Hot air ballooning in Christchurch

If you’re after a truly awe-inspiring experience while visiting Christchurch and Canterbury, a hot air balloon ride is a must.

There isn’t a better way to capture the beauty of the Canterbury Plains and the Southern Alps than by hot air balloon.

If you’re after a truly awe-inspiring experience while visiting Christchurch and Canterbury, a hot air balloon ride is a must.

Away from the city of Christchurch, you get to soak up the rural environment from the air, including panoramic views of the patchwork quilt-like Canterbury Plains and farmland, the powerful Rakaia River and the rugged, snow-capped Southern Alps during a peaceful one-hour trip in a balloon.

I recommend flying with Ballooning Canterbury – a trusted, safety-conscious and family-owned and operated business.

Ballooning Canterbury offers a hands-on, personalised experience that can cater to what you want.

It’s an early start to your day, with Ballooning Canterbury offering courtesy transfers from most hotels. Ballooning is best at sunrise, when the weather is calm and the morning light is spectacular.

You’ll be driven to the launch site where you’ll be encouraged to help with the set up (and pack-away) of the balloon.

Your experienced pilot will then take you through a safety briefing so you know what to expect during take-off, flight and landing.

Ballooning Canterbury owner Michael Oakley is one of New Zealand’s top balloonists with more than 26 years’ experience. He has won national ballooning events and has also represented NZ at the World Hot Air Balloon Championships in Australia. A fifth-generation Canterbury farmer, Michael has extensive knowledge about the weather patterns and is also a keen glider pilot.

The company operates two balloons – a Cameron-90 for special occasions or a small number of passengers, and a Cameron Z-275, which can carry up to 16 passengers and is outfitted with the latest equipment and technology. They can offer you a personalised experience, with the flexibility to design flights specifically around your needs and wants.

There are plenty of opportunities to take photos – so make sure you remember your camera!

Chilled champagne, orange juice and a light snack are served once you land, to conclude your amazing hot air balloon experience. In-flight photos of your balloon flight are also available to purchase.

All flights are weather-dependent.

For more information, including great daily specials on Ballooning Canterbury flights, visit