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Where To See Auckland’s Best Christmas Lights In 2021

By Kathryn Steane
3rd Dec 2021

A girl looks at Christmas lights.

Nothing has us feeling more festive than a completely over-the-top display of Christmas lights—yes, this is definitely a case of the more the merrier! Lucky for us Aucklanders, a decent dose of holiday twinkle is never far away, even with many notable locations pulling out this year due to COVID-19 (Franklin Road and MOTAT, you're collectively breaking our hearts).

So grab your nearest and dearest—and a cup of something festive to-go—and check out our pick of Auckland's best Christmas lights for 2021.

Vector Lights For The Festive Season

Auckland Harbour Bridge

For the city's biggest display of Christmas lights this year, just look to one of its greatest landmarks. That's right people, the Auckland Harbour Bridge will be getting its glow on between Monday 13 and Friday 24 December via a 12-days-of-Christmas inspired sustainable light show (complete with accompanying soundtrack!), thanks to the legends at Vector. And the best bit? You can watch this one practically all night long, with the show repeating every 30 minutes between 9pm and midnight.

The Christmas Light Show at Te Komititanga.Christmas Light Show At Te Komititanga

Auckland CBD

News of a massive holiday light show downtown has us feeling like—well—kiddos at Christmas. Bought to us by Heart of the City, Auckland Council and Commercial Bay, the Christmas Light Show at Te Komititanga (aka the new space connecting Queen Street and the waterfront) is a legit sight to behold. Projected across the 55 x 32m frontage of the Chief Post Office (home to Britomart train station), you'll be taken on a magical journey from Auckland CBD all the way to the North Pole for a behind-the-scenes look at Santa's Workshop, before watching the jolly fat man make his way down under to NZ. This festive spectacle will run every night between 8:45 and 11pm, right up until Christmas Eve. Be sure to also grab a snap amongst the cool 'light forest' of giant Christmas symbols designed by award-winning artist Angus Muir, also at Te Komititanga.

The Christmas display at Smith & Caughey's.Smith & Caughey's

Auckland CBD

This one's less about the Christmas lights and more about the experience as a whole, but we love it just the same. And we're not the only ones—Aucklanders look forward to the festive celebrations at Smith & Caughey's all year long, headlined by an amazing animated window display usually based on a children's book (this year, The Fairies' Night Before Christmas, a Kiwi take on the classic story written by Sarina Dickson and illustrated by Sarah Greig) and strings of pretty Christmas lights that give the city an instant injection of holiday cheer. Check out their dedicated Christmas Shoppe on Level 2 for more festive feels, or for a small fee why not visit Santa himself via an enchanted forest walk-through on the sixth floor (his grotto is LEGIT). Finally, don't forget to take a wander down Queen Street to check out some of the city's other cool Christmas installations (including, yes, more lights).

Christmas Bauble at ParnellChristmas Bauble

Parnell

Nothing says festive like a gigantic Christmas bauble, decked out with thousands of twinkling lights. We're talking about Parnell's Christmas Bauble of course, which is back at Heard Park for another year to bring a little festive cheer to the city fringe, complete with a gesture sensor that allows you to change the colour of the lights by moving, dancing, or waving. Take note, Santa—we wouldn't mind one of our own come Christmas morning.

Keen to get your shopping sorted in one fell swoop? Check out Auckland's best Christmas markets.

Image credit: Chris Ainsworth, Heart Of The City, Smith & Caughey's, Parnell Business Association.  

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