About Dandenong Festival Of Lights
Dandenong is where most locals and travelers flock. Besides the great food, welcoming people, and other destinations, the suburb in Melbourne attracts millions of tourists with its lights festival.
For those who have not been into Dandenong, its light exhibition celebrates Chinese culture with a vast number of unique and stunning silk lanterns, which is extremely festive and romantic at the same time.
Apart from the lanterns, there are other light displays to explore. Compared to other light installations, they are available in several shapes and forms, including dinosaurs, flowers, windmills, and even Chinese Zodiacs. There are also light animal exhibits, such as elephants, tigers, pandas, and more.
Dandenong lights festival is a family-friendly event. It is not only a perfect spot for kids but also for adults. If you want to spend some quality time with your family or your children will be celebrating their birthdays soon, the lights festival Dandenong is an excellent choice you will not regret.
Every display – from lanterns to animals – is meticulously constructed to satisfy and exceed tourists’ expectations and dreams. Kudos to the artists, organizers, and other people involved during the event.
In addition to light exhibits, there are Chinese performances like acrobatics that will make your jaw drop. The acrobats are world-class, certified, and experienced to provide breathtaking performances for all participants.
Carnival rides are usually available for kids, taking everyone’s experience up a notch.
The Festival Dates
Lights festival Dandenong is held every last quarter of the year. It is from September to October. Sometimes, it begins in August. For this year, the organizers do not provide information on when the light display will be yet. Let’s pray it will happen this 2022 soon.
Where Is the festival of lights Located and How to Get There
As the name implies, the light festival is in Dandenong or Dandenong Showgrounds in Greaves Reserve Bennet St., Australia.
How to get there, though? You can go to the suburbs by train or bus.
If you take the train, you have different choices to weigh in mind. If you are from the Monash Medical Centre Clayton, the travel to Dandenong will require around 41 minutes.
But if you are from Springvale, the travel will only take place within 33 minutes.
If you take the bus from Mentone Station to the suburban, it will only take 50 minutes or less.
The lights festival Dandenong is usually open to the public from 6 pm to 10 pm. But this year, the organizers do not announce the festival hours of the event yet. Let us hope it will be extended up to 11 for a more exciting experience.
Cost to Visit the Festival
While some light festivals in Australia are free, this exhibition in Dandenong Showgrounds has admission fees.
But there is nothing to be afraid of as the tickets are competitively priced. For adults, the ticket costs $20. For kids, the admission fee is $14. Kids aged three and below are free.
If you plan to travel with your loved ones and friends, take advantage of the family tour package, which is only around $60.
But these prices may change. So, wait for the updates from the organizer for further details.
Weather and What to Wear
The average temperature in Dandenong during September is around 49 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, the amount of rain is normal and usually at 5mm, while the water temperature is 18.2 degrees Celsius.
So, what to wear in Dandenong in September? Tourists encourage everyone to bring a rain jacket since it may rain during the light display.
Layering your clothes is also advisable as the night might be cold. A thick jacket, T-shirt, and jeans are fantastic choices.
If it is warm, bring comfy and presentable clothes for your convenience.
Hotels Nearby the Lights Fest
Let’s be honest. You do not only plan to go to Dandenong because of the light display. You also want to explore the suburban’s hidden gems. But you cannot explore them all within a day. You need a week or two to experience its prominent attractions.
When you are looking for accommodation, here are our top picks:
Quest Dandenong Central
For our first spot, we recommend Quest Dandenong Central. It is a 4.5 property delivering one or two-bedroom apartments. Each space is equipped with strong internet access, kitchens, spacious living areas, and laundry facilities.
It is 30 kilometers away from Melbourne’s CBD with quality access to Eastern and Monash Freeways. Plus, on-site parking is available.
Ibis Budget Dandenong
For our second spot, we have Ibis Budget Dandenong.
As the name indicates, this hotel won’t cause a dent in your savings account. It is cost-effective and perfect for those who are on a budget.
