Forbidden Forest Experience - FAQs

At the 13 February meeting, Council approved the relocation of the 2024 Harry Potter Forbidden Forest event experience trail from The Briars Sanctuary to The Briars Community Forest (dog walking park). 

Mayor Brooks thanked the community for all their feedback and said “The new location in the Community Forest will provide a fantastic environment for the Forbidden Forest experience.”


The Briars regularly hosts markets, music, performances, education activities, tours, plants workshops and self-guided programs. To add to this suite of offerings, we are excited to be hosting Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience at The Briars in Mount Martha. The event will launch on April 6, 2024 for fans of all ages to enjoy.

The event will unlock significant lasting benefits, both for The Briars and the Mornington Peninsula more broadly. 

Any funds raised will be ploughed back into The Briars on things such as path improvements, more nature education opportunities for school and community groups, and improvements to our carparks to make the site more accessible. 

Visitors have the option to donate a tree to the Briars when they purchase a ticket, and these will help with accelerating our ongoing revegetation program.

Economic benefits to the broader region include employment of locals to staff the event, flow on visitation to restaurants, accommodation and other experiences and increased awareness of the region as a destination. This will be a particularly welcome boost in what is traditionally a quiet period for our tourism sector.

Benefits to the community

What is the benefit for the community?

Many in our community will love this family-friendly experience.

With many people expected to attend the event, there are flow-on benefits to our local business community. It is estimated that there will be around $27-35 million in flow-on economic benefits to the region in the form of visits to restaurants, cafes, other destinations and accommodation providers.

As per The Shire’s policy, the event organiser has been encouraged to use local businesses wherever possible and to recruit for positions created by the event from our community.

The event organisers and the Shire’s Economic Development team are developing packages and other experiences that businesses across the Peninsula can take on to encourage visitation to their business.

This experience will be promoted locally by the Shire, while the event organiser will be promoting the experience nationally and internationally. This will raise the profile of the region and continue to position the Mornington Peninsula as a great place to visit.

Why do you run events at The Briars?

For many years The Briars has hosted a range of experiences which bring people together, immerse people in green and natural spaces, connect people to place and share the stories of our Aboriginal custodians. These have included the recent LightScape experience in the Sanctuary, Survival Day events, Day on the Green, outdoor cinema and markets.

Events are a big part of The Briars experience for our community and visitors. These events are not just enjoyable for participants, they support local businesses and have flow-on positive impacts to the region, through on-spend at restaurants and cafes and by inspiring visitors to stay for a few days. The Briars has a role not just in protecting cultural, natural and heritage values but in supporting the health and prosperity of our community.

Events are critical to the ongoing financial viability of The Briars. It costs our ratepayers more than $800,000 a year to run The Briars and income from events is vital to help manage these costs. This event will help secure the longer-term sustainability of this much-loved community asset.

The Forbidden Forest experience

What can I expect from Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience?

Take a walk through an enchanting woodland filled with magical creatures and moments from the Harry Potter™ and Fantastic Beasts™ series. This outdoor light trail, inspired by the iconic Forbidden Forest, will have you reliving some of your favourite moments as you explore after dark the sounds, lights, and special effects that bring the wizarding world to life.

The outdoor experience was created by Warner Bros. Discovery Global Themed Entertainment in partnership with leading entertainment discovery platform Fever, and award-winning theatrical designers Thinkwell and Unify. 

Following a massively successful run in the US and the UK, Warner Bros. Discovery Global Themed Entertainment in partnership with Fever and IMG, has announced that Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience will open in Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula April 6, 2024.

For the first time in Australia, the breathtaking experience will launch to the public on 6 April 2024 for Wizarding World fans of all ages to enjoy amongst the awe-inspiring woods of The Briars at Mount Martha. Tickets are available for purchase now.

How long is the event expected to run for and how many people are likely to attend each session?

The event will run from April 6, 2024 on Monday- Sunday during school holidays and Thursday- Sunday every other week. Capped sessions will commence every 15 minutes with numbers depending on final confirmed bookings.

Your adventure will likely last 60-90 mins. However, there is lots to see and do at your own pace, so make sure you save some extra time to make the most of everything on offer!

