- Dates locked in for Australian National Ballooning Championships in May 2023
- Women's World Hot Air Ballooning Championships to follow in September 2023
- Supported by the McGowan Government through Tourism WA's Regional Events Program
The skies over the Avon Valley are set to be transformed into a colourful vista of hot air balloons, during two separate ballooning championship events in Northam next year.
The rescheduled 23rd Australian National Ballooning Championships will be held from May 5 to 13, 2023 - while the Women's World Hot Air Ballooning Championships will take place from September 4 to 9, 2023.
Both events are supported by the McGowan Government through Tourism WA's Regional Events Program, and delivered by Northam Ballooning Events, in partnership with the Shire of Northam.
The Australian National Ballooning Championships challenges pilots to exercise their skill in manoeuvring their balloons over a set course with goals, time and distance limits. It is the only competition nationwide where the highest-ranking Australian competitors will be selected for the World Championships.
Next year's Australian Championship includes a festival that will activate the town with balloon-themed events, such as the spectacular Balloon Night Glow, marking the fifth time the competition has been held in Northam.
The event was last held in Western Australia in 2017 and attracted more than 12,000 visitors to the region, while the Night Glow event drew more than 7,000 attendees.
The Women's World Hot Air Ballooning Championships was last held in Poland in 2018, when 33 athletes from 10 nations competed, including Australia's Nicola Scaife, who won the event in both 2014 and 2016.
Together, the two Championship events are expected to attract more than 29,000 visitors to Northam, and inject more than $3 million into the local economy.
Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Roger Cook:
"Northam is known for being a top hot air ballooning destination - and for good reason, with the town's weather conditions being ideal for such events.
"These championship competitions will further cement the Avon Valley's reputation, and are sure to provide colourful displays that will delight those travelling to the region.
"Events such as these play an important role in supporting regional tourism by creating jobs, boosting the economy, and drawing people to the area; who will spend money with local accommodation providers, eateries and tourism businesses."
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"Only an hour's drive east of Perth, these events provide an opportunity to showcase the Avon Valley's gourmet food and wine trails, heritage buildings and stunning scenery, while attracting visitors from near and far to support local businesses and jobs.
"We're proud to continue our support for this event, which is much-loved by locals and visitors alike, as the skies over the region are transformed.
"It's great to also be hosting the Women's Championships in Northam next year, giving people a chance to witness female pilots putting their skills to the test in this unique, spectacular contest."
Tourism Minister's office - 6552 6500