Day or night the balloons make a spectacular sight in Selwyn skies

The balloons are back

by Mike Isle

Hot air balloons from all over New Zealand will once again descend on Selwyn for the Hororata Night Glow. The annual event, which has been described as magical, will this year take place on Saturday, May 18.

“The balloonists who took up our invitation last year are all returning, plus some new ones. They enjoy being welcomed into our community and can’t wait to be back,” said Michael Oakley from Ballooning Canterbury.

“In the week leading up to the Hororata Night Glow, the balloonists enjoy a social week of flying together. Exactly when and where we fly will depend on the weather, but we hope to be in the sky as much as possible, which will be a spectacular sight for those on the ground.”

The balloon crews will be hosted with local families, which Oakley said adds to their feeling of being part of the community.

“It would not be possible to have this many visiting pilots and crews without the support of all the hosts and the team who have volunteered to cater for them, thank you to everyone who is helping make this possible.

Many of the pilots and crews are from the North Island; we are also grateful to the Interislander who has sponsored their ferry crossings,” Oakley said.

“The balloons do not leave the ground at the Night Glow; instead we light them up like giant lanterns. Getting all the balloons standing at once and glowing in a choreographed performance is not easy; weather conditions have to be perfect. The Night Glow could happen anytime from 5.30pm on the night. My advice to people is to get there early to enjoy all the food and entertainment the festival offers surrounding the balloons. There are great bands lined up and it will be worth staying until the end of the evening for the fireworks,” Michael Oakley said.

The Hororata Night Glow: Saturday, May 18 2019 at the Hororata Domain, 3pm to 8.30pm. Postponement date is Sunday, May 19. Discounted tickets are available now online or at Hororata Motors. More information can be found at or on Facebook.