Will there be merchandise for sale?

Yes, there will be an on-site shop for bespoke event, Harry Potter™ and Fantastic Beasts™ merchandise to purchase.

Do I need to have watched the movies?

We encourage it! But even if you are brand new to Harry Potter™ and this is your first foray into the magical world, you will enjoy the experience regardless.

Who created Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience?

The outdoor experience was created by Warner Bros. Discovery Global Themed Entertainment in partnership with leading entertainment discovery platform Fever, and award-winning theatrical designers Thinkwell and Unify.

Following a massively successful run in the US and the UK, Warner Bros. Discovery Global Themed Entertainment in partnership with Fever and IMG is excited and proud to bring it to, Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula April 6, 2024.

Did J. K. Rowling consult on the creation of Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience?

As creator of the wizarding world and one of the world’s greatest storytellers, J.K. Rowling’s extraordinary body of writing is the foundation of all projects in the Wizarding World. Although she personally was not directly involved in developing this Experience, the event creators worked very closely with her team to bring it to life and ensure it is in line with the creativity and magic that fans expect.

What time should I arrive?

Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled start time. This is to ensure you have enough time to check-in before entering the experience.

What time does the village and experience close?

The village will close 90 minutes after the final session starts.

Will restrooms be available on site?

Yes, there will be restrooms available on-site.

Will it be scary?

This is a family experience; however, elements may be perceived as a little spooky for certain individuals. If you have arachnophobia, please let us know when you arrive, and we can make sure that we accommodate any needs to avoid spiders.

What is the minimum age?

There is no minimum however, given it is a lit trail at night, containing magical creatures from the film series, some younger Guests might find elements a little bit spooky. We recommend that all children under the age of 12 years old be accompanied by an adult.

Do you provide free tickets for young children?

Absolutely, children 2 and under can come enjoy the trail for free.

What is the dress code?

Please remember this is an outdoor winter trail; most of the trail is paved, however we strongly recommend you wear sensible outdoor shoes for uneven terrain and that you dress warmly. 

What if it rains?

This is an outdoor trail and will go ahead even if there is rain. Guests are encouraged to dress appropriately and can bring small personal umbrellas. Large golf style umbrellas are not permitted.

Can I take photos of the experience?

Absolutely! We encourage Guests to take photos throughout the experience. Don’t forget to share your best photos on social media using the hashtag #HPForbiddenForestExperience

Will I be in a group with other guests?

You will not be asked to join a group, but to follow the trail at your own pace.

Can I pay with cash at the venue?

No, the Forbidden Forest Experience is a cashless site.

Do I need a wand?

No wands are needed to enjoy this event. You will get to cast your own patronus with one of our beautiful wands inspired by the Wizarding World.

Tickets

Where can I get tickets?

All tickets must be pre-purchased ahead of time through one of the following three channels:

How much will it cost?

Tickets will be available for purchase from December 19, with prices starting at $56 for adults and $41 for children. You can read more about the experience here hpforbiddenforestexperience.com/melbourne.

Can I reschedule my tickets to another date/time, or upgrade/downgrade my ticket?

We may be able to help reschedule or exchange your ticket for another date, time or ticket type that has not already sold out. Please contact us for more information. Make sure to include your ticket order number.

Can I transfer my tickets to another person?

Yes, you can transfer your tickets to anyone for free. It is as easy as clicking "Transfer Tickets" on your ticket on the Fever App. Please contact us for additional help. Make sure to include your ticket order number.

What is your refund policy?

Tickets may be exchanged or refunded up to 48 hours prior to your booking. You can contact us and our user support team will process your request. Make sure to include your ticket order number.

I can't find my ticket. What can I do?

You can find your ticket with the QR code in the Fever app, within the Tickets section. If you don't have it installed, you can download it from Google Play and Apple Store. Remember to log in using the same account that you used when buying the tickets. If you still cannot find your ticket, please contact us.

Do I need to print my ticket?

No, ticket validation will be through contactless tickets directly in the Fever App.

Can I pay my ticket with cash?

Cash payment will not be possible. All tickets must be pre-purchased through the Website or APP.

Access

What happens if I arrive late?

While we do our best to accommodate, latecomers are not guaranteed admission. 

