Home Events The Largest And Brightest Vivid Festival In Western Sydney 2022

The Largest And Brightest Vivid Festival In Western Sydney 2022

by Jasbinder Singh
The Largest And Brightest Light Festival In Western Sydney 2022

The iconic festival of light, music, and ideas, Vivid Sydney festival, will return in 2022 Australia’s favourite light show will transform the town into a fairytale wonderland by lighting up buildings and historic laneways.

The Story of Vivid Sydney

Vivid Sydney is a 23-day and night-long celebration of creativity, innovation, and technology that transforms Sydney. Vivid Sydney, which will be held for the 12th time in 2022, combines mesmerising art displays and 3D light projections with exhilarating live music performances and deep-dive discussions from some of the world’s brightest minds, as well as the Sydney Opera House Lighting of the Sails. Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, owns, manages, and produces Vivid Sydney.

SYDNEY, March 16, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Destination New South Wales (NSW) is pleased to announce the programme lineup for Vivid Sydney 2022. From Friday 27 May to Saturday 18 June, Vivid Sydney 2022 will transform Sydney into an illuminating fusion of creativity, innovation, and technology, with over 200+ events celebrating the essence of Sydney’s soul, including its diversity, beauty, resilience, First Nations culture, and vibrant creative community.

“The Vivid Sydney 2022 programme is bursting with new events, venues, performances, and experiences, providing even more reasons to visit time and again,” said Stuart Ayres, Minister for Enterprise, Investment, and Trade, Minister for Tourism and Sport, and Minister for Western Sydney. This year celebrating the festival’s 12th anniversary, the lineup is bigger, brighter, and more brilliant than ever.

Along with the city’s NYE celebrations, the festival is a spectacle of light, music, and ideas that has quickly become one of Sydney’s most popular events. It’s easy to see why, with something for everyone from families to art lovers to all kinds of creators.

The Light Walk returns this year, bigger and better than ever, stretching from the waterfront all the way to Central Station. A continuous 8-kilometre trail with 47 installations and projections on popular landmarks along the way!

After more than a decade of attending the Vivid Festival, I’ve compiled my best tips for surviving the crowds and getting the best views of one of Australia’s most popular festivals’ amazing light installations.

While the festival is best known for its spectacular light show, it is also worth attending some of the program’s talks, films, and performances.

After missing out on the bigger event last year, this year’s event will benefit from some advance planning if you want to see as much as possible.

What are the best viewing locations for the Vivid Light show?

Earth Deities

Vivid Light is the Southern Hemisphere’s largest light festival, and while it’s difficult to ignore the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge with their breathtaking installations, take some time to explore the other areas.

Apart from having fewer people, these areas have been just as good as in previous years. Customs House has always been a favourite of mine; if the crowds are too dense, you can get a great view from the Circular Quay station platform.

The primary installation areas are as follows:

This year’s Vivid Light Walk takes things to the next level with an 8km path connecting the Sydney Opera House and Central Station.

Along the length of the walk, there will be 42 installations.

Tips for Having a Good Time in Vivid Sydney

  1. Visit during the first few days if possible. The previous weekend has been a living nightmare.
  1. If you must travel on the weekend, do so later in the evening and on Saturday or Sunday rather than Friday.
  1. If you can eat dinner and go to the lights around 9 p.m., when most families have gone home, the lights will be turned on until 11 p.m. this year.
  1. Don’t forget about the areas outside the harbour; as the crowds grew, so did the locations, and there are now several areas to explore outside the Quay.
  1. Don’t try to see too much in a single night – you have three weeks, so a few visits are perfectly feasible for locals. If you only have a limited amount of time, look through the festival website for highlights and choose a few areas.
  1. If you’re going with children, consider going to the Taronga Zoo sessions rather than the city sessions.
  1. If you dislike crowds, consider taking a cruise; we’ve covered the best ones below.
  1. Bring your car to Vivid’s harbour area. It is made less enjoyable by road closures and crowds. If you do, pay a visit to Gateway at Circular Quay, which offers discounted parking during the festival.

Taking the Best Photographs at Vivid Sydney

Visit on Sunday or Monday and be prepared to stay the entire night.

If you can, get above the lights – Cahill Walk and the Observation Deck at the Overseas Passenger Terminal are both good options. I’ve heard that they may close this area to the public for security reasons, but I’ve seen a lot of photos taken from here, so ask when you arrive. The Harbour Bridge’s footpath provides excellent vantage points.

Look out for some of the photos walks if you are a keen photographer or want to learn more – they usually have the best locations sorted and will provide you with useful tips.

A few years ago, I did one with Canon, and it was fantastic.

  • Take a tripod and a manual camera with you.
  • Use the official hashtag #vividsydney to share your photos.
  • There are some important technical hints in this article.

