Updated: Jan 15, 2019
Mudgee is set to come alive in May this year when for the first time the town is hosting the Australian National Hot Air Ballooning Championships. Attracting the best pilots from around the country, the Championships will include 5 days of competition from May 27th to May 31st. They will fly over beautiful Mudgee and nearby townships as they compete for the title of Australian Ballooning Champion and spectators are welcome to come out and watch it all.
A hot air balloon competition requires the pilots to score points by completing a number of set tasks, which are predetermined by the Event Director before a flight. This generally involves the pilot throwing a weighted streamer at a target, usually a cross or road intersection with set coordinates. To get there the pilot needs to manoeuvre the balloon by using wind currents at various altitudes. Flying will take place in the early morning and late afternoon and spectators will be able to follow the action from the ground.
The Championships will be part of the Mudgee Hot Air Ballooning Festival which kicks off on the Saturday night the 25th of May with the first ever Mudgee Night Glow. It is set to kick off at Glen Willow Stadium around 5pm and finish around 9pm and the evening will include a family friendly night market offering some of our best wines, food, crafts and live music.
The festivities will also include roving performers, face-painting and jumping castles which will make for a wonderful atmosphere and will keep the kids entertained. . This event is all about lighting up the night so glow-in-the-dark t-shirts, glasses, headbands and other glow items will all be available for purchase during the event so that you can ‘Get your glow on’. Various shaped hot air balloons will be on display to amuse you.
The main event will be the spectacular balloon Night Glow which will see hot air balloons inflated and tethered in the Glen Willow Stadium. The Night Glow will be choreographed to music and will culminate with a spectacular fireworks display in what will be a wonderful family night out.
The guys at Balloons Aloft are doing special Festival Flights where you get a front row seat at the Australian Hot Air Ballooning Championships. Your balloon will launch and fly along, following the competition field as they complete their competition tasks. Watch from the air as the competition pilots navigate the winds to achieve set tasks, using the breeze to steer to set points or targets. Your pilot will provide commentary as the competition tasks progress. After your flight you have a delicious buffet breakfast with sparkling wine back at Blue Wren.
Be sure to book a wine tour with Country Escape Tours where you will have a fun filled day exploring the amazing Mudgee Wineries without having to worry about driving. We can personalise a tour to suit your needs and give you complimentary transfers to and from your accommodation. Bring your friends or family and make Mudgee your destination this May!