Balloons Over Waikato

From 21st - 25th of March 2018 anyone looking skyward in the Hamilton & Waikato region is likely to be rewarded with the sight of brightly coloured hot-air balloons floating overhead as part of the hugely successful five-day Balloons Over Waikato, the premier ballooning festival in New Zealand which draws balloons, pilots and enthusiasts from around the world, attracted by its meticulous planning, friendly welcome and ideal flying conditions.

EVENT UPDATE ZURU NIGHTGLOW POSTPONED TO SUNDAY 25TH MARCH: Due to the deteriorating weather the Zuru Nightglow has been posponed to Sunday 25th March, it will be the same time (4-9pm) at the same place (University of Waikato). 

For up-to-date information visit

Shooting the Breeze

Most mornings flotillas of balloons can be seen, silent and majestic above the city and region after rising from Innes Common and following the breeze to wherever it takes them.

More than 130,000 people are set to attend the annual Balloons Over Waikato and with the Nightglow alone drawing around 80,000 in previous years, 2017 is sure to prove just as popular.

The balloonists drop in to visit schools and parks around the region as well as take part in a range of competitions, always surrounded by curious crowds and professional organisers to ensure safety for all. Each year features at least one special shape to get people talking, with previous years including a large clown, a huge penguin, an ark, a pirate parrot and many more.

Special shapes on the cards this year include the Resene in Love with Colour Lovebirds and Robbie for Ronald McDonald House, with more still to be announced.

What’s On

As usual 2018 will provide plenty of chances to get up close and personal with the balloonists and their balloons as they slowly inflate before lifting off into the sky.

Each day kicks off with an early morning mass ascension when all the balloons fly out from Innes Common beside Hamilton Lake.

2018 events include:

  • The Hamilton Mass Ascension - Wednesday 21 March
  • The WEL Energy Trust Breakfast at Dawn - Thursday 22 March
  • The City Burn - Friday 23 March
  • The Zuru Nightglow - Sunday 25 March
  • And much more - for the full programme of events, visit


This website helps visitors connect with providers of great tourism experiences. It is not intended to give any assurance that any particular provider complies with its safety obligations. Users should seek more information from the provider concerned. While Hamilton & Waikato Tourism will do its utmost to ensure the information contained within this website is accurate, Hamilton & Waikato Tourism accepts no responsibility or liability for any errors, omissions, offers or details of any information or operator listings. Prices, timetables and other details or terms of business may change without notice. The information included in this website is not advice and does not imply any endorsement by Hamilton & Waikato Tourism.

Read More