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The ZURU Nightglow celebrates 25 Years!

Balloons over Waikato will bring back the magic of Hot Air Balloons from Tuesday, 19 March until Saturday, 23 March. Follow the balloons every morning as they lift off from Innes Common at Hamilton Lake or catch up with them through the week from Garden Place, The Base or at the Mighty River Domain in Waipa. 

Along with the two Special Shaped Hot Air Balloons joining us from the USA, Farmer Pig and Bila the Baby Polar Bear, there are also 18 beautiful balloons from around NZ and our Walk Thru Balloon Envelope run by Waikato Sunrise Rotary, fundraising for True Colours Children’s Health Trust. 

The final night of this regions most loved event is the ZURU Nightglow to be held for the second year at Claudelands Oval. Reminiscent of where it all began, the first ever Nightglow took place at Claudelands in 1999. There were 10 balloons involved, with a crowd of around 4000.  Fast forward 25 years, and the event has grown - 5 hours of entertainment, including live music, carnival rides, food trucks and fireworks, as well as the Glow! 

The ZURU Nightglow will once again be FREE ticketed for entry.  This year the Trust has increased the capacity by a further 5000 people, allowing 30,000 people inside the gates.  Free tickets will be available from Monday, 26 February at 9am through Ticketek, you can find the link to tickets on

On Saturday, 23 March Claudelands gates will open from 4.00pm, where you can walk inside a real hot air balloon with the Walk Thru Balloon for a gold coin donation for True Colours.  There will also be a fun variety of carnival rides and a selection of food vendors. From 5.00 pm the main stage entertainment gets underway with duo Steve & Kenny followed by party band Decibel playing all the loved classic rock and pop tunes. The headline act are local favourites The Monroes, they will get the family up and dancing, covering 60 years of the best songs in a set that is an entertainment experience!

From sundown, around 8.00pm (weather permitting) the glorious orchestrated hot air balloon glow will get underway. Expect a stunning light and sound show, with balloons lighting up, baskets burning flames into the air, and the balloons glowing in time, all choreographed to the best music from the last 25 years.  It is a breathtaking sight.

And then when you don’t think it can get any better, in comes the SkyCity Hamilton Fireworks Extravaganza.  One of the best fireworks displays in the country, capping off a truly spectacular night.  Avoid the crowds leaving and stay on to enjoy After Glow … The Monroes will be playing until 9.00pm, with the carnival rides and food operators open as well.

Go to to find out all you need to know about getting tickets and getting to Claudelands on the Waikato Regional Councils Park & Ride buses.  There are 5 Park & Ride sites all over the city making it easy to get to the event. You can also find out about the road closures and parking information.