The balloon operator had arranged a familiarisation flight for visiting travel agents. After some low and higher level demonstrations, the pilot descended the balloon to drift at treetop level above the Todd riverbed. As he was aware of powerlines in the vicinity he elected to land on a clearing just ahead. The pilot activated the rip panel which resulted in a high descent rate and very hard landing. The pilot became committed to the landing on unsuitable terrain after choosing to descend too early. The pilot of another balloon, that had been operating in company with this balloon, had delayed his descent a short time and made a successful landing on an open area. This accident was not the subject of an on-site investigation.