Situated on the Princes Highway, Budget Dandenong is close to local shops, train stations, restaurants, and other commercial establishments. It is no wonder the hotel is a top favorite for many tourists.
Every room is cozy and clean with an HVAC system, television, and en-suite bathroom.
Comfort Hotel Dandenong
Another fantastic alternative is Comfort Hotel Dandenong. As the name implies, it strives to offer a comfortable experience every tourist deserves. It is the perfect place to enjoy the scenery of local attractions.
Rooms are packed with flatscreen TV, walk-in shower, complimentary toiletries, desk, air conditioning systems, refrigerator, and other amenities.
What’s more, the parking space is free and secure. If you have been spending hundreds of bucks on renting a parking space, Comfort Hotel Dandenong offers a free parking lot.
So, what’s your choice? Before you make a reservation, do your homework online.
What to Eat Near the FOL
Dandenong is also recognized as a quality dining destination, with world-class restaurants, like the Baletti Restaurant Cafe Bar, Daniel’s Donuts, Afghan Salang, and Pho Hung Vuong.
Baletti Restaurant Cafe Bar provides meals for your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It prides itself on modern Italian cuisine. If you are craving lasagna or risotto, Balletti Restaurant Cafe Bar can increase your appetite and satisfy your tastes. Its ambiance is very inviting and sophisticated that you will quickly fall in love with. It is open from Mondays to Sundays. Also, it is situated on the ground floor of the Punthill Apartments Hotel.
Daniel’s Donuts is an incredible choice for those who want some sweets like donuts. It also specializes in vegan, gluten-free, and vegetarian-friendly options for your breakfast and brunch. The chefs are approachable, professional, and passionate. The customer service is responsive. They will respond to your questions and other concerns ahead of time for your comfort. The food is also available in different pricing options. Whether you are on a budget or willing to spend more, Daniel’s Donuts is a nice pick.
Afghan Salang is another top choice in Dandenong. If you are salivating for Aushak, Haft mewa, Mastawa, asafoetida, borani kadoo, chopan kabob, borani banjan, gosh-e fil, kabuli pulao, bolani, or other Afghan foods, leave the job to Afghan Salang. Although some of these foods may not be available, rest assured that the meals are delicious, nutrient-packed, and authentic. It also serves vegan, halal, vegetarian-friendly, and gluten-free choices you should not ignore.
When you search for Vietnamese foods like Goi Cuon, Banh Xeo, Bun Cha, or Cha Ca, you do not need to travel to Vietnam as Pho Hung Vuong comes to your rescue. Its specialties include Vietnamese dishes, soups, and other Asian foods.
More Things to Do in the Area
Lights festival Dandenong is exciting. But your vacation will be more remarkable if you visit other destinations in the area. With the multiple tourist attractions in the suburban, where do you like to start?
Dandenong Ranges National Park
Want to be close to nature? If yes, Dandenong Ranges National Park is what you have been waiting for. Covering approximately 3,215 hectares, Dandenong Ranges National Park is home to wildlife, forests, walking trails, and lush fern gullies. It is also where feather-tail gliders, echidnas, black wallabies, tree goannas, and other wildlife inhabit. There are many ways to enjoy the park. You could try horseback riding and cycling. You could also picnic there with your close friends and relatives.
Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden
Since you like to be close to nature, level up your experience with this botanic garden within Dandenong Ranges. You will be amazed by its thousands of flowers in different colors. There are rhododendrons, camellias, cherries, daffodils, and azaleas, especially in spring and summer. It is also home to fern gullies, lush lawns, and rock gardens that you cannot find anywhere.
William Ricketts Sanctuary
Another place you can relax and get away from the noise in the city is William Ricketts Sanctuary. Perhaps, it is your first time to hear about this sanctuary as it is hidden from the world in mountain trees and rocky outcrops. But as you take your journey in William Ricketts Sanctuary, you will fall in love with its over 90 ceramic sculptures. The air is fresher than the city. There are also tall trees and some animals. But it is best explored with a close friend or your family.