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LUMA Southern Light Project 2018

May 15, 2018  ·  2 min read

All of the lights, all of the lights, all of the lights. LUMA Southern Light Project is an award-winning light festival on the Queen’s birthday long weekend. And yes, it involves all of the lights.

Starting back in 2015 with four light sculptures and a few thousand visitors, the Queenstown-based festival has exponentially grown year on year. LUMA 2017 attracted more than 35,000 light seekers and exhibited 38 installations, becoming one of the most popular dates on the Queenstown calendar.

This magical event sets up shop amongst the gardens along the Queenstown waterfront and shines bright at night for four consecutive days. And when we say, “magical”, we don’t mean to use a lame buzzword with little impact and lots of “meh” factor. The setting is, for a lack of a better word – magical.

Imagine wandering around a dark and enchanted techno forest that is home to electric creatures and phosphorescent flora. Somewhere between Alice’s Wonderland and Tron, this is a secret garden that will be visited by many but is unknown to most of the world. It’s bizarre and dreamlike, surreal and beautiful. And the fact that it’s community-based and volunteer-run, only adds to the positive vibe of the event.

You’ll ramble through installations like the Cubezoid, Pou Rama, Illuminated Identities, Tiny Disco, Phonogram and UV Spaghetti on your journey around LUMA Southern Light Project. Each artwork has its own unique expression on something past, present or future.

We have quite a few favourites; keep an eye out for the following.


This installation delves deep into the universe with depictions of the birth of stars, the creation of the universe, and the origin of the Southern Lights.

Fortune Fountain

Whether you believe in luck or not, you can cast ripples through the projection, make a fluorescent wish and see what happens.

Water Fun

New Zealand-based light artist Angus Muir has created a series of spherical buoys illuminating the water as a floating rainbow.

LUMA Southern Light Project 2018

When: 1-4 June (Queen’s Birthday Weekend)

Where: Queenstown’s gardens and lakefront

Entry: FREE

words by niall roeder

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