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Date/time: Saturday 30th March 5:30pm - 9:00pm
Categories: Environment & Waste, Family, Community, Fairs & Festivals, Gardens, Free

Earth Hour - Shaping a Clean Future Event

WhenSaturday 30 March 2019

Time5:15pm - 9pm

WhereSouthern Highlands Botanic Gardens

Cost: Free

Book your spot: Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens

Further Information

To celebrate Earth Hour, the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens, with support from Wingecarribee Shire Council are inviting the community to a Shaping a Clean Future event. 

The purpose of Shaping a Clean Future is to encourage the community to come together toward a sustainable future by engaging in all things renewable energy. 


We want to shine a light on the importance of a future powered by renewable energy. 

So, we are going to make two giant solar powered footprints.

Footprint 1 – World record attempt for largest display of solar lanterns

We are going to attempt the world record for the largest display of solar lanterns in the shape of a footprint. 

We will assemble all of the solar lanterns before the event and light them up when it gets dark.

If you want to support this world record attempt, you can sponsor one or more of these solar lanterns on the night and take them home with you after the event.

Footprint 2 – Southern Highlands giant solar powered footprint

We want you to help us make the largest human solar lantern display in the shape of footprint that has ever been attempted in the Southern Highlands. 

All you need to do is bring along your own solar lantern from home. If you do not have a solar lantern, you can grab one for free on the night from the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens

If your children are taking part in one of our solar lantern making workshops they can use this for the photo.

We will have a professional drone pilot on hand to take a photo of both our world record attempt and the human solar powered footprint.

These images will be sent to local and regional media to send a message loud and clear that the Southern Highlands is for a renewable future.

What else is happening?

Children's solar lantern making workshop and parade

For kids aged between 4-10 years old. 

This workshop will require you to book your spot (external link) so you don’t miss out.

Once the lanterns are made, the children and their lanterns will form a lantern parade to showcase their efforts. 

Special guest speaker

Greg Mullins , Climate Councillor for the Climate Council and Former Commissioner Fire & Rescue NSW.

Meet your local green energy providers

Residents will get the opportunity to meet their local solar providers to ask any questions about renewable power.

Live music and food and drinks available

Enjoy the grounds of the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens, whilst enjoying food and drinks. 

We also encourage you to bring along a picnic, rugs, and some comfy chairs to watch the sun go down and stars come out.

Book your spot! 


What happens if there is bad weather?

Weather forecasts will be monitored and the event will be cancelled if the weather is unsuitable. 

Every attempt will be made to contact you by email if the event is cancelled and notifications will be made via Council's website and Facebook page.

Will I get a refund if the event is cancelled?

If you have paid for a children’s lantern making, you will receive your money back.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

You should bring your ticket if you are booked into a Children's Lantern Making workshop. Alternatively, we can see your ticket on your mobile device. 

We will also have a list of those who have booked in for the workshops so we can check your booking that way.

If you have just booked general admission tickets there is no need to bring a printed ticket.

If you decide you want to take part in the children’s lantern making workshop on the night, you can book online using your mobile device on the spot!

Are there any minimum or maximum age requirements for the Children's Lantern Making Workshops?

The lantern making workshop is suitable for young people aged between 4-10 years old - bring along your imagination!

How do I book in for the children’s lantern making workshop?

There are three children lantern making workshops available, culminating in a children’s lantern parade:

  • Workshop 1 – 5:30pm - 6pm
  • Workshop 2 – 6:15pm – 6:30pm
  • Workshop 3 – 6:45pm – 7pm 

Children’s lantern parade – 7pm – 7:15pm

You can book in for the workshops here.

What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?

You are encouraged to walk or cycle to get to this event if you can. 

There are good walking/cycle paths that lead to the Botanic Gardens from Bowral and Burradoo. 

View a map of the existing cycle paths. 

If you are driving, there will be parking available outside the Botanic Gardens - entry from Old South Road. 

Follow the directions of the volunteer parking attendants. Street parking is also available in the area.

What can/should I bring into the event including food and drink?

There will be refreshments - sausage sizzle, fundraising bar (serving wine, beer and soft drinks) and a water station - at the event. You are encouraged to bring your own refillable water bottle.

