Experience your own forest fairytale and enjoy hot chocolate and DIY lanterns at Australian Botanic Gardens, Canberra.
I went on the weekend’s afterDARK Firefly tour, and it was great to experience the beauty and magic of the illuminated gardens.
The rainy night was illuminated by our handmade lanterns (minimally), glass lanterns (a little more) and torches (not so good for ambience but more effective in lighting).
We learnt about Bunya trees, rainforest ecosystems, and smelt lemon myrtle leaves and kangaroo droppings (luckily I wasn’t in the front row, but apparently they’re quite benign).
The fog machine in the rainforest gives a sense of wonder similar to Nakaya’s Fog sculpture at the National Gallery of Australia. You can find out about the Fog sculpture here.
afterDARK for couples?
Firefly tours have been marketed to children and families, but another demographic could also be couples.
Instead of hot chocolate, there could be fondue (with strawberries and coconut) while the couples undertake a craft activity like the lanterns.
It would also enhance the experience to have a cooking demonstration with native ingredients, e.g. lemon myrtle, quandong, or wattleseed.
This would be a great way to show the appeal of native Australian plants.
Walking through the gardens could be the romantic finale!
This would help the gardens to be considered as a future date (or wedding!) venue.
The afterDARK Firefly tours run from 6pm and 7pm Saturday 7 July and Saturday 4 August, there are more details here.