7th to the 24th December 2019
Find us on Facebook

Event History

The 'Burstow's Christmas Wonderland' began in 2003 with the dream of creating an event that the whole community could come to and experience the joy and wonder of Christmas. We wanted to create a delightful display of lights and provide supper and free give a-ways for the children. 

Tentatively we took our first steps, and wondered if anyone would come. But come they did - in droves, amazed at the spectacle and stunned at the generosity. We in turn were overwhelmed as the community opened their hearts and pockets, and wanted to give something back. And so the 'Gold Coin Donation' was started for us. Trevor and Don Burstow never intended to create a fundraiser, but this has grown to be a major part of the event. 2006 saw $106 000 raised. This came from visitors, a charity auction and substantial donations from local businesses. The major beneficiary was Lifeline, and in particular their Living Works Program (a suicide prevention initiative), because although Burstow's created a festive event, they were aware that for many in our community, Christmas is not always a wonderful time. Lifeline is inundated over the Christmas season with requests for support. The minor beneficiary was 2nd Toowoomba Scouts

The Christmas Wonderland has now grown to be one of Queensland's biggest light extravaganzas, and in 2006 Burstow's welcomed about 48 000 visitors and in 2007 over 50,000 visitors. The event has continued to expand and many thousands of light-bulbs have been added to the display. Burstow's greatest dream has been realized, in the real sense of community that has been forged. Visitors are indicating that this is fast becoming a family tradition at Christmas, and 'See you at the lights' is being heard all over Toowoomba. Local businesses, community groups and individuals have been approaching Burstow's, totally supporting the idea, and wanting to get involved.  

Don and Trevor Burstow are very proud that this has grown beyond a 'Burstow's' event, becoming truly a Toowoomba event. 2007 saw the event re-named Toowoomba's Christmas Wonderland in recognition of the support Burstow's receive from the entire Toowoomba community. In January 2008 Don and Trevor Burstow officially passed the responsibility for hosting 'Toowoomba's Christmas Wonderland' to the Lions Club of West Toowoomba.  

2008 saw 'Toowoomba's Christmas Wonderland' repositioned in the Toowoomba Botanical Gardens in Lindsay Street Toowoomba for the first time.

 In 2009 Toowoomba's Christmas Wonderland was expanded in size to allow for more light displays and only having two entrances. Approximately 50,000 plus people attended the lights at Toowoomba's Botanical Gardens.

In 2010 Toowoomba's Christmas Wonderland experienced a very wet December with five nights cancelled due to extensive heavy rain.

In 2011 Toowoomba's Christmas Wonderland experienced greatly improved weather with only one night in early December being lost to wet weather. The public support was outstanding and this year well over 50,000 people enjoyed the lights in Queens Park.

In 2012 Toowoomba's Christmas Wonderland experienced 24 wonderful nights of clear weather and a record crowd of more than 60,000 people enjoying the Christmas Wonderland of Lights. 

In 2013 we experienced 16 clear nights and had two washed out. However we had over 80,000 people attend this amazing event and helped distribute more than $85,000 to charity and community organisations.

In 2014 we enjoyed 18 clear nights with only one night washout. Over 80,000 people visited the Christmas Wonderland and over $90,000 donated to Charity and other community organisations. 

In 2015 we experience wonderful weather overall and welcomed over 80,000 visitors which helped us raise $75,000 for our major charities and another $5,000 for other helpful community based organisations. 

In 2016 we enjoyed 22 fine nights with only one Saturday night receiving some lite rain before we opened. Over 90,000 visitors attended and helped us raise $96,000 to our major charities and over $5,000.00 for other helpful community based organisations. 

In 2017 we enjoyed 23 fine nights and welcomed over 85,000 visitors to our 15th Christmas Wonderland display in Queensland Park. We raised $90,000 which was shared between our three major charities, Lifeline Darling Downs, Toowoomba Hospital Foundation and the Toowoomba Hospice.  Other donations we also made to smaller support organisations.

Over 125 major light displays (many new) were established to brighten the Christmas Spirit of thousands of visitors of all ages from the 2nd to the 24th December 2017. Three major beneficiaries for 2017 were: Lifeline Darling Downs & South West Queensland Limited: The Toowoomba Hospital Foundation: The Toowoomba Hospice.