About Balloons Over Waikato


Since 1999

Our Story




The Balloons over Waikato Trust is a non-profit organisation and has been successfully running this event since 1999. The Festival is a major iconic event for the general public on the annual calendar in both Hamilton and the Waikato Region. Six times voted Best Waikato Event by the public of Hamilton, this event is a Must Do in the Waikato events calendar. We were lucky enough in 2015 to win the Best Established Community Event in New Zealand at the NZAEP Awards. The Festival was also awarded the Best Not for Profit at the Westpac Business Excellence Awards in 2008.

Balloons over Waikato is New Zealand’s premier hot air balloon festival. Held annually, this five-day iconic event is arguably the most popular event in the city. It attracts balloonists from all over New Zealand and around the world who come to experience the fun, friendship and warmth that this balloon-friendly city provides and to demonstrate their skills in a range of competitive activities.

Over 100,000 spectators enjoy the unique site of balloons ascending through the Waikato each year, from 7.00 am every morning to Hamilton’s biggest night out at The ZURU Nightglow, where the balloons glow to orchestrated music finishing with the best fireworks display in town, the SkyCity Hamilton Fireworks Extravaganza!


Award-winning Event