Saturday, 11 February 2017


Gun pilots will be jockeying for position to snatch a prize worth approximately $6,500 officially announced for the Kavanagh Balloon Grab at the Canowindra Balloon Challenge this year.

One of the Most Spectacular Events

The major piece of ballooning equipment will be up for grabs in what is arguably one of the most spectacular events in the program line-up which will run from April 18th to 25th.

In the competition, balloons launch from a site of their choosing (at a minimum distance away) as declared by the flight director according to wind conditions on the day.

The aim is to fly in and try to pluck a large key from the top of a flagpole. The key represents the major prize for the first one to get it.

Not to Be Missed

Spectators gather outside a safety exclusion zone around the flagpole to watch the fleet approach and cheer the pilots on. This is not part of the weekly point score but is a separate ‘not to be missed’ event.

Thursday, 9 February 2017


International interest in the Canowindra Balloon Challenge is running hot with plans for contestants and officials from all over the world being put in place for the eight-day event in April.

The event will be run in the school holidays from the 18th to 25th April this year with the skies set to come alive with the roar of burners when mass hot air balloons take flight in competition, joy and commercial flying.

More Than 10,000 Visitors Expected

During the Canowindra Balloon Challenge, the town receives more than 10 thousand visitors to see the balloons. The wide-open spaces, ideal weather conditions, friendly township and hot competition will this year see competitors and officials from the United States, France, and New Zealand gracing the skies.

Internationally Officiated Competition

The event will also be internationally officiated this year with the Director and Assistant Director of Competition coming from Canada for the Challenge.

Monday, 7 November 2016


The skies are set to come alive again from 18th to 25th April 2017 in Canowindra during the school holidays. With a bronze award in the Regional Tourism Awards and a finalist in the NSW Tourism Awards this year things are buzzing for a great Balloon Challenge in 2017.

  We have taken to the skies with a new image to celebrate. The crisp new logo which depicts balloons, NSW and Canowindra in a stylized form in vibrant balloon colours is just the start. Our new website is under development and will be released shortly.

   New this year will be the daily balloon pilot briefings taking place at the Showground, to which you are invited.

  Plus, lots of Drone action, so please bring yours and join the Drone club. There will be activities happening daily

  This year the expanded Night Balloon Glow, Fire and Light Spectacular will amaze all. Why not join the party by volunteering for the day or the week? We can assure you, whether young or old of a memorable experience. Jobs for all levels of fitness. Take a balloon ride to view the beautiful Belubula Valley and “Share the Air” with balloonists from Australia and the world.

   Enjoy all the Central West region has to offer, extend your stay and visit Taronga Western Plains Zoo at Dubbo, Parkes Radio Telescope, Cowra’s Japanese Gardens and the Age of Fishes Museum.

   Most importantly don’t forget your camera as balloons create something special and you can enter your best pictures in the photo competition with a class for Drone shots.  Canowindra Challenge can be your challenge.

  April 18th to 25th…..mark it in your diary. For site bookings at the Showground, to book a balloon ride or to volunteer call 1300 908 825 or go to and like us on facebook