The answers to all your Huter Valley Ballooning questions
Why fly with Wine Country Ballooning?
Wine Country Ballooning is the Hunter Valley's newest hot air balloon company using the Hunter Valley's most experienced pilot. Nearly 10 years of flying exclusively over the Hunter Valley has led our Chief Pilot and owner, Daren to realise the dream. Wine Country Ballooning is a small company offering intimate service and a quality experience at an attractive price. As a family run business with minimal overheads, Wine Country Ballooning is in a unique position to share our passion for ballooning and the Valley with you, our passengers.
Years of flying massive groups in huge balloons, it was easy to lose focus on how special a balloon ride is for the passengers. Small modern balloons, modern vehicles and experienced crew will ensure your safety and satisfaction with Wine Country Ballooning. We will never fly more than 10 passengers in our baskets and as there is only one group per morning, you won't feel lost in the crowd. Why fly economy when you can go first class for less?
How much is a balloon flight?
Our regular rate is $320 per person but we do often have specials available. You can see these on our Prices page.
How much do Gift vouchers cost?
Gift Vouchers cost the same as flights. A Gold voucher is valid any day, and a Silver voucher is valid week days only.
How do I know if my flight is going ahead?
As ballooning is weather dependent, we ask all passengers to call our Flight Confirmation Line between 6:30-7:00pm the night before you are scheduled to fly. There will be a message confirming the status of your flight depending upon the latest weather forecast.
What do I do if my flight is cancelled?
If your flight is cancelled, flight tickets are refundable or you can re-book. If you have a Gift Voucher, these are non-refundable, so you must rebook before the expiry date. Check the terms and conditions for further details.
What time do we meet?
As late as possible! With only a few people to check-in, we try and meet only 45 minutes before sunrise, ensuring you maximum sleep-in. This time varies throughout the year, 5am at the earliest, and 6:30am at the latest.
Where do you meet?
We meet at the Mercure Resort, Hunter Valley Gardens. This is at the junction of Broke Road and McDonalds Road. It is probably the best sign posted destination in the Hunter Valley making it easy to find when you are still half asleep.
Can you pick me up?
If you don't have your own transport, the pilot will pick you up on his way to the meeting point. This does mean you will get there at least 20 minutes before the other passengers. Local transfers only.
When is a good time to fly?
We fly all year round. Spring and Summer offer our most reliable months (November - April) with a low percentage of cancellations. May - October offers spectacular flights on crisp Autumn and Winter mornings, but we do experience a higher percentage of cancellations usually due to windy weather.
How long does it all take?
4 hours from meeting to departing is a good guide. Approximately one hour in the air, with the rest of the time taken with travelling to and from launch/landing sites, setting up and packing away the balloon, and of course drinking champagne at the end!
Can my friends join us?
Family and friends are always welcome. Seeing a balloon inflate for the first time is a fantastic experience for anyone. If we have space in our vehicle, they are welcome to jump in. If not, then they can follow in their own car. By prior arrangement, we can provide them with a radio to listen in to the chatter between pilot and chase crew!
Why don't the flights include breakfast?
You are welcome to pay on the day and enjoy a beautiful breakfast at the Mercure Resort. We do not include breakfast with all our flights as many of our passengers will have breakfast included with their accommodation. We see no need in asking our passengers to pay twice for something. All our passengers are invited to join in with our champagne celebration at the end of the flight.
What shall I wear?
Long trousers, covered shoes and a long-sleeved top/jacket. Natural fibres are best. Should you be tall, or a bit thin on top (like the pilot! ;-) then we suggest a cap.
What shall I bring?
Camera and/or video are essential. Your mobile phone, just in case you are running late, and your Booking Confirmation which will have directions for the meeting place and the pilot's mobile phone number.