Northcott’s guide to Vivid 2018

By Kate Reid, 8 May 2018 , Comments

Come Friday 25 May, Sydney’s most iconic locations will once again be bathed in a sea of lights to mark the start of Vivid.

This multi-award winning celebration of light, music and ideas is the largest festival of its kind in the world, and 2018 is an extra special year as Vivid turns the big 1-0!

To celebrate this milestone, the organisers has released a jam-packed program with over 90 stunning light installations, musical performances from local and international artists, and a range of inspiring talks.

For those planning on checking out all the fun and lights, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to Vivid.


Start by choosing a day and time that would be most suitable for you and your family. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, mid-week is probably the best time to visit.

Vivid – like any large event – can be a little overwhelming for some people. Family members and carers who are looking to reduce the stress on their loved ones should check out our guide to getting prepared for public events.

How to get there

Vivid attracts huge crowds, so it’s best to use public transport to get to Sydney. Many of the events are being held near accessible train stations like Circular Quay, which makes public transport the easiest option.

If you do prefer to drive you can access a drop off/pick up zone from Monday to Friday evening. Accessible parking for disability services and community group mini buses will also be available at designated locations. All spots must be booked by contacting

What to see

Snugglepot and Cuddlepie light installation – Customs House

While there are many light installations in the Vivid program, there is one in particular that is close to Northcott’s heart.

The beautiful sandstone exterior of Customs House will be lit up with two of Australian literature’s most lovable characters – Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

This spectacular light show has a special connection with Northcott, as upon her passing May Gibbs left the copyright of her works to Northcott and the Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

May Gibbs’ themed products will be available for sale outside Customs House and proceeds from the sale of these products will go directly to Northcott and the Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

Vivid Sydney Light Walk

Check out the colour and lights of Vivid at these accessible viewing locations:

  • Sydney Opera House – a managed area with seating will be open from 6pm each evening at the western boardwalk.
  • Overseas Passenger Terminal – an accessible viewing area will be available. Check the website for more details.
  • Darling Harbour – an accessible viewing area will be available. Check the website for more details.

Vivid Sydney Light Walk will also offer an interactive guest experience for small groups and individuals. From Monday to Thursday those who are unable to walk the whole distance of the Light Walk will be able to take a volunteer-guided tour on a Samsung device. For more information visit the website.

Vivid Ideas Exchange: ‘How Accessibility Makes for a More Liveable City’

There’s a range of talks on the program for Vivid, but the one we’re most excited about is ‘How Accessibility Makes for a More Liveable City’.

In this talk a panel of experts – including people with disability and experts in infrastructure, planning and urban environments – will explore why disability inclusion should be at the forefront of town planning.

The talk will address a range of subjects that relate to the creation of accessible and inclusive cities for people with disability. Tickets can be purchased here.

Tumbalong Lights

This magical inclusive playground features four interactive-play installations that will delight kids of all ages. Guests will be able to interact with the beautiful under-the-sea themed installations in this engaging and fun experience for children with disability. Low sensory sessions are available, along with a quiet chill out area. Tickets are limited, so if you’re keen to head along then visit the Tumbalong Lights website asap.

These are just a small selection of Vivid highlights. For more on each program visit:

Where to eat

With Vivid being held in the heart of Sydney there’s a wealth of dining options on offer to suit every tastebud. Enjoy harbourside dining near the Opera House, or head to The Rocks if you’re looking to embrace the history of one of Australia’s most beautiful cities.

For more information about Vivid Sydney, head to the Vivid website.

More information on accessibility, including an accessibility map, can be viewed here.

Related Content

Looking for a culture fix? Check out our guide to Sydney’s disability-friendly museums and galleries.

Check out our Events page to hit the town with Northcott.



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