Did you know that more people will visit Vivid Sydney this year, from May 27 through June 18, 2016, than the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve? And the excitement and anticipation for Vivid Sydney continues to grow year over year. More and more Americans cross the Pacific Ocean to experience Sydney’s major events and this year Vivid Sydney runs for a whopping 23-days, allowing visitors to relax and plan to really explore all that New South Wales has to offer.

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Vivid Sydney started in 2009 to promote energy efficiency and now is the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas and attracts over 1.7 million visitors. This festival is also one of the world’s most important creative industry forums, mesmerizing free public exhibitions of outdoor lighting sculptures and installations as well as a cutting-edge contemporary music program.

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Visitors will watch in awe as the Sydney Opera House is transformed into an animated canvas of Australian Indigenous Art in 2016.  Celebrating Australia’s First Nation’s spirituality and culture through the songlines of the land and sky, this year’s Lighting the Sails is about painting and celebrating country through a pattern of sharing systems.

Once you have seen the Sydney Opera House, make your way to the Royal Botanic Garden to see the Cathedral of Light. Drawing inspiration from traditional arched windows, typically found in historic churches, the 70 meter long tunnel is illuminated by tens of thousands of LED light globes. Meander down to the Rainbow Dancers, which is an exploration of the world of simulation. As you walk through the installation, the lights respond by changing color, creating a rhythmic field of vibrancy in a live, participant-controlled performance piece.

The popular Museum of Contemporary Art Australia is transformed into a huge canvas on which the energy of the creative process is playfully explored. Each night the audience experiences a constantly morphing contemporary art installation-performance that gives a sculptural dimension to the museum architecture and utterly changes perceptions of the volume and depth of the building’s mass.

Enter the domed structure of the luminous, breathing Electric Jellyfish at Circular Quay. Here you can enjoy a multi-sensory experience created by breathtaking moving visuals integrated with an ethereal soundscape. Innovative technology delivers multi-directional sound and music of astonishing clarity, depth and detail.

Harbour Lights at Vivid Sydney. Vivid Sydney 2015.
Harbour Lights at Vivid Sydney. Vivid Sydney 2015.

Put on your walking shoes and discover the Vivid Light Walk, with more than 60 spectacular light installations, large-scale illuminations and mesmerizing 3D-mapped building projections to light up Sydney’s Waterfront.

If music is your thing, then concerts, show and tributes are also scheduled.  Acts include New Order and Barkoomba.  Visit the Björk digital exhibition to see the premiere of a new virtual reality project.  Visit Freda’s for tribute nights to Sade, Tina Turner and more.

At the Taronga Zoo, an illuminated trail comprised of giant animal multimedia light sculptures will celebrate its Centenary in 2016. The sculptures will represent 10 critical species from Australia and Sumatra that the zoo has committed to protecting.

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If you have ever wanted to climb Sydney Harbour Bridge, BridgeClimb Sydney is offering a Vivid Climb.  Available on all night climbs, put on your flashing Vivid Climb vest, climb the Bridge above the bright and bold lights before reaching an illuminated 70’s style multi-colored flashing dance floor where you can break out your best moves.

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Enjoy a spectacular view of the Vivid Sydney skyline from the colorful sparkling waters of Sydney Harbour as you cruise past the icons on a Captain Cook Cruises VividDinner Cruise.

Sydney is such as attractive vacation destination in itself, why not visit during Vivid Sydney and see this amazing city transform.

For a full list of events visit www.vividsydney.com.

Editor’s Note: Down Under Answers is a paid sponsor of Budget Your Trip.

Author: Bryan

Bryan has visited exactly one more country than his wife, and she won't let him forget it! Also an avid photographer, he enjoys entrenching himself within the local culture in order to learn more about the people of a place. He is the co-founder of Budget Your Trip, as well as a web and software developer with a passion for many other things. You can follow him on Twitter at @budgetyourtrip or on Instagram@budgetyourtrip.

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