Wellington Botanic Garden ki Paekākā, Wellington

11/05/2024 - 09/06/2024

Production Details

Created by Moment Factory (Canada)

Presented by Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts


Bundle up, rally your friends, whānau, or that special someone and experience the Wellington Botanic Garden ki Paekākā like never before.

As night falls, immerse yourself and connect with nature through this unique multi-sensory experience.
Highlighting the Garden’s lush canvas, Light Cycles invites you on a nighttime adventure where nature’s secret rhythms come to life through dazzling light installations, soundscapes, and digital art.

Prepare to be captivated. Play trailer
Created by Moment Fractory

Light Cycles takes place within the Wellington Botanic Garden ki Paekākā on dark pathways with uneven terrain and gravel in places. It is therefore not recommended for those who require special assistance or use mobility equipment that is unsuited for that terrain.

The experience contains strong lighting effects, of which some may flicker or strobe as well as haze. This experience is not suitable for people with Photosensitive Epilepsy or Photosensitive Migraines.

Light Cycles is a self-guided event via a one-way path through Wellington Botanic Garden ki Paekākā. It begins at the Met Service Building, 30 Salamanca Road and ends at Lady Norwood Rose Garden.

Have questions? Read our Light Cycles FAQs to find out more.
Huia mai ō hoa, tō whānau, tō ipō rānei ka toro mai ai ki Te Māra Huaota o Pōneke, kua āta whakarākeitia ki te ātaahua rirerire o ngā rama toi ataata.
He mea hanga e Moment Factory, he mea whakaputa e Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the arts.
11-31 May 2024
1-9 June 2024
$19.00 – $115.00
Wellington Botanic Garden ki Paekākā
Sessions available every 15 minutes
Wed – Thu, Sun from 6-8pm
Fri – Sat from 6-8.30pm

Light Cycles is not open Mondays and Tuesdays. Hours may change, keep an eye on this page for the latest opening hours

Light Cycles is a rain or shine event. Due to the nature of the experience, umbrellas are prohibited once you pass through the start of Light Cycles. Please ensure you arrive appropriately dressed for the weather.

Family , Theatre , Lightbox Installation ,

40 mins

Wondrous, entrancing and delightful (or should that be enlightful?)

Review by John Smythe 11th May 2024

We have experienced gorgeous light shows in Wellington’s Botanic Gardens in the past but this year’s Light Cycles, created by Moment Factory* and presented by Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts, is ‘next level’. We gather at the Welcome Zone, by the Met Service building (30 Salamanca Rd), and – advised to take our time to get the full effects – we follow the yellow-lit path to immerse ourselves in half a dozen very different luminescent environments.

“You are invited to connect with the sights and sounds of nature,” the promotional sign says, but don’t expect to hear creatures of the night or other natural elements at play. Dream-level synthesised music and choral voices, albeit quite loud, envelop us as we pass through the misty green Portal to absorb the magical vista of ‘Crystal Grove’: a vast meadow of blinking blue and white balls on stalks. We are reminded of bluebells in Spring.

Red Hot Pokers spring to mind in ‘Forest Frequencies’ until other colours start leaping. It’s an uplifting installation in every respect. We approach ‘Into the Sunset’ from a distance and wind down to feel the embrace of the submerging orb. Is this a Gretchen Albrecht work in progress? Opportunities to be snapped in silhouette are taken Back when I resided in Kelburn I walked this path countless times in daylight and sometimes at night (e.g. walking home after a Summer Shakespeare in the Dell) but now it’s transformed and I have no idea where we are.

‘Memory of Water’ has astonishing depth, flowing as it does through a valley of trees … We bathe in its calming ambience for a timeless stretch before strolling on down toward a warmly welcoming edifice called ‘The Hearth’.

It stands in The Dell and park benches wait in the shadows, not only to offer a places to rest but also to allow us to watch young children at play around its glow.

Light Cycles is certainly family friendly. Small torches are in evidence and a good idea – there are times when you’ll want to locate someone or check the ground beneath your feet, and your phone is best kept for taking photos. That said, I highly recommend experiencing the totality of each installation before capturing it on your screen.

You may or may not wish to contemplate the work that’s gone into installing the network of light-and-sound wiring and hazer machines and ducting that are invisibly embedded and held aloft in this stretch of Te Whanganui a Tara’s Botanic Gardens. The result is wondrous, entrancing and delightful (or should that be enlightful?)

*From Wikipedia:
Moment Factory is a multimedia entertainment studio specializing in the design and production of immersive environments, combining video, lighting, architecture, sound, and special effects. Headquartered in Montreal, the studio also has offices in Paris, Tokyo, New York and Singapore. Since its inception in 2001, Moment Factory has created 550 shows worldwide, including the Lumina Night Walks.


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