It's a bird! It's a plane! It's ... a hot air balloon majestically soaring over Canberra's skyline!
The Canberra Balloon Spectacular is coming back to the nation's capital for its 29th year, giving residents and visitors the chance to see the skies come to life from Saturday, 7 March to Sunday, 15 March.
What, When, Where?
Drawing balloons from across the globe, the Canberra Balloon Spectacular is one of the longest running balloon events in the world. It's also the only event of its kind to allow operators to fly so close to houses of government and nationally significant buildings, ensuring a spectacular scene for spectators.
This completely free event will see balloons setting up across the lawns of Old Parliament House from 6:15am each morning. Spectators are encouraged to come early and watch as operators roll out, prepare and fill their balloons. It takes approximately 30 minutes before they are ready to ascend in a gentle drift over the national buildings – a beautiful sight as the sun's rays begin to stretch across the landscape.
A Couple Of New Faces
Adding an extra element of fun, the event features new novelty balloons in unique shapes. This year, an Angry Bird and Yoda-shaped balloon will join the line-up. There will be plenty of other colourful balloons set to launch over Canberra. In fact, operators as far as Belgium and the United States will be travelling to Canberra to participate.
Looking for more Canberra fun? Go Wild at Jamala Wildlife Lodge
Breakfast and more!
An early start is well worth it as you take in all the action. What's better is the option to purchase a hot breakfast courtesy of the Belconnen Lions Club.
Breakfast and balloons can be followed up by taking in one of the exclusive exhibitions that will coincide with the Balloon Spectacular. This includes the James Turrell: A Retrospective instillation at the National Gallery of Australia. It will feature more than 50 pieces spanning five decades, including light projections, holograms and immersive light installations.
The Australia in the Great War in the new First World War galleries is another note-worthy exhibition well worth checking out. An impressive collection of First World War artefacts, technology, uniforms, medals, photographs, film and personal items, it is one of the world's most significant First World War exhibitions.