Before you splash out on airfares to watch hot air balloons glide across the picture-perfect honeycombed landscape of Cappadocia, maybe check out what's happening in your own backyard, the ballooning mecca of New Zealand: Hamilton.
Balloons over Waikato is the country's premier hot air balloon festival and the region's annual breath of hot air. It's been taking place for the past 18 years, with five days of balloon-related activities floating between Innes Common, Hamilton Lake and The University of Waikato grounds.
It features balloonists from all over country, and just last year attracted over 130,000 spectators to watch the spectacle of mass hyper-colour blimps ascending through the Waikato sky. The festival's most popular event is the Zuru Nightglow, an after-hours celebration where the balloons glow to orchestrated music and the sky is set alight with one of the country's biggest fireworks displays.
It's all happening again this March from Wednesday 21 to Sunday 25. The festival will comprise sunrise inflations, balloon rides, a family-friendly market and the free evening event on Saturday 24 March. Held from 4-9pm it will feature live music, amusement rides and a wide range of food vendors.
Balloons over Waikato 2018 takes place from March 21-25. For more information, visit the festival website.