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.
The Double package option consists of either two 30-minute flights or one 60-minute flight, depending on numbers for the day.
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.
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.
Note: We cannot return you to the Cairns Airport, only to the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal or your hotel.
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.
See more Hot Air Balloon Flights
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pick up between 4:00 am and 4:30 am
January - December
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.
In flight digital photos
Height: From 120 Cm / 3ft11in
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.