Hogwarts comes to Australia

Like most kids the world over, The Travel Children are huge Harry Potter fans. Since we visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter last year at Universal Studios Orlando, it’s fair to say they have become even more enthusiastic Potterheads. They don’t need much of an excuse to put on their robes and grab their wands, but this week they were able to experience the magic of Hogwarts in Newcastle, Australia. The Travel Children wasted no time in mounting their broomsticks and flew straight off to ‘Hog Watts’ for some wizarding education.

What is Hog Watts?

Hog Watts is a magical event which takes place seasonally at 48 Watt Street, a unique venue in the heart of Newcastle, NSW. Previously a church, its main hall features a vaulted timber roof and stained glass windows reminiscent of the Great Hall at Hogwarts.

But the magic starts long before you cross the threshold of the Hall. Arriving at 48 Watt Street, we were greeted with a huge banner welcoming us to Hog Watts. In a puff of smoke Professor Minerva McGonagall appeared at the doorway and asked us to proceed directly to Diagon Alley. Here we were able to grab a Butterbeer and take some photos prior to the Great Feast.

It wasn’t long before we were summoned to the Hall for the start of the festivities. Professor Albus Dumbledore was on hand to welcome us to a new term at Hogwarts.

Seated at long tables in our respective boarding houses, all new pupils were encouraged to earn house points while enjoying our delicious banquet. We were also able to meet some of the other teachers who entertained us with excerpts from the movies.

While we ate, rumours circulated that Bellatrix Lestrange and ‘He Who Must Not Be Named’ had been spotted. These rumours proved to be correct and a young Harry Potter was plucked from the audience to battle the Dark Lord. Luckily his patronus charm was strong enough to defeat Lord Voldemort and we could enjoy our desserts! The event concluded with the Yule Ball and dancing. Even Voldemort was seen busting some moves on the dance floor!

Review

Hog Watts at 48 Watt Street is a fantastic event. It is an immersive experience, with the characters really interacting and engaging with the guests. The kids loved being able to talk to their favourite magical teachers. The venue is very atmospheric and the audiovisual effects certainly add to that atmosphere. I would definitely recommend it to any Harry Potter fan. Please note that we bought our own tickets. I just enjoyed it so much that I had to share our experience! To keep up to date with future Hog Watts events, check out the venue’s Facebook page.

How to bring the magic of Hogwarts to you

I realise not everyone can visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or attend an event like ‘Hog Watts’. But that doesn’t mean you can’t experience the magic in your own home. Here are my Hogwarts hacks you can try at home.

Homemade butterbeer

A really simple way to recreate Harry Potter’s favourite tipple is to pour yourself a glass of brown cream soda or root beer. Grab a can of whipped cream and squirt on top of your drink. It really is as simple as that! For added authenticity, why not use a glass tankard or mason jar mug.

Hogwarts Great Feast

Our meal at Hog Watts was a classic roast dinner and this really is the perfect magical feast. A roast chicken with gravy, roast potatoes and vegetables is definitely the kind of meal Harry, Ron and Hermione would expect on their first day back at Hogwarts!

A fun idea for your feast is to place one drop of food colouring matching your house colour in the bottom of a clear glass. When you add water to the glass it will magically change colour.

For dessert, Harry Potter candy is widely available to purchase. Or you could substitute regular jelly beans for Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans. Cadbury’s Freddo bars are ideal chocolate frogs. Licorice sticks can be used as licorice wands. Buy some of Dumbledore’s favourite sweets; sherbet lemons! Sugar mice are a Honeyduke’s classic. Use some recycled jars with homemade labels to display your sweets.

Harry Potter wands

Although you can easily purchase a wand in any toy shop, they are really simple to make.

  1. Grab yourself some wooden chopsticks next time you visit your local Chinese restaurant.
  2. Dip a length of wool in some PVA glue and wind it around your stick in whatever pattern you like.
  3. Paint your wand in a dark colour. Repeat if necessary then leave to dry.
  4. Stick on any other decorations you wish, for example glitter, lace, sequins or artificial feathers.

The Travel Children made some amazing wands at their local library using this technique. In this case, they used normal sticks instead of chopsticks. Either works just as well.

Now that you have had your feast and made your own wands, why not settle down for a Harry Potter movie marathon. Or grab a mug of butterbeer and re-read your favourite Harry Potter book.

How do you recreate the magic of Hogwarts at home? Let us know in the comments.

4 Comments

  • KATHLEEN WEETMAN

    Again a really fantastic site to read. Harry Potter themed places are a hit with most children I know …and some adults as well. lol I think the folks who ran this in Australia would love to see it ,as it shows that their efforts are enjoyed and rewarded with excellent reviews such as this.
    It is obvious the Travel children are quite well travelled and sample experiences both educational and fun. Parents the world over should be reading your blog and telling others about it. Even if they cannot go to some of the places you have fun ideas for them to do .Thanks

    • Thetravelchildren

      Thanks for your comment. I am planning to do a blog post on some Harry Potter locations in the UK, so if you are a fan of Hogwarts then stay tuned for that!

  • Hannah Mills

    That really is the perfect venue for a Harry Potter event. The actors looks so good. Sadly Australia is a bit far for us to visit but thinks for the hints on how to bring Hogwarts to our home. Definitely be having our own great feast soon!

    • Thetravelchildren

      It felt just like the Great Hall at Hogwarts and the actors were great with the kids. Harry Potter themed activities are always a win, whether you are attending an event or celebrating all things Hogwarts at home!

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