After a week of feeling a bit down in the dumps, I decided it was time to step up the adventure. I wanted to make some cool memories in the Gold Coast before I moved on. One of my roommates in my hostel told me about her Gold Coast Hot Air Balloon ride in the Hinterlands.
I ummed and erred over it for about a day, deciding if it was worth spending the money when I wasn’t earning anything. Although I a recommendation from the lady I decided to book through the hostel. I had been speaking to the receptionist about my plans and she could get me a deal.
So I booked my early morning flight for Saturday 31st August 2019 and allowed myself to get excited!!!
Early Mornings + Bring a Coat
Unfortunately, some of the girls in the dorm woke me up at 3 am. This meant when I got up at 3:45 am I felt awake but like I had not slept. I got ready, put some face on as I knew I would be doing some selfies and was out the hostel in 10 minutes.
Pick up was from across the street to Bunk Hostel at the reception of the Novatel. Go Ballooning, offer pick-ups at various hostels around the Surfers Paradise area. We picked up a few others along the way and headed out to the hinterlands.
Due to the early start, it was particularly cold. I would recommend bringing a coat. At this point in my journey, all I had was a hoody and some thin raincoats so I stuck with the hoody. It was not quite enough to keep me warm.
No Nerves + Easy Take Off
When we arrived in the field for taking off the balloons were already inflated. It hadn’t taken as very long to get to the field and the process for getting us all on board was quick and easy too.
I have done a hot air balloon ride in the UK before but about 11 years ago so I knew what to expect and wasn’t nervous. My only concern was my new GoPro which I had bought only a day or so before and so I worried about dropping it over the edge.
Take off was seamless. Once we were all aboard we felt a lot warmer under the heat of the flame. As our guides were talking us through what to do and getting ready for take-off, I got my GoPro, phone and camera ready. Without even realising we had taken off I looked up to find we were moving.
Stunning Views + Sunrise Flop
The ride was so smooth as we climbed higher above the hinterlands. We could see for miles over the Australian countryside. Farmland and beautiful lush hills surrounding the field where we had taken off. Below our balloon, we could see the sister balloon getting ready for launch.
Out to the east, we could see the silhouette of the Surfers Paradise skyline. The Skydeck and other skyscrapers looked more appealing from afar. It was nice to be admiring the area from a more peaceful, natural surround.
The sun was due to rise behind the skyline of Surfers Paradise.
Unfortunately, there was a cloud cover which made the rise far less spectacular than I was hoping. I still took a lot of photo’s and videos to capture the experience.
Back with a Bump
It seemed to be over so fast, but we were in the air for about 45 minutes taking in the views. We watched other balloons taking off around us and enjoyed watching the grassy farmland light up.
Navigating through some trees to get us to a safe landing spot our guide prepared us for a bumpy landing. He reminded us of the landing procedure and told us to scream when we hit the ground.
Our landing was not scream-worthy. There was a little bump and we were safely on the ground.
The team asked if we would mind helping pack up the balloon as we couldn’t get the bus back until the balloon was away. It was optional but most people gave a helping hand. It didn’t take long to get the giant balloon packed away. There was time to get some shots of the still-rising sun through the trees. It was a very beautiful morning.
Easy Transfers + Friendly Team
Back onboard the transfer bus we take back to the city. I sat and watch out the window as the morning sun illuminated the hinterland region. It’s a stunning area!
There was the option to have a champaign breakfast and those that had paid hopped off at the first hotel. I think it was a Sheraton hotel but I’m not 100% sure. It looked lovely. I had not opted for this as there was free breakfast at the hostel and I was still supposed to be on a budget.
All the guys from Go Ballooning were very friendly and clearly enjoy their job. How cool would it be to saw above the coast of Australia for a living? We arrived back at the Novatel at about 8 am ready for breakfast and sunny day on the Gold Coast.
To Sum Up
Although the cloud let us down and the sunrise was a little bit of a flop, the experience was brilliant. Getting to see a new, more rural area of the country in the beautiful morning light was great. The whole process was easy, from booking to take off and a safe return. The staff were friendly and entertaining and made it a really nice morning for us all.
The pictures came through a few days later although I preferred my own. I would recommend Go Ballooning and doing a Gold Coast Hot Air Balloon ride in general. It was a fantastic, easy, relaxing experience with little to no need to worry about anything.