Christmas is nearing and houses across the Central Coast are now dressed in their festive best. Strings of Christmas lights are adorning guttering, silver reindeer are nibbling at sun-baked lawns, blow-up Santas are swaying in the evening breeze and families are driving very, very slowly through suburban streets pointing out lights to each other.
An evening drive in the weeks before Christmas is a ritual many Central Coast families love, and with our Central Coast Christmas Lights Map and feature outlining the best decorated homes we hope to make it that much easier for you to plan your route.
This is a map for all local families and we want you to be involved. If you decorate your house we invite you to include your place on the map. Know of a house in your street that puts on a great display, add them too. We’re updating this map and feature often, so make sure you bookmark this page and check back regularly.
Scroll below the map to see our recommendations of “must-visit” homes and streets. The owners of these homes go above and beyond each year and deliver truly magical displays.
With thanks to our sponsors:
♥ Have we missed your family’s Christmas Lights Display? Please add your address and upload a photo to the map below or email your address and a few photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. ↓
How to use the map?
Use the drop-down “Filter” bar above the map to limit your search to individual homes, whole street displays, public displays or only “Must-visit” locations. Click on the map icons to see the relevant address and photo. Click on the “directions” box to get directions from wherever you may be – ain’t that so clever!
Add your own marker
The Central Coast’s best Christmas Lights
Home owners have put on the ritz with music-accompanied lights shows, double-story Christmas trees and even Santa Claus himself. We’ve found must-visit homes across the Central Coast – from Wyongah in the north to St Hubert’s Island in the south, plus a few spectacular public displays you should make time to visit this festive season. Merry Christmas!
Christmas Lights Spectacular, Hunter Valley Gardens
Okay, we know these lights aren’t on the Central Coast, but they’re close enough (and spectacular enough) to warrant inclusion in this list. The Hunter Valley Gardens’ Christmas Lights Spectacular is the BIGGEST Christmas lights display in the southern hemisphere – how lucky are we that it’s just a hop, skip from our doors!
There are Cinderella castles, Ice Age squirrels, giant teddy bears and scooter-riding penguins. Their Candyland is scattered with liquorice allsorts, jellybeans, gingerbread men and lollypops, while their Fairyland is home to Tinkerbell, My Little Ponies and a giant rocking horse. A pirate ship sails the lake and dinosaurs roam the hill. There’s a nativity scene that tells the story of Christmas and lights up an angel, baby Jesus, three wise men as the First Story is narrated. The “12 Days of Christmas” section encourages you to get your carol on, as the appropriate lights turn on with each verse of the song.
A visit to The Christmas Lights Spectacular is an annual tradition for our Playing in Puddles family. We absolutely love the beauty and magic of this event. Click here to read our 2018 review (and to see photos of this year’s display).
Dates: 2 November 2018 until 26 January 2019 (closed 25 December 2018). Gardens open daily 9am-4pm; lights open 5.30pm-10pm.
More details: Click here to visit the Hunter Valley Gardens website.
A Luminous Christmas, The Entrance
A visit to The Entrance is a must this December with Central Coast Council installing some very special Christmas lights. Animated Christmas tales are being projected onto large overhead panels that you can walk under as part of a 30-day LED light show. In addition to the lights, schools and bands from around the Coast will perform on various nights throughout December.
When: A Luminous Christmas 1 December 2018-30 December 2018, 8pm-10pm.
Location: Waterfront Plaza, The Entrance.
Christmas Lights on Bayberry Ave, Woongarrah
Matthew Redman has been working on his computerised Christmas light display since February! Yes, you read that correctly: February! So, it’s no surprise how incredible it is and that it’s one of the “Must-visit” homes on Playing in Puddles’ Christmas Lights Map.
It might only be the fourth year that Matthew’s had his lights computerised, but he’s an old hand at the decorations – with 18 years under his belt. It takes him four weeks to set up the display each year and he says, “I get a big buzz from the joy on the faces of kids and families seeing our Christmas Lights display go off”. This year he has lights synchronised to songs including children’s classic “Frosty the Snowman”, ACDC’s “Thunderstruck” and Don’t Stop The Santa Man – a Christmas parody combining Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” and Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”.
