After a Covid-enforced absence last year, the Luma Southern Light Project has returned to Queenstown bigger and better.
The four-day festival of illuminated art, light sculptures and performance ended in the resort town last night. Total visitor numbers are expected to have exceeded 50,000, a record.
Luma Light Festival Trust chairman Duncan Forsyth said his team was "pretty stoked" by the support, which was shown by nearly 10,000 visitors on Saturday night, when it rained.
"It's morphed from a light show into a sensory, all-round experience," Forsyth said.
"We certainly feel like we've taken it to a new level."
The festival had 10,000 visitors in its first year in 2016, numbers growing to 50,000 in 2019.
Covid-19 forced its cancellation last year.
For the first time, visitors aged over 12 were charged $5 a ticket.
Forsyth said a free park-and-ride service for ticket holders, operating from Frankton's Queenstown Central shopping centre, was well patronised.
"I think more people have been using it than they were expecting, so there has been some waiting," he said.
"But it's been really successful and people have bought into it."
The future of the event was "looking bright", he said.
"No doubt there's a few things we need to work on as the event grows — it's like holding a tiger by the tail."