The Best Things to see and do at Vivid Sydney 2023

  • Toddlers
    Preschoolers
    Kids
    Teens
    Family

Vivid Sydney 2023 is returning and we couldn't be happier because the lineup for this year's biggest light display is pretty incredible!

We truly cannot wait to see our glorious Sydney city lighting up again, quite literally. Spectacular light installations, live music performances and talks with some big thinkers to spark your mind are on the agenda for Vivid 2023.

Here are our picks for the best things to see at Vivid Sydney 2023.

When is Vivid Sydney 2023? 

Vivid Sydney will run from Friday 26 May – Saturday 17 June 2023 with a bustling program of free and ticketed events for you and the whole family to enjoy. The biggest drawcard at Vivid Sydney is the packed schedule filled with mind-bending light installations that push the boundaries of your imagination and perception.

Some of the most impressive artists in the world are preparing to showcase their talents at Vivid Sydney using innovative tech to broadcast their installations on bridges, the sides of towering buildings and around the corner on Sydney’s most iconic alleyways.

Vivid Sydney 2023 Locations

To really soak in the Vivid 2023 light installations you won’t have to search far—the entire city becomes one giant light bulb. Our best advice is to go exploring through either Darling Harbour, Circular Quay, and The Rocks, or Barangaroo as soon as the sun goes down to really feel the full dazzle of the light installations against the night sky.

When we say that Vivid Sydney 2023 is a city-wide event though, that's exactly what we mean. Alongside the main harbourside players, Walsh Bay, Carriageworks, Darling Quarter, Central Station and Sydney CBD all are set to be home to a plethora of artistic spectacles this year in celebration of Vivid—and there's plenty to see and do at all locations.

We’ve carefully perused the program to bring you our brightest picks of the best things to see at Vivid Sydney.

All the Vivid events listed below generally run from 6 pm until 11 pm, although it’s best to check the official Vivid Sydney website for details.

Hollywood Royalty Headlines Vivid Sydney 2023: Mike White and Jennifer Coolidge 

Hollywood royalty to headline Vivid.


Get ready for the most fun and vibrant Vivid Sydney yet! This year's theme, "Vivid Sydney, Naturally," is packed with 60+ cool talks, workshops, and immersive events. The cherry on top? An exclusive chat with "The White Lotus" mastermind Mike White and the hilarious Jennifer Coolidge!

Join these Hollywood superstars for a night of laughter and juicy stories at "Mike White & Jennifer Coolidge in Conversation." Catch them at the Aware Super Theatre, ICC Sydney, Darling Harbour, on Saturday, June 10th, from 7.30 pm to 8.45 pm. Grab your tickets on the Vivid Sydney website!

Vivid Ideas is also serving up an all-star lineup of creative leaders, like Baz Luhrmann, Esther Perel, Spike Lee, Margaret Zhang, and Jeanette Winterson. 

Vivid at Darling Harbour

Elemental

Elemental Darling Harbour Vivid
Bask in colours at Darling Harbour's Elemental.‚Äč


Elemental at Darling Harbour is set to be a spectacle of visual wonder that's guaranteed to be a real crowd-pleaser of Vivid Sydney 2023.

The installation takes us on a journey from the origins of our planet, through the ages that have defined our land and waterways and delivered us to the world we call home. Awe-inspiring special effects mix with an original soundtrack to showcase the awe-inspiring and magical moments created when these four elements are at work. 

Aperture

Aperture Darling Harbour
This celebration of NSW's natural landscape is set to be a highlight of Vivid Sydney 2023.


Inspired by NSW's many natural wonders that have been sculpted and shaped by the eroding effects of wind, water, and time, Aperture is an inflatable labyrinth that invites us to see the natural fractures of iconic landmarks like the Jenolan Caves, the Three Sisters, Australia Rock and the Royal National Park’s Instagram-famous Figure Eight pools.

Vivid Kids at Tumbalong Park 

Tumbalong Park Vivid Kids
Vivid isn't just for the adults, with plenty on offer to keep the kids occupied, too! 


Guaranteeing plenty of fun for kids as well as the adults at Vivid Sydney this year, round up the little ones and start your Light Walk journey in Tumbalong Park at 5 pm each Saturday during the festival.

Vivid Kids will see the stage will light up with free children’s acts ahead of a night of live music! 

Vivid at Darling Quarter

Spectrum of Happiness

Spectrum of Happiness Vivid
A swing set for everyone, Spectrum of Happiness is a highlight of Darling Quarter's Vivid offering this year.


The ultimate swing set, Spectrum Of Happiness enables you to create a beaming rainbow. As you sway, your movement activates the LED tubes and balls attached to each swing - meaning unbridled joy for young and old alike.

Tumbalong Nights 

Tumbalong Nights
Tumbalong Park is the go-to for free and eclectic contemporary music, nestled at the very heart of the Light Walk.


Don't miss 12 nights of free live music during Tumbalong Nights - free for all, and dancing is encouraged. DJs will keep the vibes high from Sunday to Wednesday nights and beloved Australian children's acts kick things off before the lights turn on, every Saturday from 5 pm.

Live music starts at 7.30 pm each Thursday to Saturday and Sunday 11 June, with kid's shows each Saturday from 5 pm to 6 pm.

Vivid at Taronga Zoo

Wild Lights at Taronga Zoo

Wild Lights at Taronga Zoo
Don't miss these stunning spectacles at Taronga Zoo during Vivid!


For an immersive experience that combines lights with nature, look no further! Wild Lights at Taronga Zoo allows guests to explore the Zoo after dark on an illuminated night walk, all while connecting with wildlife and conservation.

