By Lauren Ferrone
Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2023
It’s a plane, it’s a shooting star, it’s a… UFO? Think again. The beams of light shining across the city this winter are part of Illuminate Adelaide.
We have details on all the new, spectacular installations to feast your eyes on at Illuminate Adelaide, plus the dazzling displays returning for another year.
When: 7–23 July
Where: Rundle Mall – as part of City Lights
Just as extravagant as its tropical plant namesake, Trumpet Flowers is a groovy display powered by RAA Solar and features in Illuminate Adelaide’s free City Lights series.
Stumble upon the interactive flower power display in Rundle Mall where you can step inside the giant musical garden and be surrounded by an explosive jungle of light, colour and sound.
Moving in and around the flower forest, press the buttons and keys on the 2.6m towering trumpet flowers to control the sounds and ever-changing colours around you.
Make your own spectacular floral symphony of sound and light. Every tuba, trumpet, trombone, and drum sound in Trumpet Flowers’ repertoire is produced straight from your fingertips. If you prefer to stand back and take in the cool tunes and flashes of light, catch one of the scheduled animated musical scores throughout each evening.
And don’t worry, while real trumpet flowers are considered poisonous, this epic light show will leave you feeling rejuvenated, loving life and ready to smell the roses.
When: 29 June – 30 July
Where: Adelaide Botanic Garden
After two sell-out seasons of Light Cycles, the team behind this unforgettable event are back to deliver a whole new experience at Adelaide Botanic Garden. With six new installations along a 1.7km trail through Adelaide Botanic Garden, Canadian visionaries Moment Factory invite you to return to journey through the garden’s natural environment, made even more beautiful with a spectacular mix of light, technology and original soundscapes.
Take a moment to tune into nature and all its splendour, highlighted by world-class lighting installations by one of the world’s most experienced studios in creating enthralling outdoor experiences.
Halfway through the journey, pause for a drink in the gin bar and take a moment to fully immerse yourself in this awe-inspiring and wondrous work of art.
As RAA is a proud Presenting Partner of Illuminate Adelaide, RAA members can get 20% off full price general admission tickets to Resonate.
When: 28 June – 30 July
Where: Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga
Mirror, mirror on the wall, tell us the newest must-see Illuminate Adelaide event of them all. Enter Mirror Mirror – an immersive art installation that allows visitors to choose their own adventure.
Play a game of knock, knock, who’s there – or in this case – what’s there? With three doors presented in front of you, which will you open first?
Step inside, delve deep into your own creativity and go on a surreal journey through colour, sound and immersive art installations, all stimulated by your imagination. Using a playground of the world’s most cutting-edge digital technology, each work within Mirror Mirror holds its own interactive element to help bring out your inner creativity. The clever installation responds to your movement through dazzling light displays, plus you can discover different sides of yourself in a sprawling hall of mirrors.
RAA members save: Just for being an RAA member, you can save 20% on tickets to Mirror Mirror. Hurry though – tickets are limited!
Architects of Air: Arborialis
When: 1–23 July
Where: Rymill Park/Murlawirrapurka
A breath of fresh air to the 2023 Illuminate Adelaide program, Architects of Air: Arborialis is a mesmerising new installation where you weave your way through an inflatable maze of lights, colours and shapes.
Designed by UK artist Alan Parkinson, and making its Australian debut, this latest installation in Architects of Air’s Luminarium series spans some 1000sqm of abstract shapes and cathedrals inspired by the trunks and canopies of nature’s mightiest ecosystems.
Paired with sounds from the wilderness, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve stepped into the depths of a tropical rainforest near the Earth’s equator. With its giant winding passages, it’s easy to get lost inside the luminarium – both physically and emotionally.
As you navigate the many twists and turns, you’ll be immersed in the wild and find yourself at peace.
When: 29 June – 23 July
Where: Adelaide Zoo
This year, animals of all shapes and sizes reincarnate as part of Light Creatures at Adelaide Zoo. From glowing pandas to dazzling, dancing jellyfish, creatures big and small again illuminate one of the city’s most iconic spaces.
While the production’s roving tiger returns, a new animal is set to take the limelight – the golden falcon. There’s also an enchanting projection work in the Elephant House inhabited by the Flinders Ranges’ yellow-footed rock wallaby or ‘Andu’ as it’s called in the language of the Adnyamathanha people. Drawings of the miniature marsupial were created by children from schools in the region, with their sketches animated and turned into light projections.
Favs and freebies
When: 28 June – 30 July
Back with a whole new look and location, travel to Rundle Park/Kadlitpina at the speed of light where your Illuminate Adelaide experience truly begins. Located near Illuminate Adelaide’s biggest attractions, enjoy drinks, nibbles, and of course, bright lights at Base Camp – the perfect place to kick off your night.
When: 7–23 July
Adelaide’s north, east and west precincts again transform into a high-tech playground of colour and sound. Running nightly from 7 July, City Lights features an entirely new series of installations, from electric dandelions to an interactive light network inside the human brain, plus many more. The best part? City Lights is free for everyone to explore!