"An elevated perspective of Queenstown"
Most people like a good sleep in beyond 4.30am, right? So getting out the house before the sun comes up is something you wanna do for good reason.
Well, not only was ballooning over Queenstown one of the best reasons to rise before the sun came up, but more than that, it was probably the most incredible view of the region we've ever experienced.
What really made this trip a winner was the mystery of leaving the ground at launch, knowing we'd land somewhere different, wherever the winds decided to send us.
The launch is just effortless, like stepping onto an elevator - in minutes we were off the ground and darting just metres over the surrounding hills and trees. Having another balloon fly with us added another pretty cool dimension to the flight, as we tracked their progress relative to ours each step of the trip.
Every now and again as our pilot puffed out a plume of flames from the burners to get us aloft, we got a warm glow of heat on our faces which took the bite out of the cool air. It was incredible how we were just surrounded by nothing but silence and awesome panoramic views.
Seeing Queenstown from 6,000ft as the sun made it's way from behind the mountains, is truly something quite remarkable. A textbook landing - and we wrapped up the morning with a glass of champagne, fresh fruit, freshly baked croissants, tea and coffee. Top marks to Sunrise Balloons!
Participating in preparing the balloon with it's inflation, transforming it from a piece of fabric into a giant globe
Seeing the sun pop up from behind the mountains from 6,000ft
Taking in panoramic views of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Mt Aspiring and many other key peaks within the Southern Alps.
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