Twenty years ago Cloud 9 Balloon Flights flew its very first flight as a registered hot air balloon company. We met at Camden Airport, took off in our first balloon VH- XDF from Narrellan and landed at Mt Hunter, it was 14th February 1994 so we had 6 lovebirds on board, a couple of successful engagements and a beautiful morning. Pilot and crew (John & I) were truly on “Cloud 9.”
Previous to that John had spent 8 years flying between Australia and the UK, flying mainly advertising sport balloons, but also larger balloons for fare paying passengers, which was starting to become extremely popular in the 80’s, particularly in Australia.
But we didn’t last long flying in Camden as Greater Sydney looked more exciting and gave us great views of the entire Sydney basin. The Hunter Valley flights we offered gave passengers a choice of city and countryside flights, not to mention an opportunity to sample and buy some wine on the way home!
We flew from Paramatta Park for 15 years over Greater Sydney occasionally drifting into the beautiful Hawkesbury Valley, which gave us a sense of what was to become when all the green areas over Greater Sydney made hot air ballooning too difficult for commercial operations.
You never know exactly where you’re going in a balloon, who you’re going to meet and what will happen during the journey, but it will be different every flight. That’s why the journey is so much fun, it’s a blast which is why we’re still flying balloons.
Here’s to life’s adventures.
John & Clare