- Hot air ballooning. Nothing compares to it. The eerie silence, the pre-dawn murkiness, the increasing altitude, the awakening day, the privileged perspective, and the sense of earthly release. An hour's drive west of Sydney, before the undulating hills grow steep and turn 'blue', the weekend sky can be littered with giant, elongated spheres of colour seemingly suspended in the crisp country air.
You need to get to Camden airport, or be picked up at your city hotel. Either way it's an early start. Before dawn. Tea and coffee. Depending on your lung capacity, you can help with the inflating or stand back and be carried away to another world.
You're aloft for about an hour or so, reaching 1,500 feet. On clear mornings, you might be the first person to see the sun hit the continent. Then as day breaks, the landscape emerges; Blue Mountains to the west, rolling rural pasture beneath, and looking east, fringes of Sydney and even outlines of the city's skyline.
On coming back down to earth, breakfast is served. It's amazing what adrenaline does to your appetite. Offers of optional champagne are often taken up, even by non-drinkers. Hot air ballooning. Nothing compares to it.
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