The Hunter Valley cannot rival the Swiss Alps or the Himalayas for extremely spectacular views, however there are many rolling images which delight the eye and soul. One of the best ways to see the Hunter Valley is not necessarily through wine-drenched eyes, but from a birds’ eye vantage point – drifting up with the wind currents in a hot air balloon.
Those with a fear of heights can rest assured that the safety record of Hunter Valley hot air balloons is second to none. A champagne breakfast in a hot air balloon is the ultimate heart-starter, watching the sunrise from half a kilometre up is a memory to savour for a lifetime. Spotting kangaroos in winery grounds on the way up or down surrenders to a landscape-expanding perspective – you can see it all!
The hot air balloon is the oldest successful human-carrying flight technology. It is part of a class of aircraft known as balloon aircraft. On November 21, 1783, in Annonay, France, the first untethered human-carrying flight was performed by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d’Arlandes in a hot air balloon created on December 14, 1782 by the Montgolfier brothers. Hot air balloons that can be propelled through the air rather than just being pushed along by the wind are known as airships or, more specifically, thermal airships.
For most of us, the prospect of a champagne breakfast casts visions of a hangover arriving by noon. But rising above the landscape, breathing deep that rarified air, while sensibly drinking sparkling mineral water in equal quantities to champagne, will see you through the afternoon in a deep state of elevated satisfaction rather than a cloudy afternoon of temple ache.
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