One of the great things about a land of open spaces, with big back yards, and a love of tinkering, is fantastic christmas light displays. There's also a long proud tradition of it in Brisbane, with a city wide competition, bus tours visiting specially decorated houses, whole streets getting together to do special shows, and just general christmas cheer. Apparently official entrants can even get a break on their electricity usage for the month of december from the power companies. (Given that Mini Sal's setup had iirc 80Amps of circuitry installed, and he still couldn't use all the lights at once, getting a discount on power usage is certainly helpful)
Going on a tour is something my family has often done, and as I was actually at home this christmas, we of course went on a quite a few tours :) And this year, I even personally knew one of the entrants. Mini Sal, a friend from university's younger brother, had been talking all year about various projects he was working on, and about christmas lights, but it wasn't until almost christmas that I think any of us really realised just how far these little projects had gone!
My photos don't really do it justice, as the entire setup of lights was on some crazy number of independent channels, all synchronised to about 8 different christmas carols and rock songs. The lights danced, the lights shimmied, the lights sashayed back and forth across the house. He'd even set up a local FM transmitter so you could listen to the songs on your car stereo. There's a video of one of the classic "dancing christmas lights" songs on his youtube page He also got a writeup in Gizmodo!
The other photos are from some other houses we just saw while driving to and from MiniSal's place in Rochedale.