Have you heard about the Vivid Festival held in Sydney? Vivid Sydney has been held every year for eight years now. Vivid Sydney is where art, technology and commerce intersect. For more information about Vivid Sydney, which is currently on display until the 18th of June 2016, please click the link – About Vivid. This year though, is the first year that Taronga Zoo became involved, and hence the main reason for our family wanting to attend Vivid Sydney again. Taronga Zoo is also celebrating it’s centenary this year. The theme for Taronga Zoo was ‘Be the light for the wild’ which was a display of ten endangered species, including five Australian and five Sumatran animals.
The five Australian animals are:
The five Sumatran animals are:
The best way to travel to Vivid is by public transport as some roads are closed for the event. The nights are also quite cold so you need to rug up in layers of warm clothing and wear beanies to keep the heat in! There are various food stalls located in and around The Rocks, Martin Place, Campbell Cove, Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney Opera House, as well as numerous cafes and food outlets that are also located there with many open for business. Darling Harbour also has food and light displays but we didn’t have time to venture there on this night.
I suggest arriving early just before it starts at 6.00pm and grabbing a bite to eat so that you can walk around without worrying about being hungry and then having to wrestle the crowds to purchase some food. We arrived super early because we were first going to Taronga Zoo and caught the ferry which arrived at the zoo wharf 5.30pm. From the ferry drop-off point, there were buses to transport everyone up to the Zoo entrance. The Zoo entrance had a wonderful light show so you had something to view and take photos before you even entered to see the light displays inside the zoo.
It took us a total of about 1.5 – 2 hours to walk through the zoo and see all the light exhibits on display. There were many animals and light displays other than the 10 critical species but my favourite was the Sumatran Tiger! It was a different experience to visit the zoo at night rather than during the day and we found it quite magical.
When we finished walking and taking in the Taronga Zoo Vivid display, we caught the ferry back to Circular Quay and was greeted by the Vivid display in Sydney Harbour which was quite spectacular! The Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and Circular quay buildings were all alight, as were boats on the harbour which added to the magical glow. Our ferry had to stop momentarily on the water to allow another boat to pass so we had the perfect vantage point to watch the light show on the sails of the Sydney Opera House.
Once we arrived at Circular Quay, we decided to go for a walk to see the food stalls available in The Rocks. We had some delicious kebab sticks – one chicken, one lamb and one beef (we went back for another 2 beef kebabs as they were the best tasting – very juicy, soft and flavoursome) with rice and salad to share then some fresh cannoli for dessert! We then decided to go for a walk through The Rocks and then down to Campbell Cove where we found some food trucks and sampled some spicy fries which were very tasty (we needed the carbs from all the walking we had done and we weren’t finished yet)!
We perused the light displays in Campbell Cove and then headed up towards the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) which had a cool light display showing either paint splodges appearing at random onto the building as if someone was flicking a paint brush onto it or paint dripping down the front of the building – both effects looked amazing! We bypassed the smaller displays before the MoCA because we wanted to see the animated video displayed on Customs House. It was a short story titled “Sydney’s Hidden Stories” hosted by a blue-tongue lizard. At first we watched from afar viewing it on the building and then when it was finished, we moved closer and watched it via a viewing platform. The platform had screens placed in front of the building which showed you 3D images that you would not see unless you watched it on the screens – it made the second viewing for us even more enjoyable!
After we had watched the Customs House animation, we were tired and decided we’d call it a night – we had been out and about for about 3.5 hours and we hadn’t yet seen all of the light show! We decided we would come back to see the Royal Botanical Gardens and walk along Circular Quay towards the Sydney Opera House. What a nice way to Laugh, love, live! …and would be back to continue it again another night! I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the light spectacular that we witnessed and maybe it will encourage you to plan a trip and take in the light spectacular yourself – if not this year, then maybe another year!