Northam Ballooning Events



In the early days of recreational hot air ballooning in Australia, when pilots were an elite and intrepid group of adventurous souls, the National Championships were staged in Northam in 1981 & 1984 to great acclaim. However, as equipment became more sophisticated and widely available, and introduction of regulations made ballooning safer and popular; the logistical difficulties of transporting the now 20-30 balloons, baskets, equipment, pilots, crew and qualified officials, saw the Championships held on mostly on the east coast over subsequent years. But a plea from balloonists for a new and exciting venue fell on Northam ears whilst they were attending events ‘over there’. An organising group was formed by balloonist members of the Northam Aero Club, and other Aero Club folk soon got involved. With support from the Shire of Northam, the group ran the hugely successful National Championships in Northam in 2015 & 2017.
Then came the ambitious aspirations from the local townsfolk, various levels of Government, sponsors, pilots and the ABF, for Northam to hold a World Championship. The group recognised that a broader set of skills would be required to raise the funds and manage such an undertaking, and so Northam Ballooning Events was formed.

The group went on the run the National Championships in May 2023 and the Women’s World Hot Air Ballooning Championships in September of the same year a remarkable achievement!

Northam Ballooning Events Inc.

Northam Ballooning Events is a non-profit Community Organisation, incorporated in early 2019, and tasked with planning and coordinating a range of ballooning competitions and events to be held in the Shire of Northam; to also promote the sport of ballooning, and to liaise with the Australian Ballooning Federation regarding ballooning competitions. The members of the association include representatives from the Shire of Northam, Northam Aero Club, Western Australian Balloon & Airship Club (WABAC), Australian Ballooning Federation (ABF), local commercial balloon flight Operators, the local farming community, and the local business community.

Office Bearers:

  • Chair: Errol Croft, Northam Aero Club President
  • Secretary: Margaret Putland
  • Treasurer: Glen Brayshaw
  • Shire of Northam: Ian Kiely
  • Operations Manager: Gren Putland


  • Farmer Liaison: Brendan Parker
  • Community: Michelle Blackhurst
  • Communications: Damien Hays
  • Donna Tasker
  • Matt Bignell
  • June Bairstow
  • Norm Fox
  • Sue Clements
  • Michael Clements

Northam and the Flying Area

Northam is located 100km east of Perth. Travel between Perth and Northam is via the Great Eastern Highway, with travel time of approx. 1 hr. The Great Eastern Highway is the major road route connecting Western Australia with the eastern States. 

The event flying area extends approx. 40 km north/south, and approx. 30 km east/west; loosely from Irish Town (north) to Mackie Siding (south), and from Berry Hill (West) to Meenaar (East). 

The Avon River flows from south to north, through the Northam Town Centre. Northam is a regional service centre and agricultural based town. Significant road and rail infrastructure are focused on the town centre. The Region’s agriculture is generally wheat / sheep in nature. There are several stud livestock farms in the area and cereal crops are typically wheat, barley, canola and export hay.