Sydney’s hypnotic festival of lights and music is back, and Vivid 2017 promises to be a more colourful affair than ever. Set to run for 23 nights from Friday 26 May – Saturday 17 June, Vivid Sydney will feature family-friendly installations and activities that children and adults can all enjoy. Here are our early picks for the top North Shore attractions this year.
1. The Concourse, Chatswood
Vivid Chatswood will light up the night with six installations this year. At the centre of the action is the Future City Smart City at the Concourse, which is a fusion of steampunk aesthetic and Japanese manga. There’s five other installations to explore, including the special daytime display Light Bounce at Chatswood Chase, where you can walk through a glowing forest. This is a brilliant option if you don’t want to drag the kids into the city late at night, and want a calmer more ‘family-friendly’ way of experiencing Vivid.
Where: The Concourse, 409 Victoria Ave, Chatswood
Don’t miss: Future City, Smart City installation
2. Taronga Zoo, Mosman
Take your zoo visit to the next level by getting up close and personal with huge, glowing animals! Be The Light for the Wild this year will feature everyone’s popular favourites (like the blue elephant and the orange echidna) plus the new additions of an interactive shark and a swarm of bees. You can easily manage a pram on the flat terrain, and the lights turn on and off early so you can work the trip around bedtime. Either have an early dinner at home, take a picnic or eat at one of the cafe options around Taronga Zoo.
Where: Bradleys Head Rd, Mosman
Don’t miss: The interactive Port Jackson shark installation that will try to eat you up!
3. Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay and Museum of Contemporary Art
The lighting of the sails of the iconic Sydney Opera House is always a jaw-dropping moment, and this year the famous shell shapes will come to life with fantastic mythical creatures from the mind of Ash Bolland. Pulsing sea creatures, fluorescent bird-plumage and iridescent plant life will invite audiences to take a unique dive into an indescribable world of colour and light during Vivid Sydney. The Audio Creatures will move and morph into each other across the sails, interacting with their environment and providing a view to remember from many vantage points around Sydney Harbour. Don’t forget to take in the nearby installation projected across the Museum of Contemporary Art, which will transform with Organic Vibrations, a series of constantly moving, transforming and morphing images.
Where: Bennelong Point, Sydney
Don’t miss: Dreamscapes, an interactive light display where you can add your own colourful signature mark to Sydney (Circular Quay).
4. Vivid Light Walk
Follow the The Vivid Light Walk along the Harbour foreshore and let the lights lead you around The Rocks, Circular Quay and through to The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. The walking tour will take you to around 70 installations, including a magic horse you can ride and Human Light Clock, which your shadows into the hands of a clock.
Where: Argyle St, The Rocks, Sydney
Don’t miss: Never Ends. When you ride the horse, something magical happens – everything changes and the lights on the platform spring into action, creating a fairy-tale setting for horse and rider as they swing into the night.
5. Darling Harbour
Watch the Magicians of the Mist emerge from the water in this pop-up water theatre experience. Besides the shimmering image, families can gasp in awe at fireworks, lasers, flame jets, and music in the show, while taking in the breathtaking water views and cityscape.Nearby at the National Maritime Museum, the gigantic wave-form of the museum roof in Darling Harbour is the canvas for Inspired by the Sea. This spectacular projection evokes the sea’s majesty and mystery and its power to influence artists, writers and collections.
Where: Darling Harbour
Don’t miss: Magicians of the Mist is the pick!