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Your Complete Guide To Vivid 2018

Just incase you’re unaware the annual Vivid festival of light’s kicks off TONIGHT, Friday May 25, with Sydney set to shine brighter than ever before. The incredible light show will be in town for 3 weeks with this season being the 10th anniversary in Sydney.

And while most Sydneysiders can’t wait to get out and see the beautiful display, for some it can be a pretty daunting task! How do you navigate the crowds? How do we make sure not to miss any of the lights? What’s the best way to get around?

Well not to worry Sydney! We’ve done the hard work for you and created a complete guide to Vivid so that all that’s left for you to do is to go and enjoy it!

Where Will The Lights Be?

Let’s kick off with the most important piece of information! Where will the lights actually be displayed? And just incase you don’t have the time or energy to get around to all of the 100 light works on display this year, we’ve handpicked the top spots that are unmissable!


  • The Rocks - MUST SEE

The 1000 Cranes display created by Ambient & Co adds a colourful canopy of Japanese origami to The Rocks. According to an ancient Japanese legend, 1000 folded organs cranes is a symbol for hope.


  • Kings Cross
  • City And Surrounds
  • Darling Harbour - MUST SEE

The water of darling harbour will come alive as it’s lit up with bioluminescent creatures of the deep sea. This stunning display created by Oracle Liquid allows you to take a stroll through the underwater and get up close and personal with jelly-fish and deep-sea flora.


  • The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
  • Circular Quay - MUST SEE

At Circular Quay you’ll be able to spot the Lighting Of The Sails that’s sight to brighten up the Sydney Opera House with intricate patterns and bright splashes of colour. The imagery displayed on the sails this year is inspired by the Australian environment and is a concept designed by Jonathan Zawada.


  • Chatswood
  • Taronga Zoo - MUST SEE

Taronga Zoo is home to the massive animal light sculptures dedicated to sharing a story about conservation. This is a fully immersive show featuring some of the most beautiful but sadly endangered wildlife from the ocean, bush and forest. Of course, the only downside is that this is a ticketed section of Vivid. Tickets are ranged between $17 and $27 depending on your age and the day you go. But the beautiful displays here are worth it!


  • Luna Park
  • Barangaroo - MUST SEE

This is where you’ll the giant inflatable and of puppet that is six metres tall and covered in luminescent lights. The breathtaking installation is operated by a team of performers helping the creature to walk along the waterfront.



As always, there will be plenty of road closures and special event clearway parking restrictions across the city and so our advice to everyone is to leave the car at home and make use of the extra public transport services.

Six thousand extra buses, trains and ferries have been added to help the large crowds get to and from the event. For real time updates on all transport services and road closures you can follow, @BusesInfo, @FerriesInfo, @TrainsInfo and @LiveTrafficSyd on Twitter.

The Best Time To Go To Avoid The Crowds

Vivid is expected to be bigger and better than ever this year with over two million people expected to descend on the CBD tonight alone!

Every night for the next three weeks the lights of Vivid will be turned on from 6pm-11pm and so if you want to avoid the major crowds the best time to go is early during the evening on weeknights.

The Vivid Cocktail Trail

But of course if the crowds do get too much for you to handle you can always hop off the streets and into one of the many bars across the light trail for a vivid themed cocktail! Here are three of our favourites that are available throughout the festival!

The Vivid Cocktail

You’ll find this fruity and floral drink at Zephyr bar in the Hyatt Regency hotel on Sussex Street. It features lavender infused gin paired with blueberry syrup, butterfly pea, lemon and a dash of falurnum sweet syrup.

Vivid Dreams

Custom House is being lit up with lights but you can also get ‘lit’ here this year too with their vanilla flavoured drop made with Tito’s handmade vodka, vanilla Galliano, Bianco Vermouth and Absinthe.

Stars In Their Eyes

Head on down to the Three Bottle Man on Bulletin Place in Sydney to try something a little more sweet! This cocktail is like the drink version of an apple pie, combining salted caramel and banana whisky with Apple juice, chocolate bitters and garnished with a cinnamon quill.

Most Importantly, Have Fun And Be Safe

Extra police forces will be out on our streets and on the water to help keep things safe for all Sydneysiders across the festival so all you need to do is go out and have a good time! Enjoy Vivid everyone!

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