Bordertown set to have a 'whale' of a time as iconic balloons prepare for October fly-by

Bordertown is set to become the only town in South Australia to experience the wonderful airborne spectacle, Skywhales: Every heart sings.

The National Gallery of Australia touring event will reach audiences across the country, with the South Australian leg of the journey set to occur at the Walkway Gallery on October 2.

Skywhale and Skywhalepapa, the two unique whale looking creatures, will make their first stop of the tour in Albury on April 17, before making more stops over the following months.

The artistic hot air balloons will visit the Gold Coast, Cairns and Maitland before gracing Bordertown. Stops at Alice Springs and Melbourne will conclude the massive national tour.

National Gallery of Australia director Nick Mitzevich said the must-see spectacle will soar over the country's many iconic landscapes, and "elevate" the role can play in people's lives.

"The skywhales have become a part of our country's contemporary culture," he said.

"With touring initiatives such as Skywhales: Every heart sings, we have the ability to connect with all Australians and elevate the role art can play in our lives."

He thanked the Naomi Milgrom Foundation and Visions of Australia for supporting the national tour, as well as the Balnaves Foundation, who supported the commission of Skywhalepapa.

Described as an "extraordinary project" by Naomi Milgrom, she said cultural initiatives, such as the tour of the now iconic skywhales, allow more Australians a chance to experience art in a new way.

"By bringing extraordinary art into the everyday, we can enrich the lives of individuals, nourish communities and boost economies across the country," she said.

"I am delighted to support this important and inspiring moment in Australian art-one that will sing in the hearts of all who encounter it for years to come."

Despite the whales' design being distinctive and and eye-catching, artist Patricia Piccinini said a number of things need to go right to see the majestic balloons in action.

"The wind and weather must be right, essentially nature must allow us to see them and we cannot control that. We are lucky if we get to see them, just like we are lucky if we get to see so many of the wonders of the natural world," she said.

"It reminds us that not everything is just for us whenever we want it. And that we should be grateful. I really love that."

To keep up to date with the touring program, visit knowmyname.nga.gov.au/events and follow the skywhales' journey with #Skywhales.

The tour was made possible by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, with the support of Visions of Australia.

All venues and dates are COVID-19 permitting and weather dependent, and therefore subject to change.