Where to see Sydney's Vivid Festival of Lights and Sounds

Getting a spot to view Sydney’s infamous Vivid Festival of Lights and Sounds can be notoriously hard. With revellers flocking from all around Australia, and the world to bear witness to the spectacular display of creativity in the heart of one of the country’s most energetic cities. Picking the moment to visit, and the places to see can be crucial to enjoying this marvellous sight, without getting caught up in the craziness that is Sydney during Vivid.

Modern Contemporary Art Museum 



Sydney 's Vivid Festival of Lights and Sounds
Image Source from Flicker © Kevin Wong

The MCA is a no brainer for the Vivid spectacular, and is a good spot to wind down after a long evening trekking around this city. Outside is beautiful lights projected onto the entire building, inside marvel at the amazing collection, or head to the top for a great viewing platform for all of Circular Quay. With Artbar, and Graze running throughout the entirety of Vivid you will be well fed, and sufficiently entertained. Sip on a mulled cider whilst enjoying panoramic views and curated live art and music events. 
Local Tip: Avoid taxi’s during Vivid and opt for trains, and buses, as there are many road closures during this time. 

Glenmore Hotel 


The Glenmore offers a cheap, good quality meal, but the trick is getting a good seat. During Vivid it might be wise to book a rooftop table, with long wait times. Conversely, dropping in on a weeknight after work is a great way to secure an early booking and still see the lights turn on come 6pm. Dining at the Glenmore on any regular evening is a treat, with Harbour Views and cityscapes surrounding you how could you not love this down to earth pub? 
Local Tip: Hiring a boat on Sydney Harbour is another great way to see Circular Quay without the mad crowds, and is generally cheaper than signing up for a Vivid Cruise. 

Walsh Bay

Image Source from Flicker © Kevin Wong 

Head around Circular Quay to Walsh Bay and enjoy a more relaxed approach to Vivid. With fine dining, and Harbour Bridge views it offers a similar scene to The Rocks, but with much less people. Pop into Lotus Dumpling Bar for a delicious feed of Asian fusion, or venture back towards Mercantile Hotel for an old school vibe, with schooners of beers and great music. Walsh Bay, and The Rocks are both easy locations to avoid the mass crowds.
Local Tip: Staying in Circular Quay for a night might be pricey, but hotels like the Four Seasons have incredible views of the light shows in the Harbour.

Taronga Zoo 

Getting tickets to Taronga Zoo’s Vivid light show is a once in a lifetime experience. With incredible light shows throughout, telling an intricate, empowering and at times devastating story of the conservation status of many local and international animals. Witness brightly coloured Marine Turtles, Sumatran Tigers and many more brilliantly lit up art installations. Taronga’s place within Vivid represents the Zoo’s wider efforts at animal conservation. 

Local Tip: Pack very warm clothes, and snacks. Food can be quite expensive and the ferry ride over to Manly is always a chilly one.


This post has been brought to you by Olivia Bourke, a young adventurer from the GreatLost. Having been living in Sydney for a few years she is well versed in the sights and sounds of the city. Olivia is currently planning her next overseas adventure to Hawaii, as she is in need of some sunshine and R & R.
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