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Walk Inside A Spectacular Light Show At The Botanic Gardens: Lightscape Melbourne

Returning in 2023 after a sell-out season, take a winter walk like no other at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne from June to August 2023 as the Botanic Gardens are lit up once more for Lightscape

This immersive experience comes to Melbourne from the famous botanic gardens light show developed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in London.

We visited the event in 2022, and I reckon it'll once again be one of the must-do events this winter in Melbourne. Lady AB exclaimed that it was so beautiful it made her heart burst!

Lightscape Melbourne px

Lightscape Melbourne

Lightscape is an immersive, after-dark botanical garden light show experience with illuminated creations lighting a journey through the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne. The images and information below are from our visit in 2022. In 2023 there will be an all-new trail with some old favourites returning – we expect it to be just as dazzling!

Nearly half a million lights light up a dazzling 1.8km trail through the Gardens to a gorgeous soundtrack.

Walk beneath tree canopies drenched in colour, through mesmerising ribbons of light and into a dynamic, glowing tunnel. 

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Watch as vibrant colours rise from the undergrowth to light up trees like fizzing fireworks in a sea of light, take time to linger at waterside reflections and pause at the scented fire garden filled with laser light fireflies for a moment of calm

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The experience takes approximately 90 minutes though you can move through as fast or as slow as you wish. We spend about 75 minutes walking and pausing to take photos. There are lots of photogenic locations so bring your camera! 

There’s a designated route so find the small pockets of quiet where you can. 

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Also note that the second half of the route is uphill. It's not super steep but if you're wondering whether or not to bring a pram then I recommend bringing it along so that you can pop little ones in the pram as you push them up.

As this is an outdoor event that happens whatever the weather, make sure you wear appropriate clothing for the weather and for walking. I recommend a cosy coat, scarves and Merry People gumboots for the whole family! 

Eating & Drinking at Lightscape

Before you start your walk to see the Botanic Gardens lights, you can treat yourself to a range of tasty food on offer from food trucks located in the entrance courtyard at the Observatory Gate. Take your pick from pizza, pies and gourmet burgers to tacos, nachos and Vietnamese street food. 

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However, if you’re visiting with young kids who are used to eating at 5 pm, then I recommend eating before you go or even packing a thermos of hot food or snacks to enjoy during Lightscape. The food trucks are busy and can easily take 30 minutes to complete your order. I speak from experience – no parent wants to be waiting in line for a food truck with hungry kids!

For something a little more fortifying the Lightscape bar serves hot drinks including mulled wine and hot cocktails.

Along the 18.km route there are also stops for mulled wine, prosecco and crepes. Note the crepes again have quite a long line so don't promise it to the kids unless you're willing to wait.

The Lightscape botanical gardens light show is open Wednesday to Sunday from Friday 16 June 2023 to Sunday 6 August 2023. It’s sure to sell out given its global acclaim – the light show has been featured in gardens and historical sites worldwide. Now it’s our opportunity to explore the Botanic Gardens Melbourne like never before.

Book tickets through Ticketek. Note this year there are two types of tickets

  • General Admission tickets permit entry to a selected time slot on a chosen date. Off-peak tickets are available on Wednesdays and peak tickets are available from Thursday to Sunday.
  • Anytime Pass tickets permit entry at any time (between the first and last entry) on a chosen date.

You can also purchase Lightscape gift vouchers for the perfect experience gift!

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Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

In the spirit of reconciliation, we acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community.

We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

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