Carols by Candlelight Melbourne 2013 – The Ultimate Guide

Christmas has to be my all time favourite time of the year. Strings of fairy lights twinkle from houses and trees, Santas fall into chimneys leaving only their stiff legs poking out, and the bubbly flows freely at the work Christmas parties. Christmas means I get to make copious amounts of rocky road, gingerbread and marshmallow slice, and eat it…sometimes for breakfast.

Perhaps my favourite part of the festive season is the carols. Yes I love how the town hall gets all dressed up in a nice red bow, and Flinders greets us with its multi-coloured Merry Christmas sign. But this is the only time I get to listen to Mariah Carey’s ‘all I want for Christmas’ on repeat on the walk to work and not feel too bad about it.

Every year my friends and I go to at least one Carols by Candlelight. We take a rug, pack a picnic and sing our lungs out to songs we have known for years. It’s that part of Christmas you lost when you grew out of your primary school uniform. It’s really nice to find it again even if it’s just for one night.

So here is my ultimate guide to Carols by Candlelight in Melbourne. I hope you manage to go to at least one this year.

Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight – 24 December 2013

This is the king, the grand daddy, the absolute ultimate of all things Carols by Candlelight in Melbourne.  Running for over 75 years it attracts some big and not so big names in Australian music (think reality TV stars you haven’t heard of for some time). The best part is they are guaranteed to play all your favourites and probably quite a few you have never heard before.

When: 24 December 201
Where: Sidney Myer Music Bowl
Cost: 2 types of Tickets. General Admission:  Adult $65, Child (under 16) and Concession $35, Family Pass (two adults, two children) $140,
Children under three admitted free.
Wheelchair $55. A Reserve Seats: $170 per person for the stalls and $85 per person for seating in the boxes
Vision Australia carols by candlelightVision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight Rehearsal – 23 December 2013
This is the one I usually go to.  Entry is generally just a $10 donation for adults and you get to sit wherever you like. The downside to the rehearsal night is that they won’t usually rehearse every song and sometimes will play the same song two or three times to get it just right.  Great if you love the song, painful if you hate it. Bring friends and a picnic and you’ll be right.
When: 23 December 2013
Where: Sidney Myer Music Bowl
Cost: Usually a $10 donation for adults and $5 for kids.
Vision Australia's Carols by Candlelight Rehearsal 2012
Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight Rehearsal 2012

Richmond Carols by Candlelight – Thursday 5 December 2013 from 6 pm

Richmond’s free Carols by Candlelight concert promises to be fab this year with performances from the Australian Boy’s Choir, Fitzroy Community Choir and students from local schools singing both traditional and modern carols. The local Bridge Road traders will be setting up food stalls on the night so don’t forget to grab some grub along with your songbook and candle.

When: 5 December 2013
Where: Citizens Park (corner Highett & Gleadell Streets, Richmond)
Cost: Free.
Carols by the Lake, Coburg – Saturday 7 December 2013 from 7.30 pm (pre entertainment from 6 pm)
Guests at Carols by the Lake this year include stand up comic Damain Callinan and internationally acclaimed opera singer Nicole Wallace. Pre-carols entertainment starts from 6 pm and will feature roving Christmas performers and face painters.

When: 7 December 2013
Where: Coburg Lake Reserve, Murray Road, Coburg
Cost: Free.
rsz_1pearly_shells_2 resized

Carols in all Nations 2013, Northcote – Saturday 14 December 6 pm to 9.30 pm

Carols in all Nations is a true community carols event featuring the local acappella and brass group, the High Street Bells choir and a number of other local acts. But it’s not just about the sweet Christmas caroling at this event. Northcote carols gets crafty with a cake stall, Made n Thornbury mini market and a second hand book sale. All are welcome.

When: 14 December 2013
Where: All Nations Park, Separation St, Northcote
Cost: Free.

Other Suburban Carols by Candlelight

Kew Community Carols by Candlelight– Sunday 1 December 2013 6 pm to 9 pm. More info here.

Knox Carols By Candlelight, Ferntree Gully – Saturday 7 December 2013 from 4 pm. Wally Tew Reserve, Brenock Park Drive, Ferntree Gully. More info here.

Carols in Canterbury Gardens –Sunday 8 December 2013 from 6.30 pm. Canterbury Gardens, 190B Canterbury Road, Canterbury.

Croydon Carols by Candlelight – Sunday 8 December 2013. Melba College Oval, Brentnall Rd Croydon from 6.30 pm. More info here.

Hume Carols by Candlelight – Sunday 8 December 2013 from 7 pm (pre-event activities from 6 pm). Highgate Recreation Reserve, 229 Grand Boulevard, Craigieburn. More info here.

Bayside Carols in the Park – Tuesday 10 December 2013 from 7.30 pm. Dendy Park, Corner Dendy St & Nepean Hwy, Brighton. More info here.

City of Whittlesea Carols by Candlelight – Friday 13 December 2013 from 7 pm. Redleap Avenue  Mill Park. More info here.

Carols at Como Park (South Yarra) – Friday 13 December 2013 from 7.30 pm. Como Park – Williams Road, South Yarra. More info here.

Whitehorse Carols (Nunawading) (Marina Prior and Donald Cant performing this year) Sunday 15 December 2013 from 4.30 pm. Whitehorse Civic Centre precinct, 379-397 Whitehorse Road, Nunawading. More info here.

Have I missed your local community carols? Put the details in a comment below or email me at and I’ll add it to the list.

Happy festive season!


8 thoughts on “Carols by Candlelight Melbourne 2013 – The Ultimate Guide

  1. Does anyone know if there are food/drink stalls at carols by candlelight at the Sidney Myer music bowl? Just is I know whether to packa picnic or not!

    1. Hi Gwen! Did you mean the main event? There have definitely been food stalls at the rehearsal nights in the past but it’s just your usual take away hot chips etc so we have always brought a picnic with us. I’m not sure about the main event but I would say so given they have them at the rehearsal. I have done a bit of a digging around for you online but can’t seem to find the answer. Anyone else know? Another idea might be to give the arts centre a call when they open tomorrow (1300 182 183). Hope you have a great time!

  2. Do you know if there will be a golf buggy to help a senior get from linlithgow avenue to the lawn area, or at least the gate? Tunis .,Andrew

    1. Hi Andrew! The Sidney Myer Music Bowl usually does have a buggy that takes people from Linlithgow Avenue to the front gate – not sure about whether it goes through to the grass area though. You may be able to organise a wheel chair from the gate if you require it. I think you would probably need to book the wheelchair and buggy in advance. Give the Arts Centre Melbourne Concierge a call (9281 8298), they should be able to help you with that. Have a wonderful time!

    1. Thanks so much! Obviously I feel the same way about Christmas haha. Don’t worry I will do another post like this for carols by candlelight later this year! So you will have all the proper dates and times etc 🙂

      1. Oh great! That would be awesome as it’s been some years since I have been to a Carols by Candlelight 🙂 I am so behind in my blogging that I still have to post all my Melbourne CBD Christmas decorations up! Better get my skates on 🙂

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