Tablelands Scenic Balloon Flight

Departing: Cairns

Pickup: Cairns, Cairns Northern Beaches

Amazing Experience
  • Watching the crew set up the hot air balloons while it’s still dark is a pretty spectacular sight. The flames against the dark sky is quite spectacular. Floating above the morning mist is also quite surreal.   
  • With over 300 days of sunshine a year, the Atherton Tablelands is regarded as Australia’s best ballooning location. With conditions like this a hot air balloon ride is a must-do in Tropical North Queensland.
  • Enjoy a delicious hot and cold breakfast with a celebratory glass of sparkling wine

Both peaceful and exhilarating this hot air ballloon tour will see you start the day gently drifting above the highland region of Cairns and Tropical North Queensland; the Atherton Tablelands and then you will enjoy a hot and cold breakfast with a celebratory glass of sparkling wine.

The Cairns Atherton Tablelands known as the food bowl of the tropics for its coffee plantations and dairy and fruit farms, the picturesque landscape adds to the wonder and romance of this slow, scenic meander on your hot air balloon ride through the skies.

The exact hot air balloon ride flight schedule will depend on the time of year and weather conditions but expect to be ready for a pick-up as early as 4.00am.

You’ll be informed of the exact time upon booking.

Once you’ve climbed in the hot air balloon basket you’ll be briefed on the safety and landing procedures. Then it’s a matter of taking in the magic as your hot air balloon  gracefully floats higher above land.  

Hot Air Balloon Ride Packages

There are three hot air balloon flight options to choose from.

  1. 30 Minute Classic Hot Air Balloon Ride
  2. 30 Minute Express Flight with Cairns Return
  3. 60 Minute Double Hot Air Balloon Flight

The 30 Minute Express passengers will be returned to Cairns as soon as the ride is over so they may join other tours to the Great Barrier Reef for the day.

The Double package option consists of either two 30-minute flights or one 60-minute flight, depending on numbers for the day.  

30 Minute Classic Hot Air Balloon Flight

Our 30 Minute Classic Cairns Hot Air Balloon flight will have us flying as high and as far as weather condtions will permit, aiming for a minimum 30 minute flight with scenic views of the wonderful Atherton Tablelands.

  • Departs Cairns at 4.15am with coach pick ups in Palm Cove and Trinity Beach
  • In-flight photographs available for purchase
  • Champagne breakfast included
  • Returns to Cairns at approximately 10.30am   

30 Minute Express Hot Air Balloon Flight With Cairns Return

Our 30 Minute Express Hot Air Balloon flight guarantees you the first bus return back to Cairns city to allow you to join other tours or departures to the Great Barrier Reef for the day.

  • Departs 4.15am from Cairns accommodation
  • Express returns to Cairns by approximately 8.30am

Note: We cannot return you to the Cairns Airport, only to the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal or your hotel.

60 Minute Double Hot Air Balloon Flight

Carried by the wind, every flight is different and we launch from a number of different locations.

You'll fly aboard two 30 minute scenic flights; or a single 60 minute hot air balloon flight depending on paseenger numbers.

  • Departs at 4.15am from Cairns, Palm Cove and Trinity Beach
  • In-flight photographs available for purchase
  • Champagne breakfast included
  • Returns at approximately 10.30am  

See more Hot Air Balloon Flights 

Hot Air Balloon ride Coach Pick Up

 The still, early morning conditions provide the ideal flight window for the majestic modes of hot air ballon transport.

Any early-morning fogginess you feel on the journey to the Atherton Tablelands is guaranteed to dissipate as soon as you reach your destination.

When prepping the night before make sure you set out your flat shoes. These can be either secure sandals or closed shoes.

Avoid wearing light or white-coloured clothing as the red volcanic soil of the Atherton Tablelands will easily stain your clothes.

And take a bottle of water and snack with you for your hot air balloon ride.

If you’re flying during the cooler months, between May – September, wear long pants and bring a jacket or jumper. 

The Hot Air Balloon Ride Journey

You’ll be picked up at approximately 4.00am from your Cairns accommodation or 4.30am if you’re staying in the Northern Beaches.

