Vivid light festival attracts massive crowds in Sydney

In its 10th year, the Vivid light festival has switched on in Sydney.

As you walk around the displays and look up to the surrounding skyline, it's plain to see that organisers this year have definitely gone with the theory that 'bigger is better'.

The city's Circular Quay is home to two iconic structures: the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

No matter how many times I see that bridge, I'm always surprised at just how massive it is. During Vivid, its appearance is constantly changing. 

At the Opera House, the display is known as 'Lighting the Sails.' The unique building transforms throughout the evening in its display, which is entitled 'Metamathemagical' and designed by Australian artist, Jonathan Zawada.

Newshub Travel attended the opening night of 2018 Vivid Sydney, when it was teeming with massive crowds, something to keep in mind if you're planning on attending. However, crowds will likely become smaller as the event moves through its 23 nights of displays.

If you're staying in central Sydney, your best bet is to walk from your hotel or get a train. Most roads around Circular Quay are closed to traffic. 

The Sydney Opera House lights up for Vivid.
The Sydney Opera House lights up for Vivid. Photo credit: Destination NSW.

Although you'll will be drawn to the major displays on the bridge and the Opera House, my advice is to check out the many displays that are alongside pedestrian walkways around Circular Quay and the Botanical Gardens such as Harmonious Valley, The Bloom or He'e nalu.

Another way to see Vivid is from one of the many charter boat services operating in the harbour.

Sydney Harbour glowing.
Sydney Harbour glowing. Photo credit: Getty Images.

My cameraman and I spent the evening onboard a Captain Cook dinner cruise. The journey started as we left Darling Harbour, and despite it being late May the temperature was around 18 degrees - meaning it's more than warm enough to stand on the deck of the boat and check out the displays.

We then cruised around Circular Quay and towards Potts Point, while being served our three course meal. There's also an all-inclusive bar service.

The passengers onboard were mainly families or older couples, so it's a more chilled out way to see Vivid than joining the crowds.

Back on land, there's also displays projected onto most of the waterfront hotels and office buildings. Proof that this light show is taking over the city.

There's a reason Vivid has become the largest show of its kind in the world. It's massive, it's bright, it's fun and it's well worth a visit.


Newshub Travel attended Vivid Sydney courtesy of Destination NSW and Qantas.