About the festival of lights
The festival of lights New Plymouth was celebrated in the city since 1993. It is attended by more than 100,000 people every year. TSB Bank sponsored it. The lights show features beautiful light installations that will illuminate the park.
The last celebration of the lights festival included:
Lights – Utanga Tūramarama
It is the transformation of Pukekura Park to a wonderland with 16 light features.
Entertainment – Hotaka Whakangahau
It brought the hottest kiwi acts to Pukekura Park for free.
The big buoy transformed at night into a Mountain of Light as it absorbed light sunlight during the day. It featured simulated eruption of movement and color.
In addition to these features, the festival also had Kid’s Silent Disco, Unity Wara & Co, Kid’s New Year’s Eve Countdown, and other exciting events.
Attending the lights festival can be the best way to make the best of your vacation in New Plymouth.
Festival Dates (2023-24)
The New Plymouth festival is celebrated from mid-December to early February. For 2023-2024, the festival will be held from December 16, 2023, to January 21, 2024. You can enjoy music, performance, and creative colored lights in the area.
The lights festival was first celebrated in 1993 that featured multicolored 15-meter jets of fountain in the park’s lower lake.
Where It’s Located and How to Get There
The Festival of Lights New Plymouth is located at Pukekura Park, New Plymouth, New Zealand. It is a free event that is held for six weeks. So, you can enjoy the festival for longer days and nights with your loved ones or even alone.
You can ride a bus, taxi or public transportation to get there. You can also ask the locals how to go to the area of the festival.
If you liked this festival, you can also check out these other great spectacles:
The New Plymouth lights festival takes place from 8:30 pm to 11:00 pm. So, you have more hours to enjoy the festival.
You can be amazed by the gorgeous light features and entertaining events like music and activities for seniors and kids in the daytime.
Cost to Visit the Festival
You can enjoy the lights festival in New Plymouth for free. The good thing about the lights festival is that you can enjoy nighttime and daytime events.
Weather and What to Wear
The weather in New Plymouth during the festival of lights can be cold and chilly. With that, you need to wear layer clothes to keep yourself warm.
Bring a jacket and other protective garments to avoid colds. With this, you can enjoy different activities at the festival.
Where to Sleep – Hotels Nearby the lights festival
For sure, you need a comfortable place to sleep during your visit to the New Plymouth festival of lights. Well, there are nearby hotels that can provide you with the best accommodation. These hotels include the following:
King and Queen Hotel Suites
If you want to feel like a queen or king, the King and Queen Hotel Suites is the best choice. They have a friendly staff that will treat you with professionalism and respect. The team of the hotel prioritizes the safety and comfort of their guests. With that, they only offer clean and convenient rooms for their clients.
You can have a luxurious hotel experience since their service is a combination of value, comfort, and quality. They make sure that you can feel at home during your stay in the hotel. They can provide you with a room that comes with free WiFi, 42-inch plasma TV with cable channels, and an iPod docking station.
Another benefit of choosing this hotel is that they have nearby restaurants, cafes, and shops where you can take a walk. They also have free secure parking. You can have a free gym pass to City Fitness which is only 2 minutes walk from the King and Queen Hotel Suites.
With this hotel, you can stay safe and comfortable during your vacation in New Plymouth. They have free private parking, free WiFi, and dry cleaning services. You can stay in a relaxing room with a flat-screen TV that comes with satellite channels. The rooms are also equipped with a kettle and private bathroom/shower, hairdryer, and free toiletries.
You can also receive excellent service from their respectful staff. The hotel also values the safety of its guests by its quality cleaning service.
Novotel New Plymouth Taranaki
This hotel also cares for the safety of its guests. So, they have the operational protocols and most stringent cleaning standards that are required by local authorities. They are also equipped with amenities to enhance your stay.
These amenities include a fitness center with a workout room, free parking, free WiFi, conference facilities, lounge/ bar, bicycle rental, and more. Each room in the hotel comes with housekeeping, air conditioning, flat-screen TV, room service, and refrigerator. With that, you can feel at home during your stay. If you want to receive quality hotel service, choosing Novotel New Plymouth Taranaki is the best decision.
Brougham Heights Motel
The Brougham Heights Motel comes with nearby restaurants, cafes, and parks. So, you can take a walk and relax while breathing fresh air.
The hotel also features useful amenities like free parking, meeting rooms, free WiFi, baggage storage, free breakfast, and more.
You can feel comfortable because their rooms feature a flat-screen TV, housekeeping, air conditioning, desk, microwave, whirlpool bathtub, seating area, and kitchenette. You can also be amazed by their friendly and accommodating staff.
Millennium Hotel New Plymouth Waterfront
This hotel is another excellent place to stay as you travel to New Plymouth. They have 42 spacious and relaxing rooms with free WiFi, air conditioning, blackout curtains, bathrobes, housekeeping, cable/ satellite TV, and more.
