Sydney Lit Up: The Best Places to Experience Vivid

Where to eat, sleep and experience Sydney’s best light show

Vivid is the southern hemisphere’s largest outdoor lighting, music and ideas festival, and this is the eleventh time it has run in Sydney.

Running now until June 15th, every night from 6pm-11pm, these are the hottest places to view, dine and experience everything Sydney has to offer for the 2019 Vivid Festival.

On the Water: Vivid Sydney Cruises

There’s nothing like experiencing Sydney on the water, and no more so when the whole harbour is lit up for Vivid.

There are a number of vendors who are offering cruises around the harbour, from expensive, all-out inclusive options, to the basic fare, there’s something to suit everyone’s needs.

Vivid Sydney Cruises
Captain Cook Cruises if offering a number of different cruises to experience Vivid

Capitan Cook Cruises is offering a VIP, 6-course degustation dining option. Costing $199, customers will be treated to a 3.5-hour cruise around the harbour aboard a custom-lit vessel, 6 course degustation dining menu, accompanying Penfolds wine suited to each course as well as house spirits, local and imported beers, and on board entertainment.

If just experiencing the lights over the water is what one desires, opt for one of the Vivid Lights Cruises. A one hour cruise, as well as half-priced happy hour drinks, will cost $25 per person.

Or, splurge and hire a private cruiser yacht with Sensational Sydney Cruises. With space for 30 guests, this private cruise offers light canapes and unlimited drinks over the course of a 2 hour cruise around Sydney Harbour, bypassing sights such as Circular Quay, The Rocks, Fort Denson, Walsh Bay and Darling Harbour. Prices start at $2000.

Dining Spots with the Best Views

Use Vivid as an excuse for an amazing night out by heading to one of these restaurants that offer unprecedented views of the light displays.

Sydney Opera House vivid
The Opera House celebrates Australia this year at Vivid

Offering the best views of the Opera House is, of course, the Opera Bar. This year, the iconic sails of the Opera House will be lit up with an Australian botanic Flora display by Chinese-American artist Andrew Thomas Huang.

The Sydney Opera House itself also offers an annual Vivid pop-up bar, and this year, the theme is “Spellbound”, drawing inspiration from the Vivid program headliners, English alternative-rock band The Cure. The Opera House’s Northern Foyer has been transformed into a moody, neon-lit post-punk den, featuring skulls, glowing fruit installations, dark leather couches and long banquet tables.

Spellbound Sydney Opera House pop up bar
Sydney Opera House pop up bar “Spellbound” is inspired by punk

For Mexican flair and a set, three-course Vivid menu, head to Bar Patron in Circular Quay. Available between 5pm-6pm, for $35 per head and $10 margaritas, customers can expect a share-style offering, perfect for groups. It’s a very reasonable price for a pre-Vivid dinner before one goes exploring the city.

Barangaroo House vivid dining
Barangaroo House offers an impressive three levels of dining – choose an outdoor seat for the best Vivid views

For only the second time, this year’s Vivid lights will also include displays at Barangaroo. To dine under the lights, head to Barangaroo House and choose a seat outside on one of the restaurant’s three dining levels.

A Night’s Escape: Stay Overnight at Vivid

For a truly memorable Vivid experience, treat yourself to unique accommodation on the harbour.

Igloos on the Pier at Pier One gives guest the chance to literally sleep under the stars while viewing the lights of the harbour, with see-through igloos available for overnight stays or food and beverage sessions.

Vivid Pier One Sydney
The Igloos at Pier One; sleep under the stars and lights of Vivid

Complete with luxe furnishings and cosy cushions, this is an Instagram-worthy sight, that also offers a gourmet cheese and charcutier board and bottle of champagne. Price on request.

Vivid at Taronga Zoo
Asian Elephant light display at Vivid 2019

Taronga Zoo will also join in the light displays, with illuminated trails and moving animal projection shows throughout the zoo. All the light displays also highlights the importance of animal conservation, allowing for “wild species to make a comeback.” Stay overnight at the Zoo as a part of the Roar and Snore program. This offers guests canopy-style tents that give a safari feel, as well as intimate animal encounters and talks from zoo keepers. Prices start from $494 per person.

On the Bridge Itself

Experience the ‘high’ lights of Vivid and go to the top – by climbing the lit up, glowing Sydney Harbour Bridge with BridgeClimb Sydney.

Vivid Sydney Harbour Bridge climb
The “high”lights of Vivid

Wearing special flashing Vivid vests as you make the 3.5 hour climb up the bridge, guests literally become a part of the light display seen on the bridge.

On top of the bridge, there will be a 70s style flashing dance floor – and only a select handful can say they’ve actually danced 49 metres above the Harbour, while experiencing the best 360 degree views of Sydney physically possible.

Adult prices $268, children at $188.

Click here for the full Vivid Guide .

Zoe Bradbury

Zoe is a self-confessed health and fitness fanatic. She loves working out and being active, almost as much as she loves going out for brunch and eating avo toast. If she’s not in the gym, you’ll usually find her online shopping, buying something she definitely does not need, or updating her Pinterest board with travel and adventure ideas for the future. Her other loves include dark chocolate, coffee and cats, all enjoyed while watching bad (or really good?) reality TV

  1. Briliant Zoe, dad would be so proud, it was definitely worth reading all those books with you when i was young

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