Tourism and farming work together for balloon rides in Australia

Hot Air Balloon Brisbane is uses local farms southwest of the Queensland city to launch flights enabling tourists to view the region from a birds-eye perspective, as well as see farmers benefiting financially in exchange for use of their land.

James Radke, a cattle farmer at Allenview in the Scenic Rim region, farms over 500 acres with his father and uncle. He explained that he and his family welcomed the interaction with the ballooning company, including the senior pilot for Hot Air Balloon Brisbane, Blake Flynn. Radke said:

“Their team manage their operations very professionally; particularly by adhering to our farming requirements, being cautious and mindful when in the vicinity of our livestock, respecting our property and always leaving it the way they found it. We appreciate their willingness to provide a property access payment whenever their balloons take off or land, that comes in handy.”

Flynn and Radke have been working together to perfect the hot air ballooning experience for passengers. Flynn said:

“So far, we have 50 farmers signed up, happy to have our balloons on their farms, which is great.”

The balloons fly for just up to an hour each day at sunrise. Depending on weather conditions, farmers may see as many as four leave their land at the same time. That farmer will then receive eight payments and the pilots will record all locations on a database showing all volunteering landholders in that region.

Satellite mapping also helps the company to highlight areas unsuitable to land on because of crop rotation techniques.

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