Inspired by the ancient and present wisdom of the oldest continuing culture on the planet, Australia’s miraculous and rare wildlife are transformed into magical light art sculptures never seen before. Explore this must-see after-dark experience and take in the best views of Sydney Harbour while you're at it! 

Vivid at Circular Quay and The Rocks

First Light

First Light Vivid
Singing, dancing and stories await at this unique Welcome to Country to launch Vivid Sydney 2023.


First Light is a very special opening celebration to launch Vivid Sydney. The showcase will be broadcast across the Light Walk on opening night and an edited version every night of the festival before Lights On!

Lighting of the Sails

Lighting of the Sails
A signature Vivid Sydney feature, the Lighting of the Sails will bring the Sydney Opera House to life, and light, once again.


Australian artist John Olsen’s vibrant paintings of life and energy within the natural world will illuminate the Sydney Opera House’s sails in 2023 as part of the signature Lighting of the Sails for Vivid Sydney. 

Waterfall

Best things to see at Vivid Sydney
A true spectacle to be witnessed during Vivid 2023, Waterfall is a work adorning the ASN Clock Tower in The Rocks.


Waterfall is inspired by the world-famous waterfalls found in South America and is set to be a true sanctuary amidst the middle of the Vivid Sydney Light Walk. The work sees 'water' flow via LED mesh with a digital spray and mist at the bottom, combined with a soundtrack that transports you straight to nature.

Supernova

Best things to see at Vivid Sydney
An explosion of light and energy, Supernova will be one of the best things to see at Vivid Sydney this year. 


Paying tribute to the journey and impact of stardust, Supernova plucks dormant stars from the skies and plants them at Vivid Sydney, ready for a show each night as they suddenly come to life and ignite First Fleet Park.

Barerarerungar

Best things to do at Vivid Sydney
Transforming the façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Barerarerungar pays tribute to the practices of Country through projection. 


Barerarerungar means 'Country' in Boonwurrung, a language from Kulin Nation, where artist Maree Clarke lives. This jaw-dropping projection features river reeds—a symbol representing safe travels and friendship adorning the iconic MCA façade. 

Vivid at Barangaroo

Infinity

Infinity Vivid Sydney
Infinity offers an immersive 360° experience that takes you on a magical journey through a hyper-real world inspired by Australia's natural wonders.


Through Infinity, you can escape winter in Sydney and be transported to a dream-like world where you can soar across snow-capped mountains, verdant valleys, and breathtaking sunsets before diving deep into the ocean floor to explore native marine life, birds, and more.

Fish are Jumping

Fish are Jumping at Vivid Sydney
Excited by the Light Walk, a school of fish jumps out of the water eager to play with passers-by!


A piece of Vivid Sydney that will delight adults and children alike, Fish are Jumping is an ode to the many strange little surprises in life that you notice when you fully pay attention to the world around you.

The Last Ocean

The Last Ocean Vivid
The Last Ocean features a massive tessellated 'ice sheet' that is made of reclaimed ocean plastic. 


Capturing the sublime beauty of Antarctica even as it melts and shifts due to warming waters, The Last Ocean is an ode to what we risk losing if we don't change the way we treat Mother Earth. Movement upon this expansive artwork stirs the seas—causing them to splash up and shift the ice’s shape and colour under your feet.

Vivid at Carriageworks

Carriageworks Night Market 

Carriageworks Night Market Vivid
This one-night-only event is a highlight of the Vivid Sydney calendar! 


Carriageworks' beloved Night Market returns for Vivid Sydney 2023 – a one-night-only event showcasing more than 50 of Sydney's leading restaurants, bars and producers. The Market will celebrate nature and champion locally sourced produce, all washed down with live entertainment and music 

Vivid at Central Station and The Goods Line

Waterlight Graffiti

Waterlight Graffiti Vivid Sydney
Check out this interactive light exhibit on The Goods Line Walk through Ultimo.


Pick up a brush, stamp or spray, and make your mark with Waterlight Graffiti - no paint required! This moisture-responsive LED board is inspired by the practice of 'dishu' in China, where artists paint ephemeral but elaborate water calligraphies on the ground that evaporate and disappear completely.

Eco

Central Station Vivid
Telling the stories of the surrounds of Central Station, Eco is a must-see during Vivid Sydney 2023.


Eco explores the history of Central Station, adorning its west façade and clock tower, from The Dreaming to now and beyond. This transportive work seeks to implore the thousands of people who pass through Central Station on a daily basis, to take notice of their daily commute.

Vivid in the CBD

Wynyard Tunnels

Wynyard Tunnels
Wynyard Tunnels are a must-see on any Vivid Sydney 2023 list!


A highlight of the CBD's Vivid offering this year, the unused Wynyard Tunnels of Wynyard Station will be open to the public, allowing visitors to experience the 900m Dark Spectrum - an immersive exhibition located beneath the bustling streets of Sydney's CBD.

This one-of-a-kind exhibit consists of eight rooms, each featuring world-class technology and perfectly choreographed lighting, accompanied by a dynamic musical soundtrack. Mimicking the stages of human life, each room is designed to represent a unique experience associated with a specific colour. It really is unmissable - get your tickets here

Other Events Happening in Sydney

Winter Festivals in Sydney
School Holiday Activities for Kids
The Famous Zig Zag Railway is Reopening


Have you signed up for our newsletter? Join ellaslist to get the best family and kid-friendly events, venues, classes and things to do NEAR YOU!

 

Reviews