With a long and daring history, hot air ballooning has, for the most part, seen it all. Believe it or not, the first “manned” hot air balloon took flight on the 19th of September 1783. The balloon held passengers including a sheep, duck and rooster. Understandably, this was quite a sight to behold.
Not long after this, the first real manned flight saw lift off on the 21st of November 1783 in Paris, France. The pilots were Pilatre De Rozier and Marquis d’Arlandes. These two men flew for about 20 minutes and travelled roughly 8 kilometres, landing safely and receiving awards for their brave efforts.
And brave they were! Built by the infamous Montgolfier brothers, the balloon was practically made from paper. Combined with air on the inside being heated by an open fire, this was clearly not ideal.
Fast forward 236 years later, hot air balloon technology has thankfully seen many advances. Rather than a serious mode of transport, hot air balloons have become for some a leisure activity and for others a sport. What hasn't changed is that to this day, hot air balloons are still considered a sight to behold.
With this in mind, it is no wonder that major hot air ballooning festivals have become so popular worldwide. Luckily for us, we even have one in our very own backyard.
Following the roaring success of the first event, Hunter Valley Night Glow is back to dazzle crowds at Roche Estate on Saturday 13th April 2019! Hosted by Balloon Aloft and Roche Estate, the event will no doubt offer a fantastic start to the school holidays for both kids and parents alike.
Located in the heart of the Hunter Valley wine country, Roche Estate is a premier events venue that plays host to numerous critically acclaimed acts and events throughout the year.
Inspired by incredible bazaars around the world, the evening will kick-off with a family-friendly night market
offering some of the Hunter Valley’s best food, wine, and hand-made crafts. Coupled with stunning views, the festivities will also include musical performances throughout the night.
Notably, the live performance by acoustic band, The Coconut Trio, is set to be a crowd-pleaser. The Newcastle group including three members, Olivia, Sophia, and Frank, bonded over their love of music. They hope to share this love with audiences both near and far, with influences including Jackson 5, Bob Marley, The Beatles and even Bruno Mars. Along with The Coconut Trio, there will be no shortage of entertainment as roving performers, face-painting and jumping castles are sure to keep kids of all ages entertained.
Hot air ballooning enthusiasts will be in seventh heaven with the opportunity to meet former two-time Women's World Ballooning Champion, Nicola Scaife. Working as a commercial balloon pilot for Balloon Aloft, Nicola will be on hand to answer any of your ballooning questions as you walk through a semi-inflated hot air balloon and learn how a balloon operates. This will also make the perfect photo opportunity with people welcome to take a selfie from inside the balloon envelope.
From here, grab the kids and make sure to explore the amazing balloon display. Back by popular demand, the Nudie and Heart Shape Balloon will be part of the display with other special surprises in store. As well, the enormous Roche Estate Balloon will also be on display. This incredible balloon is one not to miss, standing over nine storeys high, this impressive balloon carries 24 passengers and is the biggest passenger balloon in Australia!
Known as being one of the best parts of the evening, Balloon Aloft senior pilot Matthew Scaife said,
We are so excited to have these balloons at Roche Estate, and spectators will be too. There will be no shortage of photographic opportunities.
The event hopes to inspire everyone to “get their glow on”, and really involve audiences in lighting up the night. Glow-in-the-dark t-shirts, glasses, headbands, and other glow items will all be available for purchase during the event.
Michelle Wills from Balloon Aloft explains, “The night is just a real celebration, for kids and families… and we have really worked to ensure we are making this a family-friendly night, for the younger generations as well as the mums and dad and grandparents.”
Of course, the main celebration and the highlight of the evening will start at 8pm when the spectacular balloon night glow performance sees hot air balloons light up their burners and take flight in the dark. Over 12 months in the making, with approximately eight balloons, the performance is set to delight. Tethered to the ground, balloons will drift upwards lighting up the night sky, dancing to the music. Both kids and parents are sure to be mesmerised, with the incredible Hunter Valley acting as the perfect stage for this amazing performance. And of course, the performance is set to end with a bang, thanks to a spectacular firework display over Roche Estate to conclude the event.
Don’t miss the most magical event of the year! Be sure to bring a picnic rug to enjoy dinner under the stars and start the school holidays with a bang. With online tickets priced from just $19.50 for adults and $11.50 for children, the event is sure to make for a wonderful night out for the whole family. To book your tickets to the night glow visit www.huntervalleynightglow.eventbrite.com.au. For further event information go to www.balloonaloft.com/nightglow