Vivid Sydney Cruises

A Vivid cruise is a great way to see the majority of the lights in comfort if crowds aren’t your thing. There are so many packages to choose from that it’s difficult to know where to begin.

I’ve tried quite a few over the last decade, and I believe there are two major differences: the quality of the food and the route taken by the boat.

While most cruises follow the same route, one I took departed from near the Star Casino Wharf and did a pretty uninspiring run-up and down the harbour under the bridge without even getting close to the lights at Circular Quay or the Botanic Gardens, so pick your cruise carefully.

Major corporations have a well-known product and a reputation to protect, which they will not want to jeopardize by providing a poor experience. I’ve taken both premium and discount cruises in the past, and while the discount boats can be fantastic, they’re hit or miss, so if you’re only visiting Sydney for a short time, I think it’s worth paying a little more for one of the more well-known products.

I have included both types below so you can see all of your options and choose the one that best suits your needs. Vivid harbour cruises cost anywhere between $25 and $100. There are also private charters available.

Best Dinner Cruise option

vivid festival

Captain Cook most well-known in Sydney and the highest-quality cruise operator. They will provide a number of Vivid Cruises.

Dinner Cruise on the Gold Vivid

The Gold Vivid Dinner Cruise includes a 6-course degustation dinner, as well as a private bin and vintage wines from Penfolds. It will be an unforgettable experience thanks to the gold class personalized service, live music, and access to an outdoor open deck with a 360-degree view of the Vivid Lights.

Location: King St. Wharf No. 1

Date: 27 May to 18 June 2022, Sat-Sun, 7 pm

Dinner Cruise in the Starlight

The Starlight Vivid Dinner Cruise features premium upper-deck seating with up to 3 hours of relaxed cruising, as well as a 4-course premium menu, ideal for taking in 360-degree harbour views and the full canvas of Vivid Lights from the water.

vivid festival

Dinner Cruise in Sydney

Vivid Sydney Dinner Cruise offers incredible value for money, allowing you to enjoy the one-of-a-kind backdrop of Vivid Sydney lights while savouring quality contemporary Australian 3-course dining and live entertainment.

Location: Darling Harbour King St Wharf 1

Date: 27 May to 18 June 2022, Sat-Sun, 7 pm

Vivid Cocktail Harbour Bar

Vivid Cocktail Harbour Bar offers a sharing tasting plate of Australian cheeses, as well as one welcome cocktail and your choice of one house beverage.

This cruise has scheduled at 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm, allowing you to experience the unique perspective of Vivid lights.

Location: Darling Harbour King St Wharf 1

Date: 27 May to 18 June 2022, Sat-Sun, 7 pm

5 pm Dinner with a Special Twist

This 5 pm Vivid Special Dinner includes 1.5 hours of relaxed cruising with live music and a perfectly timed sunset, as well as a 2-course menu. Complete the experience by immersing yourself in “Ephemera,” Vivid’s new floating walkway with 200 larger-than-life, light-filled bubbles floating overhead.

Location: Darling Harbour King St Wharf 1

Date: Thu-Sun & Mon 13 Jun 2022

Harbourside Cruises – Best Vivid Buffet

Enjoy the Vivid Sydney Festival from a vantage point on a Harboursides luxury catamaran.

Your cruise includes the following:

  1. 2 Hour Sydney Harbour Vivid Sydney Cruise
  2. Delicious Standing Buffet – Grazing Station ( Selection of Canapes, Hot Dishes & Salads)
  3. Professional DJ playing your favorite tunes
  4. Complimentary Glass of Bubbly or Soft Drink on arrival   
  5. Cruise on Harbour Spirit a Luxury Catamaran
  6. Range of casual seating and standing options throughout the night
  7. Spacious indoor & outdoor decks for Harbour Viewing

This fantastic value cruise is currently selling for $45 per night, with two cruises over Vivid. The dinner menu is available online.

Departure Location: King St Wharf No 9 Darling Harbour

Date: 27 May to 18 Jun, Tue to Sun

Sydney Vivid Tallship Cruise – The Most Distinctive Option

If you have never stepped aboard one of Sydney Harbour’s two tall ships, now is the time.

These ships aren’t just for vacationers.

I’ve been on several crusades, and they’re a lot of fun.

Your cruise includes the following:

  •  1.5-hour Sydney Harbour Tall Ship cruise past the Vivid sites
  • A tasty meal served on board
  • Drinks included (excluding premium beers)

Departure Location: Campbells Cove The Rocks

Date: Every day between 27 May to 18 June – 3 departures per night 6 pm, 7:45 pm, and 9.30 pm

Journey Beyond – 3 Course Fine Dining Vivid Dinner Cruise

While enjoying a luxurious and intimate 3-course dinner cruise on Sydney Harbour during the Vivid Lights Festival, watch the sunset with its stunning pink glow over Sydney Harbour.

