Join us for the annual Wairarapa balloon fiesta. The 2013 Trust House Balloons Over Wairarapa, held over four days, will be the 15th major festival in as many years to be held in the Wairarapa region, an hour’s drive from Wellington.
The region’s patchwork landscape of large open paddocks, good road network and welcoming landowners help make life easy for the balloonists, crews and spectators.
Uncontrolled airspace and absence of a major airport in the Wairarapa gives balloon pilots more freedom than at many other events.
Morning flights will lift-off from various locations throughout Carterton and Masterton over the four mornings. All ballooning events are weather-dependent and may be brought forward, postponed, shifted or cancelled on the day if conditions are unsafe.
The highlight of the four day event, the spectacular Trust House Night Glow will be held on Saturday March 23, 6:30-8:45pm at Masterton's Solway Showgrounds, where tethered balloons light up the night sky in a dazzling light-show choreographed to music.
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Take a balloon ride at this year’s Balloons Over Wairarapa fiesta and feel the magic of floating over a changing landscape at sunrise, suspended in a basket under a glorious hot air balloon. Two of the country’s top balloon operators will be offering flights which will depart daily from March 21-24, with early starts to catch the sun rising across the heart of the Wairarapa. Flights are approximately 1 hour long and will launch with the fiesta balloons making a visual spectacle only seen at fiestas. Our operators are CAA 115 approved in New Zealand.
To make a booking and reserve your seat, go to www.ballooningcanterbury.co.nz. Cost is $350 per person and subject to weather. Payment can be made on the day. We accept payment by cash, Eftpos, Visa or bankcard.
2013 event programme:
Thursday 21 March
7am: Mass Ascension - Carrington Park, Carterton. The festival’s official opening where all the balloons lift off together - a colourful and magical sight. Free entry.
1:30pm: Balloon pilots & crews visit various schools in Carterton & Masterton.
8pm Burner Parade - Carterton Town Centre. Balloon pilots and crews put on a fiery display parading through Carterton’s main street. Free entry.
Friday 22 March
7am: MoreFM Balloon Meister’s Challenge - Wairarapa College, Renall St Masterton. The Balloon Meister will set the competition challenges for pilots to showcase their skills when balloons launch from the college’s grounds and fly over Masterton. Free entry.
4pm: Meet the pilots at Hood Aerodrome, Masterton followed by an evening flight. Meet the pilots, get up close to the basket and see how a balloon works. Weather permitting; balloons will fly out of Hood Aerodrome. Free entry.
Saturday 23 March
7am: Wairarapa Times-Age Splash ’n Dash - Henley Lake, Masterton. Balloons launch upwind of the lake and attempt to splash their baskets into the water to score points. Multiple attempts can be made. An exciting competition event! Free entry.
6:30-8:45pm: Trust House Night Glow - Solway Showgrounds, Masterton. The festival highlight and a magical evening for the whole family. Tethered balloons light up the night sky in a dazzling display, choreographed to music. Bring the whole family and a picnic. Food and drinks available for purchase.
Cash gate sales only - adults $7, children 12 and under $4, under 5s free, family pass (2 adults, 3 children $20). Gates open 6pm. Family entertainment from 6:30pm.
Please note: Balloons may inflate at any time during the evening depending on weather conditions.
Sunday 24 March
7am: Competition flight over Carterton, Carterton Events Centre.Pilots choose a venue where the wind direction gives them the best chance of dropping a competition marker onto a target at Carterton Events Centre Holloway Street. Free entry.
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