on the scheduled days of flight if you are concerned about the conditions.

"The Canberra Balloon Spectacular is celebrating its 29th birthday this year, and you're invited to join in the festivities."

Want more?

Why not make the most of this incredible event by booking yourself in for a balloon ride you'll never forget? Canberra has several excellent hot air balloon operators who will be more than happy to take you on a tour that includes spectacular views across the city and countryside. Getting to the event is easy thanks to the city's ACTION buses, or you can drive and park your car in the Parliamentary Zone.

Where to stay

Make sure you're ready for those early starts by booking in holiday accommodation close to the action of the festival. Mantra on Northbourne is ideally located for the Spectacular, at just a 3.4 kilometre walk away from the event grounds. Buses will take about 20 minutes to get you from your accommodation to Old Parliament House, giving you more time to sleep in and easy access to all the highlights of the city.

The accommodation is not only in a great location, but it also has plenty of superior facilities to tempt guests. Work out at the on-site gym after your early morning wake up call, or head back to bed for a nap before getting a delicious room service meal delivered to your apartment. Alternatively, head to Mantra on Northbournes' very own Zipp Restaurant Bar for a pick-me-up coffee, nightcap cocktail or exquisite meal at the end of the day. The buffet breakfast here is particularly tempting, and it's a great place to unwind after a long day of balloon-watching.

Other attractive options include Peppers Gallery Hotel, located in New Acton and featuring decadent touches such as rain showers, marble finishes and original art, and BreakFree Capital Tower, soaring over the shores of Lake Burley Griffin and boasting everything from one-bedroom apartments through to a three-bedroom, two-storey penthouse.

Canberra hotels

Canberra hotels, Mantra on Northbourne
Mantra on Northbourne

Situated in the centre of Canberra, offering modern, comfortable hotel rooms and self-contained apartments...Read More »

Canberra hotels, Peppers Gallery Hotel
Peppers Gallery Hotel

Stylish, beautifully appointed hotel rooms and apartments, positioned in a sculpture garden setting near Lake Burley Griffin...Read More »

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