Once all passengers are onboard you’ll be briefed on what to expect from the day including what you can take with you in the hot air balloon basket; hat, sunglasses, camera and video camera.

Upon arrival, the hot air balloon pilots may still be in the process of setting up the balloons.

Watch on as they fill the balloons to full size with the aid of the attached burner.

The balloon envelopes hold up to 400,000 cubic feet of hot air.

Against the still-dark sky it’s a spectacular display; one that some passengers regard as a highlight of the morning.      

Hot Air Balloon Lift Off!

The Express and 60 minute flights will be the first to board the hot air balloons.

It is a Civil Aviation Safety Authority requirement that all passengers must be able to climb in and out of the passenger basket unaided, using the footholds provided. 

The pilot will brief you once all passengers are in the basket and then it’s time for lift off.

Suspended under the magnificent hot air balloon, you’ll see  the sun casts its morning rays on the countryside below.  

While the first hot air balloon is in flight the second group will track it in the ‘Cross Country Balloon Chase’ aboard the coach.

The hot air balloon is at the mercy of the breeze, so it’s an adventure for all. 

Final Boarding Call

Once the hot air balloon lands gently back to ground the Express Flight customers will board the coach for their return trip to Cairns.

Then it’s time for the changeover as the final lot of passengers, those that have booked the Standard Flight, board the hot air balloon for their turn.

This second flight will take place at approximately 6.45am. This time is only a guide however and may be subject to change. 

Homeward Bound

As the basket touches ground for the final time that morning the Express customers will be well on their way back to Cairns.

For the remaining passengers, it’s time to help dismantle and pack up the hot air balloon and then go and enjoy a hot and cold breakfast with a glass of sparkling wine.

Next on the agenda is a short bus ride to the Mareeba Heritage Museum for a comfort stop and a chance to purchase photos before the return journey to Cairns. 

Some guests will be going on a Great Barrier Reef tour from here or enjoying one of Cairns half day tours.  

Included In Price

  • Air-conditioned transfers
  • Scenic Tablelands Hot Air Balloon flight
  • Flight Certificate
  • Experienced pilot guide
  • Hot and cold breakfast with a celebratory glass of sparkling wine
Tour Languages Offered
  • English
Departs From


Departure Time

Pick up between 4:00 am and 4:30 am

Pickup Locations
  • Cairns
  • Cairns Northern Beaches
  • Port Douglas transfers available at additional cost

Atherton Tablelands

Months of Operation

January - December

Days of Operation


Flights dependent on weather conditions


Express Flight passengers enjoy a 30 minute flight and are guaranteed an early return to Cairns, returning by 8:30 am.
30 Minute Standard Flight passengers depart between 4:00 am and 4:30 am and return to Cairns at approx. 10:15 am
60 minute Double Flight passengers depart between 4:00 am and 4:30 amand return at approx. 10:15 am.

Available for Purchase / Hire

In flight digital photos

Fitness Level Required


  • Not suitable for pregnant women
  • Guests must be able to climb into and out of the basket un-assisted.

Height: From 120 Cm / 3ft11in

Eco Certifications
Ecotourism Certified
  • Camera (charged)
  • Bottle of water & a snack
  • Wear comfortable, flat shoes.
  • Long pants and jacket or jumper recommended between May & September
  • Avoid light or white coloured clothing as you may get dirty.

Minimum age for travel is 4 years of age.

All cancellations must be in writing. Please note that all cancellations will incur an administration fee. Please see our terms and conditions page here for details prior to booking.

  • All cancellations must be advised in writing.
  • All cancellations are subject to a cancellation fee as per terms and conditions
  • Cancellations received within 24 hours of travel are subject to 100% cancellation

Hot Air Balloon Flight in Cairns

Departing: Cairns

Pickup: Cairns, Cairns Northern Beaches

Amazing Experience



Prices are AUD, per adult and include all levies fees and taxes.

Child: au$181.00
Family: au$880.00

Tour Code: 476



15 yrs & over

4 - 14 yrs

Ages of Children
(Discounts May Apply)
1300 231 118
+61 427 074 745
1300 231 118
+61 427 074 745

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