Native animals will wink at you from the trees, whales will swim in the Elder Park Rotunda and dancers will perform on a screen of water at Aus Lights on the River, a free spectacular of sound, light and vision from January 22 to 26.
Take a stroll through Elder Park/Tarntanya Wama and a breathtaking journey to reflect on your connection to nature and belonging to the Country at this event, the centrepiece of the Australia Day 2022 program in Adelaide.
Learn the traditional story of the River Torrens, presented by Kaurna elders and leaders. See the beauty of our native plants magnified and projected onto the roof of the Festival Centre and meet the inhabitants of the Nylon Zoo – the Bilby, the Quoll, the Lizard, the Platypus and the biggest of them all – Ruby Roo Kangaroo.
You will be among the first in SA to explore the 9.5-metre tall AirLume, a giant inflatable shape created by illuminate to represent the powerful forces of air and wind which billow within its “infinity” loops.
The AirLume will be lit up with artwork, including Flocking Together, which was created by schools students in the Adelaide Hills to express their joy about the recovery of the local environment after the devastation of the 2019 bushfires.
The project was led by local artist and art teacher, Anne Griffiths, who says it gave the children a voice in the recovery process.
“Through this experience, they have grown more aware and more protective of the beauty of our Adelaide Hills environment,” she says. Seeing the birds return and flourish and the abundance of regrowth is a message of hope for the future,” says Anne.
At the AirLume, you will also experience a kaleidoscope of Australian flora in a dazzling abstraction of flowers, leaves and seeds and the healing sights and sounds of a bubbling creek.
Visitors to Aus Lights on the River will see performances by Tjatjura Dance Collective, the APY Collective and soloists Caleena Sansbury and Kenneth Johnson, projected onto the Elder Park Rotunda and the water screen in the river, powered by water jets to create a screen that is 20 metres wide by 7 metres high.
South Australians from a range of cultural backgrounds will speak about what Country means to them in the intriguing Story of Us, which will be projected onto the “shells” of the Adelaide Festival Centre roofline, along with a showcase of First Nations artwork.
Look across the Torrens to the northern banks to see moving images of some of the creatures who live in or along the rivers of Australia, including turtles, frogs, snakes and galahs.
You can also try delicious local food and drinks at the food hub overlooking the attractions spread along the river.
ADCSA Chief Executive Officer Jan Chorley says Aus Lights on the River has been shaped to suit COVID-19 conditions, as it is being held outdoors over five nights in an expansive area and will comply with all Health SA requirements.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on how we can continue to deepen our connection to nature and belonging to Country,” she says.
“Our increasingly fragile world reminds us of the extraordinary beauty, richness, and expansiveness of our great country and the incredible diversity of its peoples,” she says.
“We can look back at our history, acknowledge the times we are now living through, and manifest our future on the foundations of respect, inclusivity and shared values.”
Aus Lights on the River is assisted by the Australian Government through the National Australia Day Council and supported by the Government of South Australia. The Australia Day program is presented in partnership with the City of Adelaide.
Elder Park/Tarntanya Wama
Daily: Saturday 22 January to Wednesday 26 January.
Food Hub opens at 5:30 pm. The light show starts at 8:30 pm.
Free entry. Bookings are not required. More information
Masks must be worn by all patrons aged 12 and over. Please check here for COVID-19 requirements.