If you are going to take the kids to see one thing during the Vivid Sydney festival, we highly recommend that you go to Taronga Zoo.
As part of Vivid Sydney 2018 (25 May–16 June), Taronga Zoo is running Lights for the Wild, shining a light on wildlife and conservation. The spectacular display of light sculptures features favourites from last year as well as exciting new additions. It includes ten giant light sculptures that represent endangered species and you can learn what Taronga Zoo is doing to help save these animals from extinction over the next ten years.
Some of the light sculptures have parts that move and others are interactive. (Make sure your kids have a turn of changing the colour of the chameleon.)
You will also be able to see lots of smaller lanterns made by NSW school students as part of Taronga Zoo’s Centenary celebrations.
If you are lucky you may hear some of the animals of the Zoo and even spot some, like this giraffe which came out for a stroll when we were there.
We’ve complied the following tips to help you have a relaxing Vivid at Taronga experience. Also, remember that Taronga Zoo is a not-for-profit organisation and by visiting the zoo during Vivid, you’ll be helping to support their important conservation work. Hope you and your family have a great time!
By public transport
The ferry from Circular Quay takes about 12 minutes. If you choose to catch the ferry, bear in mind that the ferry can get quite crowded during Vivid. Additional ferry services to Circular Quay and bus services to Spit Junction will be running from the zoo during Vivid. Visit www.transportnsw.info or call 131 500 for up-to-date information and timetables.
You won’t be able to use the Sky Safari from the ferry entrance but there will be regular Sydney public bus services, so please ensure you have your Opal card ready.
Parking is limited but it only costs a $9 flat fee. Car is my preferred mode of transport when visiting with the children, allowing for a quick escape when little legs get tired.
The Sky Safari will be closed for normal use; however, American Express Sky Pass holders can take a round trip from the top entrance to experience a bird’s-eye view of the zoo and the stunning city skyline.
Food and Beverages
Food and beverage outlets at Taronga Zoo will be open during the evening, as well as additional Vivid-only food and beverage pop-ups. Additionally, dinner sessions at The View restaurant are available to book as an add-on to your Vivid experience via Moshtix. If you pay with American Express you’ll get 10% off – just use the promo code AMEX at the checkout. Taronga’s retail outlets will also be open for gifts and other memorabilia.
Best time to go
I would strongly suggest avoid going on weekends, particularly the long weekend in June. Monday to Wednesday nights will be less crowded, so if you are going with little people I suggest you opt for an evening at the start of the week.
The zoo will close at 4.30 for normal zoo visit. The Vivid lights can be experienced between 5.30 pm and 9.30 pm, with the last entries at 8.30 pm. There are three session times:
Session 1: 5.30 pm
Session 2: 6.30 pm
Session 3: 7.30 pm
Last entry: 8.30 pm
The light walk will take 1–1 1/2 hours of comfortable pace.
What to wear
Vivid at Taronga is an all-weather event. Dress warmly or pack extra layers, as it can get quite cool in the evening. Also be prepared for wet weather.
You can buy tickets at the door but it’s best to pre-book your tickets to avoid disappointment. You can save 10% if you pay with an American Express card by using AMEX as promo code.
Monday–Thursday (excluding Monday public holiday)
Friday – Sunday, Public Holiday
Children under 4: Free
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