Let there be light.
This phrase takes a new meaning when you go down under to Sydney during late May / early June. The city literally comes alive with a kaleidoscopic look after sunset. Art meets science at Vivid Sydney – an annual festival where innovative light installations, grand-scale illuminations and projections create what is truly a modern wonder.
No exaggeration, but animated storytelling lights up Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and many other buildings and natural features in the city. Some of these also include Taronga Zoo, the Royal Botanic Garden, Circular Quay and Central Park. You can only visualise it when you click on this short video – and this is only a trailer of lots more that you get to see.
It is also the perfect time to be in Sydney. Why? The timing coincides with late-autumn / early-winter – the air is clear and crisp, and it’s neither too warm nor too cold. It is not peak tourist season giving you more than elbow room when you explore the city – and it is not difficult to get hotel rooms and tables at restaurants without prior reservation. The mood is festive, as tourists and residents walk around the city, enjoy coffee and meals together and watch the magic unfold around them. And come together to shake a leg or two each choosing their own music – at open air silent discos.
If you are still planning your summer holidays (for those in the northern hemisphere) next year, you may want to time it with Vivid Sydney.
* Schedule: Vivid Sydney usually starts in the last week of May and lasts till mid-June. Check the schedule at www.vividsydney.com for the year before making a booking.
* Getting to Sydney: The city is served by many airlines. You may want to consider Singapore Airlines considering their vast global network and multiple flight options. They have one of the best business class service but if budget is an issue, SQ is increasingly introducing Premium Economy on the routes they serve. For me, this is often a deal-clincher when choosing an airline.
* Accommodation: Sydney has something for every budget, but I would recommend you book one within walking distance of the Sydney Opera House. When I say walking distance, even half an hour does not seem much in Sydney at that time of the year.
* Clothing: Pack a jacket and a rain coat or umbrella. It can rain anytime at that time of the year. If even mild cold gets to you, carry a warm hat and gloves. In any case carry warmer clothes and sturdy shoes if you plan to visit other parts of Australia where it may be colder – like south of Sydney and the highlands.