SANTA'S RETREAT, 5 Christmas Lane, Lobethal, SA Australia.
(Photo Peg & Bill's collection Circa 2016)
Christmas is the Time of Year When Heaven Touches Earth (Anon.)
Visit Lobethal for the largest Christmas Lights Festival in the Southern Hemisphere.The Lobethal Christmas Lights Festival runs from the second Sunday in December (Dec. 10th 2017) until Dec. 30th. Bill & Peg
We live in Lobethal, South Australia, a small village in the picturesque Adelaide Hills, about
40k South East of Adelaide, SA, AUSTRALIA, and began our Christmas Display in 1983 with a single strand of festoon lights.
In 1986 we decided that we should "do a little more" so we began designing and adding more features. By the mid
1990's the display covered about 1 acre and it was estimated that over 100,000 people actually entered our
property each year for a close up view.
In 2008, due to ill-health and the time and commitment that it took, we decided that we could no longer continue presenting our display.
However by 2012, our health had improved so we decided that we would put up a few lights, just for ourselves and family but not open the property to the public.
However this was not to be; Peg & I both suffer from that shocking disease "Christmaslightous" a terrible condition that makes you have to continue putting up lights once you start! In just 6 days our front yard was again transformed into a magical light display (although much smaller than it was in previous years), and our windows again opened up to reveal more Christmas magic, and we decided that we should again open to the public to allow them to enjoy it with us.
This proved to be a very rewarding experience as we were amazed at the number of people that welcomed us "back" and said how much they had missed us.
In 2013 we increased the size of the display and decided that we should continue as an annual event.
We subdivided our property and in February 2014 we received notification from the Adelaide Hills Council that they had named
our driveway, which is now a private road, CHRISTMAS LANE. We feel very honoured to have this recognition.
Whenever we tell people that our new address is
5 Christmas Lane
it brings a smile to their face.
The tradition of Lobethal's Christmas Lights began in the 1940's when a few business men hand painted globes to decorate their Main Street shops for the Christmas season. This tradition spread and today about 80% of all homes and business in the village "light up" for Christmas with a variety of spectacular displays.
The Lobethal Christmas Lights Festival has become the largest Christmas Light display in South Australia, and possibly the largest community Christmas event in Australia. The Festival runs from the second Sunday of December until New Years Eve each year. During The Festival there are a variety of stalls, events, live entertainment and a market to add to the spirit of the Festival.
When we moved to Lobethal in December 1983 we followed the towns tradition of having a few lights for Christmas by putting up
a single strand of festoon lights
Peg had grown up in Cudlee Creek, just a few kilometres down the road, and had many fond memories of coming to Lobethal to see the lights as a child .
In 1986 we decided that we should do a bit more, so each year until 2008 we added to our display until it covered about one and a half acres.
Our display became our passion and we spend about 6 months each year working on it. During the year we designed and made new display items as well as maintaining the old ones. We usually start erecting the display in October so as it will be ready by the beginning of December. Our display runs throughout December and, after a short break, we begin packing it up early in the New Year.
For Christmas 1995 we added a new feature, a Christmas Room,
which contains "all things Christmas", including Christmas Collectables, decorated Christmas Trees and other
Many of these have been made by Peg, and others have been made by friends who share our passion for Christmas.
Although not open to the public, The Christmas Room can be viewed through large windows.
In Christmas 2003 we added more Window Displays, then, in 2005 we included a Child's Bedroom Christmas Display for viewing.
Click back on your browser to return to this page, Bill]
Our Inside Displays 2015
to view a video clip of our Inside Displays 2015
As lights became more readily available the towns display grew and in the mid 1990's it was estimated that up to 250,000 people visited Lobethal's Christmas Lights Festival each year, and about 100,000 actually entered our property for close up view of our display.
Each year we were asked the question ...
"How many lights are there?"
We believe that in 2007 we achieved our aim of reaching 100,000 lights. However now that we do a smaller display we think that there are more than 50,000 lights.
For more questions visit our FAQ Page.
During the display we have visitors books for our guests to sign,
and have had between 3,000 and 4,500 entries with visitors from as many as 35 different countries (in a single year),
as well as all Australian States and Territories.
Many people ask why we have a Noël sign.
Since our surname is of French origin, we thought that it would be nice to add a french touch to our display.