Lightscape 2023, Melbourne – Event Review

After a sellout 2022 winter season, Lightscape returns to The Royal Botanical Gardens in a new and reimagined 2023 season. Lightscape utilises music with light to create awe inspiring presentations, spread across every part of the 2km trail.

Along the trail there are beautiful lights that lead you to the next major installation. The partnership with Sony is obvious, due to the music that’s paired with majority of the installations. Some of the music were scores I didn’t recognise, while others I was able to pick instantly, such as the field of flaming torches accompanied by Hans Zimmer’s music for the film Inception. Other installations where music played a large part included the large flower garden with LED dandelions reed bushes backed with Miley Cyrus’ ‘Flowers’ and Ruth B. ‘Dandelions’ which was incredibly on theme and made it feel like a party.

If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a fairy, you’ll absolutely love the field of mushrooms and it took all my self-control to not hop over the barrier and frolic amongst the glowing mushrooms. Rather than just being beautiful pieces of art, each installation opens-up your imagination, creating a feeling of whim that was visible in the eyes on every person in attendance looking at the installations. I was lucky enough to attend on a Melbourne winter night that wasn’t too bone chilling, but for anyone that attends on a colder night, there’s plenty of warm drink offerings as you walk throughout Lightscape, including mulled wine that can really warm you up.

Before you enter the gardens, you’ll be offered a variety of food trucks that cater to all dietary requirements. As a long-time vegan, I was fully prepared to have chips and a salad as my only options but I was very pleasantly surprised to have a plethora of choices. After a quick look, the decision was made to try ‘Low n Slow’, with southern-style barbeque sandwiches and some of the best chippies I’ve had in a long time. If the food trucks at the entrance don’t tickle your fancy, the Terrace Food Hall offers even more choices, ranging from pizza to marshmallows that you can even roast yourself in the open fire. As a midway point for both entrances, the Terrace Food Hall’s atmosphere was spirited, filled with music, a warm fire pit, and a light feature in the lake that ended up being one of my favourites of the whole experience.

If you’ve seen what Lightscape looks like on social media, trust me when I say that it’s even better in person. The Royal Botanical Gardens are already beautiful, but seeing these gardens lit up with creations that artist have put so much time and effort into just adds to its beauty. Lightscape is a great adventure during the winter season that everyone will enjoy. Plus, make sure you get a photo in the light tunnel, it’s a must.

Lightscape is now on at The Royal Botanical Gardens until Sunday 6th August 2023.
For more information and ticketing, visit:

Photography by Michael Nguyen.

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