In 2022, Global Ballooning Australia celebrated 30 years of operation.
The company, established in 1992, is famous for their iconic rides over the city of Melbourne, the only major city in the world where you can commercially balloon over buildings. But despite the company’s many successes and achievements, little is known about this unique form of transport. How does hot air ballooning work? And why should you take part?
The basics of hot air ballooning
Hot air balloons work on the scientific principle that warm air rises and cool air falls. A burner is positioned just below the balloon, heating the air inside until it’s warmer than the atmosphere surrounding the balloon. This causes it to float upwards. When the pilot wants to come down, they simply allow the air inside the balloon to cool.
Balloons cannot be steered in a traditional sense, as they are controlled by the direction of the wind. However, winds can change depending on the altitude, so by moving higher or lower, the direction of the flight can be altered. The pilots can also turn vents on the side of the balloon to rotate it 360 degrees, giving passengers incredible views of the surrounding landscape.
According to the Aviation Accident Database in the United States, hot air ballooning is the safest type of air travel. So, as well as offering breathtaking views and perspectives, you can rest easy knowing you’re safe on your journey upwards.
Global Ballooning Australia
Global Ballooning Australia is one of the biggest hot air ballooning companies in the country. It was founded by Kiff Saunders, who spent time training and consulting hot air balloon start-ups in China, New Zealand, and Nepal before launching his own company. Now, the Saunders family has four generations of experience, and Kiff has flown hot air balloons in over 10 countries.
The family, which includes Kiff and his three children, have completed several incredible adventures, such as putting a balloon up at the North Pole, and designing and flying Patricia Piccinini’s famous Skywhale during its global tour. In fact, Kiff’s daughter Scarlett holds the Female Australian Altitude Record at 23 714 ft. And his son, Paterson, leads polar expeditions in the northern and southern hemispheres, while Ed competed in the International Competition Circuit in Europe last year. Kiff’s three children all have commercial hot air ballooning licences, and Global Ballooning Australia is proud to be a family owned and operated brand.
The company is also focused on offering equal opportunities for all. In 2010, after suffering a severe motorcycle accident which significantly impacted his mobility, Kiff developed the Easy Access Basket, the first and only hot air balloon in Australia to accommodate for people with disabilities. Kiff provides training and education for young people, encouraging them to grow strong work ethics and maintaining his ethos of dedication and connection.
Global Ballooning Australia strives to create a comfortable and safe environment for all passengers. Because of this, they are Victoria’s largest hot air balloon company and deliver amazing experiences to over 11,000 passengers in 3 locations every year. In 2016, they were accepted into the Victorian Tourism Awards Hall of Fame.
To find out more about Global Ballooning Australia, or to book your own flight, click here.
To discover other amazing experiences on offer in Australia, click here.