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Christmas decorations in Martin Place.
Photograph: Katherine Griffiths

The best Christmas lights in Sydney

Go on an adventure to find the brightest Christmas lights in Sydney

Written by
Alannah Maher
&
Time Out editors
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Christmas looks a little different this year, but if you go looking, you'll find illuminated displays to put a twinkle in your eye. There are some pockets of Sydney that go all out for the festive season. In the city centre, you'll find extravagant trees towering into the skyline. Take an excursion in the suburbs, and you'll find houses decorated by DIY merrymakers.

Be sure to fit in a day at the best Christmas markets in Sydney for all your gift-giving needs, and get on your 'Jinglebell Rock' with the best Christmas carols this year.

Sydney's Christmas light displays

St Mary's Cathedral
Photograph: Supplied

St Mary's Cathedral

[Sponsored] The glowing set up at St Mary’s Cathedral is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular Christmas light displays in the city. The Lights of Christmas will once again take over St Mary’s Cathedral’s façade with a show of music, dancing lights and projections. The cathedral will be shining with vivid Christmas projections, with the display running from December 10 - 25, between 8.30-11pm each night. This year the site will be fenced, with entry via William Street and electronic registration required. Find out more here.

QVB x Swarovski Christmas Tree
Photograph: Flickr/Sarah Lou

QVB x Swarovski Christmas Tree

The QVB's Christmas tree stands 24 metres tall over three floors, and rests under the QVB dome. This sparkling marvel is decorated with more than 100,000 crystal ornaments and 65,000 twinkling lights. It also has a lovely crystal gilded star. The crystals were flown in specially from Austria and the whole thing takes a team of 100 people over 10,000 hours to assemble. 

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Darling Harbour
Photograph: Darling Harbour/Bronnie Barnett

Darling Harbour

[Sponsored] Darling Harbour is brimming with dazzling installations this festive season. Have a ball with the giant bauble popping up in the ICC forecourt. Standing six metres tall, this towering decoration would demand a gargantuan tree to hang from. It’ll be lighting up its surroundings with kaleidoscopic colours, with ample selfie opportunities inside and out. For a swinging good time, the interactive swinging bells at Darling Square have in-built swings for the kids (and big kids). Wander over to the Harbourside Forecourt and you’ll be rewarded with a big gift (or several), with six-foot-tall gigantic Christmas presents shimmering in silver and fluorescent purple.

Head to Castle Hill to discover the Illuminate the Hills at Christmas installation, where you can wander through a light-filled spiral Christmas tree forest with swirly candy cane shrubs, before reaching the massive multi-coloured ‘Joy Tree’ surrounded by larger-than-life playful polar bears. There are marshals in attendance to maintain physical distancing and QR codes to check-in at four entrances. You can see the displays every night until January 5. If you can’t make it in person, you can check it out online here

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You’ll find the largest Christmas tree in New South Wales lighting up the civic heart of Sydney in Martin Place. This whopper 800-branch tree is decorated with 110,000 LED lights, dressed with 15,000 buds representing nine different kinds of native Australian flowers, 330 glossy baubles, and topped with a 3.4-metre colour-changing star. You can see the tree burst into a kaleidoscope of colour every 15 minutes between 7pm and midnight until Christmas Eve. While you're in the area, wander over to see the canopy of light on Pitt Street

For a Christmas installation that emulates the likes of the outrageously over-the-top displays seen at Dubai Mall and the Mall of Emirates, head to Macarthur Square. Stroll amongst towering illuminated reinders that stand over six metres tall, a ten-metre Christmas tree and masses of lights strung across Kellicar Lane. The centre will have extended trading hours in the lead up to the big day, giving you more after-dark hours to admire the displays.

