I enjoy photography and writing, new places and experiences, living on the edge of the Barossa Valley and my involvement with animals. You are welcome to visit my photography website www.jennybrice.com
Update December 24th 2019
Christmas Lane Lights were closed on 20th December due to the disastrous bushfires in the Adelaide Hills
Magical Christmas lights for the whole family
Merry Christmas to all visitors to the Christmas Lane lights display. Photo courtesy Bill Chartres.
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the magical, sparkling light displays that adorn so many South Australian homes, businesses and towns. Many South Aussies look forward to decorating their homes each year, some simply with a few strings of colourful lights and some with imaginative displays which cover the whole house and garden. Others delight in driving through the city, suburbs, Adelaide hills and country towns to view and enjoy the many captivating displays.
An Aussie Christmas tableau. Photo courtesy Bill Chartres.
The Adelaide Hills town of Lobethal is famous for its Christmas Lights Festival, the largest Christmas Lights display in the southern hemisphere, and an integral part of this festival is the enchanting array of lights at Peg and Bill's Christmas Lane Lights Display. Located at 5 Christmas Lane, off 5 Ridge Road, Lobethal, this spectacular fantasyland of lights is set in over half an acre of landscaped gardens and is a world-famous, free event which is well worth visiting in its own right.
The Christmas Lane display features more than 50,000 lights. Photo courtesy Bill Chartres.
The Lobethal Christmas Lights Festival and Peg and Bill's Christmas Lane Lights Display open on Sunday 8th December and continue every night until Friday 20th December. Lights are switched on at dusk each evening during this time and remain on until 11.30 pm. This year the official 'Lights On' Ceremony at 8.30 pm on December 8th will be followed by a spectacular fireworks display.
A section of the garden lights at Christmas Lane. Photo courtesy Bill Chartres.
The tradition of Lobethal's Christmas Lights began in the 1940s when a few businessmen hand-painted globes to decorate their Main Street shops for the Christmas season. This tradition spread and today about 80% of all homes and business in the town "light up" for Christmas with a diverse range of spectacular displays. A variety of stalls, events and live entertainment including a parade and Nativity re-enactments with real people and animals, add to the spirit of the Festival.
Bill and Peg in front of their spectacular light display. Photo courtesy Bill Chartres.
Peg and Bill are passionate about their Christmas Lights display and it usually takes them about 8 weeks from the beginning of October, to set it up. They began, in their first year, with a few strands of coloured lights but now spend approximately 6 months of each year working on designing and building new display items, as well as maintaining, updating and repairing the old ones.
Indoor Christmas tableaus can be viewed through the house windows. Photo courtesy Bill Chartres.
2019 marks the 33rd year that Peg and Bill have put on their lights display which now features more than 50,000 lights. It also has illuminated wooden cut-outs and delightful indoor displays and Christmas scenes which can be viewed through the large windows of their home.
Welcome to Santa's Retreat. Photo courtesy Bill Chartres.
Peg and Bill named their display "Santa's Retreat" many years ago, but the sign proclaiming this had not been used for some years until they reintroduced it at the entrance of their garden in 2017 to welcome visitors. Other special features include a display featuring Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore which is always a big hit with the children, an 'Aussie' Christmas tableau and a traditional nativity scene.
An angel hovers over the traditional Nativity scene. Photo courtesy Bill Chartres.
A prominent, green NoŽl sign generates many comments with many people asking why Peg and Bill chose to include it in their display. The answer is that since their surname, 'Chartres', is of French origin, they thought that it would be nice to add a French touch to their display.
The green 'Noel' adds a French connection to the display. Photo courtesy Bill Chartres.
During the display, Peg and Bill provide visitors books for the guests to sign and in a single year have had up to 4,500 entries with visitors from as many as 35 different countries, as well as sightseers from all over Australia.
Visitors come from far and wide to view the Christmas Lane lights display. Photo courtesy Bill Chartres.
You can visit Peg and Bill's website to view photos of their Christmas display, their garden throughout the rest of the year and some of the creatures that visit and call their garden home. You can also see photos of their display on their Facebook page.
A tableau featuring cheeky elves. Photo courtesy Bill Chartres.
Before your December calendar becomes too full of pre-Christmas events, book a date for yourself, your family and your friends to visit the Lobethal lights and especially to enjoy Peg and Bill's delightful Christmas Lane Lights Display.
The Christmas Lane lights display covers over half an acre of gardens. Photo courtesy Bill Chartres.
HINT: Even on hot days, the evenings in the hills can be quite cold, so remember to bring something warm to wear. You can visit the Christmas Lane weather page to see up-to-date weather information for the Lobethal area.
Follow this road to see the Christmas Lane lights display. Photo courtesy Bill Chartres.
FOOTNOTE: In February 2014, the Adelaide Hills Council designated Peg and Bill's driveway as a private road and named it "Christmas Lane".