Circular Quay and the Rocks

Short description

It’s all bustle and buzz down at Circular Quay, one of the great crossroads of the city. Ferries, trains, buses and light rail bring people from all over Sydney to work and play. This is Sydney’s dress circle, with the Sydney Opera House, Royal Botanic Garden and Sydney Harbour Bridge framing that iconic harbour view. Around the water’s edge are cafes, restaurants and cocktail bars as well as luxury hotels and the striking Museum of Contemporary Art. 

Circular Quay
Sydney NSW 2000
Australia

Tucked behind the western edge of Circular Quay you’ll find the maze of cobblestone laneways, century-old terraces and cosy pubs that make up Sydney’s oldest precinct, The Rocks. Think of this as the place where the city of Sydney was born and the soul of that early colony still lives beneath the stones. This is where early settlers put up some of the new colony’s first homes and businesses, and you can still find bricks hand-hewn by convicts more than 200 years ago. In amongst this living history is a thoroughly modern crop of stylish cafes, lively bars, quirky art galleries and chic boutiques. 

Circular Quay and The Rocks are always the stars of Vivid Sydney. See the city’s most iconic sites, like the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Customs House and the Museum of Contemporary Art illuminated by spectacular light displays. Inside these world-famous venues, Vivid Music and Vivid Ideas will inspire with creativity and innovation. Follow the Light Walk along the waterfront and connect with individual bespoke pieces that tell the story of Vivid Sydney. See the harbour itself become a canvas for the world’s greatest light show. 

How to get there: Trains, buses and light rail services from all over the city will take you right into the heart of Circular Quay. You can also catch a ferry from Manly, Taronga Zoo and Luna Park in the north, or along the Parramatta River stopping at Balmain and Barangaroo. The Rocks is just a short and picturesque walk around the waterfront. 

This is an image of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Circular Quay lit up during Vivid Sydney.

Light Events

88 Bars

For over 40 years, the Coca Cola sign on William St has been an unlikely Sydney icon. Consisting of 88 vertical neon tubes, this installation encapsulates...

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This is an image of the 88 Bars installation at the Vivid Sydney festival
Location: Circular Quay and the Rocks Price: Free

Our Connected City

Unite the city with light! Every day of the year, our city’s buildings stand on their own – with their own structures, identities, and street presence...

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This is an image of the Our Connected City installation at Vivid Sydney
Location: Circular Quay and the Rocks Price: Free

Ninget Universe

Artists: Luca French / Spinifex Group Spinifex Production Team: Jason French - Creative Director Will Skinner - Animation Director Melissa...

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This is an image of the Ninget Universe installation at Vivid Sydney
Location: Circular Quay and the Rocks Price: Free

Endless Love

Could there be a more powerful proclamation? A more enticing invitation? A brighter beacon of acceptance? This declaration of love embraces the city of...

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Endless Love
Location: Circular Quay and the Rocks Price: Free

American Express Light Lounge

The American Express Light Lounge opens its doors to AMEX Card Members from 5.30pm and general public from 8.00pm and returns to the Cruise Bar Rooftop. ...

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This is an image of people enjoying the American Express Light Lounge at Vivid Sydney
Location: Circular Quay and the Rocks Price: Free

GRAVITATIONAL GRID

This monumental work explores the phenomenon of gravity as a governing force that binds existence throughout the universe. Through light, sound and a multi-sensory...

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This is an image of the Gravitational Grid installation at Vivid Sydney
Location: Circular Quay and the Rocks Price: Free

Future Natives

Follow the Vivid flock along the Light Walk where you’ll spot stylised light sculptures resembling our native birds. This ‘birdwatching’ adventure...

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Future Natives
Location: Circular Quay and the Rocks Price: Free

First Light

Opening night of Vivid Sydney 2022 launches with First Light, a powerful acknowledgement and celebration of our First Nations culture shaped by Creative...

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First Light
Location: Circular Quay and the Rocks Price: Free

Earth Deities

Artist: Ramesh Nithiyendran (Australia) Collaborators: Mark Dyson - Lighting Designer - DarkHouse (Australia) Zoe Robinson-Kennedy...

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This is an image of the Earth Deities installation at Vivid Sydney
Location: Circular Quay and the Rocks Price: Free

Night Flight

Look up – in awe and wonder! For one night only over Sydney’s magnificent harbour, Vivid Sydney teams with Paramount+ to present the largest drone...

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Night Flight
Location: Circular Quay and the Rocks Price: Free

Music Events

Ministry of Sound – Testament 2022

Celebrate Ministry of Sound’s three decades at the forefront of clubbing and dance music culture. Over three specially curated nights, Testament dives...

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Ministry of Sound – Testament 2022
Location: Campbell's Stores Price: From: $80.00

1 4 All

This weekly series of four multi-faceted events laces music performances with live visuals and delicious dishes in a fusion of Sydney’s rich and diverse...

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1 4 All
Location: Since I Left You Price: From: $25.00

Link Up on Glass Island

What could be better than live music with fine food and cocktails on a boat cruise around Sydney Harbour? All of that enhanced by the panoramic lights...

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Link Up on Glass Island
Location: Glass Island Price: From: $30.00

Going Under: Culture Re-Set

Sydney based R&B vocalist, songwriter, movement artist and choreographer GLO takes you on a journey into black music, art, expression, and culture...

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Going Under: Culture Re-Set
Location: Mary's Underground Price: From: $30.00

Going Under: Bypass

True to her moniker, Deepa drops the deepest of grooves that make you want to dance. From left-field house to dub, dark to light, moments and sounds, this...

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Going Under: Drop-Off Zone
Location: Mary's Underground Price: From: $15.00

Ideas Events

The Future Sounds Different

Join us as we showcase the many Australian innovators who are changing the music industry. This collection of talks and performances shines a light on...

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The Future Sounds Different (2022)
Location: Australian Institute of Music Price: From: $22.00

GENEXT x VIVID IDEAS

Calling all bright young things! Get amongst this atmospheric festival-style ‘museum takeover’ created by young people, for young people! This one-night-only...

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GENEXT x VIVID
Location: Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia Price: Free event - registration required

Experience Summit

This cross-industry symposium explores the defining consumer and trade experiences from around the globe. From cutting edge innovators to disruptors...

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Experience Summit
Location: The Calyx Price: From: $490.00

Deals