You are also very welcome to bring your own picnic food and drinks (including thermos of hot drink). 

For your comfort, we suggest you bring a picnic blanket, fold up chair, a torch (especially if you need to leave while the lights are still out) and warm clothing in case the night air turns chilly.

Should I bring my own solar light?

If you have one, yes please!!

To demonstrate our commitment to a renewable energy future, we are going to attempt two records that you can be a part of:

World record attempt for “Largest display of solar lanterns”

We will have all these lights set up and ready for the photo prior to the event.

Southern Highlands record for giant solar powered footprint

To set this, we need everyone standing in the shape of a foot with a solar light held above their head. 

Don’t worry, if you don’t have your own solar light, you will be given one on the night. 

You will get to take this light home.

Can I bring my dog to the event?

No. Dogs are not permitted on the Botanic Gardens site.

Are there toilets at the event?

Yes, there are toilets, including accessible toilets in the Botanic Gardens building.

What will happen at the event and at what time?

The gates will open at 5.15 pm

There are three children lantern making workshops available (bookings essential), culminating in a children’s lantern parade:

  • Workshop 1 – 5:30pm - 6pm
  • Workshop 2 – 6:15pm – 6:30pm
  • Workshop 3 – 6:45pm – 7pm

Children’s lantern parade – 7pm – 7:15pm

Refreshments will be available for purchase from 5:30pm and the solar providers and other stalls will also be open. 

There will be live music from approximately 6pm - 7pm (and more later) and a special guest presentation between 7.15pm - 7.30pm.

At 7.30pm we will officially begin the Southern Highlands Earth Hour (starting it one hour earlier than the official 8.30pm - 9.30pm). All non-solar lighting will be turned off. 

As the last of the light begins to fade we will begin our records attempts. First, focusing on the world record attempt for the ‘largest display of solar lanterns’. 

Once we have taken the aerial photos of our solar illuminated world record attempt, we will then assemble ourselves into the shape of a giant footprint and hold our solar powered lights above our heads for the next aerial photo. This will all happen between 7:30pm-8:15pm

At 8.30pm the Southern Highlands Earth Hour will end and lighting will come back on. 

Music will continue until 9pm.

The event officially finishes at 9pm.

What arrangements will there be for waste disposal?

We will be trying to produce as little waste as possible from the event.

There will be bins for recycling and general waste available but you are encouraged to take your own waste with you if possible. We also want to make sure there is no rubbish left around the Gardens for volunteers to have to clean up after the event.

Does the event cost anything to attend?

Entry to the event is free, however you are encouraged to support the development of the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens by making a gold coin donation to the volunteer collectors at the gate.

The Children Lantern making workshops will cost $5/child plus a small booking fee. To book into this workshop click here

Is there anything to be careful of when moving around the Botanic Gardens?

Please be aware that the surface of the grounds is uneven (look out for rabbit holes!). There are marked main paths but you are welcome to walk onto any part of the site (except fenced off areas) while daylight remains.

Once the lights are out, solar lighting will light up the marked paths if you need to leave, but please take care and stay on the paths.

The coordination of the giant solar powered footprint will be carried out on level ground close to the footpath, however, we ask that people move slowly and carefully during this time so as to not cause any injuries.

How accessible is the Botanic Gardens site?

There is level access from the parking area through the gate and down the paths. However, please be aware that paths are gravel and there will be a need to travel across grassed areas to get to some parts of the event. 

There will be a number of designated accessible parking spots near the gate. 

There are accessible toilets on site.

Please contact the organisers if you need further information about accessing the event.

Is this the only chance to see be a part of this history in the making world record attempt?


How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

You can contact the organisers as follows:

Leading up to the event you can contact the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens during business hours at info@shbg.com.au.  

On the day of the event you can contact us on 4861 4899 or 0418 153 305. 

Become sustainable beyond Earth Hour

You can participate in Earth Hour simply by switching off your lights between 8:30 and 9:30pm Saturday 30 March 2019.

If you want to know what else you can do to become a more sustainable citizen beyond Earth Hour, click here