Christmas in Sydney is a magical time of the year. The city makes up for the lack of snow and cosy vibes with festive markets, immersive events and holiday treats. One of the best things about the holiday season is seeing the city illuminated by millions of lights. With Christmas around the corner, the city’s lights are about to switch on very soon taking the festive vibes up a notch. Get in the spirit of the season and check out these magical Christmas light displays in Sydney.
1. Martin Place Christmas Tree
The Martin Place Christmas Tree is a towering tree in the heart of Martin Place decked up with lights and baubles. It’s the tallest Christmas tree in all of NSW, decorated with 110,000 LEDs, a 3.4-metre colour-changing star and 330 glossy baubles. Thousands around the city flock to Martin Place for that perfect Christmas shot and the tree looks spectacular both during the day and night. Catch it from from until Wednesday, December 27.
2. Canopy of Light, Pitt Street
You’ll find yourself inevitably strolling along Pitt Street around Christmas since that’s where some of the best shopping in town is. But it’s also a popular spot for its stunning light display smack dab in the middle of the bustling city centre. Thousands of sparkling lights adorn the entire stretch of Pitt Street in this stunning light display. See it every evening from until Monday, January 1, 2024. Get more info about the Canopy of Lights.
St Mary’s Cathedral is an absolute staple when it comes to seeing Christmas lights in Sydney. The catholic church illuminates in marvellous light displays and stunning visual effects every year during Christmas. The light show is elevated further thanks to the talented Christmas choir that delights visitors with nostalgic carols during the holiday season. You can see the lovely display until Monday, December 25.
The Queen Victoria Building is a prime destination to see all the holiday lights and get your shopping done all under one roof. It’s home to Australia’s largest indoor Christmas tree which will be displayed this year with soundscapes and light shows. Read all about it here.
For Christmas this year, Darling Harbour is bringing a stacked program of activities for all ages. There’s a festive Harbour village, dance-offs, mini golf and holiday eats on offer. Light enthusiasts can look forward to giant baubles, weekly fireworks and more until Monday, December 25. Get all the details here.
If you’re not interested in battling the crowds to see the lights, consider spending an evening at one of Sydney’s charming Candlelight concerts. The multisensory musical concerts take place in some of Sydney’s most IG-worthy places, surrounded by candles. There’s even a special concert happening over Christmas with some of our favourite festive melodies taking centrestage. Find your pick here.
7. The Golden Tunnel, Darling Square
Darling Square has also brought Christmas vibes this holiday season with festive eats and stunning light displays. Their super Instagrammable golden tunnel of fairy lights along the tail of The Exchange Building will be back this year and you can also enjoy illuminated artworks in the vicinity. Plus Gelato Messina, Auvers and more cafes in the area will be dishing out festive eats. Get more info here.
Despite being a 2.5-hour drive from the city the Hunter Valley Christmas Light Spectacular has long been a holiday fixture for Sydneysiders. With over 4 million glowing lights, the display, spread over 14 hectares of gardens is a must-visit. The Southern Hemisphere’s largest light display comes with picturesque photo ops, a massive bauble tree, Santa’s Cave, fireworks, carnival rides and so much more. It’s on now until late January 2024. Read more here.
9. The Rocks
Christmas at The Rocks means lights, markets, heaps of festive dining options and views for days. Plan a trip expecting the merriest of music, glittering fairy and festoon lights and glowing Christmas trees from Monday, November 13 to Monday, December 25. The Rocks’ Market is also an excellent spot for all your holiday shopping.
10. Hillsong, Norwest
Hillsong pulls out all the stops for its Christmas light displays. You can look forward to glittering Christmas installations, a tunnel of fairy lights, giant trees and reindeer adorned with lights. It’s a gorgeous festive sight; even the Grinch would melt. Be ready for crowds though, it’s a popular spot for Instagrammers. The lights usually launch early in December.
A visit to The Grounds is a good idea any time of the year but especially during Christmas. This year, they’re doing a super festive theme with gingerbread houses, twinkling lights, giant candy canes and heaps more spread across the venue. The display is only open for dining customers and will be up throughout the holiday season. Get the details here.
12. Macarthur Square
The light displays at Macarthur Square are sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Even better — the centre extends its trading hours this time of year to let you bask in the warm glow of the lights just a tad bit longer. Find more information here.