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ExOz Logo Best inTravel ExperiencesAwards Badge Recognising Australia's top travel experience operators.


Best Scenic Flights


The Scenic Flights category highlights aerial exploration activities in all forms of traditional conveyance, including both helicopters and light aircraft as well as hot air balloons. Scenic flights provide the ultimate vantage point from which to take in Australia's top highlights; as a result, the landscape on offer during an experience plays an integral role in recommending each of these operators as some of the best.

Those in search of incredible travel photography - or wanting to see their local Australian icons from an entirely different angle - will be will served by joining the operators listed here.

Award Winner Profiles


Meet the award-winning operators and their signature experiences in the Scenic Flights category.

Balloon with HOT AIR Balloon Flights - Cairns, QLD

Since its inception in 2005, more people have flown with HOT AIR than with any other balloon operator in Australia, leading to its reputation as Australia's premier hot air balloon operator. HOT AIR has an experienced and expert team with a reliable, responsive, knowledgeable and caring approach to their operation. HOT AIR employ Australia's largest team of full time hot air balloon pilots - all their Hot Air Balloon flight crew are a qualified and professional team, working hard to provide a quality, safe, memorable experience for each and every passenger. With scenic flights available in four QLD destinations including Brisbane, Cairns, the Gold Coast and Port Douglas, there's a memorable flight experience awaiting in the travel destination near you.

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Balloon Aloft Gold Coast Hot Air Balloon Flights - Gold Coast, QLD

Balloon Aloft Gold Coast have been flying for over 20 years and have a perfect safety record, and is the ONLY hot air balloon company that flies directly over the Gold Coast. Their chief pilot is the owner of the company and has been flying exclusively over the Gold Coast for over two decades; having an intimate knowledge of the local weather patterns and topography which ensures your ultimate safety. Balloon Aloft is a local business in every sense of the word; they have been established on the Coast for over 2 decades, employ locals, and strongly support local business and the Gold Coast community. For sweeping views of the Gold Coast's beautiful hinterland, they make for an ideal choice.

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Balloon Aloft Hunter Valley Hot Air Balloon Flights - Hunter Valley, NSW

In 1980 Balloon Aloft offered the very first passenger hot air balloon flights in Australia - and over thirty-five years later they remain the market leader, delivering the highest quality balloon flights and service. With unparalleled experience, passenger's comfort and safety are assured due to their exceptional flight team (the current Women's World Champion and the current Australian Ballooning champion) ensuring that a flight with Balloon Aloft is a cut above the rest. Balloon Aloft sunrise hot air balloon flights depart daily from some of Australia’s most spectacular locations including Camden Valley (Sydney-Macarthur Region), the Hunter Valley,Mudgee, Canberra, Melbourne and the Yarra Valley, with their Hunter Valley flight offering a picturesque journey over this popular NSW wine region.

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Cloud 9 Seaplanes Scenic Flights - Gold Coast, QLD

Cloud 9 Seaplanes is a small boutique scenic flights company located on the Gold Coast. They pride ourselves on their unique and excellent customer service standards and their absolute commitment to safety. They love what they do, as the surprise from our customers is a fantastic reward regardless of which flight they take. They are fun, exciting, safe and great value for the service they provide, which includes a range of Gold Coast scenic flight itineraries covering local highlights such as the Surfers Paradise skyline and South Stradbroke Island, as well as unique offerings for romantic island picnic flights, and even aerial whale watching to witness the annual migration of these gentle marine giants from high above.

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GBR Helicopters Reef Flights - Port Douglas, QLD

GBR Helicopters was founded some 20 years ago, calling themselves "GBR Helicopters" due to their passion about everything to do with the Great Barrier Reef. Flying a fleet of helicopters to world class destinations, right on their doorstep in Far North Queensland, they've shared the reef, the rainforest and their local knowledge with thousands of customers who’ve enjoyed their continued commitment to going ‘above and beyond’ making sure that each and every flight is an experience to remember. With this belief, they’ve established themselves as the leading heli-tourism company in the region, with flights over Port Douglas that highlight the best of the Great Barrier Reef and stunning tropics in full force.

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Global Ballooning Hot Air Balloon Flights - Melbourne, VIC

Global Ballooning Australia have shared a sunrise with over 90,000 people over the course of 25 years. With a proud safety record, they care deeply about their guests’ experience and believe it’s about the people met along the way and the pristine natural playground they call their "office". Operating 364 days a year, they rise before the sun almost every day over Melbourne city and the Yarra Valley as they believe there’s something magical about experiencing the world from the sky. There’s no need to travel far, and no better way to see the world’s most liveable city - Melbourne, while some prefer the scenic route to the Yarra Valley. Their Yarra Valley flights offer the chance to soar over Victoria's verdant wine region on a 1 hour journey that's incredible serene - and romantic.

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GSL Aviation Whitsunday Island Flights - Whitsundays, QLD

GSL Aviation are one of the largest aviation tourism operators in Australia, with a fleet of 15 aircraft, and carrying more than 60,000 visitors each year. With a base in both Cairns and Airlie Beach, GSL showcase the Great Barrier Reef to a variety of domestic and international guests. Established in 2010, GSL has always focused highly on customer service, and trying to exceed the expectations of guests. GSL is constantly upgrading their fleet, and improving tour products to ensure that great experiences carry on well into the future. Their scenic flights over the Whitsundays showcase some of the region's most beautiful natural highlights from the air, with itineraries that include icons such as Whitehaven Beach, and Heart Reef - a favourite for engagements, anniversaries and honeymoons alike.

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Nautilus Aviation Great Barrier Reef Helicopter Flights - Cairns, QLD

Nautilus Aviation is a privately owned and operated professional helicopter company. Today, after 24 years in the Aviation Industry, Nautilus Aviation has over 60 staff and 25 state of the art piston and turbine powered helicopters across its bases in Queensland, the Northern Territory and New South Wales. Their fleet of modern, air-conditioned aircraft delivers more than an impressive and luxurious means of travel between each property. Flying over contrasting landscapes of reef, rainforest and outback, Nautilus Aviation offers a once in a lifetime experience – every time. Departing daily from Cairns, guests can enjoy scenic flights over the Great Barrier Reef, escape to a private sand cay, design custom tours, book luxury event transfers, and more.

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Sea World Helicopters Scenic Flights - Gold Coast, QLD

Providing a convenient launching point from which to take in aerial highlights of the Gold Coast from its iconic theme park, Sea World Helicopters operate a duo of luxurious AS350 B2 Squirrel helicopters they are both spacious and offer great viewing opportunities. Whether travellers are a first time flyer looking for the thrill of a helicopter ride, or after a scenic tour of the Gold Coast, Sea World Helicopter’s has something to suit everyone. From joy flights where guests can get a bird’s eye view of Sea World and the stunning Gold Coast surrounds, to longer flights taking passengers all the way to the New South Wales border, there are a wide range of flight times and budget levels from which to choose.

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Sydney Helitours Harbour Helicopter Flights - Sydney, NSW

Sydney HeliTours is Sydney’s premier helicopter tourism company, and are the largest scenic helicopter company based in Sydney with a range of scenic helicopter tours, lunch tours and day tours that showcase all of the famous iconic attractions, including the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Bondi Beach and further afield to the Blue Mountains and the Hunter Valley. Sydney HeliTours is proud to be a locally owned and operated business servicing the growing tourism, corporate charter, major events and film requirements of the Sydney and NSW region. They own and operate Sydney Airport’s largest fleet of well maintained, low time and beautifully presented aircraft including piston and turbine powered helicopters.

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