Rise Above It All With One of Melbourne’s Finest Hot Air Balloon Escapes

Image shows hot air balloons floating over the Melbourne city skyline.

Once the purview of rich, 19th-century eccentrics, hot air balloons have settled into a comfortable middle-ground of being both classy and retro. A bit like vinyl records, although without the snobbery. Okay, as much snobbery.

Flying high above the ground, it’s the perfect way to take in the stunning scenery of the Australian landscape using technology that hasn’t much changed in over a century.

While Australia is no Cappadocia, you’ll frequently see hot air balloons rising above the landscape, particularly in the more touristy hotspots of the Yarra Valley and the Hunter Valley in NSW. Canberra too has its own hot air balloon festival featuring the monstrous Skywhale.

If you’ve ever looked up and thought that dangling from an inflated ball of fabric would be the ideal way for you to relax, this is the article for you.

Here we dig into everything you need to know about hot air ballooning in the great Victorian capital of Melbourne.

What Time of Year Is Best for Hot Air Balloons in Melbourne?

If you’re looking to go hot air ballooning in Melbourne, you’re going to first have to lock in some dates.

As you can imagine, being hundreds of metres up in the air supported by nothing more than a wicker basket and the indecipherable laws of physics, you don’t want to pick a time of year when you’re likely to be tempting fate and the wrath of mother nature.

Although companies offering hot air balloon rides operate all year round, the most recommended time to take to the skies is during Autumn and Spring. Flying season, for most operators, is between November and April, with less availability in the winter.

In order to fly safely, hot air balloons need optimum air quality and weather conditions. Cooler air is preferable while still winds are ideal. This is why some operators say that Autumn, from March to May, is the perfect time to fly.

However, operators will mainly fly at sunrise to maximise the time when they’re flying in the cold air, so Spring is also a good choice as you’ll get to see all the wildflowers in bloom across the fields.

Where Can I See Hot Air Balloons in Melbourne?

Hot air balloons fly across the city at all times of the year but, as above, Spring and Autumn are the times you’re most likely to see them.

Taking advantage of the cold air, sunrise and sunset are ideal times to look up into the sky for hot air balloons.

Balloons take off from a handful of places around greater Melbourne. In the CBD, you’ve got Liberty Balloon Flights in Carlton, BalloonMan in Abbotsford, and Global Ballooning in Richmond.

Further out, you’ve also got Blue Skies Ballooning in Greensborough and Picture This Ballooning in Ringwood.

Up towards the Yarra Valley, you’ve got Go Wild Ballooning and another Blue Skies Ballooning while hot air balloons also take off from Geelong via Geelong Ballooning.

How Much Does It Cost to Ride a Hot Air Balloon in Melbourne?

As with all of these types of things, the price varies depending on the company you go with and if you can secure any online discounts or deals – of which there are quite a few, so it’s worth keeping your eyes out for them.

The time of day and the day of the week also impact the price. It’s a lot cheaper to go on a Wednesday afternoon than it is to go at sunrise or sunset on a Saturday.


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That all being said, expect to pay a minimum of $270 per person. The average low-cost flight is between $330 and $500, with prices rising to $600 and above depending on extras like meals and the time of day.

What Are the Best Places for Balloon Rides in Melbourne?

With the three main areas of the Melbourne CBD, the Yarra Valley, and Geelong covered by local providers, it really depends on the type of flight you want to take.

Hot air balloon rides typically last around an hour and that doesn’t include inflating and deflating the balloon, which some companies expect you to help with. It can be a lot of fun and makes for a great photo opportunity.

Outside of that, it’s really up to you. Do you want to take in the misty valleys of the Yarra or do you want to look down on the tiny ants populating the Melbourne cityscape? Flights above the city are generally slightly more expensive whereas the more rural flights can be a little cheaper.

The most popular and highest-rated hot air balloon companies in Melbourne and the surrounding regions are Liberty Balloon Flights, Blue Skies Ballooning, BalloonMan, Go Wild Ballooning, and Global Ballooning. All have a strong history of safety and positive reviews.

A few final things to remember when booking a hot air balloon experience are that it will be cold up there so definitely wrap up warm. Hot air ballooning is subject to the weather and so flights can be cancelled at the last minute. You will also likely have to get up very early for sunrise flights, but the views once you’re up in the clouds will make it all worthwhile.

Related: Rising Melbourne Is Coming to Brighten the City Streets This Winter

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