Top Ten Australia Classic Adventures

Float Above Hunter Valley
By Ron Moon & Viv Moon

The gas burner lights with the roar of an in-bound express train, and in the chill of the early winter morning the heat can be felt from 30 feet away. Billowing and bucking, the great colored cloth envelope begins to take shape until it towers tall and proud above the ground and the small group of people at its base.

At the command of our pilot we clamber into the balloon's wicker basket, trading smiles with the other eight adventurers who join us in its confines. The roar of the burners continues and then we lift off, climbing quickly into the blue sky.

When the burners are switched off, a silence settles on our airship; we drift effortlessly above a patchwork of farmland, vineyards, and natural forest, all of it scored by winding waterways and straighter tracks and roads. Farm animals graze on the rich green pastures, while a group of grey kangaroos feed and groom in a early patch of sunlight close to the forest's edge. Peace and serenity—the magic of a balloon flight over New South Wales's Hunter Valley!


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