Natural Wonders | Adelaide Botanic Garden | Adelaide Fringe 2024 Review

Natural Wonders: Adelaide Fringe 2024 | Review

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️   5 Stars for a dazzling immersive adventure under the stars 

Natural Wonders takes you on a brilliant night-time adventure through the Adelaide Botanic Garden with a series of projected artworks, stories and immersive experiences that are reminiscent of Illuminate Adelaide.

This is a fabulous event for families looking for a unique Adelaide Fringe experience. Sessions start around dusk (sessions will start earlier each week to coincide with the autumn season’s shorter days), with new sessions running every 15 minutes. You’ll need at least 1 hour to appreciate all there is to see, however, with the return of immersive features like “Borealis” by Dan Acher, we suspect (like us) that you will want to linger longer.

Entry is via the main gate on North Terrace and the trail follows a winding path through the garden, past the Amazon Water Lily Pavilion and the Museum of Economic Botany then cuts through the garden and back towards the main entrance gate. 

Each artwork has its own story to tell and while some are designed to challenge and provoke thought, others are simply mesmerising. As the trail progresses, each artwork becomes more interactive in nature, inviting viewers to take the time to be fully immersed in the experience. You may find yourself lying on the grass underneath Dan Acher’s dancing “Borealis” as the light, smoke and colour swirls above and around you. Also, ensure you allow enough time to be completely absorbed in the other-worldly (and final) installation – “Passage” by light and installation duo, Harsh Realities. Heavy musical beats, pulsing lights and the use of mirrors all create the illusion of being in another dimension, challenging the spaces in your mind between reality, illusion and thought.

“Project Earth” by Liam Somerville and Michael Ellingford is a captivating, disturbing and amusing projection about the lack of space in space due to rising rental costs and environmental damage. Does this problem sound familiar?

“The Spirit Lives On” by Ngarrindjeri woman, Nicole Gollan in partnership with Same River Studio is a tender, moving and beautiful story that gives insight into her life, beliefs and hopes for the future.

“Time on Country” by Alex Frayne and Katrina Penning is a stunning collection of beautiful photos projected onto a big screen. Settle down on a patch of grass and admire the beauty of South Australia’s diverse landscape.

“ArchiBio” by Andrej Boleslavsky is an intriguing look at the behaviour of live ants, projected onto the exterior walls of the Museum of Economic Botany. 

Some of the themes explored across the installations might be lost on younger children but the entire experience is suitable for all ages and we think that kids will be in awe too. If you love Illuminate Festival’s offerings, we think you’ll love Natural Wonders also.

Things to consider:

Toilets are located just after the first projected story and the path in most places is bitumen and accompanied by adequate lighting. There are plenty of friendly guides/assistants along the way who are able to direct as needed.

The trail is mostly but not fully accessible – there is one steep grassy hill to navigate. We suspect most prams would be able to navigate the off-road terrain adequately.

Please note, there are a number of open water sources along the trail. They are roped off clearly, however, please keep small children under close supervision at all times.

At times, there is strobe lighting and loud noise and music and in places it can be a little dark. 



For more information please visit the Adelaide Fringe website.

At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.

As per all our Play & Go reviews, this is not a sponsored post. The Play & Go team review via media accreditation and when kindly invited.

All photos by Play & Go Adelaide (unless specified)


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