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Balloon Buffoon: 3AW producer Katie Dower brought to tears by Melbourne’s beauty

I’m the kind of girl that will shed a tear over spilled milk, but today’s waterworks were sparked by what can only be described as the full spectrum of human emotions – a gamut of feelings which I can barely put into words.

It started with a 3.30am alarm and a lot of muffled swearing and cursing (so as not to wake the hubby and kids) at the hideousness of the ungodly hour, followed by a refreshingly traffic-free trip through the CBD (unheard of, unless you are a shift worker or breakfast radio staffer).

Then came the abrupt onset of nervousness, coupled with multiple last minute toilet trips (*NB: balloons do not contain an ensuite), and next, a giddy excitement I don’t think I’ve felt since I was a child on Christmas morning. I did a lot of ‘OH MY GOD WE’RE GOING ON A BALLOON!!!’

Taking off barely felt like it even happened, and once in the air I was instantly aghast at just how stunning our city is and how damn lucky we are to be a part of its beauty. The tears then arrived and so too did the sunrise.

I have watched the balloons hover over Melbourne for years, playing a game to keep the kids entertained in the car, trying to spot as many as we can. Before today I’d never really given too much thought to the experience people were having in them every day.

Now I will stop and remember this morning, every morning.

?PS: did you know that the trees in the Fitzroy Gardens are planted out to reflect the design of the Union Jack?


Katie’s airborne companions.


A birds-eye view of the Melbourne Star.

A birds-eye view of the Melbourne Star.