Matthew’s display raises money for the Sydney Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. “We experienced the loss of a very young child in our extended family,” says Matthew. “The Children’s Hospital was superb with her ongoing care and the support that they provided during her brave fight, and to the family following her passing.” Last year they raised a staggering $5500, and this year they’re hoping to double that amount. They’ll be hosting a BBQ at Bunnings Lake Haven on 1 December and they’ll have raffle tickets available from 1-15 December to win a tonne of prizes. You can donate money on the official Lights for Kids website: click here.
Santa on Saturdays | Santa will be there to welcome onlookers to the house each Saturday evening (1 Dec 2018-22 Dec 2018).
Christmas on Bayberry Festive Night | There will be a special festive night on Saturday 15 December – with all gold coin donations going to the Children’s Hospitals. Santa will be visiting aboard The Fun Engine fire truck and there will be a petting zoo, jumping castle, vintage cars on display, a Mr Whippy van and Bunnings and Lions Club sausage sizzles. Raffle tickets will be available to go in the draw to win a kids swing set, kiddie pool, a $200 travel voucher, a Mariners jersey, power tools and more. Playing in Puddles visited last year and we were blown away by the organisation and wonderful feeling of community spirit this event had. It was really special to see people milling about on the street enjoying the festivities. Please note that the street is closed for this event, so you’ll have to park nearby and walk in.
Address: 31 Bayberry Ave, Woongarrah (? It’s a “Must-see” location on our map ↑ ).
Lights turn on: Saturday 1 December 2018. Lights will run 8.15pm-10pm Sun-Thurs, 8.15pm-11pm Fri-Sat.
More details: Follow Matthew’s “Christmas on Bayberry” Facebook page.
77 Watkin Ave, Woy Woy
Playing in Puddles visited this house post-Christmas last year and for our two young boys this home was a stand-out favourite. They have a snow maker blowing snow onto their drive way (and onto the heads of excited children). They have James from the Thomas books doing laps of a festive snowy village. Plus they umpteen lights, lazers, festive inflatables and candy canes. And the owners hand out chocolates. This here is kid paradise.
It’s no wonder this display is so child-friendly when you discover who the owners are. Sharon Richards worked in childcare for 20 years and she says, “We try to make it as interactive for the kids as possible”. The Richards started decorating the family home some 25 years ago. What they can make they make (such as the giant snow domes), but they also buy a lot of their decorations at the Boxing Day Sales: “Each year we set a budget that we never stick to”, says Sharon. Last year they erected some 40,000 lights and this year they’re promising even more! “We enjoy doing it,” says Sharon. “My daycare kids form 20 years ago show up. They come every year so we get to watch them grow up”.
They have a donation bucket out the front with all proceeds going to Ronald McDonald House. “One day we might have a grandchild who needs it,” says Sharon. Last year they raised $716.
Address: 77 Watkin Ave, Woy Woy (? It’s a “Must-see” location on our map ↑ ).
Lights turn on: 1 December 2018-31 December 2018 (Lights are on 7.30pm-12am; interactive elements such as the train and snow machine switch off at 9.30pm).
More details: Follow the Richards family’s Facebook page for updates on whether the snow machine will be active the night you plan to visit.
Meet Santa at 57 Katoomba Ave, San Remo
Send Santa a letter and get a reply | Want to write Santa a letter and get a reply? From early November Jody Heterick erects a special post box out the front of her home that delivers children’s letters direct to the North Pole. Every child who writes receives a letter back from Saint Nick himself (be sure to include your return address and a stamp so he can write back to you!). This just gives us the warm and fuzzies all over – it’s so magical and special!
The Hetericks have been putting lights up for 14 years and Santa has been attending for the past three. This year the display is set to be bigger and better with an extension of the archway and a net light that reads “Merry Christmas”. Jody says she goes to all of this trouble, “to see the smiles on everyone’s face” and we’re so very thankful she does.
Have your photo taken with Santa | Come and meet Santa, Mrs Claus and one of his very busy elves and have a photo taken with Santa on his big red chair. Santa, Mrs Claus and their elf will be out on Friday 14, Saturday 15, Wednesday 19, Thursday 20, Friday 21, Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 December (8pm-10pm).
Address: 57 Katoomba Ave, San Remo (? It’s a “Must-see” location on our map ↑ ).
Lights turn on: From Saturday 24 November 2018 (8pm-11pm).
