Review: Hot Air and Cairns


Traveler’s Digest travels the globe seeking out the adventures that will create excitement and motivate people to enjoy their life’s. Honestly, we have a lot of fun and want to share these experience’s with you, our readers. I learned at a early age that I was a child of the world, not of a city or a country, but a child of the world. It’s my home and I want to know it, experience it and explore every inch of it! This year, 2002, I took some of my fun loving staff and we toured the Hawaiian Islands, New Zealand and then on to Australia. Form the West, landing in Perth, across the continent, via train, to the beautiful city of Sydney.

In the second month we headed up the Eastern coast, stopping in every town, big or small, every park, walked and swam every beach, climbed or hiked every mountain and was awed by great rainforests. We sailed to every island and watched sunsets from dozens of hidden lagoons. Australia is surely the Disney Land of nature. There were hundred’s of times that I wanted to get lost, not caring to be found.

Our agenda was to reach the city of Cairns and explore this region of North Queensland. I knew that it was the gateway to the Great Barrier Reefs and the untamed wilderness, where the Rain forest meets the sea. I really didn’t know to much about Cairns, but I was anxious to learn.

There were so many tours, excursions and adventures to experience, we didn’t know where to start. I had always wanted to fly in a hot air balloon, but never got the chance. My staff and I searched out every adventure tour offered and there was many, but there was one that caught my eye…..ballooning. I had heard that a lot of skill was required to safely operate a hot air balloon and having never tried it, I didn’t know who to trust. All I knew was that I wanted to do it and was going to do it, no matter what.

I researched all of the different brochures and read up on ballooning to try and gather every piece of information I could before I selected a particular company. I found out there was only one with the experience and multiple choice of stylish balloons in this entire area. That company was “Hot Air Cairns.” It seemed an appropriate name. I contacted the company and met with the owner and founder. A big man with a gentle and no-nonsense character. I found myself comfortable with his demeanor. His name is Andrew Steel.

Cairns is the most popular place in Australia to balloon and Hot Air is recognized as the best ballooning company in the region. Hot Air is operated by a team of Cairns tourism and aviation specialists who have spent more than 35 years in the industry. Hot Air’s specially chosen location, provides ideal weather and climate conditions for this gentle activity and our beautiful region offers unrivalled panoramic views of our unique Australian landscape.

Have you ever dreamed of flying? Now you can! There is no other sensation like the quite, calm movement through the sky. The birds will just have to make way. Enjoy Australia, explore Cairns and the great Barrier Reef, but no not pass on this one. Experience the adventure that has enveloped the minds of man since the beginning of time. Enjoy Hot Air Cairns and ride the wind in the world’s largest balloon. It even has a giant kangaroo. Tell them Mike says hello.

We toured and flew with them on the 2nd of Sept.2002. We had the thrill of a lifetime. I recommend this experience, with this company of professionals, to anyone. An absolute must do!

Visit their website at

Hot air balloons floating over the rural landscape of Cairns.

Hot air balloons floating over the rural landscape of Cairns. Photo credit Dai Fujihara / Flickr CC.


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Michael Smith was the touring editor for Traveler’s Digest. His journeys took him across the world and on a series of unforgettable adventures!