Matthew Theunissen

Matthew Theunissen is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Kiwi's global hot air balloon trip launched

Commercial hot air balloon pilot Andrew Parker pictured with children from Balmoral School in Auckland. Photo / Chris Gorman
Commercial hot air balloon pilot Andrew Parker pictured with children from Balmoral School in Auckland. Photo / Chris Gorman

A Kiwi's epic four-year hot air balloon adventure was officially launched at an Auckland school this morning.

Andrew Parker, a commercial hot air balloon pilot, plans to visit more than 200 schools and meet more than 80,000 school children as he travels around the world with his hot air balloon.

Mr Parker will travel overland and launch the balloon in many locations, from the mountain passes of Central Asia, the jungles of Africa and South America, the plains of Mongolia, the Australian outback, finishing in Chile in 2017.

The adventure was officially launched at Balmoral School this morning where students gave Mr Parker postcards they made which will be delivered to children in other countries.

Mr Parker also took off in his balloon and hovered about 5m above the ground.

The balloon is set to leave New Zealand on January 25, heading first to Australia.

The trip is intended to create awareness of all children's right to education while raising funds for UNICEF.

- APNZ

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