Let’s face it, there is nothing glamorous about being abruptly woken up by your alarm whilst on a holiday — but sometimes there’s an extra special experience that makes it all worthwhile. Hot Air Ballooning is one of those unique experiences and anyone that has done it will tell you that there really is nothing quite like the spectacular views you get whilst floating silently in the air and watching the sun rise over the ever-changing landscape below.

So, if you are looking for something extra special to do on your next getaway, then look no further. A balloon ride is truly magical no matter where you depart from, but we’ve selected 5 of our favourite hot air ballooning locations around Australia.

1. Port Douglas, Far North Queensland

Imagine soaring high in the air with ancient and exotic rainforest on one side and sweeping views of the world’s largest coral reef on the other side. This is a unique opportunity to see the best of two world heritage listed worlds coming together — The Daintree Rainforest and The Great Barrier Reef. A truly unique and unforgettable experience. More information can be found on Hot Air Balloon.

2. Byron Bay, New South Wales

Enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views of the lush green hills and the stunning coastline of laid-back Byron Bay as you’re taken to new heights on this adventure of a lifetime. The amazing views of the volcanic caldera of Mt Warning will be one of the many highlights of your ride, along with being among the first in Australia to witness the sunrise over the most easterly point in the country. For more information check out Byron Bay Ballooning.

3. Alice Springs, Northern Territory

There is nothing like a balloon ride in the country’s iconic Red Centre to really appreciate the vast remoteness of the Australian outback. Drift over spinifex grasses and mulga scrub whilst taking in views of the rugged MacDonnell Ranges, huge cattle stations and wildlife such as the big red kangaroos that can be spotted most days. Check out Outback Ballooning for details.

4. Gold Coast Hinterland, Queensland

Many people visiting the Gold Coast stay confined to the beach area, but one of the most stunning parts of this region is the Gold Coast Hinterland. Away from the chaos of the coast, this lush green mountainous landscape is the perfect setting to watch the sunrise from above. Due to its position away from the coast, the balloon is able to travel higher than usual providing even more spectacular panoramic views. For more details visit Go Ballooning.

5. Yarra Valley, Victoria

The Yarra Valley, Victoria’s famous wine region, is spectacular to view from above. The uninterrupted views of undulating hills, vines, and pristine rivers — often covered with a fine mist — make this a magical place for your balloon ride. Enjoy a glass of locally produced sparkling wine as you watch the mists clear and the sun lights up the beautiful landscape below. For more information visit Go Wild Ballooning.

Browse our full catalogue of luxury accommodation around Australia to combine with your hot air balloon ride.

Images Credit: Yarra Valley Lodge, Victoria

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A lover of the finer things in life, Mat is a travel junkie who is addicted to the excitement and sense of wonder you experience when visiting a destination for the first time. His passions include music, good food and fine wine, but his epicurean tastes don't get in the way of enjoying life's simpler pleasures like gardening, bush-walking, and exciting street food flavours.