National Ballooning Championships round the bend

Visual treat: The 2015 Northam National Ballooning Championships. Photo: supplied.
Visual treat: The 2015 Northam National Ballooning Championships. Photo: supplied.

There is just three weeks until the skies above Northam and the Avon Valley will be filled with 30 hot air balloons for the National Ballooning Championships.

From 2 to 9 September, international, interstate and local hot air balloon pilots will descend on the Avon Valley, testing their skills at varying winds and altitudes.

National Ballooning Championships event coordinator Janine Pittaway said it is a beautiful display. 

“To see so many colourful balloons in the sky at the one time is a visual treat for spectators,” she said. 

Public festivities commence on September 2, with the Northam Balloon Fiesta from 4pm and Balloon Glow after dark at the Henry Street Oval, weather permitting.

The free Fiesta will include a live stage show, balloon discovery zone, carnival rides, game zone, markets, food and drinks and show bags.

The competition balloons will fire up with musical accompaniment at approximately 7.30pm with a fireworks finale.

Each day spectators will see the balloons flying across the rolling hills and valleys at dawn and again in the afternoon if weather conditions are suitable. Balloons will launch at around sunrise each morning and fly until approximately 9am.

Another highlight is the Key Grab competition on Saturday September 9, which tests skill and accuracy.

Pilots will fly from point to point, collecting foam keys from the end of 10 metre poles in several locations.

The championships course and best viewing spots will differ each day based on wind conditions.

Spectators should check the event’s Facebook page (Northam Nationals) to see where flights will be each day, or start at the Northam Aero Club at Withers Street Northam to be directed from there to where balloons will take off from that day.

The Northam Aero Club also hosted the Championships in 2015. 

For more information visit http://www.northamnationals.com, email info@northamnationals.com or receive updates on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/northamnationals.

Alternatively call the Northam Visitor Centre on 08 9622 2100.