Illuminate Adelaide: What to see

Illuminate Adelaide 2024 is set to dazzle this winter; here are the highlights you won’t want to miss.

Adelaide comes alive during winter with the annual Illuminate Adelaide festival, a celebration of innovation, art, light, and sound. Running from 4th until 21st of July 2024, this year’s program promises to be a feast for the senses, offering something for everyone.

Here’s a guide to help you navigate the highlights of this year’s Illuminate Adelaide:

Fire Gardens

One of the standout events of Illuminate Adelaide is the mesmerizing Fire Gardens. This immersive installation transforms the Adelaide Botanic Garden into a wonderland of fire, featuring blazing sculptures and intricate fire displays. Created by the French artistic collective Compagnie Carabosse, Fire Gardens offers a unique blend of artistry and natural beauty, creating an unforgettable evening experience.

As you stroll through the garden paths, you’ll encounter fiery urns, flickering sculptures, and a captivating soundtrack that enhances the mystical atmosphere. This event is perfect for those looking to experience something truly magical.

Adelaide Botanic Garden

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Another must-see is EDEN, an installation that merges nature with cutting-edge technology. EDEN invites you into a lush, immersive environment that simulates an otherworldly forest. As you wander through, you’ll encounter interactive elements that respond to your presence, creating a dynamic and personalized experience. The use of light, sound, and projection mapping in EDEN makes it a multi-sensory journey that’s both calming and awe-inspiring. It’s an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, offering a serene yet engaging retreat.

The Light Room at ILA

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Universal Kingdom: Prehistoric Nights

For a family-friendly adventure, Universal Kingdom: Prehistoric Nights is a must. This installation takes you back to the age of dinosaurs, with life-sized animatronic dinosaurs brought to life through spectacular light displays.

Walking among these prehistoric giants, you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into a different era. The combination of realistic models, immersive lighting, and sound effects creates a captivating experience for visitors of all ages. This installation not only entertains but also educates, making it a fantastic outing to take the grand kids.

Adelaide Zoo

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City Lights

One of the core attractions of Illuminate Adelaide is City Lights, a series of free outdoor installations spread across the city. These large-scale projections and light sculptures turn Adelaide’s iconic landmarks and public spaces into an open-air gallery. Highlights include:

  • Festival Plaza: Join your fellow musicians and take your place at Amigo & Amigo’s ChronoHarp, a walk-through, multi-player instrument that reverberates with light and sound.
  • Art Gallery of South Australia: Are you ready to party like its 1599? Some of Art Gallery of South Australia’s works from their Reimagining the Renaissance exhibition have escaped from the walls and made it to the front – and they’re demanding to be heard!
  • Inside Bonython Hall: Space takes on new light in this mind-bending installation from Japanese artist Shohei Fujimoto. For the first time in Australia, intangible #form takes over The University of Adelaide’s historic Bonython Hall, using state of the art projections and lasers to create fluid, ever-changing structures that feel both real and intangible, high-tech and magical.

City Lights offers a fantastic opportunity to explore Adelaide in a new light, literally. The installations are spread throughout the city, encouraging visitors to explore different areas and discover hidden gems.

Various Locations

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Base Camp

This year’s Illuminate Adelaide Base Camp at Lot Fourteen offers a dynamic pop-up village experience. Positioned between the Fire Gardens and City Lights, it features gourmet food from top local chefs, drinks from Alpha Box & Dice and 23rd Street Distillery, cozy fire pits, and live performances. It’s the perfect spot to start or end your festival journey, or simply relax and enjoy the vibrant winter atmosphere​.

Lot Fourteen

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Illuminate Adelaide is more than just a festival; it’s a celebration of creativity and innovation that brings people together. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, young or old, there’s something in the program that will captivate and inspire you. Don’t miss the chance to experience Adelaide in a whole new light this winter.

Image credit: Illuminate Adelaide

4th – 21st of July, 2024

  • Staff Writer

    Made up of a small, tight knit team of writers and contributors who are passionate about all things FIFTY+ and the New Age. We love Adelaide and wider South Australia and sharing with you all of the l...


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