Watch the world’s first hot air balloon night glow on the beach at stunning Kaiteriteri, the gateway to Abel Tasman National Park. There will be balloon night glows in both Motueka & Kaiteriteri. 



3pm – 10pm


Turn your eyes to the sky to witness incredible sports skydiving formations and a New Zealand record “HALO jump” from 25,000 feet. Enjoy scenic flights, trial flights (where you get to fly the plane), and aircraft viewings at the airport.

Live music presented by Event Audio Nelson will be from 3pm with Ricochet, Boogie Train, Polly and the Minstrel and our headline act Tawhiri Funk

We have an onsite bar serving local Townshend beer, cider and wines plus a heap of food trucks including smoked meats and donut treats from the Smoking Barrel!

The balloon night glow spectacle kicks off at 8pm, followed by a fireworks display. End the night on the right note with live music and dancing with an on-site bar.

All proceeds from Lift Off Festival Motueka will go towards the provision of future events and the Motueka Community Pool.


– Polly and the Minstrel – Ricochet – Boogie Train –

-Tawhiri Funk –


Lift Off Abel Tasman is giving back to the community by donating 100% of profits from the event to local community causes and the provision of future events. By joining in the festivities, you’ll also be contributing to a better Motueka and Nelson Tasman region.


3pm – 10pm


All proceeds from Balloons on the Beach go towards the provision of future events and conservation projects in the Abel Tasman including Tasman Bay Guardians, Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust and Project Janszoon. 

The second day of Lift Off Abel Tasman is all about the beach. Skydivers will land on the golden sands of Kaiteriteri, the gateway to Abel Tasman National Park. There will be live music presented by Event Audio Nelson including Kontiki Trio, Darrin Andrews, Erinsphere and kiwi reggae legends Cornerstone Roots.

Enjoy a cold Townshend lager in one of New Zealand’s most iconic locations while dancing to some of the best kiwi music and enjoying delicious local food stalls in the Penati Food Village. 

You can also enjoy the action from Kai Restaurant or The Beached Whale who are both opening their restaurants up to event participants who want to enjoy seating, a full menu food offering and a range of wines & beers on tap. 

Fully-catered sunset boat cruises to Adele Island wildlife sanctuary can be booked in advance. These cruises will culminate in the bay in time to watch the world’s first balloon night glow on the beach. The festival will close with live music and dancing on one of New Zealand’s most picturesque coastlines.

There will be Waka Abel Tasman experiences on offer throughout the afternoon as well as beach volleyball, outdoor games, circus entertainment, balloon displays and much more! Make the most of the biggest day out in Kaiteriteri this year!

For the best experience, book in for a night at Kaiteriteri Campground and have the whole festival on your doorstep! 


Darrin Andrews & Simon Lusby – Erinsphere – Kontiki

– Cornersone Roots –



The whole Lift Off Festival is cashless! We hate queues as much as you do so we’ve invested in a system that allows you to simply load a wristband (online, with cash or Eftpos) and scan it to make a purchase. Don’t sweat the details – there will be plenty of people around to help. If you have money left over, you’ll be able to refund online from Tuesday at 9am.  PLEASE NOTE – There is a $3.25 refund fee for the transaction. All leftover money will go towards future events & our benefiting charities.

The size of the event and the fact that all our balloon operators are private hobby balloonists (not commercial operators) makes it impractical to offer balloon rides to the public. The night glow event is where the balloons are tethered to the ground and a glow performance is held with choreographed music. An absolutely stunning visual and way to appreciate the amazing balloons! 

Monday 3rd September, no later than 3pm. Tickets start at $10 per person, are non-refundable and separately ticketed for each event. Earlybirds end on the 1st October and there will be limited gate sales to the Motueka event only at the day (although they will be more expensive).

Earlybirds are on sale now via Eventbrite. These will expire on the 1st October and there will be a price increase for general admission. Currently the ticket prices are as follows – $10 into Motueka and $20 into Kaiteriteri (inc. shuttle bus). Family pass discounts available and upgrades such as Sunset Cruises in Kaiteriteri.  Click here to access the tickets. 

