There are a variety of ways you can be involved in the Balloons over Waikato Festival, so take a look below at your options and get behind this fantastic Waikato event!



We are always after volunteer superstars keen to work with us at the event.  

There are a variety of roles from behind the scenes, assisting at Innes Common or being part of the massive Nightglow team.

If you think you would like to enjoy a totally unique experience, contact [email protected].

Flight Crew

Crewing is a vital part of the Festival

Being a Crew Member on a hot air balloon is a fantastic way to be involved in a really great sport and community event. Those who have volunteered in the past years love it and come back each year. Those who have not, you don't know what you're missing out on!

Crews are a vital part of the Balloons over Waikato Festival. It's five fun-filled, hard working, action packed days. It's a chance to make new and lasting friendships and lots of memories. It's the beautiful and colourful sights in the sky that delight and awe the young and the young at heart.

Responsibilities of the Crew

The crews #1 job is to assist the pilot.

- Local volunteer crew members will be assigned to a pilot for the duration of the Festival.

- Setting up the balloon, helping to make sure the basket is arranged and stocked with those things the pilot likes to take along, and to help achieve a safe lift off.

- The crew takes the chase vehicle and follows the balloon for an hour or so.

- When the pilot has located a nice field for landing, the crew will be informed (usually by radio) of the intended landing site.

- The goal of the crew is to have the vehicle at the landing field before the pilot lands, and still have enough time to be waiting in the selected field to assist in any way with the landing operation.

It is fairly straight forward, most of the time! Crew tasks are often explained as 90% common sense, and 10% training. Every task the crew performs has a reason for why it is done a certain way, and once that reason is discovered, it makes perfect sense. The trick to learning is to ask lots of questions.

Please Note: our festival dates are 14 - 18 March 2023.

In order to participate as a crew member for the festival, participants must be available for all activities for the duration of the festival, and be available to attend registration.

All pilots and crew must also be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.


How do I become a crew member for a balloon in the Festival?

If you are interested on hearing more about crewing, please contact Jenni for a full list of requirements:

[email protected]

River dip 4

Pilot Registration


The Balloons over Waikato Trust extends a warm welcome to balloonists from New Zealand to participate in the next Balloons over Waikato Festival for 2023. Dates are 14-18 March 2023. Once again the home base for the event will be the fabulous inner city location of Innes Common at Hamilton Lake.

We have a supportive air traffic control team, excellent landowner relations and a welcoming, friendly local population. Flight paths take you over the picturesque Waikato River and lush farmland. An exciting programme of events is planned and a comprehensive hospitality package will be provided for all balloon team members.

All pilots and crew must also be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Registration for New Zealand Pilots are OPEN! Please email [email protected] to request a registration form.

Vendor Information

Zuru Nightglow

We are able to offer vendors the opportunity to sell food and merchandise at the Zuru Nightglow. You will be situated in prime locations to maximise your sales opportunities to the approximate 80,000 spectator crowd at the University of Waikato.

For further information, please contact:
Paul Mahon
Mahons Amusements Ltd
E: [email protected]
M: 021 475 142


Waikato Hot Air Balloon Club

Get Involved in Ballooning!

The Waikato Hot Air Balloon Club (WHABC) is the local balloon club in the Waikato Region. The Club is always welcoming new members, and offers a range of opportunities to be involved with the sport of ballooning.

To get involved, please contact:

Club President: Mark Brown [email protected] or
Secretary: Wendy Peel [email protected]