Thinking of going to the Christmas Lights Spectacular at Hunter Valley Gardens? Read this first to save money and get the best tips for a family night out!

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.

Newy with Kids has been attending Christmas Lights Spectacular for the past few years. It’s definitely better now with a different layout and an earlier opening time for the displays. The Gardens open at 5:30pm with immediate access to the Christmas displays. Previously, you had to wait until dusk, which was problematic when you have young kids in tow.

The Christmas Lights Spectacular is back for 2018 with many different themed lights area including Candyland, Princess Castle and Around the World. Get there early for food, entertainment and rides. This year, Christmas Lights Spectacular also has three beautiful and permanent 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 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 lots of 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.

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. Just be prepared for a long walk and crowds if you go on a busy day!


The Christmas Lights Spectacular at Hunter Valley Gardens at Pokolbin runs from Friday 2 November to Sunday 27 January 2019 except Christmas Day

The Gardens open for Christmas lights viewing at 5:30pm and close at 10pm.

2018 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) $79
Family (2 Adults + 2 Child) $99
Family Pass Extra Child $21
Wristbands (Unlimited Rides*) $15
*Ride Tokens $6 –  *Rides are user pay and height restrictions apply.

Day + Night passes available.

Want to save money? Use your Entertainment Book coupon for 2 for 1 entry to the Christmas Lights Spectacular. Only accepted in person not for online prepaid ticket

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, sometimes on short notice!
  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. If you don’t want to purchase food at Hunter Valley Gardens, bring a picnic and eat it outside of the Gardens. There’s a picnic area as you come into the Hunter Valley Gardens complex from the highway. You cannot bring food into the Garden.
  10. 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 has previously received free entry to Hunter Valley Gardens for review purposes. All opinions are my own.