There’s no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to visit Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Lights Spectacular. After lockdown, it’s a wonderful feeling to bask in the Christmas lights displays and this year’s event is superb. You’ll be dazzled by the more than 3 million lights of the Christmas Lights Spectacular at Hunter Valley Gardens. We recently visited and here are our tips for a great family night out!
The first thing to know is that if you’re planning a visit soon, you’ll need to have your shots. All guests booking tickets in November must have completed their COVID-19 vaccination course. You’ll be required to show your vaccination status and QR check-in upon arrival.
You’ll also need to book online for book online prior to arrival for tickets. All guests must have their own tickets including children under 3, please ensure your booking includes all members of your group.
Bring your face masks as you’ll need them for indoor spots such as at the entry but can take them off as you’re touring around Hunter Valley Gardens.
Wondering if you should go on a weekday or a weekend? That depends on you and your family. We visited on a weekday and it was a lot less busy than in previous years when we visited on a Friday or Saturday night. However, there’s entertainment on these busier days. In November, you’ll see roving Christmas characters appearing every Friday and Saturday night while in December on the same nights, you’ll be able to spot tumbling elves.
Then you have to decide what time you want to get there. We recommend getting there a bit earlier to enjoy the whole event. Christmas Lights Spectacular opens at 5:30pm giving you time to enjoy some food and the amusement rides.
You can purchase food and beverages from food stalls located in the event area. There’s a range of food stalls including woodfire pizza, Mexican cantina, souvlaki and dessert and plenty of seating.
You can also get your photos taken with Santa conveniently located in the event area. Santa photos are available from 6:30pm – 10pm every night until Christmas Eve. Time slots for Santa photos can’t be pre-booked. but we recommend arriving early when there is minimal wait. Price for packages start at $37.50.
As well as Christmas light displays, your family can enjoy the amusement rides which run from 6pm to 10pm. Fan favourites include the majestic Venetian Carousel, the Swing Chair, a Ferris Wheel which gives you a beautiful view of the gardens from above, the brightly coloured Teacup Ride and the always fun Superslide.
These activities incur an extra cost. Single ride tokens will be available for $5 each, or you can purchase a Bonus Ride Pack, 6 ride tokens for $25. Height and age restrictions apply. If you have have unused NSW Dine & Discover, vouchers can be used for purchasing ride passes and at selected food stalls.
Christmas Lights Displays
The main event though is the Christmas Lights Displays. Wait until it’s dark and then wander through the gardens and experience the true magic of Christmas Lights Spectacular.
This year’s event is truly magical with lots of different themed areas including Fairyland, Candyland, Australian animals, the North Pole and of course Santa and his reindeer.
Around the World is one of the first areas you’ll spot as you tour the gardens. It includes iconic landmarks from around the world such as the Eiffel Tower, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Taj Mahal, London’s Big Ben, Coliseum and the Statue of Liberty. If COVID-19 prevents us from easily travelling overseas, well we can at least enjoy some reminders of global landmarks.
A family favourite 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.
If you need to get the song out of your head, venture over to the waterfall and enjoy the synchronised music.
There are so many interactive light displays that are perfect for Instagrammable family photos or selfies. How cute is this giant snowman?
Don’t miss plunking your kids in Santa’s sleigh for some memorable photos.
How beautiful are these rainbows?
One of our favourites was the Giant Castle. It’s gorgeous walking through this tunnel.
We always enjoy Story Book Garden but seeing it lit up with lights creates a truly magical environment.
It’s in the Story Book Garden, that you’ll find Lovers Lane, a series of heart tunnels. It’s just the place for some photos with your special one. Look for the sprig of mistletoe at the end to prompt some kissing.
As well as new additions to Christmas Lights Spectacular, there are still classic displays like the Nativity scene with its accompanying audio story.
On your way out from Christmas Lights Spectacular, enjoy the Mega Trees.
The Mega Trees with their synchronised lights and sounds are always fun. The music just makes you move and you’ll laugh seeing the image of Santa dancing!
After the year it’s been, it’s worth a visit to Hunter Valley Gardens to experience Christmas Lights Spectacular. No matter how old your kids or grandkids are, they’re sure to love the lights and magic of this annual Christmas event! We’re fortunate to have this gem on our doorstep.
The Christmas Lights Spectacular at Hunter Valley Gardens at Pokolbin runs from Friday 5 November 2021 to Wednesday 26 January 2022 except Christmas Day.
The Gardens open for Christmas lights viewing at 5:30pm and close at 10:30pm.
What does it cost for Hunter Valley Garden Christmas Lights Spectacular?
2021 Christmas Lights Spectacular tickets are on sale now:
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 $22
*Single ride tokens will be available for $5 each, or you can purchase a Bonus Ride Pack, 6 ride tokens for $25. Height and age restrictions apply.
NSW Dine & Discover vouchers can only be used for purchasing ride passes and at selected food stalls. NSW Dine & Discover vouchers cannot be used for online ticket purchases.
Day + Night passes are also available.
For more details on tickets and program, visit the Hunter Valley Gardens website.
Top Tips for a Visit to Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Lights Spectacular
Newy with Kids has been attending Christmas Lights Spectacular for many years. Here are our tips for a great visit:
- Book online for tickets. There will be no ticket purchase on site.
- If you can visit on a day other than Friday or Saturday, do so. In past years, the crowds have been larger on the weekends with lots of people travelling from Sydney, the Central Coast and elsewhere to view the lights.
- Check the weather forecast before booking a ticket to avoid disappointment. If there is adverse weather like storms, heavy rain or lightning, the Christmas Lights Spectacular will be cancelled. Check the Facebook page for the latest updates.
- Bring mozzie spray in case the mosquitoes are biting.
- 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. Comfortable shoes are a must for everyone.
- Bring another layer of clothing as it can get a bit cool at night once it gets dark.
- Take your time and enjoy all of the lights. It’s a wonderful event that the whole family will enjoy.
- If you don’t want to purchase food at Hunter Valley Gardens, bring a picnic and eat it outside of the Gardens. It’s a fun low-cost family food option and saves you spending money buying food in Hunter Valley Gardens. There is a picnic and play area as you come into the Hunter Valley Gardens complex from the highway. You cannot bring food or drinks into the Gardens with the exception of bottled water.
- Prepare for possible traffic snarls when you leave the Gardens if you’re visitng on a busy night. 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 to Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Lights Spectacular for review purposes. All opinions are our own.
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