Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the Hot Air Ballooning Tour from Cairns. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
The Hot Air Balloning experience was exhilirating! We enjoyed the fantastic views!
My family really enjoyed this tour from www.hotair.com.au/cairns booked through Viator and taken on May 10, 2012 . It was well worth the early wake-up call to be at the site before dawn, then watch the balloon being inflated in the dark, before seeing it float up slowly as the sun rose. Unfortunately, we were not part of the first batch so we didn’t get to see the sunrise from the balloon. It was fun to clamber up the gondola and the lift-off was very gentle. We would have wanted our balloon to rise higher, like the first one, but one advantage of flying low was that we could clearly see the kangaroos jumping around in the fields. After landing in the middle of a sugar cane field, our daughters had fun in helping to deflate the balloon while my husband and the other guys pulled at the ropes. It was an exhilarating adventure to cap our Australian trip!
The booking had not reached the Hot Air ballooning company. They were helpful and confirmed our reservation once the main office was opened on Monday, however we had to spend time confirming the booking over two days. If the trip had been at the weekend this would not have been possible as the weekend answer service could not help us. We book with viator to avoid having to make this sort of effort while we are on holdiday. The trip was excellent. Would have appreciated access to some food/snacks.
Ching Man L
Balloon ride was awesome! Staff are very professional, and we had a great time. The breakfast was alright but could be better. One thing - do not wear a skirt!
We liked the hot air ballooning, really smooth and a fantastic sight with all the balloons in the air. Very very early start, 4am and breaky was a bit dodgy, by the time we cooked our toast most of the hot breaky had gone. There had been a free bottle of French bubbly offered online to couples instead of just a glass, however no one had told our operator!
We did the joint experience with the half day white water rafting, the rafting was good and the girl guides very friendly and upbeat, and at although not the grand rapids, it is fun. Online it does not mention these gigs do not join up. You are taken back to your hotel in between. We may have done these activities on different days if we had known. And the taxes river, air, water take your visa!
The biggest downside to this tour is the REALLY early start. Once you get over this, there are some really amazing views. We took the full hour ride, which was a bit deceiving as it was split into 2 half hour rides. Taking down the balloon was fun too.
My only disappointment was that the advertised pickup time is much earlier than the actual pick up time. It is advertised that pickup is between 5am and 5.30am but when I confirmed details I was informed that pick up was 4.10am this is not a great difference in time, but at that time of morning is great.
great experience but more more ground time and transport than flying. Only 30 minute flight time. staff excellent and had a good time but a relatively small time airborne for the price.
The experience was fantastic with a very efficient pilot. Unfortunately we were included in a basket with non English speaking visitors who continued to talk during the pilots commentary and ignored his instructions during the landing procedure. This needs to be reviewed in future.
Great outing! Very exciting and interesting. Don't bother with the one hour trip since much of the time is spent coming down, disembarking and loading the half-hour group.
We were charged an additional $50 for 'insurance' outside of what Viator charged. Those charges were not communicated up front and unexpected. All riders were expected to assist with the packing of the balloon when the ride was complete. If you didn't participate they called you out on it. Very dirty and physical work and after what we paid I felt it was inappropriate.
Note from Viator: As our exclusions state the Civil Aviation Levy of AUD$25.00 per person is not included and is payable direct when you arrive for your hot air balloon ride. We apologize that you were unaware of this exclusion.
A really early start - 4.15am! A long time was spent in preparation with a lot of standing about for us customers. The flight was only 20 minutes and was advertised as 30 - I may be splitting hairs but it is the principle here. I do accept that weather conditions are a factor, but I did feel a little miffed at the short duration of the flight. I was also disappointed that we had to help the organisers pack up, which i was not prepared for. The champagne breakfast was delightful and made up for some of the disappointment of the short balloon flight.
Good staff, good breakfast, and neat experience. However, this involves a VERY early wake-up: we were picked up at hotel at 4:45 a.m. Also, you do not fly over any water or reef, it is out in the bush. "Balloon-chasing" just means riding the bus, following the balloon to its landing spot so the next group can get in the basket.