See Ayers Rock from a Hot Air Balloon

Travellers wishing to take in the majestic sight of Ayers Rock in Australia’s Northern Territory now have an extra incentive to visit the destination, with the launch of a hot air balloon tour service this year.

The 30-minute tours are the first to ever be made available to visitors, and are set to begin in March 2012. The trips will take place around dawn, and will include transfers’ from customers’ accommodation, as well as a light breakfast. Travellers will get a unique view of the cherished landmark and sacred Aboriginal site, flying near the rock and over the Patji region close to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park just as the sun lifts above the horizon.

Ayers Rock is a huge sandstone formation rising out of the bush of the Northern Territory, and is a World Heritage Site. The local name for the rock is Uluru, and the mound has particular significance to the local Anangu people, who do not climb the rock and request that visitors also refrain from climbing up its steep slopes. However, many visitors do choose to make the climb, aided by a chain handhold which was added in 1964. Perhaps the option of seeing the rock from a hot air balloon will reduce the number of visitors who feel the need to climb up it, and may make the local community’s request to forbid the climbing of the rock more likely to be accepted by the Australian government.

The hot air balloon flights will be operated by operator Outback Ballooning and will cost around £300, which includes the transfers and food. Getting to the Northern Territories is easy thanks to plentiful flights to Darwin, available with carriers such as British Airways, Qantas and Singapore Airlines.

Image by wemwemwem

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