Sunday, 14 October 2018

White Night Geelong 2018

Last night I went to White Night Geelong.  It was the first time that White Night, which I have enjoyed in Melbourne a few times, this year was its debut in regional city, Geelong.  It was lots of fun to wander around with my parents, my daughter and my niece.  We mainly stayed around Johnstone Park which had the great atmosphere of convivial crowds enjoying fantastic light creations on a balmy spring night.  Here is the trip I took.

We started at the Town Hall.  I have seen light shows at the town halls over quite a few years at Christmas time.  The festive light shows last a few weeks so it is fairly quiet when we go.  Last night the street was closed and it was full of people coming and going.

The light show last night was for the 1918 World War I Armistice centenary in a couple of weeks.  It started with a display for every year of the Twentieth Century up to 1914.  We were bemused and thought perhaps we were going to sit through a display for every year up to the present.  But in 1914 the story of World War I began and it started to make sense.

Here is the map of Europe with the red blotch of Germany spreading across it as it acquired countries.

A lot of the story was from an Australian perspective.  So here is Australia pledging full support for the "home country" Britain halfway across the world!

We saw lots of military footage between the pillars.

Here the pillars bear the name of battles such as Ypres (which I still think of as "Wipers" as the Aussie soldiers used to say).

And here are some statistics to remind us of the toll on Australia.  It wasn't in the light show but I still remember my shock and horror when studying World War I at school (even if I now rely on the web for exact stats) that our nation of less than 5 million had 416,809 men enlist, over 60,000 deaths and 156,000 wounded, gassed or taken prisoner!

And this is why the Town Hall had poppies floating down until it was covered.  Poppies for remembrance.  Lest We Forget!

It was a pretty intense way to start.  After that we just wandered at the Geringhap St edge of Johnstone Park.  I really loved this green lit building but never got to stop and understand it.  Such is the nature of White Night.

This eagle seemed like it might be Bunjil, supreme creator in Aboriginal stories but I never verified this.

I loved how the colours on this part of the Civic Buildings worked around the advertisements for the Archibald Prize exhibition in the Geelong Art Gallery.  The portrait of Guy Pearce was the winner.

Then we walked into the roundabout where Geringhap Street meets Mercer Street and Malop Street.  Buildings like the one above usually don't get much attention but suddenly they were worth a second glance when lit up with dreamy images

The Dalgety's Warehouse had images of different decades.  It is a mystery to me as to why they had the 1960s, 1980s and 1990s but not 1970s.  And the 1960s had lots of stylish people and cultural events such as the Vietnam War and Aboriginal rights. 

Then 1980s were just a load of junk food like chiko rolls and bubble o bill.  I was outraged that it was like nothing interesting happened then.  What about the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989!

We continued wandering down Geringhap St towards the waterfront where there were more lights but never got that far.  We got talking to family friends we bumped into (one of whom it turns out knows my boss!) and my niece got really tired.  The lights on poles along the side were birds that at times lit up one at a time to look like one bird flying.  Really effective.  And there was live music on a rooftop.

We had to move aside for this amazinggiant of a robot.  The people in the crowd barely came up to his knees and it was very impressive from afar.  Like some Dr Who alien.  Close up it was fascinating to see puppeteers at work.

I really liked this quirky display.  It say Capitalism works for me.  People were queued up to push a button to say either True or False.  While we were there the True vote was just winning.

Then we walked back through Johnstone Park and enjoyed the festival atmosphere.  This light show was a wishing tree but we didn't stay long enough to understand it.  People seemed to be writing on large pieces of card hanging from the tree.

Kids were dancing on these light discs.

And there was the Neon Dog Park.  For the dog lovers in my family.  (There are many.)  I took photos but quite a lot of people were posing with the dogs so it was challenging.

Dog peeing on the tree.


Dog begging for a bone.

Dog on a leash complete with glowing turd (not in picture as man was trying to post with leash).

Cute dog. 


Past the dog park were lots of critters in a mix between a Chinese new year and Alice in Wonderland.  A huge toad.


Spider.  Is that a redback?

And then we headed back to the car.  My parents were not aware of the buses but my brother at the Waurn Ponds cinema last night said there was a huge queue there for buses to White Night.  The organisers were very lucky with the weather and I am sure it will be considered a great success.

You can read about my previous White Night outings:


  1. Your right the organisers did get lucky with the weather which I am glad of because eyou get to go and take so many wonderful photos. I love this kind of public art. I have never been to anything like it though, so live in hope something like this will come this way. I adore the poppies. I have a very soft spot for Guy Pearce and his cardigans, though some of his movies have been hit and miss.

  2. Very cool - thanks for sharing these photos. I love the neon dog park.

  3. Nice pics. I always enjoy taking a look at Vivid in Sydney and didn't know Melbourne had an equivalent!

  4. The projected displays are VERY detailed! That must of been a beast to coordinate, having all the planning and the perfectly lined up projectors! This looks like a lot of fun, I've never seen anything quite like it (there is a lantern festival, but they aren't as modern looking)


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