WHERE IS CANOWINDRA?
Canowindra is approximately 320km west of Sydney in New South Wales; the drive by car takes around 4.5 hours from Sydney Airport, depending on traffic and road conditions. Canowindra is a small country town with a population of 2000 people. A charming, and typical Australian country town, with some lovely, but limited number of restaurants, cafes and pubs. Enjoy these unique places, but remember forward bookings are essential.
The town features a heritage-listed main street and a collection of art galleries showing works by local painters, potters and artisans. Canowindra became world-famous in 1955, when a 360-million-year-old fossil was found. Today, you can see it among other fascinating exhibits at the amazing Age of Fishes Museum.
There is a local supermarket for the purchase of food supplies. The town does service tourists that come to visit the diverse, and unique local wine region and amazing prehistoric fossil find.
Each year the skies above Canowindra come alive with the roar of the burners and visual spectacular provided when mass hot air balloons take flight in competition and fiesta flying. During the Canowindra Balloon Challenge, the town receives over 10 thousand visitors to see the balloons. The wide open spaces, ideal weather conditions, and friendly local people make this an ideal area for hot air ballooning.
The event in 2017 will be run over 8 days during the NSW school holidays, 18th to 25th April 2017.
There are many ways that you may "GET INVOLVED" so follow this link to find out how.
Just to watch the mass launch of a fleet of colorful balloons is the most spectacular visual and photographic experience ever. You can expect to see balloons of all shapes, sizes and colors including home builts, special shapes and sky charriots, from all over Australia and the world. Balloons will launch daily from 6.30am and 3.30pm mostly from the Canowindra sports ovals but may launch from farms around Canowindra to fly in when the winds change. In this case it can be much fun to chase the balloons across the countryside.
Another way to get more involved is to take a commercial balloon ride. Note the commercial balloons will not fly within the competition fleet but will be flying in close proximity to it. The public highlight of the week is the Balloon Glow where balloons light up their burners in the dark to music. The kids will sing and dance with purchasable glow wands just before the balloons start glowing. Fire baton dancers will also perform. Mid week there will be evening functions around the town in clubs and restaurants. Many caravan and motorhome owners make the Canowindra Balloon Challenge a stopover destination on their way travelling north.
Within this web site you will find information to assist you in planning your attendance at our event whether you are a participant, volunteer or spectator.
Check at the Visitor Information Centre (Age of Fishes Museum) and the Official program for more information about extra activities during non-flying times. Enjoy.
Here is a recent article about Canowindra from a caravaner's point of view
21st to 29th April, 2018
20th to 28th April, 2019
18th to 26th April, 2020