Vivid is the avid Instagrammer’s dream festival – the harbour, the Opera House, the lights, oh my! To give your ’gram the edge, step away from the masses and capture the spectacle from another angle. These are our top Vivid vantage points.
Out of your hotel suite's window
Get a vivid view of Sydney’s light festival from one of Sydney’s top hotels. We’ve found the suites with the best views in town.
At a topnotch picnic spot
Though no longer operational, Kirribilli’s Beulah Street Wharf provides a great vantage point for enjoying the lights of the CBD. Access the wharf via a staircase at the end of the street and set up your picnic on the grass.
Beulah Street, Kirribilli
From the best seats in town
Bennelong is one of Sydney’s premiere restaurants and occupies a rather superior location – take a seat at the bar, order a cocktail and snacks from the Cured and Cultured menu, and gaze upon the sparkling harbour. Of course, if Bennelong has a fault it’s that from its position within the Opera House, it’s impossible to see the spectacle of the lit-up sails. A table at another Peter Gilmore institution, Quay, remedies that. Make an evening of it and try the eight-course tasting menu.
Bennelong, Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point; (02) 9240 8000
Quay, Overseas Passenger Terminal, Hickson Road, The Rocks; (02) 9251 5600
From the sea
Hop aboard a ferry from Circular Quay – the Manly and Rose Bay ferries offer an excellent perspective on the Opera House and the Harbour Lights, and you can buy a glass of wine or beer on board. Disembark at the other end or simply stay on board and head back to town. There are also dedicated one-hour Vivid Loop cruises that carry passengers under the Harbour Bridge and past the Opera House, Fort Denison, Luna Park and Pyrmont Bay.
Image via Destination NSW.
At an after-hours art party
On the last Friday of the month the Museum of Contemporary Art hosts Artbar, an after-hours event involving exhibitions, live acts and music that runs Wednesday to Sunday until 9pm during Vivid.
140 George Street, The Rocks
With a drink in hand
The Glenmore Hotel
Downstairs, the Glenmore Hotel in The Rocks is a low-key pub but head upstairs to the rooftop for gobsmacking 180-degree views of the harbour and CBD. There’s a good range of bottled beers to sip while the sun goes down and a retractable roof in case it rains, plus a menu of pub classics such as chicken parmigiana and a Wagyu burger.
96 Cumberland Street, The Rocks
Theatre Bar at the End of the Wharf
Make your way through The Rocks to the Sydney Theatre district. There’s no need to book in for a show when the view of the Harbour Bridge from the bottom of Pier 4/5 at Hickson Road, Walsh Bay, is so spectacular. Head to the Sydney Theatre Company’s Theatre Bar at the End of the Wharf for a drink and congratulate yourself on finding such a peaceful spot.
Pier 4, Hickson Road, Dawes Point
Main image: Destination NSW.