Photo Essay: Exploring the Sydney Vivid Festival

Sydney Vivid Festival - Snakeskin on the Sydney Opera House in Australia
Sydney Vivid Festival - Snakeskin on the Sydney Opera House in Australia

The continuous sprinkle of rain did not dampen our spirits as we started walking to see the Sydney Vivid Festival.  In fact we hoped the presence of rain would reduce the size of the crowds that evening!

Sydney Vivid Festival - Snakeskin on the Sydney Opera House in Australia
Sydney Vivid Festival – Snakeskin on the Sydney Opera House in Australia

Sydney Harbour Bridge

We walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge to get to our starting point for the evening.  It really only takes about 15 minutes to walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge but it always feels much longer as there is such a fantastic view to be seen along the way so you end up stopping multiple times to just take it all in.

We had decided to start our Vivid Festival journey near Luna Park, where a tent had been set up where you can design the lighting scheme for the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  We stood in the queue for close to an hour, but it was worth it to see our children excitedly set up the lighting colours and effects and then watch them happen on the biggest canvas ever!  And fortunately the rain eased off while we were in the queue and never returned for the rest of the evening.

Sydney Vivid Festival - Lighting of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia
Sydney Vivid Festival – Lighting of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia

We thought about catching a ferry back to Circular Quay but the queue was so long and ferries so infrequent that we decided to walk back again…  I was not expecting to walk twice across the Sydney Harbour Bridge but as it turned out it gave us a great option to progressively watch the amazing projections on the Sydney Opera House.

Dawes Point and Circular Quay Foreshore

After finding some gourmet food trucks we stocked up on a yummy Mexican style dinner and were then ready to brave the semi-crowded Dawes Point foreshore area to view the light displays.  After having a close look at the massive illuminated inflatable rabbits we found a prime viewing spot to better view the projections onto the Sydney Opera House.

Our children’s favourites included the sequence where a tornado rips off the outside of the opera house, which then fills up with water with accompanying fish.  The outer space sequence also held my children fascinated for an extended period of time.  We then strolled along the foreshore area from Dawes point to Circular Quay and enjoyed seeing the various displays.

Sydney Vivid Festival - Colours on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia

Sydney Vivid Festival - Projections of the Sydney Opera House, Australia

Sydney Vivid Festival - Projections on the Sydney Opera House, Australia

Customs House

After purchasing the obligatory glow toys for our children we then went to see the projections onto Customs House and accompanying music.  The display was fabulous and we all enjoyed the music and imagery, which is designed to meld with the historic architecture of Customs House.

Sydney Vivid Festival - Customs House Projections

Sydney Vivid Festival - Customs House Projections

Sydney Vivid Festival - Customs House Projections

Sydney Vivid Festival - Customs House Projections

After a relaxing period of watching the displays we decided it was time to return to our accommodation at the Sydney Harbour YHA and get our children to sleep.  My husband took his camera up to the amazing YHA rooftop terrace and managed to get some of the best photos of the evening!  I can see why the terrace is booked out every year for New Year’s Eve…

Sydney Vivid Festival - Sydney Opera House Projections

Sydney Vivid Festival - Sydney Opera House Projections

Sydney Vivid Festival - Sydney Opera House Projections

Sydney Vivid Festival - Sydney Opera House Projections

Wrap Up

We all enjoyed our inaugural visit to the Sydney Vivid Festival.  The imagery and lighting was spectacular and made for a really different night out for our family.  Our decision to stay in Sydney that night meant that we had a really relaxed evening to explore the festival offerings.

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Did you also visit the Sydney Vivid Festival?  Or are you now inspired to attend next year?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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