In May 2019 I, Ken Aitken turned 70 years old. I had a big party of 50 ++ people. It was truly a joyful day at our house at Chambers Flat. There was a review and affirmation of my life up to the present time.
One of the important details of each invitation was that there were to be no birthday presents but people were offered the opportunity to give cash for a future hot – air balloon ride. People were very generous.
Harriet and I chose to go in the warmer months as in November this year with the Scenic Day Tour Group The Scenic Group has a lot to offer and as the website says:
Multi Award Winning! The Scenic Day Tour Group incorporating Scenic Hinterland Day Tours, Aussie Adventure
Days, Gold Coast Glow Worm Tours, HUMMER Safari Four Wheel Drive 4WD Adventure Day Tours, Rainforest 4WD Safaris & The Scenic Day Tour Desks invites you to over 30 years experience in tourism on the fabulous Gold Coast, Brisbane, South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales. We are dedicated to giving you the best Gold Coast and Brisbane day tours and touring experiences at the best prices.
Free pick up from your accommodation is included in each tour adventure, call us to check for availability and for your pick-up times. We are the number one, Queensland Tourism Award Winning, Gold Coast, Australian Day Tours Company with experienced guides. Scenic Hinterland Day Tours offers the best selection of day tours and half day tours on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane with no hidden extras.
The Scenic Group had the option of a future hot- air balloon ride leaving at 4.30 am in the morning at Canungra ….. about 0.50 hours away from us vs. an hour away from us at the Gold Coast.
It was Harriet’s 71st Birthday on the 8th November so we decided to celebrate her birthday and re-celebrate my May birthday with a hot – air balloon ride from Canungra.
We awoke at 3.15 am. with a deadline to be at Canungra by 4.30 am. We connected with small mini-bus which then drove us about 0.50 hours away to this big paddock out past Beaudesert. The sun had just come up so we could see what we were doing. There were three hot – air balloons. We all assigned to a balloon. The one we were assigned to turned out the largest of it kind in Australia.
It had a padded basket which could contain twenty people which included the flight controller. The flight controller had the qualifications of an airline pilot. The balloon had a gas burner which released hot air up into the balloon itself. Hot rises above cooler air so we began to rise high above the earth. We finally rose to 3,600 feet or 1.20 kilometres above the earth. The prevailing winds gently blew us from west to east. Every now and then the pilot would light the gas burner to keep us going up. For those in the basket, it would be a moment of uncomfortable heat. Then we would be in a time of drifting in the wind.
We drifted in the wind for a whole hour till we came down in a farm paddock near Beaudesert. Beaudesert is a rural town and locality in the Scenic Rim Region, Queensland, Australia. In the 2016 census, Beaudesert had a population of 6,395 people. Wikipedia
On a personal note, the pilot saw that I personally had real trouble getting into the big basket at the start of the flight as I am a bit uncoordinated. See the post: A life changing situation
When we finished the flight, he said to Harriet and I for us to not get out of the basket with everyone else. He was going to make it easier for us. After everyone had gotten out, he gently tipped the basket over on its side with the gentle eastern movement of the balloon. With us hanging on to the stiff holding cords, we just swung our legs on the ground 0.75 metres below us.
We all got into the mini bus and were driven to the O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards. This was for a three course help yourself breakfast. After breakfast you could sit down by the nearby creek or walk up the viewing platform for platypus rising to the water surface or could get a feeding bag to feed the enclosed alpacas. The mini bus eventually delivered us back to our cars to go home.
See the photos below of our awesome hot- air balloon ride.
There were three hot – air balloons. We all assigned to a balloon. The one we were assigned to turned out the largest of it kind in Australia.
The small mini-bus which drove us about 0.50 hours away to this big paddock out past Beaudesert.
We steadily rose higher and higher.
The Wyaralong Dam is a mass concrete gravity dam with an un-gated spillway across the Teviot Brook that is located in the South East region of Queensland, Australia. The main purpose of the dam is for supply of potable water for the Scenic Rim region. The impounded reservoir is also called Wyaralong Dam. Wikipedia
A view of the forested hills in the Scenic Rim region around Beaudesert.
The two other smaller balloons way down below us.
An industrial shed in the Industrial section of Beaudesert served by a railway line.
A view over the farm land around Beaudesert. The cord is a cord to a camera which could take photographs of us in the basket.
Wyaralong Dam from a distance.
Bromelton House photos
Bromelton House: John Oxley Library
Bromelton House, near Beaudesert, was the main residence of a large run owned by Hugh Henry Robertson Aikman who held the first squatting licence for the property in 1842, possibly the first squatting licence issued for Moreton Bay. He called the house “Broomelton” after his home in Lanarkshire in Scotland.
The McDonalds came to Bromelton in 1860 and lived there longer than any other family. By 1860 when the land was sold again it was a property of 13,500 acres. The homestead, which underwent many additions and alterations over time, was built of red cedar from the banks of the Logan River. Home to many visitors, the guest book has 4,500 names including that of the opera singer June Bronhill. The house was built above a huge calabash shaped lagoon and the garden is dominated by a Castanospermum australeor Black Bean tree. 150 years later the tree is still there. The garden also had roses, citrus trees, grapevines. Extended to include a wide range of plants including tropical and temperate gardens Bromelton House was included in the Australia’s Open Garden Scheme.
The State Library of Queensland holds several books and photograph albums on Bromelton House including: Photograph albums of the MacDonald Family of Bromelton Station 1850 – 1910; Rosa Caroline Praed Papers ca. 1885 – ca. 1930; George Knight Erskine Fairholme [Work of Art] ca. 1845; The William Boag glass plate negative collection; The Macdonalds : Australia – 1814 onwards : by sea, by land : and a place called Bromelton by Joyce Gloster.
See also this website:
Bromelton House sits within two hectares of landscaped gardens, formed around a native bean tree that is well over 100 years old.
The garden, which is regularly featured as part of Australia’s Open Garden Scheme, overlooks a 150-megalitre lagoon, which has water harvesting licenses from the Logan River.
The farm also includes a pecan plantation: There are nearly 3000 pecan [trees] and that’s a good little side earner for us,” said the new owner, “We have already sold pecans to a Swiss company.”….. see the dark green trees below.
The End of Bromelton House photos.
Farmland around the town of Beaudesert. Beaudesert is located on the Mount Lindesay Highway, some 91 kilometres (57 mi) south of Brisbane. The area sources its income predominantly from rural activities such as cropping, grazing and equine activities, as well as tourism. It has a racecourse, 50-metre swimming pool, public library, two gyms and mountain scenery.
The town of Beaudesert being past over by the balloon.
The distant Mt. Lindsay could not be seen clearly due the bush fire smoke haze.