Christmas in Auckland: the Franklin Road Christmas lights

Auckland's inner city suburb of Ponsonby lights up for Christmas.

After spending a few weekends at the beach we decided it was time to go urban! Friday night, and a beautiful evening, so we headed into the CBD and the waterfront. We wandered through the Viaduct and down to the fantastic Wynyard Quarter. This recently revitalised part of the waterfront is now a vibrant mix of bars and restaurants, working wharfs and harbour views. Perfect for an evening promenade.

We stopped off at the popular Playspace, a playground reflecting the area’s maritime past complete with sand, recycled building materials and over-sized kina and mussel shells to clamber over. Nestled under the imposing silos is the Silo night market. The night market runs on Friday evenings from 5pm til late and on Saturday afternoons, 12 noon til 6pm with a wide range of tasty food options, a bar, djs and a regular outdoor film viewings on offer. It’s a great place to hang out with the kids.

From there, we walked over to Victoria Park to check out the Telecom Christmas tree. It’s about a 15 minute walk. There is live music and colouring-in on offer and phone boxes for calls to Santa for last-minute Christmas list updates. The tree is lit up every night til Boxing Day and beanbags are provided so you can sit under the tree, watch the lights, and listen to Christmas music to your hearts content. It wasn’t quite dark enough for the show so we wandered over to Franklin Road to check out the famed Christmas lights. It’s a 15 minute walk from Vic Park to Franklin Road. Bravo to the residents of Franklin Road! The lights are a 19 year community tradition and it’s a pretty magical setting made even better by some very talented busking musicians. The lights are on every night until Christmas Eve from 6:30pm til 11pm but, after 9pm is best when it is fully dark. You can drive the street but we think it’s well worth the walk up and back down the road. We retraced our steps back into the CBD stopping at the now fully lit Christmas Tree before heading home to put one very tired, but very happy, four year old to bed.

Well done Christmassy Auckland, you’re beautiful!

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