My wife and I (for a special birthday) decided to take a hot air balloon flight over Melbourne so booked with BalloonMan and had our flight at sunrise on the 12th of Feb 2022. In this post I wanted to discuss my experience with the flight, and include photos, track logs and what ever other information I can include….

Typical disclaimer: do note that this is my experience, and whilst information has been provided in good faith, your experiences may be different to mine, I should also note that this is not a sponsored post, and we paid the full amount to undertake the flight.

Balloon flights are very much controlled by the weather, and can only be undertaken in appropriate and safe conditions, because weather can be very variable there is not always a guarantee the flight will take off however, on the morning of the flight (at around 4am) we received a call from Chris from BalloonMan to let us know that we anticipate we should be able to take off and to meet at 5am, we all met at 5am and were picked up by a van, and headed to Bulleen to check on the weather at site.

When we arrived at Bulleen, there was some concern that the wind speed may be a little bit too high, so the team released a test balloon (a helium balloon with a red flashing light) and watched it gather height and which direction it travelled to see the speed.After deciding that Bulleen was not the best place to launch, we headed off to Sparks Reserve near Blackburn and did the same test again, this time the pilots decided that conditions were good enough and we began to set up for launch.

In addition to taking some photos on the flight (which I will continue to post over time), I also captured a Timelapse with the Feiyu Pocket 2S (1 photo per second), the Timelapse has been uploaded to YouTube and is embedded below:

Video 1: Timelapse captured during the flight with the Feiyu Pocket 2S

In addition, we were also sent a short video of the flight which is embedded below (directly from BalloonMan).

Video 2: The video provided by BalloonMan gives a great idea of the experience.

The flight went for slightly over an hour, and followed approximately the path below (Figures 1 & 2):

Figure 1: The approximate flight path for the sunrise balloon flight, map is provided by OpenStreetMap, and GPSx log has been overlaid.
Figure 2: The approximate flight path for the sunrise balloon flight, this topographical map was a provided by ESRI et al.

Because hot air balloons don’t have any flaps or fins or anything, steering of the balloon is achieved by changing the height at which the balloon is flying (ascending or descending) to catch different direction winds, as such throughout the flight we were commonly ascending or descending which is identified in the elevation profile (below):

The approximate elevation profile over time / distance travelled. Do note that this is from an uncalibrated device so is only a guide, but reports around 600m as our max elevation (I think from memory the pilot mentioned it was slightly higher).

The experience overall was fantastic and I would highly recommend it as a bucket list item for sure, I learnt that I have a healthy respect for ground but still enjoyed the flight immensely. It was great to be able to see the city from a new vantage point which changed throughout the flight, and of course the photographic opportunities were amazing :).

I will be posting photos on my site so visit back or follow me on social media to see more photos, if you are interested in finding out more about the balloon flight the company we flew with was BalloonMan and you can visit their website by clicking here.

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