When it comes to over-the-top displays of Chrissy lights, the Hunter Valley Gardens really takes the pudding. Every year, the well-manicured greenery of these parklands is bejewelled with some three million glittering lights. This year is no exception – the trials and tribulations of 2022 could not stop this spectacular from twinkling to life.
You’d have to be a real grinch not to be charmed by the Southern Hemisphere's largest light show. And this year, the festivities will welcome several new additions, including a spectacular 35-metre long superslide, spinning teacups, a ferris wheel, and a traditional Venetian carousel.
Christmas ain't Christmas without Mr Claus, and this event is no exception. Kids will be able to write letters to Santa and post them to the North Pole at Santa's letterbox, explore a glimmering Santa's playground, climb on Santa's sleigh, frolic beneath an 8-metre tall illuminated snowman, and pose next to their 14-metre tall Christmas tree. There will also be a breathtaking fireworks display that will light up the sky on New Year’s Eve at 9pm.
All the fan favourites from previous years will be at the Gardens too, spread over 14 hectares of interactive displays. Dream no longer of a white Christmas, with a snowy display filled with arctic animals and frost-capped trees, get sweet at Candyland and frolic through the 12 days of Christmas.
While they're certainly the main event, there’s more than just lights on offer. There are also rides for the little ones, roving live entertainers including festival carollers; and food and drink stalls to round out your outing. Start a new tradition with hot chocolate and churros, or feast on loaded fries, dumplings, spuds, pizza, burritos, burgers, hotdogs, crepes, pancakes, doughnuts, gelato and more.
The Christmas Lights Spectacular is open every evening from 5.30–10.30pm (excluding Christmas Day). This year, there will also be combination day-night tickets will be available, allowing guests to experience the best of both worlds with the entire Garden being open to explore during the day followed by the excitement of Christmas Lights Spectacular at night.
So, gather up the family, the friends or someone special and set off on the two-hour-ish drive into wine country.
The lights start sparkling from November 5 until January 6, 2022. Adult night tickets are $34– book here.