Harbourside residents awoke on Tuesday morning to a trio of balloons cruising above the restful waters of the Port of Newcastle.
Launching from Horseshoe Beach at around 5:40am, the surprise appearance of the giant aircraft in the sky was courtesy of Hunter Valley company ‘Balloon Aloft’.
General Manager David Bain said the flights doubled as a festive celebration for staff and unique marketing exercise in the lead-up to Christmas.
"We sat there with the balloon stood up waiting for the sun to come up, and as soon as it did – we took off.
"We've been doing one annually, or once every two years as a bit of a Christmas celebration for our staff and pilots," Mr Bain said.
"It's a pretty fun way to do it over Newcastle.
We just woke a lot of people up, which they all seemed to enjoy.Balloon Aloft General Manager David Bain
"We usually fly around Pokolbin and Lovedale vineyard area; we actually had a flight there this morning, so one of our pilots and a crew member stayed back there."
"At the moment we're running a Christmas voucher special, so just getting people talking about balloons and hopefully booking a flight or two as a Christmas present."
The flight duration lasted around 45 minutes until the trio of balloons landed safely on a cricket pitch in Hamilton South.
The unexpected marketing manoeuvre brought pleasant intrigue from early risers with a flurry of social media posts capturing the moment.
"No one [knew], we alerted Williamtown obviously that we'd be flying in the area, but other than that not too many knew about it,” Mr Bain said.
"We just woke a lot of people up, which they all seemed to enjoy.”
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