Big ones, bright ones, crazily shaped ones – they’re all there putting on a magnificent show. It’s part of the hugely successful five-day Balloons Over Waikato Festival 2019, the premier ballooning festival in New Zealand, which is celebrating its 20th birthday this year.

Balloons Over Waikato Festival 2019 Event Details

From 19th- 23rd March 2019 the spectacular Balloons Over Waikato event will fill the skies of Hamilton with brightly coloured hot-air balloons of all shapes and sizes.

Check out the full line-up of events on during the Balloons Over Waikato Festival, from mass morning ascensions to evening shows, community events and much more.

Tuesday 19th March

The Hamilton Mass Ascension – 7:00am, Innes Common, Hamilton Lake
Mark the start to the festival with the mass inflation of balloons at Innes Common at Hamilton Lake. Take the entire family and marvel at the breath-taking sight as the balloons lift off.

Wednesday 20th March

The Grassroots Trust Birthday Bash – 7:00am, Innes Common, Hamilton Lake
Day 2 of birthday celebrations sees all the balloons inflate and prepare to take to the skies above Hamilton.

Thursday 21st March

Wel Energy Trust Breakfast – 7:00am, Innes Common, Hamilton Lake
Take the family to watch the balloons lift off just as dawn breaks. The first 2,000 will also enjoy a free breakfast. Come meet The Gallagher Chiefs who will be onsite all morning. A great chance to get an autograph or a photo and have a chat to the players.

Friday 22nd March

First Credit Union Friday Festival – 7:00am, Innes Common, Hamilton Lake
Enjoy day 4 of the birthday celebrations and share in the fun with First Credit Union who add a market feel to Innes Common with food, games and entertainment.  A great way to start the day whilst watching the balloons take to the skies.

Balloons Visit Waipa – 5:00pm – 8:00pm, Victoria Square, Cambridge
Taking the joy of the event and sharing it with the community with this fun evening planned for those lucky residents of Cambridge and surrounding communities. There will be loads of food vendors, entertainment, & hot air balloons! Plus, come and experience the magic of a hot air balloon from the inside out with our Walk Through Balloon – and all for just a gold coin donation (in support of our Charity of Choice – Rotary International). All thanks to Waipa District Council.

The City Burn & Markets brought to you by Hamilton Central – 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Garden Place, Hamilton City
Celebrating another aspect of our fabulous city, the Hamilton Central Business Association brings the festival to Garden Place on Friday night! Surround yourselves in a family friendly atmosphere, with delicious food and markets and get your groove on with live music from Enigma. This evening will culminate with a spectacular choreographed basket burn, all set to music, at 8.00pm. Make sure you don’t miss this one.

Saturday 23rd March

McDonalds Hamilton’s Happy Birthday – 7:00am, Innes Common, Hamilton Lake
The last day of flying at the event. Don’t miss the opportunity to see all of our balloons for the last time.  Marvel at the skill as balloonists attempt to grab a key off the top of a pole to win $1,000. The balloonists will also compete in the Shortest Distance Competition, where they see who can hit the bullseye whilst flying the shortest distance possible.

Zuru Nightglow – 4:00pm – 9:00pm, University of Waikato, Hamilton
The biggest night of the festival is the Zuru Nightglow with carnival entertainment, food vendors, live music. Of course the Zuru Nightglow would not be the same without the breathtakingly stunning Balloon Glow Show, and topping off the night with a dramatic fireworks finale.