The best places to see Christmas light displays around the country

we love 18/12/2018

It's one of NZ's great Christmas traditions, heading out in the late evening and checking out the light displays to get in the Christmas spirit.

Thankfully we're lucky enough to live in a warm climate where you don't have to freeze your toes off to enjoy people's hard work decorating their homes - and it's great fun no matter what your age. 

So to kick start your Christmas activities, we've put together a list of the best places to check out the light displays around the country:


Franklin Road, Ponsonby
Anyone who's lived in the big smoke knows that THE place to be to see Christmas lights is Franklin Road in Ponsonby. It's been a tradition running for 25 years now, and it attracts thousands of people annually. Most houses on the street participate with varying degrees of complexity, and it's always a great atmosphere. This year the lights are on from the 1st to the 24th December, nightly from 6.30pm to 11.00pm. 

Karaka Lakes, Karaka
Unfortunately the popular Karaka Lakes light show at 20 Cornwall Place is taking a break this year, but there are plenty of other residents in the area who extravagantly light up their homes. It's a great area to take a drive through and explore!

Torbay Christmas Lights, Torbay
The biggest Christmas lights display on the North Shore, the Torbay lights raise money for Starship Children's Hospital through gold coin donations. Located at 57A Killarney Avenue in Torbay, the lights are on until 25 December from 8.30pm to 10.30pm nightly.

MOTAT Nights, Western Spings
MOTAT transforms their museum every year into a fairy lit wonderland over 12 magical evenings. Get into the spirit of the season with an evening of dazzling lighting displays, carols, festive movies, activities, Christmas crafts, and even a chance to meet Santa and his Elves! The entry fee is $2 per person, with children under 5 free. All proceeds go to Auckland Women's Refuge and Auckland City Mission. Located at 805 Great North Road, Western Springs, the Christmas Lights will be open from the 13th til the 24th of December, from 8.00pm til 11.00pm nightly.


Harrowfield Drive, Harrowfield
Take a visit to Harrowfield to check out the neighbourhood of gorgeous Christmas light displays. Thousands flock to the street every year, with displays including Christmas songs and movie themes. 


TSB Festival of Lights, Pukekura Park
The TSB Festival of Lights transforms the beautiful botanic gardens into a wonderland of light for seven weeks - so this is one you can catch even after the Christmas cheer has died down. There's entertainment, foodtrucks and plenty of atmosphere. The lights will be on nightly from 8.30pm to 11pm until Sunday 3rd February, and will be on no matter what the weather. 


Tremains Christmas Lights
An extravaganza that's a firm favourite on the Hawke's Bay community's calenders, The Tremains Christmas Lights have homes, gardens, shops and buildings transformed into Christmas wonderlands, decorated with magical light displays to celebrate the festive season. You can grab a bus ticket for just $5 from any of the Tremains Hawke's Bay offices that will take you on a tour of all the lights, or you can plan your own journey by having a look at the maps here.


Christchurch Christmas Lights Show, Christchurch
Complete with a rollercoaster, ferris wheel, swing chair and merry-go-round, the Christchurch Christmas Lights show is set to bring the city to life. The light show is synchronised to music by Kiwi rock bands for something a little different than the usual carols. Entry is available every night from 8.30pm up until the 30th December. Entry is $5 per person.