Lonely Planet Writer

The skies over Canberra are filled with giant balloons this week

This year’s Canberra Balloon Spectacular is in full flight, with the popular annual event running for over a week and featuring an impressive collection of gigantic colourful balloons taking to the sky every morning.

Canberra Balloon Spectacular
The hummingbird hot air balloon from the USA. Image by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Canberra Balloon Spectacular
A balloon skimming the surface of the water in Canberra. Image by Cazz
Different shaped creations at the Canberra Balloon Spectacular 2017.
Different shaped creations at the Canberra Balloon Spectacular 2017. Image by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
The balloons launch every morning for nine days total throughout the event.
The balloons launch every morning for nine days total throughout the event. Image by Tim Hughes

Running until Sunday March 19th, the event includes over 40 hot air balloons that float across the Canberra skylines each day for nine days in total. Unique balloon designs taking part throughout the week include the Hummingbird from the United States, and the Smurf from Belgium, both of which are making their debut Australian flights as part of the event. Balloons launch each morning from 6.15am from the lawns of the Old Parliament House and fly against the backdrop of Canberra’s national attractions, while a breakfast is available from 7am to 10am each morning, provided by the Belconnen Lions Club. Proceeds from all breakfast purchases are being donated back into the Canberra community, while last year saw just under $40,000 being donated to charity from the event. Hot drinks and Dutch pancakes are also available throughout the spectacular.

Breakfast is available each morning at lift-off, with all proceeds of purchases going to charity.
Breakfast is available each morning at lift-off, with all proceeds of purchases going to charity. Image by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
The Smurf balloon from Belgium is taking part in this year's festivities.
The Smurf balloon from Belgium is taking part in this year’s festivities. Image by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Canberra Balloon Spectacular
The impressive Hummingbird balloon is made with a bespoke shape. Image by Cazz
Canberra Balloon Spectacular
Over 40,000 people are expected to attend this year’s event in total. Image by jeaneeem

The event is free to attend, and live music is running each weekend. Balloons take between 15 – 30 minutes to inflate, depending on size, and this can also be watched from a safe distance. Each year sees thousands of spectators attending the popular event, with more than 40,000 people being expected for this year alone. The events are weather dependant, with lift-off having been being cancelled one of the days this week due to inclement weather. Up to date information on the status of launches is available each day from the Canberra Balloon Spectacular official website.

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