Your meal will be a regionally focused menu that highlights the multicultural influences that make Sydney cuisine so unique by utilizing a wide range of fresh and high-quality NSW ingredients.

The following items are included in your cruise:

  • On arrival, you will receive a complimentary cocktail.
  • A three-course dinner cruise that is both luxurious and intimate.
  • Sommeliers handpick a selection of beers, wines, soft drinks, and tea or coffee from some of NSW’s finest wine regions.
vivid festival

Departure Location: Towns Place Wharf, Millers Point

Date: 27 May to 18 Jun, Mon to Sun

Vivid Cruises on a Budget with No Meals

Vivid Lights Cruises by Captain Cook

Captain Cook Cruises has announced a new series of family-friendly Vivid Light cruises that will take in the key precincts of Barangaroo, Luna Park, The Rocks, and Circular Quay, as well as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the sails of the Sydney Opera House.

Location: Darling Harbour King St Wharf 1

Date: Thu-Sun & Mon 13 Jun 2022, starting from 5:45 pm

Sea Sydney Harbour – Catamaran Cruise with Canapes and Drink

Enjoy the Vivid Sydney Festival from a vantage point on a boat cruising Sydney Harbour.

From an intimate catamaran with roaming canapes, take in the spectacular sights and enjoy picturesque views of Sydney’s cityscape and landmarks.

Your cruise includes the following items:

  1. A 1.5-hour cruise with an experienced skipper and deckhand/host
  2. A selection of canapes
  3. One complimentary beverage per person (beer, wine, soft drink, or juice) and the option to purchase more drinks onboard

Departure Location: Towns Place Wharf, Millers Point

Date: 27 May to 18 Jun, Mon to Sun

Vivid Sydney Small-Group Catamaran Cruise – Sea Sydney Harbour

Enjoy the Vivid Sydney Festival from a vantage point on a boat cruising Sydney Harbour. From a luxury motor catamaran with a maximum passenger capacity of 20, see Sydney and the harbour’s famous landmarks lit up with colour. On a small vessel, there are both indoor and outdoor viewing areas.

  • A 1.5-hour cruise with an experienced captain and deckhand/host.
  • Light refreshments will be served, including an antipasto spread inspired by Italy and bread rolls.
  • Each person receives one complimentary beverage (beer, wine, soft drink, or juice)

Departure Location: Towns Place Wharf, Millers Point

Date: 27 May to 18 Jun, Mon to Sun

Select a One-of-a-Kind Vivid Sydney Experience

Tour of Vivid Photography

This 3-hour walking tour from the National College of Photography is led by a professional photographer who will take you to the best locations to photograph the Vivid installations.

You will also receive a wealth of advice on how to take the best nighttime photographs.

vivid festival

The tour is designed to visit the locations at the best times, allowing you to avoid crowds and take home amazing photos.

I went on this tour two years ago and learned so much!

Departure Location: Towns Place Wharf, Millers Point

Date: 29 & 31 May & 1, 3, 5, 7-8, 10, & 14-15 Jun

Vivid Helicopter Flight over Sydney Harbour

If you want to experience Vivid in style, take this 25-minute scenic flight over Sydney Harbour at night for 360-degree views of the festival.

See Sydney after dark from above and be dazzled by the illuminated skyline aboard the exclusive twin-engined Eurocopter EC135 helicopter for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

vivid festival

For the best experience possible, this flight includes a photo opportunity with the pilot and aircraft, as well as commentary via BOSE voice-activated headsets.

Location of Departure: 472 Ross Smith Ave, Mascot

Dates: May 27 to June 18, Monday through Sunday

Vivid Bridge Climb

vivid festival

The Vivid Bridgeclimb is an unforgettable way to see the lights. The climb featured a flashing disco floor last year. There is no better way to see the harbour at night than during Vivid.

Look over the specifics here. These climbs do sell out quickly, so make your reservation as soon as possible to avoid missing out.

Package for Vivid Luna Park

This is a great option if you want to spice up your evening or if you are travelling with tweens and teens. A 3-hour unlimited ride ticket and a $20 food voucher will allow you to see the light show from the Ferris wheel and then ride all of the rides at Luna Park. This, combined with a walk back across the bridge, makes for a fun family night.

Vivid festival Accommodations

If you want to book accommodation in Sydney for the Vivid Festival, it’s best to do so as soon as possible.

Many of the budget hotels are fully booked by large tour groups.

If you’re having trouble finding a budget hotel, we have a list of our favourites that we’d be happy to stay at.

If you want to see the lights from above, hotels with a view of the Harbour are a good option.

If this is your first visit to the city, you may want to read our article on deciding which part of town to stay in based on your travel style.

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