As the sun rose on Friday morning, the Sea Shepherd hot air balloon took off from Merewether Beach for its maiden Australian voyage.
Novocastrians had a front seat view of the balloon's flight over the city before it landed at Wallsend an hour later.
Hunter-grown Balloon Aloft has been commissioned to fly the aircraft, which has previously made its way around Europe and competed in world championships abroad.
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The business' director Matt Scaife said the balloon acted as a "big banner" to raise awareness for environmental conservation and would soon embark on a tour through Australia's major cities.
"We just wanted to do our part to help bring awareness to ocean conservation and the work [Sea Shepherd] get up to," he said.
"A lot of people are getting to understand what Sea Shepherd is now."
Mr Scaife said there had been a bit of "doom and gloom" associated with environmental and ocean conservation recently and that this balloon was an opportunity to share the message in an uplifting way.
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"It was great to see the smiles on kids' faces," he said.
"I think with what's going on with the world right now you have to be more physically active [in raising awareness].
"You can't wait for other people to do things, you've got to just go out there and do them."
There will be another two or three flights in Newcastle over the next week before the hot air balloon's Australian journey.
Those interested in seeing the aircraft in flight should keep an eye on Balloon Aloft's Facebook page for updates on upcoming trips.
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