Where to find Vivid Sydney’s best views and photography spots in 2022
Where to find Vivid Sydney’s best views and photography spots in 202206 Jun 2022
With its dazzling light art, illuminated installations and jaw-dropping projections, Vivid Sydney is one of the most photographed events in the world. But how do you uniquely capture something that almost everyone else in the city is taking photos of, too? This year, seek out a different perspective. With tips from the Vivid Sydney photographic team, here’s our guide to capturing the city's soul from unexpected vantage points and photographer-approved views.
Watch from the water
One of the best ways to immerse yourself in Vivid Sydney’s bright lights is from Sydney Harbour. On the deck of a Sydney ferry you’ll get a prime view of the city skyline, and see the lights of Darling Harbour, Barangaroo, Circular Quay and Luna Park from a fresh angle. You can also book a spot on one of the special Vivid Sydney Cruises or get even closer to the water on a Moonlight Sea Kayaking Experience – paddling all the way into Darling Harbour’s glow.
Climb to new heights
Vivid Sydney photographer Demas Rusli’s favourite spot to take one-of-a-kind angles of the lights is from the Harbour Bridge Pylon. “From here, you're able to take long-exposure photos of the boats cruising past in the Harbour and it makes for some very interesting shots,” Rusli says. Climb a little higher and see the whole city illuminated on a night-time Vivid BridgeClimb.
Book a room with a view
Extend your Vivid Sydney experience into an overnight adventure and book a waterfront room on the Harbour for your own private viewing space. Why not secure an apartment in Kirribilli to capture Circular Quay from afar or make it a luxe staycation and check into the Shangri-La, Park Hyatt, Pullman Circular Quay or Crown Sydney.
Lavender Bay is the preferred perch for Vivid Sydney photographer Daniel Tran — head to this cute cove just north of the Bridge to grab a snap of Luna Park, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House all in one photo. Rusli also likes this side of the Bridge, “Milsons Point is really awesome to see all the buildings lit up in different colours and the big-picture view of the city from across the Harbour. We usually check out individual artworks/installations during Vivid Sydney but seeing all the lights from afar is also quite breathtaking.”
A spectacular supper
Dining at harbourside restaurants like Quay, Aria, Bennelong and Café Sydney won’t just give you first-class dining, but dinner here during Vivid Sydney will also provide a top-notch view. Snap away with your smartphone, framing award-winning plates and lit-up vistas of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. You can also book into waterfront restaurant 6Head for their immersive Vivid Sydney Experience, a multisensory three-course dinner with unlimited drinks.
Sydney’s sky-high bars are the perfect place to soak up the city’s spectacular sunset and twinkling Vivid Sydney. Ascend to the highest cocktail bar in the city, Bar 83 in Sydney Tower; check out 360-degree scenes from O Bar & Dining on level 47; colourful panoramas from Blu Bar on 36 at the Shangri-La Hotel; or Barangaroo views from Crown Sydney’s 26th-floor terrace bar, Cirq.
Hit the highway
Floating right above Circular Quay, the Cahill Expressway is a favourite location for Tran, “for a view of both the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge with ferries and boats on the Harbour”. You can also get scope of the projections lighting up the Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as bright Luna Park in the distance, all in one photo. There are multiple vantage points along the pedestrian friendly Cahill Walk, which links right up to the footpath along the Bridge.
A bird's-eye view
The Sydney residents that get to enjoy the best views of Vivid Sydney are the seagulls. But you can beat them at their own game by taking a Sydney HeliTours tour of the Harbour. For 25 minutes you will get to soar high above Vivid Sydney, capturing social-worthy shots that will be hard for anyone else to match. Or if you’d prefer to be up high but stationary, the observation deck at Sydney Tower Eye is the next best thing.
Walk with the professionals
If you’d prefer the pros to show you how to do it, grab your camera and book into the three-hour Vivid Sydney Night Photography Course guided by a multi-awarded professional photographer. They’ll take you on a bespoke circuit of the Light Walk and teach you all the creative techniques to make sure you capture the most spectacular photos of the festival. If you’d prefer to take your own route, read Daniel Tran’s nine tips for taking the best photos of Vivid Sydney.