Get your questions answered!

Enlighten Illuminations

We’re excited for the Enlighten Festival! We are working on confirming the dates and some exciting programming for Enlighten Festival 2020. Sign up to our mailing list to be the first in the know!

If you feel like taking in the amazing autumn sights of Canberra, Enlighten Festival can be reached on foot or by bike. Bike racks are available at various Enlighten Festival attractions.

Two free shuttle buses will operate 1-2 & 8-9 March to help visitors move between the city, Russell carparks and the Enlighten Illuminations in the Parliamentary Triangle. The first shuttle bus will operate on loop 5pm – 6pm. Hop on and off at the following stops:

  • Platform 2, East Row
  • Platform 10, Northbourne Avenue
  • 120 Commonwealth Avenue
  • 1 Langton Crescent
  • Commonwealth Park, Commonwealth Avenue
  • London Circuit

The second shuttle bus will operate on loop 6pm-11:30pm, with the last departure from the Enlighten Illuminations at 11:30pm. Hop on and off at the following stops:

  • Russell Offices
  • Constitution Avenue
  • Walpole Crescent
  • Kings Avenue

ACTION buses will offer the following services during Enlighten Festival 2019.

Parliamentary Triangle

Bus stops on King Edwards Terrace, King George Terrace and Parkes Place East will not be serviced during road closure times.

  • Friday – Routes 2, 3 & 6 Servicing Langton Crescent & Queen Victoria Terrace (diversion applicable after 6.00 pm)
  • Friday – Route 300 Servicing Commonwealth Avenue
  • Friday – Routes 4, 5 & 80 Servicing Kings Avenue
  • Saturday – Routes 934 & 935 Servicing Langton Crescent & Queen Victoria Terrace (diversion applicable after 6.00 pm)
  • Saturday – Routes 900 & 932 Servicing Commonwealth Avenue
  • Saturday – Route 938 Servicing Kings Avenue

National Museum of Australian

  • Friday – Route 3 Lennox Crossing
  • Saturday – Route 934 Servicing Lennox Crossing

Australian National Botanic Gardens

  • Saturday – Route 981 Servicing Botanic Gardens Turnaround

For timetable and route information please visit transport.act.gov.au or call 13 17 10.

After 5pm there are various free public car parks throughout the Parliamentary Triangle. There is also parking at each of the participating attractions. On weekdays and weekends the public car parks within the Parliamentary Triangle will operate under normal conditions.

Due to traffic congestion during the event it is recommended that patrons avoid parking in the National Library of Australia. Please note the large car park at Questacon will not be accessible from 5pm onwards.

It is an offence under the National Land (Road Transport) Ordinance 2014 to park a vehicle on open space. Open space is any area that is not designed for the movement or parking of motor vehicles, such as grassed areas, footpaths and landscaped areas.

The National Capital Authority will be enforcing parking regulations for the duration of this event, and attendees should ensure they park legally to avoid the risk of an infringement being issued to their vehicle.

Free accessible parking is available at most public car parks and Enlighten Illuminations’ participating attraction car parks. Parking is limited and vehicles must display an authorised Accessible parking permit.

Additional accessible parking has been put in place in the car park at the National Library of Australia.

The following road closures will be implemented between the hours of 6:30pm and Midnight From 1-11 March:

  • King George Terrace – between Parkes Place East and Parkes Place West
  • King Edward Terrace – between Parkes Place East and Parkes Place West
  • Parliament Square at Queen Victoria Terrace at the rear of the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House to restrict unauthorised vehicle access

The following road closure will be implemented between the hours of 5:00pm and midnight from 1-11 March

  • Parks Place West (after the entry/exit at the National Library car park.
  • National Library of Australia internal loop road
  • Queen Elizabeth Terrace
  • Mall Road West (Questacon Bus Loop).

The following road closure will be implemented in the event that the National Library car park fills to capacity:

  • Parks Place West at King Edward Terrace

Qualified and experienced traffic management personnel will be positioned at each of the respective intersections to assist with direction, traffic and parking management.

Existing taxi ranks on Parkes Place East and the National Gallery of Australia will operate as normal.

You can download a map of the event here.

Canberra Balloon Spectacular

Hot air balloons look magical as they float up into the sky, however behind the scenes there is a lot of tricky weather predicting science that makes each flight possible. Hot air balloons are highly weather dependant and that day’s flights may be delayed or cancelled if weather conditions are considered unsafe for flying.

