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Balloon Festival

Newcastle Australia
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453 posts
108 reviews
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Balloon Festival

I had no knowledge that there was such a thing as the Canberra Balloon festival. As we have not been to Canberra for about 20 years we thought it would be good to have a weekend getaway and visit when the festival is on. I notice there are no recent posts on the festival and would like some feed back on what to expect. Some accommodation suggestions would also be appreciated.

Gungahlin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Canberra
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17,002 posts
2 reviews
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1. Re: Balloon Festival

Hi. I'll post a couple of links about what's on in March, there's quite a bit on at the same time. Keep in mind balloons only take off when weather conditions are suitable. They usually take off in front of Old Parliament House (which is worth a visit itself). A few years ago however we had to drive out along a country road in search of them following some vague instructions from someone at the usual site because the wind would otherwise have taken them over the airport. These days I believe they post updates on the situation on Facebook and Twitter.

canberrafestival.com.au/events/-balloon-spec…

www.canberra100.com.au/calendar/2013/march/

What sort of accommodation were you after, hotel room, apartment, basic, modern, trendy, historic, walking distance to dining/shopping, quiet and suburban? The city centre, up along Northbourne Avenue, and the inner suburbs on the south side of the lake are the main areas to look at.

Gungahlin, Australia
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for Canberra
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2 reviews
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2. Re: Balloon Festival

…tripadvisor.com/tripwow/ta-073d-dd46-1fbe

Arlington, Virginia
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for Arlington
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3. Re: Balloon Festival

As you'll see from one of the links that Macknee provided, the Belconnen Lions Club does a pancake breakfast every morning of the balloon festival. When we went to the festival a few years ago, we really enjoyed this breakfast and the proceeds go to a good organization.

Newcastle Australia
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453 posts
108 reviews
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4. Re: Balloon Festival

Thank you both for your help. It should be a good weekend. Hopefully the weather obliges. The better half has now decided he wants to go on a balloon ride so he can tick it off the bucket list.

Arlington, Virginia
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for Arlington
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5. Re: Balloon Festival

We did a balloon ride when we lived in Canberra (not during the balloon festival, however.) It is a FABULOUS experience and you will have a wonderful time!

Canberra, Australia
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791 posts
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6. Re: Balloon Festival

We did a balloon flight as part of the festival a few years back. There are 2 major commercial balloon operators in Canberra (Balloons Aloft & Dawn Drifters, as you'll see if you explore MacKnee's first link ) & I gather that while they are fiercely competitive for sales, they cooperate pretty closely once the balloons are involved. For our flight, some of the other operator's ground staff assisted with the landing for instance. Both had several balloons up during the festival & all were sold out. At the time we did it, prices were identical for both.

It is an amazing experience to be in the air as part of a large group of balloons - heartily recommend it!

Newcastle Australia
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453 posts
108 reviews
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7. Re: Balloon Festival

Thanks all - we are looking forward to the visit. I will read through the reviews and chose some accommodation. Would like somewhere in walking distance to restaurants etc.,

Gungahlin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Canberra
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17,002 posts
2 reviews
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8. Re: Balloon Festival

City or inner Northbourne Avenue or on the southside near Kingston then. Feel free to post a short list for comments, among other things there's areas with building work and roadworks if that's something you want to avoid.

Newcastle Australia
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453 posts
108 reviews
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9. Re: Balloon Festival

Thanks all - I have no idea about the accommodation - I have been looking at Clifton Suites at $185 including parking but then Quality Inn Dickson also seems OK and close to restaurants. Suggestions would be appreciated.

Gungahlin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Canberra
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17,002 posts
2 reviews
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10. Re: Balloon Festival

Clifton Suites is about three blocks from the city centre. Dickson has Canberra's small Chinatown, Maccas, etc, and a supermarket for self-catering. I'm not sure about the restaurants there these days. The city centre would have a bigger range of everything from budget to fine dining, and be closer to the balloon festival, though Dickson is reasonably convenient too and certainly not outer suburban.

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