Gain a bird’s-eye view of Australia’s best scenery on a hot air balloon ride in Melbourne. With options to fly over Melbourne’s city center or take to the skies over Yarra Valley, you have the chance to see the region from a completely new perspective.
Melbourne is one of the few cities in the world where you can take a hot air balloon ride. It’s an unmissable and unique experience for anyone traveling to the city, and one that only takes a few hours.
Here's all you need to know about hot air balloon rides, one of the most exhilarating outdoor activities in Melbourne.
While there are plenty of hot air balloon rides available over Melbourne, you also have the option of going an hour out of the city for a flight over the spectacular Yarra Valley.
The best of both typically include a champagne breakfast. What you see on your flight may depend on the wind direction at the time.
On a hot air balloon ride in Melbourne, you can expect to gain an unrivaled perspective of the city from above.
During this 1-hour balloon ride at sunrise, you will pass over some of Melbourne’s most notable locations. Soar above the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne Park and Albert Park, which hosts the Australian Grand Prix.
You may also pass the Eureka Skydeck which towers at nearly 300 meters high. It’s home to the highest observation deck in the southern hemisphere.
Gain a perspective of history with a fly over St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Royal Exhibition Building, both of which are heritage-listed buildings in Melbourne.
You may also pass the Shrine of Remembrance, a memorial dedicated to the service of Australians in war and peacekeeping.
From the sky, you’ll also see some of Melbourne’s more natural sights, including the Fitzroy Gardens, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and the Melbourne Zoo — keep an eye out for the kangaroos and emus.
After your epic adventure over the city, you’ll have the option of joining a champagne breakfast at one of the hotels.
Leave the city for a hot air balloon ride over Yarra Valley. Located just under an hour outside of Melbourne, Yarra Valley is famed for its wineries and restaurants. On a hot air balloon ride over this region, spot over 80 vineyards below.
Yarra Valley has a history of wine cultivation dating back nearly two centuries and is a popular location for wine tastings and food tours.
Admire the rolling hills and vineyards on a balloon ride at sunrise, and take note of the numerous eateries and wineries you may be able to visit during your time in the region.
On your journey, you may pass over the town of Healesville and the Healesville Sanctuary, a zoo for indigenous Australian animals. You may also float above the town of Yarra Glen, Mount Sugarloaf and the Alowyn Gardens.
At the end of your trip, you may opt to join a champagne breakfast at one of the local estates in Yarra Valley for a taste of Australian cuisine.
For a more intimate experience, you can choose to go on a private hot air balloon ride over the Yarra Valley.
This excursion is limited to two people, and includes a buffet breakfast with champagne. You may also be able to enjoy champagne during the flight, at your pilot’s discretion.
A hot air balloon ride over Yarra Valley can start at approximately US$280 per person, excluding a champagne breakfast.
A hot air balloon ride over Melbourne can start at approximately US$290 per person, excluding a champagne breakfast.
A private hot air balloon ride over Yarra Valley can start at US$3,000 per person for a group of two, including a champagne breakfast.
For a hot air balloon ride over Melbourne or Yarra Valley, many tours may include the option of pickup from your accommodation to reach the meeting point.
Other tours also may include a guide, or commentary from your pilot about the ride and how it works. You may also watch and be involved in the inflation and deflation process of the balloon.
Some hot air balloon rides will also include in-flight photos or even a flight certificate. You can choose to include a champagne breakfast to enjoy after your hot air balloon ride.
Most tours for a hot air balloon ride will start at a predetermined meeting point. If you are taking a hot air balloon ride in Melbourne, you will typically meet at a location within the city.
If you are taking a hot air balloon ride in Yara Valley, you will typically meet at a location in Yarra Glen.
Most tours will also give you the option to request pickup from your hotel accommodation or at a meeting point in Melbourne.
A hot air balloon ride lasts approximately 1 hour. However, the entire tour can take approximately 4 hours from start to finish, as you may be required to travel and have safety briefings. Breakfast will also extend the time.
The best time to take a hot air balloon ride in Melbourne is at sunrise. Most tours will take flight in the early morning when you will have some of the best light for taking photos.
Afterward, you can end the excursion with a celebratory champagne breakfast.
Hot air balloon rides in Melbourne are among the safest outdoor activities and are regarded as one of the safest forms of air travel.
However, hot air ballooning is not recommended for pregnant travelers, people with heart problems, serious medical conditions or back problems.
A moderate level of fitness is also required in order to enter and exit the hot air balloon and stand for the duration of the ride.
Children are allowed to join a hot air balloon ride. The minimum age is typically 6, but it’s advisable to check with your tour first. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
In the case of bad weather, your pilot may choose to cancel your hot air balloon ride in Melbourne. However, you will typically be offered either a different date to embark on your ride or a full refund for the costs.