I’m a little late with my post as Vivid has now packed up and left town for another year, but this was such a lovely night out, I’ve decided better late than never.
The reason for my tardiness is that for the last few weeks I have been working in an aged-care facility caring for people with advanced dementia. In many ways it’s been quite heavy-going and having a night out at Vivid really has been a welcome change of scene. I could say it, ‘lit up my life’ but I’ll spare you.
On with Vivid…
Vivid at Taronga Zoo is the latest addition to the growing Vivid family, that birthed at Circular Quay and followed the harbour foreshore from the Opera House to the Harbour Bridge. Since it’s inception in 2009, this annual outdoor festival, where lighting is projected on buildings and installations, has expanded into other parts of Sydney.
And just as well. Because for the past few years I have attended Vivid at Circular Quay and while being incredibly impressed with the lighting and installations, the overwhelming and enormous crowds have made the experience quite challenging.
Vivid at Taronga is on a much smaller and more intimate scale, and I think, if you are viewing Vivid with small children in tow, is a much more manageable option.
We went on a week night that while winter, was fortunately, surprisingly mild in temperature. Our plan was to be there before nightfall to be ahead of the crowds but alas, we managed to be an hour behind schedule and therefore in the thick of it. Taronga Zoo is situated on a very enviable parcel of land that is accessed either by a harbour ferry or by driving down one of Sydney’s most expensive residential streets. We were driving so became caught up in stand-still traffic trying to get into the carpark from the narrow residential street.
Once at the Zoo, everything was very well organised and pleasantly, quite spacious. What makes this easier than walking through Vivid in the city is that pedestrian traffic moves in one direction so you’re less likely to trip over a stroller or become blocked by crowds moving in the opposite direction.
Another advantage of attending Vivid at Taronga is that it’s not overwhelming in size and with few crowds, can be enjoyed at a more leisurely pace. The Zoo’s eateries are all open providing places to sit, relax and refuel during the experience.
We wandered around the Zoo for a couple of hours, admiring all the installations and brilliant lighting effects. Our tickets also included a trip on the Sky Safari and while it was wonderful to view the Zoo from a bird’s eye view, this is where we did have to queue for about 20-minutes before sitting down in the cable car.
Our little guy enjoyed the hands-on parts of the exhibition as well as walking through matrix-like lighting. He was also thrilled to find some animals still up and wandering about their exhibits. I found Vivid at Taronga a lot more relaxing than Vivid at Circular Quay with its thousands of people and the stress of trying not to lose a child.
Vivid is certainly becoming more and more popular and it’s definitely been an excellent way of getting people out of their cosy homes on winter’s nights to enjoy our spectacular city and see it even more beautified with lighting effects and installations. This year 1.7 million people visited Vivid over the three-week period and that’s a 19% increase on last year.
If you want to avoid some of those 1.7 million people, try visiting Vivid at Taronga Zoo instead.
Taronga Zoo: Bradley’s Head Road, Mosman 2088