Yields for Brisbane farmers from hot air balloons

Farmer’s south west of Brisbane look to the sky for a different farm return

For the past six years, on Brisbane’s hinterland, farming and tourism have really gotten on with the job and taken off to new heights; with Brisbane city residents able to launch from locals farms to see some spectacular scenery on-board Hot Air Balloon Brisbane.

Cattle farmer James Radke, with dad Greg and Uncle Brian have 500 acres located at Allenview, the farm a mere 35 minutes’ drive from Brisbane through the Scenic Rim region.

Blake Flynn, Senior Pilot for Hot Air Balloon Brisbane and James talk often and have been working together to fine tune the combination of the tour happening in the farm’s air space.

James said the family property’s involvement with Hot Air Balloon Brisbane, has been brilliant.

“We always look forward to having a yarn with Blake, the pilots and the balloon crew, when they take off or land on our property. Their team manage their operations very professionally; particularly by adhering to our farming requirements, being cautious and mindful when in the vicinity of our livestock, respecting our property and always leaving it the way they found it.

“We appreciate Hot Air Balloon Brisbane’s willingness to provide a property access payment whenever their balloons take off or land, that comes in handy” he said.

Blake explained, the technicalities of flying a hot air balloon means they fly for a maximum of an hour, once a day, just on sunrise. If it’s a relatively still morning for example, four hot air balloons might take off and descend on the same farm, then that farmer receives eight payments for the morning, with the pilots recording all locations, on a daily database of every participating landholder in the region.

“So far, we have 50 farmers signed up, happy to have our balloons on their farms, which is great”, said Blake.

A family owned business, established 16 years, Hot Air Balloon Brisbane offers all landholders on Brisbane’s Scenic Rim, the option to have income from the balloons landing or not to at all. Blake said for any farmer wanting to get more information, there’s contacts and more details at www.hotair.com.au/landowners

James said it is reassuring that Hot Air Balloon Brisbane operate using satellite mapping technology that provides important information about areas they cannot land on, due to seasonal crop rotation planting.

Blake confirmed that by utilising IPADS in-flight, each pilot can identify and map all the local farms, which means that any farmer can decide whether or not to have balloons on their property.

“We weren’t sure what to expect when Blake approached us, six years ago, but now, we wave to the tourists if they’re flying over a paddock and they’re happy and it certainly makes for a colourful start to our mornings, as the balloons are up and off the property before breakfast. We appreciate the great service that Hot Air Balloon Brisbane provides and their enthusiasm to look after the man on the land” said James.

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