Balloons over Waikato 2017: 22nd - 26th March

2017 Programme

Ballooning is weather dependent so decisions can only be made on the day. To see whether the balloons are flying check out our homepage, facebook page, twitter feed or tune into The Hits 98.6 FM.
Please note there is no scheduled afternoon flying due to the unpredictability of afternoon weather conditions. However keep an eye on the skies for the balloons if weather permits.

Every event during the week is free admission!


Wednesday 22 March 2017

Morning 7.30am approx.

Balloons commence inflation - Innes Common, Hamilton Lake

This spectacular festival begins its programme with the mass inflation of balloons at Innes Common. Witness this breath-taking opening morning of the 2017 event, and see the balloons commence inflation and mass lift off from the beautiful lakeside at Innes Common.

Thursday 23 March 2017

THE WEL ENERGY TRUST BREAKFAST AT DAWN (In association with McDonalds Hamilton & New World Glenview)
Morning 6.30am approx.
Balloons commence inflation - Innes Common, Hamilton Lake.

Roll out of bed and bring the family to see the balloons lift off, just as dawn breaks. The first 2,000 people will also enjoy breakfast on us with toasted English Muffins from McDonalds Hamilton, a hot option of a sausage sizzle thanks to WEL Energy Trust and Yummy apples from New World Glenview. What better way to have a bite to eat with the family, than whilst sharing the experience of this magical sight at Innes Common.


Balloons visit 18 local Hamilton schools

Thanks to First Credit Union, 18 local Hamilton schools will have the opportunity to experience the wonder of hot air ballooning. Our fabulous pilots and crew will be taking their balloons to get amongst the community and visit our local schools. Get up close and see the amazing balloons inflate, and tether (if weather allows)! This is bound to give the kids a thrill and inspire lots of imaginations.

Friday 24 March 2017

Friday Fly Off
Morning 7.30am approx.
Balloons commence inflation - Innes Common, Hamilton Lake.

Celebrate Friday with a stop by the lake on your way to work or school with the family, and marvel at the next of our spectacular balloon inflations and lift-offs!  Watch the balloons fly off into the distance over the beautiful city of Hamilton.

Evening 6.00pm - 8.00pm
Tokoroa Memorial Sport Ground

Taking the joy of the event and sharing it with the community with this fun evening planned for those lucky residents of Tokoroa and surrounding communities. From 6pm - 8pm there will be loads of food vendors, entertainment, & hot air balloons! Plus, come and experience a the magic of a hot air balloon from the inside out with our Walk Through Balloon - and all for just a gold coin donation (in support of our Charity of Choice - Rotary International). All thanks to the South Waikato District Council.

Evening 6.00pm - 8.00pm
Te Kuiti Domain

For the first time ever, this amazing festival will be shared with the community of Te Kuiti. The locals will be delighted by food vendors, entertainment and the spectacle that are our 2017 Special Shaped Balloons. So bring the family out for a very special evening, all thanks to the Waitomo District Council.

Evening 6.00pm - 8.00pm
Garden Place, Hamilton City

Celebrating another aspect of our fabulous city, the Hamilton Central Business Association brings the festival to Garden Place on Friday night! Surround yourselves in a family friendly atmosphere, with delicious food, markets & entertainment from Gourmet in the Gardens, and get your groove on with live music from Enigma. This evening will culminate with a spectacular choreographed basket burn, all set to music, at 8.00pm. Make sure you don't miss this one.

Saturday 25 March 2017

The Smartrak Cash Grab Competition
Morning 7.30am approx
Balloons commence inflation - Other side of Innes Common

A major feature of the event, make your way to Innes Common for the much anticipated Smartrak Cash Grab Competition. Marvel at the skill as balloonists attempt to grab a key off the top of a pole to win $1,000. The balloonists will also compete in the Smartrak Shortest Distance Competition, where they see who can hit the bullseye whilst flying the shortest distance possible.  Truly a test of the balloonist's skill, and to showcase the calibre of skill in this sport.



Afternoon 4.00pm - 9.00pm approx.
The University of Waikato, Hamilton

Don't miss Hamilton's Big Night Out and the highlight of the festival for the community and our visitors from further afield. This night really has it all with carnival entertainment, loads of food vendors to choose from, and five hours of live music from our line-up of talented local and national bands including our headline act - Jordan Luck Band! Of course the Zuru Nightglow would not be the same without the breathtakingly stunning Balloon Glow Show, and topping off the night with our dramatic fireworks finale! View the full programme.

Sunday 26 March 2017

The Great Grassroots Trust Finale
Morning 7.30am approx.
Balloons commence inflation - Innes Common, Hamilton Lake

We wrap up the event with the Great Grassroots Trust Finale, so don't miss the opportunity to see all of our balloons for the final day of the event.  This will be your last chance to see them inflate and take off from Innes Common and across the morning sky!