Our chosen location for ballooning from Cairns and Port Douglas is the beautiful Atherton Tablelands just 40km inland from the Coast but sometimes it can be like travelling to a different country. The Mareeba area, famous for having more than 300 sunny days a year, has its own unique micro climate meaning ballooning can take place year around in Queenslands ideal warm climate, but right now the area is looking just pristine after the passing of our annual wet season.
What Wet season anyway ? It was all over the place this year and we didn’t have that much rain across the traditional months, most of it was spread into October and March, so we flew nearly every day, but the cooler nights of April have shown us the Wet has passed and we are in for more blue skies and beautiful landings.
This photo was take by our guests Dave and Sheila Bartlett during April 2012, and posted to our facebook page hot air balloons provide a beautifully stable platform for some great photographhy or videography and add in that soft early morning light and a little mist and you have a photographers paradise.
The Atherton Tablelands holds some of the best self-drive touring to be had in the Australia with good roads, little towns to explore and some great local food to be discovered. In Mareeba the rich fertile volcanic soil and irrigation from the Tinaroo dam means over 65% of the australian coffee crop is grown here and there are saveral outlets that visitors can enjoy – Coffee Works is close by Mareeba and a favourite with the locals and for the gift shopping, Jacques Coffee is on the Cairns side of town and Skybury Coffee on the Dimbulah Road about 8kn out of town past the Rodeo grounds.
Local Mareeba mangoes are famous and exported around the World, mango season is December to March with new varieties and techniqus extending the season all the time. Whilst at Skybury they will produce over 4,000,000 yes thats 4 million pawpaws (or papaya to give it its other name) in a bio dynamic technique that means healthier growing conditions and tastier fruit. Skybury produce more than 30 percent of the Australian Pawpaw market from Mareeba, an amazing feat.