Visiting the capital of New South Wales is always a treat, no matter when you go. However, for those who venture out over the months of May and June, there awaits something purely magical to behold. Each night, as the clock strikes six, the familiar sights of Sydney are transformed into a luminescent wonderland for those lucky enough to be there.
Now in its seventh year, Vivid Sydney illuminates the city with brilliant colours, as well as inspiring visitors through the sharing of art, music and ideas. For eighteen days, Sydney's night comes to life in a burst of light, and you don't want to miss it.
Voted Australia's Best Tourism Event in 2014, this year the festival runs from May 22 to June 8. Here's what you should be looking forward to in 2015.
Vivid Sydney is a celebration of the city's art, technology and creative industries and a highlight of the winter season in Sydney. Vivid Light features large-scale light shows, projections and art installations to take your breath away, with the lights turning on from 6p.m. until midnight, seven days a week.
You can't miss the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the iconic Sydney landmark painted with bright colours as it spans across the harbour. Unmistakable with its famous silhouette, the sails of the Sydney Opera House will also be lit up with the projections from Lighting the Sails.
The hugely popular Vivid Light Walk is back again this year, with an amazing collection of activations and installations across the city. See Sydney's pulsing neon red heart, or the giant Rococo pig as you stroll towards The Rocks. There is also the enchanting origami installation and larger than life glimmering crochet doll to add an extra touch of whimsy to the walk.
For those travelling with small children, bear in mind that each Friday and over the weekend the the Light Walk will be fairly busy, so set off a little earlier for a slightly less busy atmosphere.
Getting in earlier around 6p.m. when the lights turn on will mean it is easier for everyone to move around, although the large scale installations and projections do look especially spectacular against the contrast of the darker night sky.
Some of the best places to experience the Vivid Light display are along Circular Quay and The Rocks as well as the Sydney Opera House itself. You can always steal a kiss under the glowing lights of Bradfield Park beneath the Harbour Bridge, or take a spin out on the water with a Captain Cook evening cruise.
Vivid Ideas brings together inspirational speakers to share their passion and creativity with the audience. Like the Light Walk, a large part of the Vivid Ideas events are free, although you can purchase tickets for specific events through the Vivid Sydney website.
You can find the majority of the Vivid Ideas events taking place at the Vivid Ideas Exchange, held inside the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney's The Rocks. Vivid Ideas is the place to witness and take part in lively discuss and debates involving industry leaders in the creative sphere. Topics span anything from art to technology, design, performance, film and architecture.
The Vivid festival attracts incredible musical talent from across Australia, with live performances and luminary collaboration projects throughout the duration of the festival. Dance through the night with the Silent Disco where the only music to hear is the stomping of feet whilst festival goers listen over headphones, or hit the parties with rotating DJs and an unexpected salsa night at The Argyle.
No doubt one of the highlights of the music scene will be Vivid Live at the Sydney Opera House, where you can be transported during an evening with music legend Morrissey, or serenaded by the dulcet tones of folk singer Sufjan Stevens.
Whatever you're doing, make sure you're in Sydney for this incredible experience of sight and sound.
After exploring the lights, sound and thoughts of Vivid Sydney, retire to one of our 15 centrally located hotels in Sydney - ensuring you the perfect night's rest!