No. We’ve decided to ticket the events separately because they are so different in nature and both have different capacity levels and transport methods. Of course, you’re welcome to attend both events, you’ll just need to purchase seperate tickets.

These are charged by Eventbrite, our ticketing system and cover the transaction fee for the ticket and credit card transaction. They’re very minimal and there are no fees charged on donations to the causes we’re supporting if you’re feeling generous! 

You can use either a credit or debit card, as well as login via your PayPal account if that’s easier. Unfortunately we can’t process bank transfers but you are welcome to purchase tickets from Motueka I-Site. 

Both events have limited ticket capacities to avoid congestion or health & safety issues. This won’t be advised in advance but we do recommend securing tickets early.

We’ve created a discounted “per person” rate for families of 2 adults and up to 4 children. All you need to do is select the total number of people attending and it will calculate your total family pass rate. Please note – children must be under 12, supervised at all times and there is a maximum of 2 adults per family which will be strictly enforced at the gate.

Yes, once you’ve purchased a ticket you can easily click on edit order information on your ticket confirmation email and update those details. The ticket holder that presents at the gate must be the same person on the paperwork.

Tickets for both events are for event admission ONLY and do not entitle you to a carpark either at the event or at any of our Park & Ride stations. These need to be purchased separately and added to your ticketing order. Carparks on the day will be $20 (instead of $10) and only if we still have availability. 

Under 12. Anyone 12 or over will need to purchase an adult ticket. 

No. But you can transfer your ticket to someone else by updating the order information. Tickets are completely non-refundable. 

Children under 5 do not require a ticket. Children aged between 5 and 12 years old can purchase a child ticket (or count as children in the family pass). Anyone 12 and over will need a general ticket.

Anyone presenting with a valid disability parking permit will be allowed to be dropped off close to the event, irrespective of road closures. Our aim is to be as accessible as possible so if you have any questions, please contact us.

Either the day of the event or when capacity is exceeded, whichever comes first. We recommend securing tickets early.

We recommend doing so because it will make the entry process much faster for everyone involved. However, you may also present these on your phone.

Yes, anyone over 18 will need a valid NZ Drivers Licence, passport or 18+ card to be permitted entry. 

The Kaiteriteri event is a no vehicle access zone which means you’ll need to use our Park & Ride stations in Riwaka or Motueka to access the event. We’ll be providing buses free of charge for all ticket holders. These will run continuously throughout the evening, although there will be wait times depending on numbers. There is zero tolerance for any food and drink on these buses. 

Yes! Well, we’re working on it at least! We really encourage people to bring their own cups and containers to reduce any waste from the event. We’ll be providing compostable packaging which biodegrades and full recycling stations across both events. Let’s make sure us having a great time doesn’t negatively impact the environment! 

Anyone with an existing booking for a holiday home or motel in Kaiteriteri is more than welcome to attend the event but you’ll need to purchase a ticket like everyone else. For those of you wanting to make a booking at Kaiteri Lodge or Kaiteriteri Campground, you’ll need to pay a ticketing fee ($20 per adult, free for children) to the front desk upon entry. 

The weather call will be made a few days prior to the event and advised publicly to all ticket holders. If the event is cancelled, you’ll have the choice to request a refund or donate the money back to the event and benefiting charities. 


Lift Off Abel Tasman
is an exciting new event for the top of the South Island that celebrates the stunning scenery and adventurous spirit of the Nelson-Tasman region. The event was founded by local entrepreneur Carsten Buschkuhle, who has extensive experience with large-scale balloon events in Germany. Lift Off Abel Tasman is about bringing the community together for a weekend of family-friendly fun, festivities, and aerial action. It also marks the start of the visitor season and positions Motueka as an adventure aviation hub of New Zealand. We want to establish Lift Off Abel Tasman as an annual Labour Weekend event that attracts domestic and international visitors to the region to experience the many wonders it has to offer. The event has strong support from local businesses, tourism operators, and the community. We’re excited to deliver a world-class aviation and balloon festival that will be unlike any other in New Zealand.


Thank you to all of the businesses that are helping to make Lift Off Abel Tasman possible.

We are extremely grateful for your support.