After a few hurdles, Rotorua's Orbserver is ready to rise.
The tourist attraction in Ngongotaha Rd finally opened earlier this week, and offered "spectacular views" of Rotorua, managing director Thomas Kaminski said.
The 20m diameter, helium-filled balloon is tethered to the ground, and takes off and lands on a purpose built platform. It can carry up to 20 passengers 120m into the air.
"It's the only one if its kind in New Zealand and Australia...everyone who has been up in the air is humming once they're back down," Mr Kaminski said.
For those who like the idea of going up in a balloon but were not keen on a moving hot air balloon Mr Kaminski said the Orbserver was a great option.
"It enables us to give people the experience without the time, cost and risk involvement."
The time spent in the air depends on how busy the day is, ranging from about 10 to 20 minutes. The cost for a flight is $49 for adults and $25 for those 14 and under.
The number of passengers per ride is based on the weight of the passengers, and the wind is a factor with 20 knots the maximum the Orbserver can go up in.
While Mr Kaminski and the team are excited to be open, he said the road to launch had not been so smooth.
"It's been an arduous journey...we bought the system ready to be operated from the United States. It was supposed to be delivered to New Zealand safety standards and we were supposed to start before the summer holidays."
Then there were technical difficulties due to a winch malfunction in December.
"[The winch] didn't provide the safety necessary. It's such a unique ride we had to find equipment from around the world."
Mr Kaminski said it took three months to sort out the issue, and during this time the focus was on staff training.
There are two fulltime management staff on site and Mr Kaminski said they were currently training up to eight casual staff.