Resist the urge to hibernate this winter because Vivid Sydney is making a bold comeback! This festival of lights, music and ideas is set to illuminate the city with colour and creativity from August 6-28. With so many amazing things to see and do during this time, we’ve pulled together a list of the highlights and must-do experiences for Sydney locals and visitors alike. Whether you’re planning a full day in the city or are heading out after dark, here are some ideas on how to make the most of this year’s Vivid Sydney event.
With a full day of sightseeing ahead of you, you’ll need to be well fed. To fuel your morning, we’ve got some great brekky options in some of Sydney’s most iconic locations. You could enjoy a waterside Chandon breakfast in Darling Harbour or gourmet breakfast with take-home gift in Rose Bay.
If you’re planning a whirlwind visit to Sydney, a trip to Taronga Zoo is always worthwhile. This convenient package includes a return ferry cruise to Taronga Zoo from Circular Quay, entry to Taronga Zoo and a ride in the Sky Safari cable car, offering stunning views of the city and surrounding animal exhibits.
After your fun-filled trip to the zoo, catch the ferry back to Circular Quay and sit down to savour a sumptuous lunch at 6Head Sydney. Located by the water at Campbell’s Cove and offering sweeping vistas of Sydney Harbour, indulge in 3 delicious courses paired with a glass of wine. It’s the perfect way to debrief on the excitement of your morning.
Be sure to book yourself in for a wine and dine cruise during the Vivid Sydney spectacle. And don’t worry, we have something for all budgets. If you’re feeling fancy, treat yourself to a private harbour cruise or a Penfolds degustation dinner cruise. If you’re on a tighter budget, instead try our BYO catamaran cruise with snacks. The point is, the best views of Vivid Sydney are from the harbour itself. Some Sydney locals are lucky enough to take in the sights on the commute home on the ferry!
If you’re simply planning to spend a night walking around the city, there are a few locations you don’t want to miss. These include The Rocks, Circular Quay, Barangaroo and Darling Harbour. Head to the Vivid Sydney website for more details on the installations, but the Ephemeral in Darling Harbour (see pictured) and Symbiosis in The Rocks look like 2 experiences you won’t want to miss.
With all the excitement around the lights, sometimes people forget about the incredible lineup of musicians taking part in the festival. Book tickets to Heaps Gay: Queens Ball, a quintessential Sydney experience where you can dress up and party within the carny atmosphere of Luna Park. Or embrace the music of Latin American and the Caribbean at El Gran Mono meets the Inner West Reggae Disco Machine, and dance the night away within the historic Hyde Park Barracks.
While the lights and music are certainly impressive, the extensive program of talks and workshops is inspiring. From the future of filmmaking to discussions on masculinity and mental health– put your thinking caps on and make sure you leave time to catch a talk or 2. We suggest checking out actor, radio presenter and writer Jameela Jamil as she discusses body politics – and the need for the media to depict more diversity on-screen.
Make the most of the Vivid Sydney program and spend 2 nights in the heart of the action at The Vibe Hotel. Only a stone’s throw away in Darling Harbour, this is your perfect refuge as you explore the wonders of the festival and surrounds. Did we mention the rooftop pool offers you a spectacular vantage point from above?