About the Wine Country Ballooning Team


Meet your Hunter Valley Hot Air Balloon Team. Same team, new name. 

Chief Pilot, Daren Pallett has been flying hot air balloons commercially in the Hunter Valley for over 10 years. Daren is, without doubt, the most experienced full-time balloon pilot in the Hunter Valley, ensuring you the highest level of safety and enjoyment for your morning's adventure. 

Daren is a certified Commercial Pilot and holds a Commercial Hot-Air Balloon pilot's licence, issued by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), this allows him to conduct balloon flights in any size balloon, he has held this licence since the 1990's without incident.  Daren also holds a Maintenance Authority issued by CASA certifying his competency in the up-keep of the aircraft.

When not hot air ballooning, Daren is a passionate member of the NSW Fire Brigade and is keen to keep the ballooning separate from the fire fighting.

Office Staff

We have a dedicated team of sale professionals to assist you in your Hunter Valley Ballooning Co experience!

Ground Crew

Our ground crew consists of a small team of professionals. All crew are certified in their competency in retrieval driving, hot air balloon construction and in champagne pouring. Our crew play an integral role in the safety and enjoyment of your hot air balloon experience, they are regularly trained and assessed in excess of the CASA standard.  This ensures that their standards of competence are of the highest possible level. 


Wine Country Ballooning is owned and Operated by Experience Co Limited (EXP)
Experience Co Limited (EXP) is an adventure tourism and leisure company (previously known as Skydive the Beach Group Limited, ASX:SKB). From its origins in Wollongong NSW in 1999, it now provides tandem skydiving experiences in 18 locations in Australia and 3 locations in New Zealand. EXP also provides activities of white water rafting, hot air ballooning, canyoning, boat tours and helicopter tours to the Great Barrier Reef, and personalised tours to the Daintree Rainforest in North Queensland, Australia. Since successfully completing an initial public offer (IPO) in March 2015, EXP has acquired Australia Skydive (March 2015), NZone Skydive, NZ (October 2015), Skydive Wanaka, NZ (July 2016), Raging Thunder Adventures (October 2016), Reef Magic Cruises (April 2016), Byron Bay Balloons (August 2017), Great Barrier Reef Helicopters (November 2017), Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises (December 2017), and Tropical Journeys (December 2017).