Red Bull diver Rhiannan Iffland completes dive from hot air balloon into Lostock Dam in the Hunter

Rhiannan Iffland has completed a record dive from a moving hot air balloon in the NSW Hunter Valley.

Ms Iffland dived into Lostock Dam on the Paterson River from a height of 18 metres, as she prepared for this year's Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series.

The four-time world champion cliff diver, and Newcastle local, said a balloon dive was a long-time goal.

"When I dive, every metre above 16 metres counts, as I can feel the difference in height and entry to the water, meaning I need to tweak my dive accordingly," she said.

"So, to be doing a world-first dive at 18 metres high from a moving target that only seconds before was up to 40 metres in the air, I was feeling both exhilarated and nervous."

She chose Lostock Dam because "it's one of my favourite areas".

"I wanted to visit a location that had been impacted by the bushfires [in 2019-20]," she said.

"It was such a poignant moment, seeing the region from a new point of view high up in the sky. The Hunter Region is so beautiful and was the first place I thought of to achieve this dream dive."


Ms Iffland was the first person to officially "dive from a moving hot air balloon", according to Red Bull media.

"It feels so surreal. I've been dreaming about attempting world-first challenges ever since I started diving 20 years ago," she said.

"I never thought I'd have the incredible opportunity to dive out of a hot air balloon, but Red Bull gave me the wings that helped make this happen.

"I've been training for this moment for the last few months and I'm so proud to be the first person to achieve this feat."

Rhiannan has travelled the world as a cliff diver, competing in destinations like the Philippines, Spain, Portugal and Italy.

She leaps off cliffs up to 27 metres high, reaching speeds of more than 85km/h.

The pandemic sunk her plans to compete in the cliff diving world series last year. She had aimed to be champion for the fifth consecutive year.

"I had my training schedule in place and I knew what my personal and career goals were. This all changed and suddenly I needed to set new goals. So, I wanted to push my limits and leap out of a hot air balloon."

She said the dive was "exactly the challenge I needed" in the lead up to this year's series, which begins in June in France.

The series features 24 of the world's best cliff divers.

This story Watch the incredible moment a diver jumps from a hot air balloon into a dam first appeared on Newcastle Herald.