Daily announcements detailing flight times or cancellations are made from 6:15am each day of the Canberra Balloon Spectacular (9-17 March). Look for our updates on enlightencanberra.com/balloons, Facebook, Twitter, or call Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

The safety of pilots, crew and passengers is paramount and the whole Enlighten Festival team wants to thank you for understanding on days which experience cancellations.

On days where flights are cancelled visitors with flights booked should contact their booking agency directly.

Set your alarms early folks. An announcement about whether the weather will allow the hot air balloons to fly is made from 6:15am each day. The hot air balloon pilots will then take to the lawns of Old Parliament House to inflate their crafts, which typically takes between 15 and 30 minutes depending on the size of the balloon. The majority of balloons will have launched before 7:15am.

If you didn’t post about it on Instagram did it even happen? Make sure you bring your camera to capture all the stunning balloons so you don’t have to ponder this philosophical question. We also recommend you bring:

  • Cash to enjoy a hot brekkie as the balloons take to the sky. We’ve got you covered with an ATM on site as well.
  • Keep cups – because Canberrans love their coffee as much as they love the environment
  • Warm clothing – while the air inside the balloons is hot (hence the name hot air balloons), Canberra mornings can be chilly.

Experience the thrill of hot air ballooning over Canberra at sunrise with Canberra’s most experienced hot air balloon operators. This unforgettable experience will leave you with a lifetime of memories to share with family and friends. 

To book a balloon flight and get the best view in town of the Canberra Balloon Spectacular, please contact:

Balloon Aloft

Phone: 02 6249 8660
Email: info@balloonaloftcanberra.com.au
Online: balloonaloftcanberra.com.au

Dawn Drifters

Phone: 02 6248 8200
Email: sales@dawndrifters.com.au
Online: dawndrifters.com.au

Whilst we love our four-legged friends this popular event has large crowds and noisy burners, which pets may find stressful. We recommend letting your dog sleep in and leaving them at home for this event.

Enjoy breakfast with a view on the lawns of Old Parliament House. The Belconnen Lions Club will be dishing up a traditional hot brekkie to raise funds for their community programs. You can also sink your teeth into a range of delicious dishes from other local food trucks. Coffee and hot chocolate are a must for all early morning visitors.

Parking in the Parliamentary Triangle is the best option for those driving to this event. There are lots of carparks to choose from, but where ever you park make sure that it is a valid spot and you have checked if you need to purchase a ticket.

The National Capital Authority will be enforcing parking regulations for the duration of this event, and attendees should ensure they park legally to avoid the risk of an infringement being issued to their vehicle. Paid parking applies on business days from 8.30am.

All attendees should be aware that it is an offence under the National Land (Road Transport) Ordinance 2014 to park a vehicle on open space in the area where the Canberra Balloon Spectacular is being held. Open space is any area that is not designed for the movement or parking of motor vehicles, such as grassed areas, footpaths and landscaped areas.

We want everyone to have a great time at the Canberra Balloon Spectacular so here are a few words of wisdom to make your visit safe and enjoyable:

  • If a balloon is launching or landing near you, stand clear and not in front of where the balloon is heading.
  • Walk around, not over, ropes.
  • Ensure young children are supervised at all times.
  • Follow instructions issued by pilots, crew and any ground event staff.
  • Do not smoke near the balloons. Highly flammable propane gas is used in the inflation process.
  • If you are driving while balloons are overhead, please watch the road and not the balloons.  Alternatively, please pull over and stop in a safe place.
  • Pets can be frightened by the balloons and noise of the gas burners. Be mindful of this if the balloons are overhead and take necessary precautions.
  • This event is a glass and drone free event.

Yes, we’re glad you asked. King Edward Terrace will be closed from Parkes Place East to Parkes Place West from 5.45am to approximately 9.45am each day of the Canberra Balloon Spectacular.

  • ATM: For those of us who aren’t organised with cash at the brink of sunrise, an ATM will be available at the event.
  • Brekkie: Our stomachs are already growling thinking of the smorgasbord that will be dished up. The Belconnen Lions Club will be preparing traditional cooked breakfasts, while local food trucks will be dishing up treats including bacon and egg rolls, pancakes and steaming coffee and hot chocolates. Don’t forget your reusable cup – it makes your caffeine hit taste extra delicious!
  • First Aid: The legends from St John’s Ambulance will be operating a first aid tent positioned next to the Lions tent on the West Lawns near the Treasury building.
  • Toilets:  No need to waste time looking for the toilets when you could be looking at the spectacular balloons. You can’t miss the large toilet truck and portable accessible toilets positioned on the lawns near Parkes Place West, across from the Treasury building.