Christmas Lights at 55 Darri Rd, Wyongah
Michelle Gribble has been decorating her Wyongah home for the past 10 years and every year her $8000-display gets bigger and better as she adds to her collection at the Boxing Day sales. This year you’ll find more inflatables, more lights and a new snowy village scene.
Playing in Puddles visited Michelle’s display last year and we were amazed at how many fun and festive elements Michelle had managed to include on her front lawn. There was Santa’s lounge room (complete with brick fireplace), loads of inflatables (including Santa on a motorbike, oversized penguins, Santa piloting a plane, prancing reindeer and Santa driving a train), myriad fairy lights, a snow machine, and a ginormous Christmas tree adorned in tinsel, baubles, bows, lights, candy canes and, of course, a crowning star.
Michelle goes to all of this trouble each year to raise money for the Children’s Hospital, as her 14-year-old daughter Hope has cerebral palsy and has spent a lot of time over the years in and out of hospital. There will be a little wishing well out the front of the property with all money raised going to the Children’s Hospital (click here to donate).
Saturday evenings | Every Saturday evening (from 1st December to 22nd December) will see a mini festival of fun take place on Michelle’s lawn with people dressed as Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Anna from “Frozen”, Handy Manny and Santa himself making an appearance and handing out lolly bags to visiting kids.
Address: 55 Darri Rd, Wyongah (? It’s a “Must-see” location on our map ↑ ).
Lights turn on: Sunday 25 November 2018. Lights go on at 7.30pm each evening.
The Fabulous Christmas Light Show on St Hubert’s Island
Matthew Mosse-Robinson’s house on St Hubert’s Island’s Cuttlefish Parade is decked out in more than 200 strings of lights that take six days to set up. For the past three years he’s invested hundreds of hours tinkering with Light-o-Rama software to bring you some incredibly impressive Christmas light shows set to music. Check out the master stroke of his 2016 display in the video below. This year his set will include “Let it Go” from Frozen, the Thomas the Tank Engine Theme Song, “Jingle Bell Rock”, and a remix of “Carol of the Bells”.
Address: 7 Cuttlefish Parade, St Hubert’s Island (? It’s a “Must-see” location on our map ↑ ).
Lights turn on: Saturday 1 December 2018. Lights on 7pm-10pm.
* Video above taken by 101.3 Sea FM of Matthew’s 2017 Christmas Lights.
Christmas Lights for Angels, Wadalba
Cindy and Troy are the owners behind the famous Settlement Drive display. Cindy says, “My husband Troy is the mastermind behind our display. He spends most of the year working on the display – from designing or sourcing props to synchronising the lights to music on the computer. The actual assembly of the display takes about 4 weeks.” This year they’ll be syncing to “All I want for Christmas is you”, “The Greatest Showman on Earth” and more. Cindy promises their display will be bigger and better than ever: “This year we have twice the amount of lights on the outline, a new singing face, a new spinner and more trees. We will have roughly 10,000 lights in our display”.
Their daughter was diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome in 2015, and with their display they hope to raise awareness of this neurological disorder, which causes intellectual disability, severe language impairment, movement problems and frequent seizures, among other symptoms. Last year they raised $1700.
Special event | The Christmas Lights for Angels annual Christmas Party is being held on Friday 21st December (8pm-11pm) this year. Eric will be cooking his famous Angel Hamburginis – come early as these tasty burgers sell out every year. All money raised goes towards The Foundation for Angelman Syndrome and Therapeutics Australia. Click here if you’d like to make a donation.
It’s not just number 66 that gets into the festive spirit – many of the residents along Settlement Drive and the adjacent Connemarra Street go all out each and every year. It’s such a popular spot for Christmas-light gazing that food trucks have been known to frequent the streets in previous years.
Address: 66 Settlement Drive, Wadalba (? It’s a “Must-see” location on our map ↑ ).
Lights turn on: Saturday 1 December 2018.
More details: Follow their Christmas Lights for Angels Facebook page.
Thank you to all of the wonderful locals mentioned above and to the many others who turn on fantastic light displays each year. Thank you for your generosity and time and for bringing so much joy to so many people.
♥ Share this festive feature and map with your friends, add your own Christmas Lights to the map and take lots of photos to share with us! Tag #littlecoasties. ↓