We've selected the best candid trip photos submitted by our users to help you decide if the Yarra Valley Balloon Flight at Sunrise from Melbourne is right for you.
We'd been picked up at our hotel in downtown Melbourne around 4:20am! ARRRGH! Everyone met at Rochford Winery, checked in, selected from the breakfast options and then were transported to "launch pad".
There were 3 balloons going up. Each held 16 passengers plus the pilot.
Now at the launch pad, our pilot (Brian) and another ground crew member connected the balloon to the basket! Brian definitely wanted to be sure he returned softly to the ground! That was good for us!
Now all connected to the basket, the balloon needed to have air in it. The ground crew set up a huge fan on either side of the gondola. Brian asked for volunteers to hold the balloon so it could capture the air.
Several folks volunteered. He picked the first two who came forward. We didn't volunteer as we wanted to take pictures and video!
Note that the basket is on its side.
After some time spent "fanning" air into the balloon, Brian hit the burner to heat the air. That, in turn, gave the air in the balloon a reason to rise off the ground... and, at the same time to lift the basket to an upright position.
The basket had openings on the sides and we learned those were to use as footholds to climb in. Tom and I were the last to get in and in so doing, we managed to get a corner. Four couples had corners, two other couples were in between on either side of the pilot.
The support ground crew folks were trluly accommadating in taking pictures of folks with their own cameras, thus this picture! That's Tom & me in the middle.
As previously mentioned, there were three balloons going up this morning. From what we could determine, our pilot was the "chief" pilot and we were first up. What a delight to be able to look down and see our two sister balloons rising below us.