Friday, 29 June 2018

Sydney - Vivid Lights Festival at the Botanic Gardens - day 2 PM

After my long day of walking around the Botanic Gardens and visiting a couple of Museums, Jose met up with me after work at Wharf 5 at the Circular Quay (ferry and train terminal).
We decided we would go to the Botanic Gardens to see the lights festival, so we walked towards the Opera House which was the nearest entrance to that area.

There were thousands of people in line to go into the park, and they had made it so that after seeing the show people came out through another gate, so it all flowed pretty well. 
Of course at the other end people were upset they weren't allowed in and had to walk further down to the other gate! Someone at the door had a click counter so I wonder if there were more than the 450 thousand visitors they had in 2017!
The lights didn't disappoint of course, you can see some of these photos I took on my morning walk without the lights on my previous post.

The 8 metre wide crocheted Hyperweb 6 metres up in the air, the sails of the Opera House, the city buildings...

The Nautilus Forest with 24 "trees" and 40 thousand lights came alive with the changing colours.

A lot of families were walking around with kids who were having a great time interacting with some of the displays, like the Aqueous (bottom right) where they could jump on the pathways and enjoy the changing colours and light intensity.
The 5 metre wide Bloom  (top left) illuminated with over 1000 bulbs could also be used to take a photo with your face in the middle, and Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, the May Gibbs book characters were also present.

Government House was the highlight for me, with the facade constantly changing with various motifs that celebrated Australia's art and cultural iconography. Sadly my photos don't do it justice.

When we left the Botanic Gardens at the other end we walked towards the Rocks area to have dinner.
On the way, just behind Circular Quay was Customs House where we stopped briefly to see the story of "Snugglepot and Cuddlepie" unfold on the facade. Written by Australian artist and illustrator May Gibbs about 100 years ago, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie are two little gumnut brothers who set off on an adventure to see a human, and on the way encounter other creatures.
If you have 10 spare minutes you can watch the whole show that a very patient person posted on youtube 😉.

Customs House and the story of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie

The Rocks also had buildings on the main street lit up, plus other fun installations and a few trees with either white, purple or blue lights - magical.

We decided to have dinner at Shiki Japanese restaurant, on the Clocktower building and were given a great table right by the window, from where we had the view below.
The food was fabulous, the service very good and professional, prices were above average but in keeping with the suburb.

Our various dishes

View from our table at the Japanese restaurant
The Clocktower building - with Shiki restaurant on the first floor, where the two arches are, and our table was the one on the left.
A short Youtube video of the Vivid Sydney Lights festival of 2018.


  1. Replies
    1. Obrigada Francisco, bom fim de semana para si tambem.

  2. Another series of brilliant Vivid images, it was a spectacular event. The crowds are a bit off putting but it's worth it. Your Japanese meal looks so good, you had a super view. Hope you have a good weekend Sami, I'm going with Aimee to the dreaded Ikea tomorrow 😱 xx

    1. Yes, it worth the crowds in my opinion. I love Japanese food, so the we had the best of both worlds. I love Ikea, but on the weekends there are far too many shoppers... enjoy it, lol.

  3. I like that Vivid has evolved into more than just clever lighting of public buildings, into light being art itself.

    1. An art and music show, although I must say with the noise of the people it wasn't so audible sometimes. Have a nice weekend Andrew.

  4. This is some incredible event. I would be mesmerized, but am not sure I would be able to put up with the bustling crowds. I'm so short, I would never see anything if caught in a wave of crowds.

    Your food look wonderful, well presented, and with a view that was magical. One thing came to mind. Here in the states, we call the first floor what I believe YOU call the ground floor. So it took a minute to find the "first floor" where you ate. Isn't English wonderful (grin)?

    1. At the events in the Botanic gardens people went past them mostly in single file so that they could all take photos, but I think in some of the others you would be lost in the crowd, lol.
      I learned something I didn't know Elizabeth about the floor levels, so for Americans we would have been on the second floor and not the first, that's funny. Have a great weekend.

  5. Oh Sami your photos do, do it justice. What an amazing thing Vivid is, it would have been such a happy evening. Sydney does put on a good show, starting with the New Years Eve fireworks and continuing all year!
    Wren x

    1. Thanks Wren, yes Sydney is the master of the lights shows!

  6. Wonderful light show they made there!

  7. That looks wonderful! The view from the restaurant really is winter-ly.
    Beautiful, all of it.

    1. Thanks Iris, it does look winterly with the twinkle lights on the trees.

  8. Dearest Sami,
    You surprised me with Snugglepot & Cuddlepie and of course I had to watch the entire video.
    So it also was May Gibbs 100th anniversary...
    Guess what, I went all over the house as in 1993 I did buy two of her cute books. But I have not been able to locate them yet... Made me sad! Can't recall that I've given them away; might have done so. Maybe even to our foster-daughter Anita for learning some easy English.
    But I've always loved them; so very special and fitting for Australia's Gumnuts!
    What a show that was and smart way to direct the people flow that way. Sure lots of walking for all included; either way.
    Your restaurant choice looked like a perfect pick!
    Sending you hugs,

    1. Hello Mariette, so interesting that you know the books and the cute characters, I only got to know about the author a few years ago.
      We love Japanese food and that restaurant was absolutely fabulous.

  9. Those lights are simply amazing.

    All the best Jan

    1. Thank you Jan, it was an amazing festival.


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