Christmas lights around the suburbs
Photograph: Christmas Light Search

Christmas lights around the suburbs

Taren Point
Holt Road

Roll up, roll up to this bustling Christmas Display at Taren Point where you’ll be greeted with more Christmas features than you could imagine! Snow pool, life sized reindeer, rocking Santa, a nativity scene, a Christmas village with moving features and music. Did we mention there’s a snow pool?
Taren Point Christmas Lights

Gledswood Hills
Walseley Crescent

Out in the south west not far from Campelltown, you’ll find the residents of Walseley Crescent getting into the Christmas groove. A whole street participates in these yearly festivities with many houses, big or small, lighting up for you to enjoy. Lots of lights, decorations, features and above all a great atmosphere! Running nightly to Dec 28th.
Gledswood Hills Christmas Lights

Mosman
Magic Grove

North shore represent. Don’t miss this awesome Christmas display in Mosman. The great thing about this house is that it can be enjoyed during the day too (for those with little ones and early bed times!). Heaps of inflatables line the front fence and at night, the place comes to life, with lights and the biggest Santa in town (wind permitting of course). Raising money for Westmead Kids Hospital.
Mosman Christmas Lights

Greystanes
Cumberland Road

Whilst not the biggest, this local gem in Greystanes is back again for 2020, lighting up to impress. Decked head to toe in lights there’s lots to see and a worthwhile stop off if you’re in the area.
Greystanes Christmas Lights

Photograph: Christmas Light Search

Erksine Park
Grebe Street

In 2020 see "holographic" Santa in the yard and hear him on your radio (98.7fm). At this display you’ll also hear carollers singing and be able to watch "elves Working in Santa’s Shed".
Erksine Park Christmas Lights

Oran Park
South Circuit

You can combine this neat display in Oran Park with Cumberland Road in Greystanes and knock off two in one go. There are eight houses in this street lighting up with awesome displays, so plenty to keep your little ones occupied. Raising money for the Sydney Children’s Hospital, come down on the weekend (Fri, Sat and Sun) and you might even see Santa.
South Circuit Christmas Lights

Clarence Town
Sheriff Street

A bit further afield but one worth a mention. Bring a blanket and sit amongst the lights or have your photo taken in their reindeer sleigh. There’s also giant Santa. Raising funds for a little boy with Leukaemia.
Clarence Town Christmas Lights

Mount Warrigal
Dickson Avenue

These owners know a thing or two about Christmas lights, having decorated their property for over ten years. Not for the faint hearted, this awesome display in Mount Warrigal has got quite a bit to admire. Besides being covered in more lights than you could count, you’ll be treated to their Australian themed display including the Harbour Bridge, Sydney Tower, Opera House and the Luna Park face.
Mount Warrigal Christmas Lights

Beverley Park
Jubilee Avenue

Come down and enjoy the show at this display on Jubilee Avenue. Featuring a snow machine and light show very Friday and Saturday night at 8pm. A modest Christmas display sure to impress if you’re in the area.
Beverley Park Christmas Lights

Castle Hill
Excelsior Avenue

This house has become somewhat of a staple of the Sydney Christmas lights scene, with the owners lighting up year after year to raise money for HeartKids NSW and 22q Foundation. Not only do they spout an exciting light display, they’ll also be hosting special events between Dec 13 and Dec 30. Come and support a great cause and enjoy a sausage sizzle with drinks, lucky dips and a Santa mailbox.
Castle Hill Christmas Lights

Christmas lights display in Castle HillPhotograph: Christmas Light Search

North Bondi
Waratah Street

North Bondi is back again for 2020
and lighting up their property for you to enjoy. In usual fashion you’ll find a heap of different things to see at this house including a English Christmas village, gingerbread man, sausage dogs, a large sleigh with reindeer, and a of course heaps of lights and decorations from the roof down to the front gate. A neat display that will bring a smile to all. Raising money for Careflight.
North Bondi Christmas Lights

Grasmere
Doust Place

Amazing walk through Christmas light display. Lots of inflatables, reindeers, lasers and of course lots and lots of lights!
Grasmere Christmas Lights

Tempe
South Street

You'll find massive displays, music, ornaments, laser, snow, bubble and fog machine in Tempe.
Tempe Christmas Lights

Special thanks to the team at Christmas Lights Search for helping us put together this suburban list. If you're keen to make a night of exploring Christmas light displays, be sure to check out the map and light search on their website. 

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