“Uplifting by nature” is how it’s billed.
The Atherton Tablelands in Tropical North Queensland was the setting for our early morning hot air balloon ride.
But, throw in the Atherton Tablelands and the diversity of this area is why I now call it one of my favourite regions in all of Australia. Being the nature lover that I am, this area just speaks to me.
Located just one hours drive west of Cairns, the tablelands are a sub-tropical haven spread over an area larger than the state of Tasmania. Who knew?
Our first encounter in the area was our adventurous, or should I say tragic mountain biking experience. This time, we would be taking things a lot SLOWER and admiring the region from the air.
Turns out, North Queensland is one of the most popular spots in Australia for a hot air balloon flight. The weather is favourable, and the scenery not too shabby.
Our day started early with a 4.15 am pick up from the QT Hotel in Port Douglas. Yep, sunrise is the best time to fly, but starting your day watching the sun rise over the rolling hills is an experience – just be sure you’re in the very first balloon that takes off, otherwise if you’re photographers like us, the light gets hazy real quick.
Gliding along with the gentle breeze, the thing you notice most about floating in a hot air balloon is the silence – except when the propane burners are firing.
There is a calmness on board as you rotate around the basket, and whilst we weren’t airborne for long we enjoyed the 360-degree picturesque views of the greenery below before floating gently back down to earth.
Once you’re done with your balloon flight, consider indulging in some of the regions gourmet food and wine, waterfalls, or other adventure activities in Tropical North Queensland like white water rafting, jungle surfing and stand up paddle boarding.
P.S. A little thrill for us on the bus ride back into Cairns – two lovely young English lads, who were in our balloon, asked us if we were that Australian couple who have a travel blog. We then chatted for the rest of the journey and shared with them our tips for travelling Oz.
Hot Air Balloon Cairns operates flights daily, weather dependent, from the Atherton Tablelands, Cairns, Port Douglas and Palm Cove with door to door transfers included in your hot air ballooning ticket.
Want more information? Read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor
Disclaimer: We were guests of Tourism Queensland