Getting Out of My Comfort Zone on a Balloon Ride over Canberra

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to go for a balloon ride over Canberra, the capital city of Australia. It was the perfect way to get out of my comfort zone and find my zen.

Canberra has been my home for many years. The site for the new capital city was declared in 1911, but development was slow for the first forty years. Since 1950, it has enjoyed rapid growth and now has a population of more than 400,000. Ballooning is popular here, with an annual Balloon Fiesta in March.

After slowly ascending at dawn, we drifted in peaceful silence over the heart of the city. Sometimes, we almost touched the treetops and at other times rose high in the air. I stayed calm by reassuring myself that the pilot knew precisely what he was doing.

The feature image shows Lake Burley Griffin in the centre of Canberra, that was formed by damming the Molongolo River. There are several national buildings lining the shores, including Old Parliament House, the National Library, the National Gallery, the National Museum of Australia and the National Portrait Gallery. (Apologies for all those nationals). Perched on top of a hill in the distance, you can see Black Mountain Tower.

After more than an hour, we came in to land in a local park. The basket bounced three times and toppled over, but we emerged unscathed and happily declared that it had been a wonderful experience.

I hope that you have a chance to visit Canberra one day – it is a beautiful city.


After some minor difficulties, the pilot finally managed to launch the balloon.


The original Parliament House, and now the Museum of Democracy. It was built in 1927, and replaced by the much grander Parliament House behind it in 1988.


The Russell Offices, occupied by the Department of Defence and the Australian Defence Force.


Anzac Parade, that leads to the Australian War Memorial: a world-class museum, shrine and archive commemorating Australians who have died in war.

Canberra City

Floating over Canberra’s city centre.

Balloon landing

Coming in to land in a suburban park.







Text and Images copyright © 2017 Toni Pike  – All Rights Reserved





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