Blindingly dazzling is the best way to describe the more than 2 million lights of the Christmas Lights Spectacular at Hunter Valley Gardens. This light and music extravaganza is truly stunning and is a surefire way to get the whole family into the Christmas spirit.

We recently visited to check out this year’s Christmas lights. This year marks 10 years of Christmas Lights Spectacular at Hunter Valley Gardens. This year features a different layout and an earlier opening time for the displays. The Gardens open at 5:30pm with immediate access to the Christmas displays.

Get there early for food, entertainment and rides.  This year, Christmas Lights Spectacular also introduces three beautiful and permanent brand new rides to the line-up for visitors to enjoy. These include a Ferris Wheel, Carousel and Swing Chair.

The inflatable fun zone will make a return this year in two new locations, giving children even more opportunities to jump, bounce and race. Visitors can enjoy playing on an exciting range of inflatables, jumping castles, obstacle courses, an arcade alley, and the incredible 35 metre long Super Slide (additional fees apply for some rides).

There’s food stalls selling snacks and drinks as well as photos with Santa available for purchase in Santa’s Cave. To entertain kids, the Little Scallywagz featuring the characters J-J and Cha-Cha put on an entertaining show. There’s also roaming entertainment including carolers, magicians and other characters.

Stop by Santa’s Workshop which includes animatronic figures of Santa, Mrs Claus, the elves and reindeer. There’s paper supplied so kids can write a letter to Santa and mail it to him in a special Santa Claus postbox.

After getting our entertainment fix, it was time to experience the Christmas lights.

This year features 16 different displays over 13 hectares including the Nativity scene, Australian animals, Candyland, North Pole and Fairy Garden and lots of Christmas trees.

The first is the 12 Days of Christmas music and light display in the Border Garden
. Spend some time here watching the images light up while singing along with everyone else to this much loved Christmas carol.

There’s also the ‘Around The World’ themed area which includes iconic landmarks from around world such as the Eiffel Tower, Sydney Harbour, Coliseum and the Statue of Liberty.

I love the Mega Trees with their synchronised lights and sounds. The music just makes you move. However, this year, they’ve moved near the exit of the lights display so it doesn’t have the same effect. Last year, their location near the food and entertainment precinct meant there were lots of families dancing to the music.

If your family loves Christmas lights, then the Christmas Lights Spectacular is the place to be. With over 2 million lights in a variety of displays, it’s a stunning Christmas attraction.


The Christmas Lights Spectacular at Hunter Valley Gardens at Pokolbin runs until Saturday 27 January 2018 except Christmas Day

The Gardens open at a new time of 5:30pm and close at 10pm.

2017 Christmas Lights Spectacular tickets are on sale now:

Adult $30
Children (4-15 yrs) $25
Children (3 yrs & under) FREE
Family (2 Adults + 1 Child) $75
Family (2 Adults + 2 Child) $95
Family Pass Extra Child $20
Wristbands (Unlimited Rides) $15
*Ride Tokens $2 – $6

Day + Night passes available

For more details on tickets and program, visit the Hunter Valley Gardens website.

Here are my tips for a great visit.

  1. If you can visit on a day other than Friday or Saturday, do so. The crowds are larger on the weekends with lots of people traveling from Sydney, the Central Coast and elsewhere to view the lights.
  2. Check the HVG Facebook page before you set out to Hunter Valley Gardens to avoid disappointment. If there is adverse weather, the Christmas Lights Spectacular will be cancelled.
  3. The ticket line is separated into Prepaid Tickets and Regular Ticket Line paying with Cash/EFTPOS. Prepare for a wait on busy nights.
  4. Bring mozzie spray in case the mosquitoes are biting. Cessnock Lions also have mozzie spray available for a donation.
  5. Bring the pram or stroller if you’re not sure that your young child will be able to walk for the whole time. The Christmas Light Spectacular covers a large area – 20 acres in fact. Comfortable shoes are a must for everyone.
  6. Bring another layer of clothing as it can get a bit cool at night.
  7. Take your time and enjoy all of the lights. It’s a wonderful event that the whole family will enjoy.
  8. Use your Entertainment Book coupon for 2 for 1 entry to the Christmas Lights Spectacular.
  9. Prepare for possible traffic snarls when you leave the Gardens. One year, we waited for 15 minutes as a queue of coaches picking up passengers were blocking the exit. Be patient and the volunteers will advise you how to get out.

Disclaimer: Newy with Kids received free entry for review purposes. All opinions are my own.