If you’re visiting the Hunter Valley over December and January, you simply must see the gorgeous Christmas Lights Spectacular at the Hunter Valley Gardens.
What started as a small display of lights in Australia’s largest display garden six years ago has turned into the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest and most breathtaking display of over 2 million lights.
The show is designed with families in mind, with roaming entertainment, a Christmas Lights Fun Zone with inflatables, jumping castles, an arcade alley and 35 metre long Super Slide, Santa’s Workshop (open until New Year’s Eve) and nightly performances by children’s musical group Little Scallywagz.
This year’s light displays feature world landmarks, a 6 metre giant present tree, north pole and nativity scenes, Cinderella’s castle, the Mad Hatter’s Tea party, an under water scene, with the absolute faves for us being Candy Land and the Fairy Garden.
Observant visitors will notice a few new additions in the gardens – animatronic dinosaurs who are on display to tell people about the new Mega Creatures display coming to the Hunter Valley Gardens from Jan 2 – so if you visit in Jan, you’ll get both displays at the same time.
Tips for visiting the Christmas Lights Spectacular
- Buy your tickets in advance to avoid the queue.
- Arrive when the gardens open at 6:30pm. This will give you plenty of time to walk around the gardens while it’s still light enough to see the actual garden, get some food, and play in the fun zone until it gets dark enough for the lights to truly shine.
- Keep a close eye on kids in the fun zone. We had no problems but there can be lots of big kids on the inflatables at the same time as the little ones.
- Enjoy the roving entertainment! Our daughter loved this the most, especially the hula hoop lawn in front of the waterfall section.
- Walk around the gardens for a second time when it’s dark. The lights are completely the focus when it’s dark and are really spectacular!
Christmas Lights Fun Zone
Open from 6:30pm – 10:00pm, $7.50 per person
Slide is for children over 120cm tall.
Food & Beverage Area
Open from 6:30pm – 10:00pm
Food includes woodfired pizza, pasta, German kitchen, snack foods, churros, coffee.
From 6:30pm – 9.30pm
Little Scallywagz Show
7:30pm & 8:30pm
The Christmas Lights Spectacular is on display 4th November – 26th January 2017
Cost: Family Pass (2 adults + 1 child) – Night Only
$72.00, Family Pass (2 adults + 2 children) – Night Only
Gates open 6.30pm – 10.00pm
General Gardens open 9am – 4pm during the Christmas Lights Spectacular
Hunter Valley Gardens
Address: 2090 Broke Rd, Pokolbin
Where to stay
We highly enjoyed staying the night at the nearby Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens. The hotel is a very short 7-minute walk from Hunter Valley Gardens. The large, bright and clean rooms feature satellite TV, Wi-Fi (paid), minibars, fridges, tea and coffeemaking facilities and balconies. The pool in the centre of the resort was extremely popular with families.
Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens
2090 Broke Rd, Pokolbin
We were given complimentary tickets to see the light show at the Hunter Valley Gardens. We loved the display and all opinions are my own. We also received a media rate, which is a slightly reduced rate, when staying at the Mercure Resort. I was under no obligation to write about either the light display or hotel.
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!