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The Enchanted Night Garden is the whimsical creation of artist Don Murchison, who has spent many a year building his sculptured rainforest walk and water garden around his house, aptly named Jungle Chalet, as that it is sitting in Greenwich bordering the Lane Cove Bushland Park.
This fascinating home renovation brings to life nature in a miniature wonderland and enchanting it certainly is as you walk amongst both stone and light sculptures whilst stepping over streams, wandering around ponds and past waterfalls all lit up for a mesmerising encounter.
Gorillas, a spouting elephant, butterflies, bright sunflowers, nature-inspired leadlight windows, a glass art letterbox, mosaic panels on the ground at the entrance, and more, all feature in this intricate artscape that Don has created with every piece of sandstone and every pebble laid himself.
Adding to the fantasy are lasers, sound and fog effects, as well as surprise sprung bridges. The marble sculptures, commissioned from Chinese artists and flown into position by helicopter, are augmented by night time lighting.
Sensors operate the waterfalls, surprising many a visitor when they pop up before their eyes, whilst mist is created around the gorillas by the push of a button, making for some interactive fun for children.
This rustic rainforest environment requires closed and comfortable shoes. Definitely no heels to be worn here as you'll be climbing sandstone steps and walking narrow pathways in part. Some seats are available to catch your breath, sit and ponder the surroundings as you make your way along the walk that runs around the chalet.
A torch is recommended, especially for those with poor eyesight, as lighting is subdued and atmospheric. Note there is no wheelchair access and the walk is not suitable for those with mobility issues. Children must be accompanied by a parent or carer.
Tickets can be pre-purchased through Eventbrite with adult entry at $12, high school students $8, children under 12 at $5 and toddlers free. Family passes are $25 (with concession and health care cardholders at $20). Some door sales (cash only) will be available but tickets are limited to avoid overcrowding.
Open over three consecutive Saturdays (1, 8 & 15 September), hourly sessions can be booked from 5.30pm to 8.30pm. The first timeslot is recommended for the elderly so that they can become acquainted with the steps and pathways in twilight before darkness sets in at 6pm.
Tea and coffee will be available for a small donation and artworks will be available for purchase. If you're interested in a sculpture, water feature or garden furniture then talk to Don about it and if he can't design or create it himself for you then he will do his best to commission it.
The Jungle Chalet is located in a residential area on the Corner of Innes Road & Valley View Crescent. The colourful letterbox below signifies you've found it. Parking is available in the surrounding streets.