Hot air ballooning over the National Arboretum, Canberra, ACT, number 99 on Australian Traveller’s ‘100 amazing places you haven’t been to yet’Nominated by: Ewan Roberts, MD of Balloon Aloft (and proud Canberran)

We thought: who would know the ACT’s hidden treasures better than a man who spends most days floating above them?

And when we asked Ewan Roberts, someone who has spent over 2000 hours with his feet very much off the ground with Balloon Aloft, his answer was immediate.

“Oh, the Arboretum area,” he said firmly. “We see it most mornings from the balloon and people are always asking what it is. The sculptured terraces, the lovely restaurant, the amphitheatre – it’s all there.”

It is actually possible to build a pretty relaxing holiday itinerary around the National Arboretum. Between watching plays on the open-air stage, getting your pulse up on the walks and biking trails around its 250 hectares and enjoying the delights of the café, restaurant, shop and exhibition space, there is certainly more than a bunch of trees to be had here.

A full events calendar means you can usually sign up for a guided forest walk or bonsai demonstration and, of course, a morning with Roberts in a balloon, which is a pretty fabulous way to enjoy the architectural plantings and award-winning landscape as they sweep below your basket-bound feet.


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