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Published December 16th 2016
A street visible from space
This one is my favourite!
If you're based on Brisbane's north side, there are some great free places to go and see Christmas lights. Barbour Road in Bracken Ridge (the stretch to the east of Norris Road) is a great place to start a walking circuit after dark (either by yourself or with other Christmas light addicts).
The walk down and up the street is about 1.5 kilometres in total; a nice easy after dinner walk if you are a local, and easy enough to get to via Gympie Road, Sandgate Road or the Gateway if you are driving.
The lights are really impressive, and each house is different.
More and more houses in the street are being decorated each year; it seems the local residents are competing with each other, with trees, houses and gardens all being decked out with an impressive range of lights and figurines. The surrounding streets are slowly joining in as well, so if you feel like walking further there is definitely more to see. Footpaths here are well maintained, so don't be afraid to explore – last night there were some great displays in Flemington Street and Doomben Place (just turn left at the end of Barbour Road before it becomes Denning Road, then turn left again into Flemington Street).
The decorations themselves are quite eclectic, with some houses sticking to a fairly subdued string of lights along the guttering, while other houses wouldn't look out of place on the main drag in Vegas. Think golden lights, glowing reindeer, and a huge (not at all scary) Santa Claus grinning out at passers-by.
It really is a competition.
Barbour Road is well lit, and links up with the bike path adjoining Stanley Day Park; this path leads all the way under Gympie Arterial Road to Bald Hills Railway Station. Along the streets connected to the bike path there are plenty of legal places to park. If you don't mind a bit of an extra walk it's a great idea to organise a few carloads of people and dogs (there are a few locations along the bike path with council bins and plastic bags to clean up after Fido if need be), and go as a group starting from here, as opposed to parking on Barbour Road itself.
It can be hard to pick a favourite, everyone seems to disagree!
I always love this time of year in Bracken Ridge; it's lovely and balmy outside at night and the whole area has a relaxed and friendly vibe. Come along and see our lights.
Best time to go is after 7:15pm when it's nice and dark.