The Ultimate Guide to Vivid Sydney 2019

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With so much to see, explore and do in Sydney, it really doesn’t matter what time of the year you choose to visit. Typically, tourists tend to favour Spring which runs from September through to November and offers the opportunity to enjoy Sydney’s glorious beaches, sprawling parks, spectacular scenery and cityscapes in the very best of weathers.
But since Australia’s winter months are far from harsh, the months of May through to August present a great time to visit this iconic harbour city too, with temperatures ideal for touring the city on foot, bushwalking, ice-skating near the beach (!!) and even heading to the ski slopes not too far away for a bit of skiing. Not only is this period off-peak making it much quieter and offering cheaper accommodation all round but if you have the good fortune to be residing in Sydney between the end of May and the beginning of June, you will be there for Vivid Sydney, a unique and breath-taking annual extravaganza of light and music with mind-blowing immersive light installations and performances by musicians renowned across the globe.
To help you make the most of what’s on offer during Vivid Festival 2019, we’ve pulled together this mini-guide to give you some pointers on what to see, when to visit and how best to experience this magnificent open-air gallery.

Vivid Sydney 2019

2019 marks the 11th anniversary of this fantastic festival and promises to be even better than any before. Running over three weeks from Friday, May 24th to Saturday, June 15th this free event offers light-based displays, installations and illuminations by a range of artists, alongside musical performances from acclaimed soloists and acts from across the globe. With events being projected, held and performed at the most amazing of venues such as Sydney Opera House, City Recital Hall, Carriageworks and the Botanical Gardens, this is truly a festival not to be missed.

With so much to see, this annual open-air festival can get extremely busy so choose your time and your route wisely to avoid the crowds. Lights are switched at 6pm each evening so be sure to arrive in good time: in fact, some of the lights come on at 5.30pm just as the sun goes down. Midweek tends to be the best time to visit with weekends being the busiest. If you happen to be arriving in Sydney towards the end of May, undoubtedly you will hit the festival in its full magnificence but at its quietest. And you will have the added advantage of accommodation being more readily available and potentially cheaper too.

As Vivid has grown, it has spread widely across the city, but the fantastic vibe remains. Vivid gets bigger and better every year and continues to draw visitors of all age groups from near and far, all there to soak up the atmosphere, gaze in wonder at the fantastic illuminations and laser displays and dine from the numerous popup food areas, restaurants and bars along the festival’s routes.

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The most spectacular displays are still to be found around Sydney Harbour when Vivid transforms it into a truly magical place with grand scale installations, light-art sculptures and installations – some in the most unexpected of places. Undoubtedly though, Sydney Opera House remains the show stopping masterpiece with nothing surpassing the magnificence of its sails illuminated in glorious colour as the installations change from flowers to exotic birds to slithering snakes and fantastic aboriginal art. This is the place to grab a drink from the Opera Bar, sit back and immerse yourself in the splendour of this awe-inspiring free display. And with the Opera House renowned for hosting outstanding and unique acts and performances from both Australian and international artists during Vivid, you’ll be there before the rush and right on site for your show.

Because of its size and significance, the Vivid Festival is a very carefully thought-out affair as Sydney wants you to enjoy its city and the event itself at their very best and not get snarled up in massive crowds and traffic gridlock. Get your hands on a map of the Vivid Light Walk, a route stretching for two kilometres which will guide you past the most amazing light installations from The Rocks past Sydney Opera House and through the Royal Botanic Gardens. With many of the light installations being interactive, you are guaranteed the most entertaining of evenings and with so much to see, you may well be wanting to return for a second night. Consider too a walk across Sydney Harbour Bridge: this will afford fantastic views of Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay from above and will also show the Harbour in its full vibrancy as multitudinous brilliantly illuminated boats give tours from the waters for people wanting to avoid the crowds on land and achieve the most sublime of perspectives on Vivid Sydney.

With Vivid Sydney’s spectacular installations stretching from Circular Quay to Darling Harbour and Taronga Zoo, there is in fact no better way to avoid the crush and experience all the festival has to offer than from the Harbour waters themselves. An evening cruise will give you the most relaxing of opportunities to admire the city’s glittering sights and the shimmering skyline reflected in the water. And with firework displays from 8pm on both the Friday and Saturday nights of the festival, the harbour waters are the place to be.

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At Karisma Cruises, we specialise in offering cruises bespoke to your requirements on our beautifully stylish vessel, the Karisma. Bring your own food and drink or charter us to provide whatever it is that you require to enjoy that experience of a life time on the waters of beautiful Sydney’s Harbour, with 360 degrees view of all that Vivid Sydney has to showcase. And with Vivid Sydney coinciding with the end of the financial year, what better way to reward your employees and show your appreciation to clients and partners you have worked with over the past year than a truly unique and remarkable evening aboard the Karisma.

For an informal discussion on how we can fulfil your requirements, please get in touch with us today.