Sky is the Limit . . . Pupils (left) Carter Renata (10) and Noah Berrio (9) got a bird’s eye view of their school last Friday. PHOTO: VALU MAKA

Some Mataura School pupils got a bird’s eye view of their school last week.

As a part of the Flying High project launched by Hamilton man Andrew Parker, rural schools were invited to take a ride in a hot-air balloon.

Mr Parker said the project helped “broaden children’s horizons” and promoted education, innovation and sustainability.

“I know that not many children get the opportunity to ride in a hot-air balloon.

“So it’s about encouraging children to join the next generation of sustainable innovators. This project is an interactive way of bringing it into the community.”

The hot-air balloon project would visit 30 schools from Kaitaia to Invercargill during the next four months, he said.


Mataura principal Susan Dennison said the school was always looking for ways to give pupils new learning opportunities.

“We like to allow the children to gain a diverse range of experiences.”

Pupils were excited, she said.

“I know some of them were apprehensive at first but they were all able to have a go and just the joy they had on their faces was great to see.”

Thirty of Mataura School’s year 5 and 6 pupils participated in the hot-air balloon ride which lifted about 20m off the ground.

One of the first pupils up was Roman Glenn (9).

“It was fun and when I was up there I saw a lot of houses, trees, I saw the sun and everyone on the ground looked like ants.”

Noah Berrio said he was still “buzzing” after the balloon ride.

“It was so fun .. when you are up there it feels like you are floating and I still feel like I’m floating.”