Spectator Tips

As with any large event, spectator safety is a priority. Here are a few tips to make sure you and your loved ones have a safe and enjoyable festival.


Balloon inflation: Balloons take approximately 15-40 minutes to inflate depending on their size. This is great to watch. Please stand clear of the balloon when they are launching.

Flight times: The balloons will be in the air for approx 1-2 hours during each flight. Their flight path is dictated by the direction of the wind.

Smoking: Balloons over Waikato is a completely smoke free event. Highly flammable propane gas is used in the balloon inflation process. The University of Waikato is also now a completely smoke free venue therefore please do not smoke at the Nightglow at Waikato University.

Lost children: The lost kids assembly point at The Zuru Nightglow is the Lodge Lost Kids Tent where Betty Jean Butterfly will be located on top of the Lodge Truck. When you arrive at the main event site grab one of our Lodge lost kids bracelets and please ensure children and others in your car know where this is.

Lost property: Will be held in the lost property box at the red event site information tent. Any property unclaimed at the end of the event will be taken to the Hamilton Central Police Station.

Driver Safety: Balloons will be flying overhead in many areas during the event particularly during peak traffic times it is dangerous to watch them while driving. Please pull over and stop.

Lighting: We recommend that people bring a torch to the Zuru Nightglow.

Vendors: Food and drinks will be available for purchase on site during the whole festival. A wider selection will be available at the Zuru Nightglow.

Balloon rides: Commercial rides are available during the festival. Bookings can be made through the visitors information centre, phone 07 958 5960. The ride lasts 45 minutes approximately.

Parking: We recommend that you park on the surrounding streets of the Waikato University if you are wanting to get away quickly after the Zuru Nightglow event. Parking in the University gates could mean you will be delayed with the sheer amount of traffic trying to exit and with the road closures.

Leave your drone at home! In the interest of safety and abiding by Civil Aviation Rule 101.13 [Hazard and risk minimisation] Balloons over Waikato will not permit the use of Drones at Innes Common or the grounds of The University of Waikato. Last year CAA issued an infringement notice to a drone operator who operated his drone at The ZURU Nightglow, which incurred a significant fine. The message is leave your drone at home!