Aussies down under are pretty tops for Christmas festivities, and while we don’t have snow, we certainly know how to put on a festive light show. If you are holidaying in Australia and are keen to find out what places put on the most sparkle, below is a list of where to find the best Christmas lights in Australia.
We haven't listed all the Christmas events in each city but we have linked to the main city websites so you can find them all. This information is current at the time of writing. Let us know in comments if you hear of any changes to these major Christmas lights events. Happy Christmas!
Best Christmas Lights in Sydney
Christmas in the City
On the last weekend of November, the heart of Sydney transforms into a Christmas wonderland with markets, roving performers, carollers and decorations. Christmas in the City festivities on each evening culminate with the arrival of Santa and his reindeer bicycle-powered sleigh and the infamous lighting of the Martin Place Christmas tree at 8.30 pm. The tallest Christmas tree in NSW is decorated with more than 110,000 LED lights, a 3.4-metre colour-changing star and 330 specially created glossy baubles. A spectacular fireworks display from city rooftops follows this.
Pitt Street Canopy of Light
Discover a Christmas wonderland right in the heart of Sydney as you stroll along Pitt Street Mall underneath a canopy of suspended lights. Featuring 85,000 LEDs and ten stunning 2-metre-high stars, this Christmas light installation will bring sparkle to your night.
Darling Harbour Christmas
Darling Harbour in Sydney is another place that packs on the lights and festivities come Christmas time. Highlights include a massive lit-up bauble on the Convention Centre Forecourt, giant baubles floating on Cockle Bay and firework displays.
Christmas Lights Spectacular
The Hunter Valley comes to life each Christmas with its annual Christmas Lights Spectacular. Enjoy a memorable night out with your loved ones as you wander through the themed displays created with over 3 million lights, a 14m Christmas tree, 8m tall present stack, 2.5m giant illuminated Santa and more. This event is one of the best community Christmas lights displays in Australia!
Best Christmas Lights in Brisbane
King George Square – Lighting of the Christmas Tree
Every year, Brisbane welcomes in the festive season with its annual ‘Lighting of the Christmas Tree’ event. Held in King George Square, this long-standing tradition sees the Lord Mayor ceremoniously turn on the 22m-high Christmas tree’s twinkling lights in front of hundreds of eager locals. Special Christmas musical performances usually follow this. Following the official lighting event, the Christmas Tree, one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, remains in King George Square for all to enjoy for the remainder of the festive season. Brisbane is a city constantly adding to its Christmas events calendar every year. They are also extremely passionate about suburban Christmas Light Displays, with multiple competitions to uncover the best Christmas Lights in Brisbane.
Golden Casket City Hall Lights
Each year, Brisbane’s iconic City Hall comes alive in bursts of animated colour, with a Christmas lighting display projected onto its impressive structure daily. Starting in early December and running every 15 minutes between 7:30pm and midnight, this vibrant visual and audio storytelling is worth checking out if you are in town.
The Enchanted Garden
There is nothing quite as magical as when Roma Street Parklands transforms itself into a fairy-lit wonderland each December, bringing life to the gardens with tens of thousands of lights, holograms, lasers, projections and soundscapes. Each year the hugely popular Enchanted Garden welcomes large crowds as they immerse themselves in this sensory delight for all ages. Tickets for the event go on sale in hour blocks and can be purchased online from November.
Lighting Up Southbank
Brisbane’s Southbank Parklands is a wonderland of restaurants, playgrounds, musicals, shows, markets and more on any ordinary day, but come to Christmas time, it is host to a whole new level of magical beauty. Wander beneath metres of fairy-lit arbours, take in Christmas sculptures and lighting as you cruise through the Christmas market stalls and festive live music events or catch an outdoor Christmas movie on the expansive lawns.
Best Christmas Lights in Melbourne
Flinders Street Christmas Projections
Watch a city block come to life with stunning projections taking over five buildings on Flinders Street opposite Fed Square. The dazzling display features six colourful themes, including Christmas candy, festive decorations, winter wonderland, native flora and more, lighting up facades including the iconic Forum Theatre. Make it a night to remember and visit Christmas Square to see the giant tree illuminated in stunning light shows.
