Sydney: VIVID

Customs House
Customs House

Vivid Sydney is an annual outdoor lighting festival with immersive light installations and projections throughout the city. This year featured 91 light events. As we flew into Sydney after dark on Friday I looked for lights through the tiny airplane window. Standard city lights were all that I saw.

That changed the minute we emerged from the subway. A crowd was gathered to watch Sydney’s Hidden Stories play over ‘the facade of Sydney’s Custom’s House as Bluey, a cheeky blue-tongued lizard, leads visitors through fantastical landscapes of dragons, witches and wizards, grumpy gnomes and cocky cockatoos.’ (Vivid Sydney)

We grabbed dinner at The Rocks’ night market, popped in a German beer hall to avoid the rain, and spent the rest of the night wandering around The Rocks and Circular Quay watching and playing with the light art.

Opera House
Opera House

‘The Matter of Painting’ displayed on the Museum of Contemporary Art and ‘Songlines’ on the Opera House were obvious highlights. Six aboriginal artists transformed the Opera House sails ‘into an animated canvas of Australian indigenous art.’ (Vivid Sydney)

Between raindrops we interacted with some of the art, including Extrude- sixteen 10-metre posts that sit dormant until people climb in and around them triggering bursts of light that shoot up the columns.

Before we knew it, the festival was shutting down for the night. We didn’t know the weather would wreak havoc on our plans, cancelling much of the festival for the duration of our visit.

Dates: 3-6 June 2016
Travel with: Allen, Marshalls & Voos
Weather: wild, windy, & wet. Sydney’s worst storm since 1974. News encouraged everyone to stay home (except those who were evacuated)
Accommodation: Sydney Harbour YHA, The Rocks

  • Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Carriageworks market & art centre
  • Vivid precincts: Darling Harbour, Botanic Gardens, The Rocks, Opera House, Circular Quay
  • shopping
  • Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral
Customs House
Customs House

Food & Drink:

  • Dymocks
  • Cafe del Mar
  • Guylians
  • The Rocks’ night market
  • Espresso Workshop
  • Munich Brauhaus
  • El Camino
  • Royal Copenhagen Ice Cream
  • Hyde Park Barracks Cafe
  • Sydney airport Koru lounge

Transportation: Air NZ; Sydney’s user-friendly subway