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Supagas Canowindra International Balloon Challenge
/ Categories: News, Canowindra

Supagas Canowindra International Balloon Challenge

Now in its tenth year and held from 19-28 April, the Supagas Canowindra International Balloon Challenge is a ten-day event that includes a wide variety of activities, balloon-competition, night-markets, balloon glow, entertainment, campfire cookouts, short-film festivals, wine tasting and so much more. Here’s a taster of what to expect.



After a few practice days (19-20 April), the official start of the Canowindra Challenge will commence on Sunday 21 April with a seven-day competition featuring hot-air pilots from all over the world competing with a variety of challenges. In 2019, we are excited to see a huge line-up of competing pilots coming from Australia, New Zealand, China, United States, United Kingdom, France, Chile and the Czech Republic.

It’s pleasing to see that 20% of the competing field is made up of female pilots including two-time Women’s World Champion (2014, 2016), Nicola Scaife from the Hunter Valley. She competed at her first event here in Canowindra in 2013 and on, only her fourth competition in 2014, Scaife won the Women’s World Championships in Poland. We’re looking forward to seeing her compete this year.

Joining Scaife, is current 2018 World Champion hot-air balloon pilot Domenic Bareford from the United Kingdom. At just 25, Bareford is the youngest ever World Champion. In what was only his second time taking part in the historic world-wide contest, Bareford was genuinely surprised in being crowned World Champion in August 2018. For those who have been in the sport, you’d realise that Dominic is the son of former world champion David Bareford. We’re looking forward to having Dom as part of the competition. 

A new generation of up-and-coming pilots will be joining with 30% of the field under 25 years of age. This is a great sign for the future of the sport as well as a chance for the younger generation to give the old-timers a run for their money.

The first day of competition will feature the legendary Key Grab which see’s Pilots outmanoeuvring each other to grab a key suspended 20metres from a pole. The Key Grab has only been won twice in the ten-year history of our competition so there’s a lot on the line and plenty of opportunity for bragging rights at the pub afterwards.

For more information on the activities and competition elements of the Canowindra Challenge, click here 



On Saturday 27 April, the Canowindra Showgrounds will come alive for the visual spectacular that is the Cabonne Country Balloon Glow. With gates opening at 3:00pm, the Cabonne Country Balloon Glow will feature Night Markets selling local produce, wine, food, craft and arts.

We have a massive entertainment program featuring Kristen Lee Morris, Eagle and The Wolf, Amitie Parkes Vocal Trio, Alikinetic Dance and Torsion Dance. At approx. 7:00pm the lights are shut off and the hot-air balloons inflate and provide one of the most amazing, unique, spectacular, extraordinary, visually stunning experiences you and 10,000 others will be part of.

General admission is $30 + Booking Fee.  Children aged 0 -17 years receive free entry

For more information and to secure your tickets, simply head to



On Thursday 25 April, we will be hosting the MSM Milling and Manildra Group Campfire Cook-up and Anzac Concert. Now in its second year, more than 300 people will gather around the fire and enjoy food cooked from the campfire ovens including a variety of stews and piping hot damper.

Entertainment will once again feature Jason and Chloe Roweth who will provide the yarns, songs, poetry and plenty of laughs.

This truly is one of the highlights of the week. Tickets are $40+ Booking fee per person and includes food, tea and coffee. A wine cash bar will also be available on the evening.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here



Canowindra Challenge has partnered with Rosnay Organic Wines to present the 2019 Flickerfest Short Film Festival.

Taking place Easter Saturday 20 April at the Canowindra Showground, Flickerfest will be part of our 2019 program.

Since 1991, Flickerfest has grown to become Australia’s leading Academy® accredited & BAFTA recognised competitive Australian & International Short Film Festival with 1000’s of entries coming from filmmakers across the globe. We will be showcasing ‘The Best of Australia’ films which includes:

Ghost Bear (2017) 6min               Home (2018) 16min                                    Cattle (2018) 20min
Calling (2018) 14min                     All These Creatures (2018) 13min            Lil Bois (2018) 17min
Desert Dash (2018) 13min           Della Mortika: Carousel of Shame (2018) 17min


Rosnay Organic Wine will be looking after the bar and we will feature a Gourmet Food Truck to complement this exciting evening.

Tickets are $25 including booking fee. Get yours by clicking here 



The whole town gets involved in the excitement of the Canowindra Challenge. It’s not every day our sleepy village of 2,000 people sees 10,000 people explode in town, so we do our best to make sure there’s plenty for everyone.  Other events taking place include:


ARTS CANOWINDRA “Escape to the Country” Exhibition

Opening Night Wednesday 17 April at 5.30pm

Thursday 18 - Monday 29 April

Open 9am - 3pm daily, free entry

Canowindra Arts is proud to hold our annual April Art Exhibition. The title is reflected in many of the works but more importantly in the spirit of the Exhibition. Come and enjoy our local talent as you “Escape to the Country!”




Live Music Sunday 21 April

Static Nomadic 5pm

Royal Hotel, Gaskill Street



Friday 19 April Good Friday Par 3 fun day, open to all. Food and Entertainment available

Saturday 20 April Meat raffles and members draw. Come and have a drink while the kids do the Easter egg treasure hunt

Sunday 21 April 3 person Ambrose Fun day

Friday 26th April Live Entertainment and food available

Saturday 27th April Meat Raffles and members draw. Beef and Gravy rolls for dinner and jukebox available

Golf Club open daily, come and have a game of golf - carts available. Chinese restaurant open daily for lunch and dinner



Tuesday 23 April Happy Hour 5pm - 6.30pm

Thursday 25 April Happy Hour 5 - 6.30pm & ANZAC Day NRL games live

Friday 26 April Grooves On The Greens

Free live music from 5pm featuring Lusi Austin and Palumbo & Starr. Bring your picnic blanket & sit out under the stars, enjoy raffles, BBQ, Chinese Restaurant and sweet treats.

Saturday 27 April Breakfast At The Bowlo

From 8.30am. Bacon & egg rolls with Barista coffee cart. Stay around for a game of bowls. Chinese Restaurant open Wednesday to Sunday. Lunch specials only $10. Dinner from 5pm.



Wednesday 24 April The Museum is hosting a “Curious and Creative How They Work” Kids Activity Day with children able to open up old machines and electrical devices to see how they work.

Friday 26 April The Museum is hosting a Kids Activity Day with science experiments and craft activities. Children are free and adults are $5.

13 April—25 May Australian Maritime Museum’s Submerged Exhibition from Australia’s coast is the final resting place of over 11,000 shipwrecks.



110 Gaskill St, phone 6344 1407

Sunday 21 April Beno McGarity 3 - 7pm in Beer Garden

Wednesday 24 April Nacho night

Thursday 25 April Knockout Pool comp, free entry

Friday Footy Special 6-8pm Burger & Beer $15

Weekly Blackboard specials.



ANZAC DAY Thursday 25 April

Club Opens 5am

Dawn Service 6am

Gunfire Breakfast 7am

ANZAC March & Ceremony 11am

2up from 2pm

Big screen TV each day including NRL football on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The restaurant will be open every day for lunch and dinner for the entire week. TAB and ATM facilities.


Wednesday 24 April

The Old Vic, Gaskill Street

6.30pmBookings preferred 6344 1009



Friday 26 and Saturday 27 April

Open 9am - 3pm daily

Canowindra Services Club Auditorium

Canowindra Art & Craft Market - all items are made or grown by local and regional people. Great opportunity to discover the diversity, productivity and creativity of our community. Hosted by the Canowindra Creative Centre Inc.

Written by Joel Ulbricht

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