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Your Last Minute Guide to Vivid SydneyJun 7, 2017


Let me guess. You planned on making the most of Vivid Sydney but with the release of the new season of Orange Is The New Black and the wretched Sydney rain, life got in the way. Now, you’re feeling like a darn fool because the festivities end tomorrow and you’re stuck pondering whether all those cat videos were worth your precious wasted hours *sigh*.

As Mrs.Doubtfire famously yelled, “HELP IS ON THE WAY Dear”! HCS have you covered with your go-to guide for catching all the highlights of the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas in just one night. Impossible? Never.

So where do you start?

Stop 1: Sydney Harbour Bridge at 6pm

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Start your evening off in style by visiting the colourful displays of the bridge. There are vessels moving across the water putting on a show in a synchronised lighting display. The lights of the vessels reflect off the water and you could get your Instagram-worthy photo right there and then. Later, make your way south (towards Hickson Road/Circular Quay West) for your next stop. Of course, along the way you’ll have plenty of light shows to keep you entertained at Campbell’s Cove…especially if you’re into sculptures.

Stop 2: Sydney Opera House at 6.45pm

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There’s a live contemporary music program to enjoy while waiting for drinks and food at one of the many restaurants. If you’re with a group of indecisive friends who all shrug their shoulders and aren’t sure of where to eat, then this is the time for you to shine! Opera Bar has been a well-known favourite that won’t disappoint overlooking Circular Quay. Don’t worry, there are plenty of outdoor heaters to keep you warm and cosy to watch the lighting of the Sails.

Stop 3: The Rocks at 8.30pm

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Described as the ‘birthplace of modern Sydney’, you’ll be silly not to stop and enjoy the view. It can be one of the best places to watch the light installations and take some time to look around before you move along. There are plenty of interactive discoveries along the cobbled laneways, cafes and pubs too.

Stop 4: The Royal Botanic Garden at 9pm

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You may be a little overwhelmed with all the lights. Of course you are…where do you look first?! Where do you pose to add the next 10 second story to your Snapchat?! Well, The Royal Botanic Garden is the perfect place to take in the 360 degree views or take a panoramic photo. Creativity and interactivity is key in this section of your sightseeing tour and you’ll even get a bow from the sunflowers as you pass (you’ll get what this means when you’re there!).

Highlights to look out for (in this order):

  • SYDNEYLAND
  • The Sunflowers
  • inSight
  • SPREADING LIFE
  • You Lookin’ At Me?
  • Reflection

Depending on your mood – and how many blisters you have accumulated so far as well as your hunger levels – you can go down to Kings Cross for a meal along with one or two drinks… or the cheeky third.

Stop 5: Kings Cross & Potts Point at 10pm -10.30pm

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Known as ‘Eat the Streets’, there is a wide selection of restaurants to satisfy your hunger needs. Choices include Billy Kwong, Cho Cho San (ideal for bigger groups), Apollo and Fratelli Paradiso. After dinner and drinks, check out the Coca-Cola billboard that will turn into luminous lighting for the first time in 40 years. That’s something to Snapchat about, right?

So if you’re not ready to end the night just yet and if you’re up for a bit of music and want to check out some cool performers, then stay right in Kings Cross and have a listen to ‘Meet Us in B.E.D’ (which stands for Beats, Eat and Drink). Performance starts at 9pm!

Download the Vivid Sydney app if you get lost.

Last minute plans are always the best nights out, right? Well, if you can tear yourself away from Netflix, grab your friends and your poncho for a colorfully bright night!

So another year done and dusted, better be prepared next year…

By Sahar Nessar


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