Saturday, October 31

Hot Air Ballooning 101 – What You Need to Know

For those who would love to get involved with hot air ballooning, don’t worry because it’s a relatively straightforward experience. However, there are still some things you might need to know about hot air ballooning before you go up in the air. For those who are just starting out, we suggest going on the website to learn what to expect and be more prepared for your first time on a hot air balloon.




How do I get involved with hot air ballooning?


If your idea of involvement just revolves around riding hot air balloons, the best and easiest way would be to pay for a ride. Not all cities have hot air balloon companies, so you might need to go online and do some digging before you can get started on your ballooning adventures. In New Zealand, visit


You should also pay attention to news regarding balloon festivals and go to one. These festivals are very popular places to go to for hot air balloon enthusiasts. Don’t be shy; feel free to ask questions. Most often, the pilots and crews will be happy to answer your questions. Just bear in mind that sometimes, spectators are not allowed to go very near the balloons, so when going to a festival, take note of their rules.


What should I wear during the ride?


We suggest wearing hiking boots or similar footwear, socks, durable but comfortable pants, plus a hat or cap to shield the sun. Depending on the weather, you should also wear a long-sleeved shirt layered with a thick coat or jacket (during winter) or just t-shirts during summer. Some more recommended items are:


  • Camera (A small one. If planning to carry professional equipment, please talk to the crew and pilot about it beforehand.)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen


What should I expect during a hot air balloon ride?


You will meet up with your pilot and crew first before going to the launch site. It is most important that you arrive on time because the quality of the launch will depend on the wind direction, and those direction change constantly depending on the time of day.


At the launch site, the balloon will be prepared for inflating. Once it is ready, two people will usually be asked to assist. Aside from being helpful, this is also a good photo opportunity for the passengers but always listen to the pilot and crew for any instructions. Once the balloon is inflated, the burner will be lit, and once the balloon is upright, the passengers will be asked to climb aboard the gondola.


You will quickly realize that the middle area nearest to the burner is the hottest, and staying near the edges of the gondola will provide you with a more pleasant, breathtaking experience. The direction of the balloon will greatly depend on which direction the wind is blowing. The pilot can help guide things along by moving the balloon up or down, but he won’t be able to actually steer the balloon.


For more information on hot air ballooning (including booking a ride), visit the top hot air balloon company in New Zealand –