What to Eat
As you visit the New Plymouth festival of lights, you better try their delicious cuisines. The following are some of the nearby restaurants where you can enjoy a delicious food trip.
The Hour Glass
The Hour Glass restaurant can provide you with Spanish, Bar, and European cuisines. They also have gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly options.
They serve drinks, late-night and dinner meals. They have a friendly staff that will help you professionally. With their relaxing and clean ambiance, you can eat comfortably.
Arranged Marriage Restaurant
This restaurant can offer you vegetarian-friendly, Asian and Indian cuisines. They also have gluten-free and vegan options.
With their delicious foods and excellent customer service, it can be your favorite restaurant as you visit the New Plymouth lights festival.
If you wish to have a luxurious dining experience, Deluxe Diner can be the best restaurant for you. They have diner, American, street food, and grill cuisines. They also have gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian-friendly options.
The restaurant comes with fantastic service and quality foods. They have a friendly atmosphere that will make you feel like eating at home. Deluxe Diner also offers delivery and takeout services.
Emmalou Macaron and Coffee House
If you want to eat European, cafe, and quick bites, this restaurant is for you. They serve meals for brunch, lunch, and breakfast. They also have gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian-friendly options. The restaurant also has takeout and delivery services.
Emmalou Macaron and Coffee House prioritize the satisfaction of their guests. With that, they only serve quality and delicious foods to give you the best dining experience. They also value the safety and comfort of their customers.
The Elixir Cafe can offer you vegetarian-friendly New Zealand and cafe cuisines. They serve meals for late-night, dinner, lunch, brunch, and breakfast.
They have gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian-friendly options. They also have takeout and delivery services. Aside from their delicious foods, you can be satisfied by their excellent customer service.
The restaurant has a friendly and relaxing atmosphere so that you can eat your favorite foods comfortably.
More Things To Do In The Area
Mount Taranaki (or Mount Egmont):
- Location: Egmont National Park, Taranaki.
- Description: Dominating the landscape of the Taranaki region, Mount Taranaki is an iconic, nearly symmetrical volcanic cone. Its stunning beauty often draws comparisons to Mount Fuji in Japan. The mountain and its surroundings are steeped in Maori legend and are of great spiritual significance.
- Activities: Hiking, climbing, and skiing in the winter. There are various walking tracks ranging from easy short walks to challenging hikes to the summit. The mountain’s verdant surroundings, waterfalls, and the unique “Goblin Forest” are also highlights for nature lovers.
- Location: Starts from Port Taranaki and extends eastward, passing through the city center.
- Description: This award-winning 12.7km long walkway stretches along the New Plymouth coastline, offering stunning views of the Tasman Sea and majestic Mount Taranaki. The walkway passes by the iconic Te Rewa Rewa Bridge and the Wind Wand kinetic sculpture.
- Activities: Walking, jogging, cycling, and rollerblading. Along the way, you can also visit various beaches, cafes, and art installations.
Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre:
- Location: Queen Street, New Plymouth, Taranaki.
- Description: Recognized as one of the leading contemporary art museums in Australasia, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery is home to a vast collection of national and international artworks. Adjacent to it is the Len Lye Centre, dedicated to the pioneering artist and filmmaker Len Lye. The center’s iconic architecture is a highlight with its wavy stainless steel exterior.
- Activities: Explore modern and contemporary art exhibits, watch films at the cinema, and attend workshops or artist talks.
- Is there designated parking for the Festival of Lights?
- While there’s no specific parking lot solely for the festival, street parking is available around Pukekura Park. We recommend arriving early or using public transportation to avoid congestion during peak times.
- Are smoking areas provided within the park during the Festival of Lights?
- No, Pukekura Park is a smoke-free zone. We kindly ask visitors to respect this rule and refrain from smoking inside the park premises to ensure a clean and healthy environment for all.
- Can I bring my pet along?
- While Pukekura Park is pet-friendly, we advise against bringing pets during the Festival of Lights due to large crowds and the potential for pets to be startled by the lights and sounds. If you must bring a pet, please keep them leashed at all times.
- Is there food available at the festival?
- Yes, there are often food stalls and vendors set up during the festival. Additionally, the park’s Tea House on the Lake offers light meals and refreshments.
- Are there restroom facilities in the park?
- Absolutely! Public restrooms are available within Pukekura Park and are well-signposted.
- Is the Festival of Lights wheelchair accessible?
- Pukekura Park is mostly wheelchair accessible, and efforts are made to ensure paths are clear for the festival. However, please note that some areas might be a bit challenging due to natural terrain.
- What should I wear to the festival?
- As the festival takes place during the summer months in New Zealand, light casual clothing is recommended. However, it can get cooler in the evenings, so bringing a light jacket might be a good idea.
- Are there any interactive displays or events during the Festival of Lights?
- Yes! Apart from the mesmerizing light displays, the festival often features live entertainment, interactive installations, and activities for kids. Check the official Festival of Lights program for specific details each year.