Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

About Us

Learn about Balloon Aloft Canberra


Balloon Aloft Canberra has been conducting flights over Canberra for over 35 years. We established commercial ballooning in Canberra and instigated the Canberra Balloon Spectacular in 1986, the biggest annual balloon fiesta in Australia.

Balloon Aloft has won many awards including the 1995 Australian Tourism Award for significant regional attraction and 11 Canberra Region Tourism awards between 1995 and 2005.

Our fully qualified and certified pilots have an expert knowledge of local weather and prevailing breezes. Our ground crew participate in a comprehensive training program. Safety is our prime consideration and we will not fly if conditions are unsuitable. We have a 100% safety record and our commitment to your safety will not be compromised.

Balloon Aloft has operated balloon envelopes displaying artwork and logos for a number of prominent organizations. These include the iconic Brand Canberra “CBR”, Qatar Airways, Midnight Hotel, Abode Hotels, Goodwin, Delfast, The Australian Institute of Sport, FM 104.7, Questacon, The Kamberra Wine Company, The Credit Union of Canberra, Service One Alliance Bank and Lafarge Plasta Masta

Our History

Balloon Aloft Canberra was established in 1986 and now has over 35 year history of conducting spectacular balloon flights over the Nation’s capital Canberra. Balloon Aloft established the iconic event known as Canberra Balloon Festival in 1986 and has been an active participant ever since.

Balloon Aloft Canberra was started by a Canberra family, the Wallington’s, who remain involved to this day. Balloon Aloft Canberra remains a locally owned business.

Many thousands of passengers have enjoyed the safety and comfort of a scenic flight over Canberra with Balloon Aloft. Balloon Aloft has an Aircraft Operators Certificate which is issued and supervised by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). CASA auditors perform regular inspections of aircraft and company safety management systems.

Balloon Aloft Canberra has been recognised with many industry awards including the Australian Tourism Award for Significant Regional Attraction.  We are also proud recipients of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence each year since 2015.


Our Team

Hyung Kim

Pilot and Director

Kim began ballooning in Korea in 1998 qualifying as a commercial balloon pilot
in 2000. He gained his Australian commercial balloon licence in 2009. He is now a Director of Balloon Aloft Canberra and our leading pilot.

John Wallington

Chief Pilot and Director

John is our Chief Pilot and the founding owner of Balloon Aloft Canberra. John has been flying hot air balloons since 1986. His interest in Aviation developed at a very early age with a strong family background in gliding and meteorology. John was the National Hot Air Balloon Champion in 1988-90 and again in 1992-94. He is best known for his record breaking nonstop trans-Australia balloon flight with Dick Smith in 1993 and the trans-Tasman (New Zealand to Australia) flight in 2000. In 1995 John was awarded The Montgolfiere Diploma – the World´s highest ballooning award.

Gary Lacey


Gary Lacey started ballooning in 1995, he qualified as a private balloon pilot in 1996, and gained his commercial licence in 2000, logging over 800 hours of flying.  Gary is a qualified ABF instructor and spends several weeks every year travelling to international balloon championships as an official to locations including Japan, Luxembourg, Spain, France, Lithuania, Austria, Denmark & Australia.  He has competed in 3 Australian championships, coming 8th in 2011.  More recently Gary was the Competition Director for the Australian National Ballooning Championships in Northam WA in 2017 and again in Mudgee in 2019.

Dave Roberts


Dave has grown up around balloons and went for his first flight as a boy during the 1988 Canberra Balloon Festival. Dave is passionate about flying and takes pride in providing a relaxed and safe experience for his passengers. His other interests include computer science, mountain biking and sailing.

Ground Crew

Our professional ground crew team are led by crew chief Alex. Our crew greet you upon arrival and see your balloon safely into the air, then return you after the flight to the Hyatt for your champagne celebration. The ground crew team are there to help so feel free to ask them any questions (but be warned – they love to talk about ballooning!). As a casual job, ground crewing is a hobby for many of the team and they all bring their own skills to the morning.

Office Staff

Jenny is the friendly and helpful voice when you call to discuss your balloon flight or your gift certificate. She’s in the office between 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. Whether over the phone or by email, the team is here to assist you in organising your ballooning adventure or a gift certificate for that someone special.



Balloon Aloft Canberra is committed to minimising the impact of our operations on the environment. We operate in compliance with all relevant environmental legislation and we strive to use environmental best practices in all we do. Our goal is to operate in an ecologically sustainable manner.  We will:

  • Provide an environmentally sound workplace, and implement a range of environmentally sound work practices.
  • Integrate the consideration of environmental concerns and impact into all of our decision-making and activities.
  • Promote environmental awareness among our employees and encourage them to work in an environmentally responsible manner
  • Work closely with our employees, contractors, suppliers, clients and partners to develop and implement agreed environmental initiatives consistent with this policy.
  • Communicate our environmental commitment to clients, customers contractors and the public and encourage them to support it.
  • Strive to continually improve our environmental performance and minimise the social impact and damage of activities by periodically reviewing our environmental policy in light of our current and planned future activities.


  • We analyse all our procurement needs and look for the most environmentally sound options available for each need.
  • Our office lighting is fitted with energy-efficient devices to reduce our electricity usage.  Reducing electricity consumption by turning office equipment off when not in use.
  • We use 100% liquid propane which burns cleaner than butane or petrol. Propane is non-toxic and insoluble in water, so poses no threat to aquifers or the groundwater supply. It is also not harmful to soil and is one of the lightest hydrocarbons in existence; it is one of the cleanest burnings of all alternative fuels.
  • Our daily flights are also only an hour in duration causing a very low level of emissions.
  • We operate a paperless booking system where bookings are entered electronically into our database and confirmations sent to passengers by email whenever possible.
  • Crew vehicles are powered using diesel rather than petrol. All of our vehicles are regularly maintained and only used for necessary company use and shortest distances worked out where possible.
  • Reducing, reusing and recycling: We operate a paperless booking system where bookings are entered electronically into our database and confirmations sent to passengers by email whenever possible.
  • Looking at all our promotional material and stationery to be printed on 100% recycled paper.  We recycle printer ink cartridges, computer parts and other aspects of our office waste.
  • All the champagne bottles used during our balloon flights are recycled.


  • We are committed to sustainable environmental practices. Our team members strictly adhere to the Tread Lightly (Travel responsibly, Respect the rights of others, Educate yourself, Avoid sensitive areas and Do your part) code of practice which is designed to minimise environmental impact.
  • We work closely with local landowners and our partners to reduce the impact at our launch and land sites. Immediate action is taken by Snowy Ballooning staff to restore any damage which may have inadvertently happened at any site.