Christmas is just around the corner, and the North Shore’s most iconic shopping destination, Macquarie Centre, has revealed its stunning ‘Santa’s Secret Garden’ is back and better than ever.

Not your average Christmas experience, the award-winning Santa’s Secret Garden will run until 24 December, inviting shoppers on an exploration of quintessential Australian Christmas landscapes.

A one-of-a-kind living, breathing Christmas set, the garden is created from native and drought-tolerant plants from beach to the bush, encompassing lush greenery with tropical plants and coastal pathways. Shoppers are invited to journey through iconic Australian scenery – including a boardwalk and glow worm cave – on their way to meet Santa. Tended to by its own gardener who specialises in native plants, the set will live on long after customers have enjoyed the unique experience. Spreading extra good will this festive season, Macquarie Centre will donate the native trees and plants to Mount Wilga Rehab Hospital in Hornsby on 26 December, for patients to enjoy.

Centre stage at Santa’s Secret Garden will be Santa Photography, Sensitive Santa and Pet Photos. As well as Santa’s Secret Garden, there’s lots of exciting activities happening throughout the centre for customers to enjoy in the lead up to Christmas, including wreath making workshops and a FREE gingerbread decorating workshop. There will also be several festive retailer activities for shoppers to pre-book, including Christmas Storytime with Harry Hartog and Christmas Build-a-Bear workshop sessions.

The centre has also installed its iconic giant 8 Christmas animal decorations throughout the centre, which have had a glow-up this year, with living plants installed at the base. Shoppers can explore the nearly 8m high Giraffe, 3.5m high Elephant and the 2m high Lion, each decked out with eye-catching festive décor.

Macquarie Centre’s extended trading hours began on Black Friday 25 November, allowing visitors more time to shop and enjoy special offers across its 360 retailers, and for every Christmas shopping need. From Myer’s Giftorium for an array of gift ideas, to David Jones’ range of Australian and International labels for the latest holiday looks, through to the freshest food assortment from Panetta Mercato, Macquarie Seafood and Tender Gourmet Butchery.

Natalie Douglas, Macquarie’s Centre General Manager said, “We are so excited to see the return of our much-loved Santa’s Secret Garden for Christmas 2022. It’s such a special experience for shoppers and truly encapsulates what makes an Australian Christmas unique. Making magic is at the heart of what we do at Macquarie Centre – we know that this year, spreading a little extra magic is important, both for customers and the wider community. That’s why we’ve chosen to donate the native plants and trees from our Santa’s Secret Garden to the Mount Wilga Rehab Hospital in Hornsby, to spread some festive cheer to those who might need it.”


Location: Macquarie Centre, Waterloo Rd, Macquarie Park, North Ryde, Sydney

Dates: Until Saturday 24 December 2022

Key activities:

  • Santa’s Secret Garden, until Saturday 24 December 2022
  • Pet photo sessions with Santa, Wednesday 30 November, Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 December from 5:00pm – 8:00pm
  • Sensitive Santa photo sessions, Thursday 1 and Thursday 8 December from 8:00am – 9:00am
  • FREE gingerbread decorating workshops, Saturday 10 December from 10:00am – 1:40pm (There are six sessions, each lasting 20 minutes, starting at 10:00am, 10:40am, 11:20am, 12:00pm, 12:40pm and 1:20pm)
  • Wreath making workshops, Thursday 8 December at 6:00pm and 7:30pm (tickets cost $40 per person plus a booking fee)

Retailer activities:

  • Christmas story time with Harry Hartog, Thursday 8 December from 10:30am – 11:00am
  • Christmas Build-a-Bear workshop sessions, Friday 9 December at 10:00am, 11:00am and 12:00pm

Christmas activity bookings are essential and can be made at:

About The Author

Sasha Tsibulya
Lifestyle Editor

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