2018: Spotlight On Vivid Sydney Precinct, Darling Harbour

Submitted by Vivid Sydney

22 May 2018

Vivid Sydney meets the ocean. Welcome to Vivid Sydney at Darling Harbour, where you find yourself exploring the seafloor and all the creatures that accompany it.

This water-based installation with a technologically driven theme lights up the precinct with its breathtaking visuals and creative use of lasers and lights. The visceral experience will be both informative and entertaining, making it a Vivid Sydney precinct you really don’t want to miss.

Read on to discover more about the Vivid Sydney transformation of Darling Harbour.


Tumbalong Lights

Tumbalong Lights - Vivid Sydney 2018

With a focus on inclusivity and wonder, Tumbalong Lights is comprised of four intertwined installations which focuses on imagination, community and playfulness. Each installation has an oceanic reference, using dazzling lights, visuals and music to interact and mimic the unexplored seafloor.

For the second consecutive year, Vivid Sydney is working with Cushman & Wakefield as the festival’s Access and Inclusion Partner. The work is aimed at making public events such as Vivid Sydney more engaging, interactive and accessible for children with disabilities and their families. Beneath the Sea, Enchanted Garden, In the Scale of the Sea and Ride into the Night complete the four installations of Tumbalong Lights.

  • Beneath the Sea

Beneath the Sea allows visitors to explore the simple beauty of the seafloor in an all encompassing interactive experience. The scene of the seafloor is created using stunning illuminations of shapes and images to represent the bubbles, currents and basic life at the bottom of our beloved ocean. Visitors are encouraged to select colours and interact with the installations at their own pace, further promoting this idea of inclusion and playfulness.

  • Enchanted Garden

Enter the underwater paradise that is the Enchanted Garden. As visitors follow the pathway, guided only by illuminated sea plants, imagination and wonderment takes over. Fully accessible for all ages and disabilities, the installation creates an environment only experienced elsewhere underwater.  

  • In the Scale of the Sea

Acting as a giant interactive keyboard, this piece is aimed at representing the breathtaking visuals and sounds that the ocean bed emits. Each key you press releases a musical sound, accompanied by bright sparkling coral, starfish and sea urchins to add to the visually stunning landscape. The installation is suitable for all ages and disabilities, allowing everyone to experience the beauty and sound of the sea together.

  • Ride Into the Night

In a first of its kind experience, the Ride into the Night installation is your traditional roller rink with a twist. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the rink which projects an immersive aquarium setting on the floor, but all participants travel around on wheelchairs instead of skates. Those without a wheelchair will be provided with an LED illuminated one, and those who use a wheelchair are able to use their own.

Fantastic oceans

Bringing the mystery of the ocean to Darling Harbour, Fantastic Oceans will inspire Vivid Sydney goers through its dazzling light and laser experience. Vivid Sydney and award winning Oracle-Liquid are to co-curate Fantastic Oceans, instilling their core values of technological innovation through the creative use of lasers, lights and special effects. Bringing life back to Cockle Bay, the piece narrates a fascinating story of an underwater world not seen before.

In an experience that mustn’t be missed, Fantastic Oceans will animate sea creatures in an engaging and colourful display. The installation uses moving-head light technologies which rockets bright beams of light upwards like tall pillars piercing the Sydney night sky. Such technology emulates rays of light across the deep ocean fading into the abyss. The installation aims to mimic what happens in our unexplored oceans, using fountains and lasers to illustrate such bioluminescent wonders as jellyfish and bright corals. So take the plunge, and let Vivid take you on a journey to a world that looms below the crashing waves.

Australian National Maritime Museum

For the entire period of Vivid Sydney (25 May - 16 June), the Australian National Maritime Museum will remind visitors of the beauty the ocean possess, as well as galvanise the fight in conserving this ecosystem. Explore the deep and watch a 12 minute presentation curated by BBC Earth and Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II, confronting Vivid Sydney-goers with stunning images of such majestic beasts as the Humpback whale and Great White Shark. The museum is open from 9:30am to 5pm, with the projection displayed every night during Vivid.

Museum-up Late is a one night only experience during Vivid Sydney in which visitors are invited to be the first to enjoy James Cameron - Challenging the Deep exhibition. Visitors can relax to melodic ocean sounds amplified during the event, as well as be inspired by the words of a selected ocean conservation guest speaker. The visual stimulation of the presentation will resonate with most, highlighting the necessity for protection and safety of the ocean and its majestic creatures.

Sealife Sydney

Discover first hand the creatures presented in Vivid Sydney’s Fantastic Oceans by taking the journey through SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium. Expect Vivid Sydney sparkles and dazzling illuminating nt colours for will exhilliaret all those who are brave enough to share a room with such creatures. Open from 10am to 5pm, the Aquarium has something for every member of the family.

With over 13,000 different animals and the world’s largest display of sharks, Sea Life is the perfect activity before the bright lights of Vivid turn on at 6pm.


Thinking of heading to Darling Harbour for Vivid Sydney this year? Find out more about other Vivid Sydney precincts here and download the app here to plan your festival itinerary.



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