Floating Images celebrates 20 years of balloon flights

With more than 2000 hours flying time in the Ipswich region, Pilot Graeme Day celebrates business birthday milestone
01 Dec 2021
Discover Ipswich, Staff Writer

With more than 2000 flight hours gently floating around over the City of Ipswich, Scenic Rim and Somerset countryside, Owner and Chief Pilot of Floating Images Hot Air Balloon Flights said he can still remember the day it all started.

On December 1, 2001 he inflated the Queensland Times balloon at Limestone Park and since that day he has flown tens of thousands of people in the Ipswich based ballooning businesses.

“It only seems like yesterday,” Mr Day said of looking back to that day 20 years ago.

“It has been an amazing and a very proud journey to date.”

Floating Images birthday collage

He runs the family business with his wife Ruth and now their twins help in the business.  They have been learning the ropes at work with dad since they were seven and both have their ballooning licence.

“We are Ipswich’s only and longest running aviation adventure tourism business and the first ballooning operator to offer hot air balloon flights in Ipswich, Somerset and the western Scenic Rim region.

For the last nine years, Floating Images has been Brisbane’s closest hot air balloon operator, a short 30 minute drive west of the Brisbane CBD.

“We have been bringing domestic and international customers to South East Queensland to experience a balloon flight, learning and exploring the surrounding regions.

“My passengers continually tell me that I have the best job in the world or office view. I get to show Ipswich, Somerset and the Scenic Rim region at its best, in a hot air balloon basket floating above, silently with the wind gently pushing you across the sky.”

 

Floating Images Hot Air Balloon Flights

Over the years Mr Day has flown many diverse groups of people from three years old to 98 years old, who have come from all walks of life celebrating birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s and Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, family reunions, anniversaries, proposals, weddings, citizenship ceremonies, celebration of life moments, bucket lists, business network and marketing functions or simply to experience flying in a hot air balloon!

Mr Day started his career flying in Europe 30 years ago and has flown in France, Switzerland, Italy, Canada and New Zealand.

He’s lost count how many people have been proposed to in the balloon, but said there was about one marriage a year held floating over Ipswich.

And surprisingly he’s only ever seen a customer lose a pair of sunglasses and a mobile phone over the side, but it was during take off so the crew were able to collect the items and hand back to the customer at the end of the flight.

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“I have flown people over three continents for the last 30 years, from all walks of life.  Those who save up very hard and forgo something to go on a balloon flight, to tick their bucket list or a wish or dream from their childhood, to celebrities, the nouvelle rich and aristocrats of Europe, passengers from the age of 3 years to 98 years old.

“Some flights have been for people who are blind, deaf or have intellectual disabilities, to the terminally ill with only days or weeks to live, from the young to the elderly.”

The opportunity for a balloon flight is available all year round and you can gift a flight in the form of an Experience Voucher to someone special in your life.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding (right), Cr Nicole Jonic (middle) and Cr Marnie Doyle (left) had the chance to take a Floating Images Hot Air Balloon flight in 2021
Discover Ipswich Staff Writer
Rocky the Rock Wallaby is a Sagittarius who lives at the Ipswich Nature Centre and often contributes to Discover Ipswich in his spare time. When he's not busy showing tourists around, blogging or hanging out with his bestie Milly the Wombat, he likes to hit the gym for a leg session, graze on quinoa salad and ponder the possibilities of the universe.

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