Wake up to the view of hot air balloons floating across the city during the Canberra Balloon Spectacular. This mesmerising view is best appreciated from the lawns of Old Parliament House. Held over nine days, more than thirty hot air balloons from across the globe are expected to take to our skies this autumn. Remember to keep an eye out for the special shape balloons. This year the festival features Kermie the frog and Jewel the hummingbird.
“Kermie” the frog
Kermie the frog is making his debut appearance in Australia at the 2018 Canberra Balloon Spectacular. This giant green frog from the United States has a volume of 105,000 cubic feet, stands at 90 ft tall, 30 ft wide and 68 ft wide with legs.
Pilots Scott and Todd are identical twins and co-owners of Monahan Airways, LLC and have travelled all over the world flying balloons. They have owned a number of special shape balloons including a clown, fireman, fire hydrant, haunted house, and now own a Lion and the frog.
“Jewel” the hummingbird
After hibernating in Australia over the winter, Jewel the Hummingbird is making a return to the Canberra Balloon Spectacular in hopes of beating her one flight record from the 2017 festival.
Jewel is one of the most complex shapes built. She was made by Marcos Bonimcontro of Brazil. The interior is a tour of its own with chambers, baffles and tubes. Other than touring the USA, she has flown in Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Japan and New Zealand.
The Hummingbird is named because of the humming sound created by their beating wings. The wings flap at 50-200 times per second allowing them to fly at 34 miles per hour backwards or upside down. Their heart rate can reach as high as 1200 beats per minute and a breathing rate of 200 breaths per minute. They consume more than their weight in nectar each day. North American species lifespan is normally 3-5 years.
Thanks to Insta fan cecil1958 for this stunning pic of Jewels.
Each day from 6:15am pilots will begin inflating their balloons on the lawns of Old Parliament House before ascending into the sky and creating a picturesque backdrop for Canberra’s national attractions. Balloon flights are weather dependant so be sure to call Canberra Connect, follow us on Facebook and Twitter or tune into local radio stations from 6:15am for daily information.
The Canberra Balloon Spectacular will be held 10 – 18 March at the lawns of Old Parliament House from 6:15am to 10am. It is free for spectators to attend. For more information visit enlightencanberra.com/balloons