Confession – I wrote this post the day after we went to Hunter Valley but didn’t get to upload my photos until we had already left on our two week vacay. Since the Hunter Valley Christmas Lights Spectacular is still going on through January 26th, I figured it wasn’t too late to post.
Over Christmas break Ben and I have been taking small trips to places close by. Last weekend we went to Sydney, and yesterday we headed into the Hunter Valley for an afternoon of wine tastings and Christmas lights.
The HVG is Australia’s largest gardens and from mid-November to late January is open at night, decked out with over 1.5 million lights for the Hunter Valley Christmas Lights Spectacular.
By the time we made it through the ridiculously long lines to get into the gardens we had about two hours to walk around and enjoy the gardens.
There were different themes in each section of the gardens. The 12 Days of Christmas was on repeat all around us as the tallest hedges I’ve ever seen lit up to each part of the song above our heads.
The story of the nativity was read in another area and the lights lit up to tell the story of the birth of Christ.
A few reminders of past Christmases growing up in Florida.
And lights for my new home in Australia.
There were beautiful tall Christmas trees, followed by a photo with Santa.
I actually loved this, because I think Santa takes these pictures out of the goodness of his heart; there is another area in the gardens where you can get professional photos done starting at $35. I’m not sure if free Santa is at the Gardens every night leading up to the holidays, or if he was just a special treat for that night.
Winnie the Pooh and his honey pot kicked off Candy Land.
Followed up by iconic Sydney sights.
I told Ben if/when we move back to America we will have to construct an Opera House and kangaroos to put in our front yard at Christmas.
When we finished walking the Gardens we headed to the cafes and got hot chocolates (because with a slight breeze in the air, HC was the perfect way to make us feel like we were in a cold climate,) then started back over at the beginning of the lights display to see my favorite exhibit – without the crowd!
I danced my whole life, and spent years as a kid in the Nutcracker each Christmas, so although it was one of the smaller displays, the ballerinas made my night! We probably spent a good fifteen minutes taking photos in various positions with the ballerinas. (ben did not pose, haha).
I’m so glad we were able to fit in this trip over our holidays, and can see it becoming a tradition at Christmas for as long as we are living in Newcastle.
Have you ever visited a lights display? Or do you drive around looking at Christmas lights?
What are your favorite holiday traditions?