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Lightscape

This after-dark light show is taking over the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne this winter, featuring a 1.8-kilometre trail of light and colour.
By Sarah Ward and Samantha Teague
March 17, 2022
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By Sarah Ward and Samantha Teague
March 17, 2022
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Walking through a cathedral made of 100,000-plus lights, moseying beneath a canopy of glowing multi-coloured trees, wandering between ribbons of flashing beams — you'll be able to do all of this when Lightscape heads to Australia for the first time in 2022.

Originally meant to debut Down Under in 2020 but postponed due to the pandemic, the after-dark light festival will be taking over the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria — Melbourne from Friday, June 24–Sunday, August 7, beaming away from 5.15pm Wednesday–Sunday. While the leafy Birdwood Avenue spot is already extremely scenic, to say that Lightscape will be brightening up the place is quite the understatement.

Prepare to see the garden illuminated by immersive and large-scale installations scattered along a 1.8-kilometre route, including sparkling trees, luminous walkways and bursts of colour that look like fireworks. A big highlight: large-scale works like Winter Cathedral, the aforementioned installation that'll feature more than 100,000 globes and make you feel like you're being bathed in radiance.

Lightscape comes to Australia after taking over gardens across the United Kingdom and the United States. Developed by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in the UK, it's understandably proven a huge success — and more than two-million people wandered along its glowing trails last season.

In Melbourne, Lightscape will also commission local artists to create works that'll celebrate the city's culture and nature — giving the after-dark light festival a local touch.

Fingers crossed for pop-up food and drink stalls scattered throughout — selling, we hope, mulled wine to keep hands warm during the chilly winter nights.

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