The Emirates balloon continues its spectacular journey across the world, and was last spotted gliding majestically over the hills and valleys of New Zealand.
A record crowd turned out at Waikato University in Hamilton, New Zealand for the major attraction of the Balloons-Over-Waikato festival, the Nightglow event, and the Emirates balloon from Dubai was at the centre of attention. The crew of the Emirates balloon, the first from the Middle East to take part, also visited Pukete School in Hamilton, to show the ropes in ballooning to pupils.
While organisers have previously experienced crowds of 40,000-50,000 for Nightglow, this year the event drew around 80,000 spectators. Among them was the lucky winner of a competition run ahead of Nightglow to promote the event - a young woman Kylie Te Arihi won a trip for two on Emirates from Auckland to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.
The traditional lighting up of more than 30 balloons at Nightglow capped off a highly successful festival, with excellent weather for the balloonists all week and a perfect evening for the big audience at Waikato University. During the week, the balloonists exhibited their skill in various events, including a key grab contest - the equivalent of a hole-in-one at golf.