This is just one of those articles. I’m going to write about Fibre Optic Magic in Railton, but then I’m going to implore you to go there yourself and have a look. I will show you my photos, and tell you all about it. But it’s just not the same as seeing it.
First up, I should confess: I’m not sure if the business is called Looking Glass Cottage or Fibre Optic Magic. Maybe it’s both? And I can’t even tell you the name of the business owner or any history of the business. Usually I ask all kinds of questions (I’m just nosy like that) and get all the facts straight. But as soon as I walked into this shop, my mouth just gawped open and I forgot all the sensible things I usually do.
I do know the gentleman we met was very nice. He told us his store was unique in Australia, and he selects and imports all his products. He was happy for me to take photos of Fibre Optic Magic to share with Think Tasmania readers. He even gave me advice about getting the best photographic results. A lot of his customers must take photos. Or perhaps I just looked so gobsmacked he was worried about my capacity to capture a decent shot.
When you walk in the door, you enter a small room filled with natural light. Shelves are crammed with all manner of souvenirs and quirky gifts. We bought the first of our Christmas presents for the year there actually, even though it was only October. A cap that stated “I fish, I lie” which we knew was the perfect present for the kids’ tennis coach. Hope he doesn’t read this!
Let There Be Light
From the entrance of Looking Glass Cottage, you move into the most amazing space. Fibre Optic Magic is the perfect name for the experience. A dark room filled to the brim with lights and lamps of every colour. The roof was adorned with glow-in-the-dark decorations, and my eyes flicked from one pretty coloured light to another.
Beyond a curtain is another tiny room, filled to capacity with Christmas trees. All different shapes, sizes and colours, but all of them covered in gorgeous lights. Fibre Optic Magic is certainly the place to visit during the festive season!
Extended Trading Hours
At this time of the year, Fibre Optic Magic is open seven days a week. Entry is free. The owner told us he has tour and bus groups visit all the time. I’m not sure how a bus load of tourists would all fit into the tiny space, but maybe they organise a queue somehow. I should point out that this is a shop; not just an exhibition. The items are for sale… but they are the prettiest items you’ll ever get to browse.
I did mention that Looking Glass Cottage is in Railton… the Town of Topiary. For such a small town, there’s lots to see and do there, as Michelle has already explained. You can collect a free map to tour the 150+ topiary characters in town from Fibre Optic Magic. And if you’re inspired during your visit, you can also buy topiary frames.
So there you have it. My impressions of a very magical place. From the outside, a small, unassuming building on the corner of two very quiet streets in Railton. In fact, I photographed the street to show just how few people were around at the time of our visit. But step inside, and you won’t believe your eyes. Please, please (that’s me, imploring) go and visit. I’ve never seen anything like Fibre Optic Magic before.
This article is dedicated to my friend Stacey, who just LOVES Christmas. She makes it her personal responsibility to give everyone a daily countdown, from about two months out. Thanks Stacey. Without you, we’d probably miss the festive season!
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