Are dogs permitted?

Only assistance dogs are permitted on the trail.

Are there any special effects or loud noises in the experience?

There will be lighting sequences created within the lighting design that will have some flashing lights contained within them, however, these will not be strobe lighting. We have worked to guidelines on photosensitive epilepsy and will adhere to the industry standard of synchronizing effects and locking the sequences to ensure that lights do not operate at more than 5 flashes per second.

Is there parking available?

Parking is available for $11.00 if you book ahead of time online. At arrival, follow the signs and directions of our staff. Premium Parking, located adjacent to our village, is available to purchase online from $27.00.  

How do I pay for parking?

Parking can be paid for in advance here from $11.00. It is strongly recommended that you book this option at the same time as your entry ticket, as parking is limited and only those with a parking ticket will be able to access the experience by car. Limited parking may also be available onsite for $16.00. If you have any questions or are experiencing any issues, please contact the customer care team at access_thebriars@feverup.com.

How do I reserve a disabled parking space?

These are available to anyone booking/bringing a motorized scooter or with a placard or need. Please, send us your registration plate and/or placard number to access_thebriars@feverup.com and we will take care of this for you.

I am a wheelchair user, is the trail suitable for me?

While we always work to ensure the pathways are flat, the trail has a variety of natural and man-made surfaces and guests should expect that the surface may be uneven in areas. It also must be noted that there are sections of incline/decline throughout the trail. If you might need some clarification about accessibility of the experience, please contact access_thebriars@feverup.com, and we can discuss how you may best enjoy the trail.

Do you offer carer tickets?

Guests requiring assistance throughout this experience are entitled to apply for one free pass for their personal assistant/support worker at the entrance of the venue.

Can I use my own motorized scooter on the trail?

We have ensured that the trail is accessible throughout, and you are welcome to bring your own scooter.

Are strollers / prams allowed?

Yes, strollers and prams are welcome. However, they must be capable in 'all terrain', as the trail has a variety of natural and man-made surfaces.

What if someone has an invisible disability?

We encourage people with invisible disabilities to let our on-site team know if they need help to enjoy their experience.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS to The Briars, Mount Martha:  

You can leave Melbourne and be in the heart of the Mornington Peninsula’s hinterland in about an hour. It couldn’t be a more relaxing, pleasant drive. Whether you choose to take the coastal roads, the freeways or the seaways, you’ll be gifted with superb views en route.

The best way to explore here is to drive yourself. From Eastlink at Carrum Downs, the Peninsula Link will conveniently take you to the heart of the Mornington Peninsula, ending at Mount Martha. The majority of roads throughout the region are well maintained and clearly numbered. GPS can be misleading, and it is always advisable to consult a map and road signs as you go to reinforce you are on the correct route.

Prohibited items:

  • Alcohol
  • Food
  • Audio recording devices
  • Drugs and drug paraphernalia
  • Flammables
  • Torches
  • Lasers
  • Professional cameras
  • Promotional items/unauthorized solicitations/vendors (including flyers, samples, giveaways)
  • Selfie sticks/tripods
  • Large golf-style umbrellas (small personal umbrellas are ok)

Contact details

Our user support team can be contacted in two ways:

Who do I contact about lost property?

Please email lostproperty_thebriars@feverup.com with any lost property queries. All lost items will be held on site until the end of the run for Guests to collect, or they can be returned at your cost.

The Briars – general information

Will the Briars still be open?

Yes, the Briars will be open.

Can I park at the Briars if I’m not going to the experience?

Yes! Let the parking attendants know when you enter the Briars and you will be able to access the other parking areas onsite without paying a fee.

Will the Sanctuary still be open?

Yes.

Can I still picnic / walk there?

Yes! You can picnic and walk at the Briars during the day.  Why not make an entire day of it and enjoy the Harry Potter experience in the evening?

Will Angus & Rose, The Briars Camp, Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society, The Briars Nursery and Visitor Centre be able to operate?

Yes! We are hoping the increase in visitation to the Briars will support the success of these businesses. We will be working with them to ensure the event brings positive benefits and doesn’t significantly disrupt their activities.

Last updated: 13 February 2024