#VIVIDSYDNEY2017: Lights Camera City

Posted on June 11, 2017

It’s that time of the year again where the beautiful city of Sydney gets light up by colourful array of lights. Every year, people fly from all over the globe to catch a glimpse of the city in this magical display. This year, I’m one of the lucky ones that gets to experience this fascinating event in person. Here are some of my favourite illustrations + some tips for visiting them.

Lighting of the Sails: Audio Creatures (The Sydney Opera House)

The Bridge (The Sydney Harbour Bridge)

Let's start with the city renown landmarks: The Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Start off your Vivid adventure with these two and walk along the Circular Quay to see the other cool illustrations in the same area (The Rocks and The Royal Botanic Garden). A nice picture of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge can be taken from the Overseas Passenger Terminal. Many vessels moving across the water can also be seen in a synchronised lighting display.

The Sunflowers (The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney)

SPREADING LIFE (The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney)

You lookin' at me? (The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney)

Electric Forest (The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney)

Tidal (Loftus Lane, Sydney)

Freedom of Movement (Hickson Road Reserve, The Rocks)

We went to see the Vivid Sydney display around Circular Quay on a weekend so you can imagine how packed it was. It took us at least 30-45 minutes in the queue to get into the Royal Botanic Garden and some of the other display like the Freedom of Movement for a picture. And to answer your question, yes it was worth it in the end! Therefore, visit the display on a weekday if you can. You'll probably get a better picture without all the people (KIDS) walking into your shot or getting in your way.

Magicians of the Mist (Darling Harbour)

The Gift of Sight (Darling Harbour)

I'm not sure if it's because of the wind or if we were just standing at a wrong angle but we were quite disappointed with the water and light display (Magicians of the Mists) in Darling Harbour. We've went to see the display 3 times but each time the images were quite blurry and unclear. However, we have seen remarkable photos of them posted online. So, it's either we were just really unlucky or the people that posted them have amazing photoshop skills (you be the judge). This is the only display that I will recommend people to visit it either on a Friday or Saturday night as there will be fireworks displaying alongside the 7pm and 8:30pm show. However, there will be a show itself every half an hour from 6pm to 11pm every night. After watching the show, walk along the harbour towards the Chinese Garden of Friendship for the Tumbalong Lights and the Gift of Sight illustration. You'll probably need to queue up to get into the Gift of Sight exhibition but fret not as it doesn't take long to get in. Upon entering, you'll be given a small UV torch light (you'll have to return it back at the end of the exhibition). The torch is for you to shine on the walls to reveal the incredible artworks created with invisible UV ink inside.

Crossword (Chatswood)


Rainbow Bagel with Unicorn Cream Cheese (Brooklyn Boy Bagels, Milk N' Sugar) $10

Caramel Sundae with Dulce de Leche on a Kurtosh Doughnut Cone (Hungary Bites, Milk N' Sugar) $10

"Breakfast for Champs" Waffle Pop (Sugar High Desserts, Milk N' Sugar Reloaded) $9

BBQ Hot & Spicy Pork Belly on Chips (Tsuru Food Truck, Overseas Passenger Terminal) $14

Walking around makes everyone hungry, especially during the winter. There are tons of food trucks around the Circular Area but my personal pick is the Tsuru chips topped with BBQ Pork Belly. There were also a dessert festival (Milk N' Sugar/ Milk N' Sugar Reloaded) held on the first and second weekend of the Vivid event. The festival is filled with many mouth drooling and Instagram picture worthy desserts. My personal favourite out of all is the waffle pop by Sugar High Desserts.

Overall, the festival was amazing but the organisers came off a little bit snobby to me. I've posted a picture of the caramel sundae from Hungary Bites on Instagram and tagged them in it. One or two days later, I saw that their account reposted my picture but did not credit me or whatsoever. To be honest, I was a little bit annoyed by it but I've direct messaged them a friendly message to request at least a credit or tag in MY OWN PHOTO. They have seen the message but they did not seem to be bothered by it (no reply, nothing). I know that by posting on Instagram myself, they have the rights to do that legally but it would have been nice to just credit the person who originally took and posted that picture though, just saying. The funny thing is, they seemed to credit their other photos to their rightful owner except for mine.

Other Thoughts:

Until today, even I myself have not yet seen all of the Vivid Sydney display as there are just too many of them. However, I'll be posting more photos from the event on my Facebook and Instagram. The event this year runs from the 26 MAY – 17 JUNE. Have you experience Vivid Sydney yourself? If you have, what are some of your favourite illustrations from either this year's or the past's Vivid Sydney?

For more photos of the event and my travels, you can follow me on:

Facebook: Rubes Charles Leong
Instagram: heyitsrubes

For more information on the event:

Vivid Sydney website: https://www.vividsydney.com/
Vivid Sydney Accessibility Map: Click here