Melbourne Town Hall Christmas Projections
Let it glow! The city’s famous Christmas projections are back at Melbourne Town Hall with four gorgeous colourful treatments lighting up the building’s iconic facade. Don’t miss the native floral wreaths, a koala climbing a candy cane, singing reindeer and penguins, themed flower beds and the famous nutcracker soldiers standing guard as Town Hall is all wrapped up with a festive bow.
Melbourne City Christmas Lights and Decorations
Wander the streets of Melbourne and feel the festive cheer as the city comes alive with Christmas decorations. Some of our favourites include the Instagram-worthy Giant Reindeer in Docklands, the Christmas Star on Evan Walker Bridge and the popular Nutcracker soldiers standing guard across the city. Things start to sparkle at night with twinkling lights in city laneways and an impressive light show over Bourke Street Mall.
Christmas comes to life at Christmas Square with festive decorations aplenty and the city’s iconic 16-metre light-up tree.
Christmas Pop Up Playground
Swing on a giant illuminated bell or dance up a storm on the light-up dancefloor as a giant kids’ playground pops up in Southbank this festive season. Play with an interactive canopy of flower petals, or conduct your own Lightphonic orchestra in a special installation on the red stairs from 15 to 24 December.
Ro Ho Ho Christmas Installation
Santa has a new way of getting around Melbourne! See his magical floating sleigh and enchanted dolphins light up the Birrarung – Yarra River in the Ro Ho Ho Christmas Installation. Created by the quirky minds at Melbourne creative studio A Blanck Canvas, the 27-metre installation will delight Northbank shoppers and diners.
Best Christmas Lights in Perth
Rio Tinto Christmas Lights Trail
The Christmas Lights Trail is Perth’s signature event, attracting millions of people to its magical spectacle of light. Covering 6km, the trail features 35 unique large-scale light installations ranging from traditional Christmas icons to immersive projections on historic buildings.
Enchanting animated projections will light up the facade of St George’s Cathedral, enhancing the building’s features with colour and conveying the joys of an Aussie Christmas day.
Best Christmas Lights in Adelaide
Christmas Tree Lighting
Adelaide’s Christmas Festival will officially begin with the annual Christmas tree lighting, the first in a series of events as part of Festive Weekends. With 13,616 programmable LED lights, the tree in Victoria Square / Tarntanyangga will light up each evening at 8:30pm (on a 10min loop until 2:30am) until the new year. Check out the fountains under the tree, which also light up in different colours.
Head to Vaughan Place to be blanketed by a ceiling of 50 vivid colour spheres. Watch as the Bauble Canopy changes colour as the sun moves through them during the day, and then be amazed as the spheres turn into a dynamic lighting display at night.
Peel Street comes to life with six large light-up artworks. Just like the Bauble Canopy, the Christmas Splendour artworks change colour as the sun moves across them during the day before they illuminate with light at night.
Lights of Lobethal Festival
RAA’s Lights of Lobethal Festival has been lighting up the Lobethal Valley by the local community for over sixty years. Grab a Christmas Lights Route map to drive the dozens of local streets showcasing individual homes and businesses with fantastical light installations, Christmas lights and decorative festive displays.
Best Christmas Lights in Darwin
Lighting the Christmas Tree
At 5pm on November 19th follow the newest Darwin Christmas tradition of following community floats through the city’s heart, ending in Raintree Park. From Raintree Park you can follow festivities through Smith Street Mall and join in officially opening Christmas with the Lord Mayor’s Lighting of the Christmas Tree at 7:30pm
Lighting Up The Bay
Come and join in the fun and see the lighting of the beautiful new Christmas tree overlooking Cullen Bay Marina, the lighting up of the magnificent new Revitalisation Project coloured lights and turning on the amazing festival lights of boats and homes.
Best Christmas Lights in Canberra
Take a stroll along City Walk – now ‘Christmas Walk’ – dressed with all the trimmings of the festive season. This immersive experience features a giant Christmas tree, uniquely Canberran Christmas installations, a tunnel of magical fairy lights, and plenty of photo opportunities. Of course, a stop by to visit Santa in the Canberra Centre, near the Canberra Times Fountain entrance is also a must.
Best Christmas Lights in Hobart
Light Up the Tree
Like all the other capital cities, Hobart also has the tradition of lighting its sky-high Christmas Tree to mark the festive season’s start. Each year, the official lighting of the tree takes place at the end of November at Mawson Place on Constitution Dock. This will then happen every evening from 7pm until the new year.
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