Vivid Sydney returns for its 11th year to light up some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, with thousands of extra public transport services running to help get you to and from the festival.
Attracting 2.25 million visitors last year, large crowds are again expected to attend the largest festival of light, music and ideas in the Southern Hemisphere over its 23 nights from Friday 24 May until Saturday 15 June.
Returning precincts include The Rocks, Circular Quay, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Darling Harbour, Barangaroo, Chatswood, Luna Park and Taronga Zoo. Installations and projections at Argyle Cut, Campbells Cove and Hickson Road Reserve also re-join the program this year.
“All of the precincts are close to major transport hubs so take advantage of the extra public transport services available”, a spokesperson for the Transport Management Centre said.
In the city, lights switch on from 6pm to 11pm daily. Key roads in The Rocks and Circular Quay will close each night, with more extensive closures in the CBD from 5pm on weekends and the June long weekend. Roads will reopen by midnight each night.
Special event clearways will be in place from 3pm until midnight on most key roads in the city. Motorists should check signs as vehicles left in clearways will be towed and a fee applies.
“With road closures and parking restrictions in place each night, the city will be no place for cars so motorists should avoid the area. Anyone going to Vivid Sydney should take advantage of the extra public transport available”, the spokesperson said.
Almost 5,000 extra public transport services will be running to help get crowds to and from Vivid Sydney.
Trains to the city will run regularly on weekends, but will not stop at Circular Quay Station on Saturdays and the long weekend between 6:30pm and 9:30pm due to large crowds in the precinct. All Vivid Sydney Light precincts in the CBD are within short walking distance of train stations including Wynyard, Town Hall, Martin Place, St James and Central.
From Sunday 26 May, the new Sydney Metro North West Line will operate a high frequency turn-up-and-go service between Tallawong and Chatswood Stations.
“If you’re catching a Sydney Metro train to Vivid Sydney, change at Epping to connect with a T9 Northern Line train or change at Chatswood for a T1 North Shore Line train to the city. Stay on the Metro to Chatswood Station for direct access to Vivid at Chatswood or change to a bus to get to Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo”, the spokesperson said.
Extra buses will also run on major corridors to and from the Sydney CBD on busier nights. Many buses will be diverting and using temporary stops while roads are closed so check signs at bus stops for alternate stop locations and use the Trip Planner before you travel.
Ferries will be very busy during Vivid Sydney so have a back-up plan and consider alternative transport options as they are expected to fill up early.
“Vivid Sydney will be busiest on Fridays and weekends, especially the long weekend, so consider visiting on a weeknight to avoid peak crowds or plan your visit over a few days. Don’t forget your Opal card and remember to top it ahead of time to avoid lengthy queues at top-up machines”, the spokesperson said.
Commuters on their regular trip home from the city on Thursday and Friday nights during Vivid Sydney should allow extra travel time as public transport services will be busier than normal.
There will also be road closures and special event clearways in Chatswood on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights during the festival, while heavy traffic is expected on Bradleys Head Road, Military Road and Spit Road approaching Taronga Zoo.
To plan your trip to Vivid Sydney, go to www.vividsydney.com/transport.
GETTING TO AND FROM VIVID SYDNEY ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT
- Trains to the City run frequently on weekdays and every 10 to 15 minutes on weekends, with extra services scheduled. Check the Trip Planner for times.
- Extra trains will run over the June long weekend on the T1 North Shore & Western Line, T2 Inner West & Leppington Line, T4 Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line and T8 Airport & South Line.
- On Saturday nights and the long weekend, trains will not stop at Circular Quay between 6:30pm and 9:30pm so customers should use Wynyard, St James or Martin Place instead.
- On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, extra late night services will run on the Central Coast & Newcastle Line and there will be extra carriages on Blue Mountains Line trains.
- Trackwork taking place during Vivid Sydney:
- On Friday 24 May, and from Monday 27 May to Friday 31 May: Buses replace trains between Lithgow and Mount Victoria on the Blue Mountains Line. Bathurst trains run to a changed timetable. Buses replace trains between Lithgow and Katoomba between 9:20am and 5:30pm
- Weeknights: Buses replace trains between Bondi Junction and Central on the T4 Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line from 27-30 May between 9:45pm and 1:30am.
- Weekend of 25-26 May: Buses replace T1 Western Line trains between Emu Plains and Blacktown. Buses replace trains between Lithgow and Blacktown on the Blue Mountains Line. Bathurst trains are replaced by buses between Bathurst and Central.
- Weekend of 1-2 June: Daily until 2pm, buses replace the all-stations T2 Inner West & Leppington Line trains between Strathfield and Central, and trains run to a changed timetable and stopping pattern between Leppington and the City via Granville.
- Weekend of 8-10 June (long weekend): Buses replace T1 North Shore Line trains between Berowra and Hornsby and T9 Northern Line trains between Hornsby and Rhodes. On Saturday and Sunday from 11.30pm, buses replace trains between Hornsby and Strathfield. Buses also replace Central Coast & Newcastle Line trains between Central and Newcastle Interchange and Hunter Line trains between Newcastle Interchange, Scone and Dungog.
- Saturday 15 June: Buses replace South Coast Line trains between Bomaderry and Wollongong.
- The closest train station to the Chatswood precinct is Chatswood on the T1 North Shore Line and T9 Northern Line. Trains to Chatswood run frequently on weekdays and every seven to eight minutes on weekends.
- The closest train station to the Kings Cross precinct is Kings Cross on the T4 Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line.
- The best train stations for connections to Taronga Zoo are Circular Quay (trains will not stop at Circular Quay Station between 6.30pm and 9.30pm on Saturdays and the long weekend), Wynyard, North Sydney and Chatswood. From Circular Quay you can catch a ferry to the Zoo or from Wynyard, North Sydney and Chatswood train stations you can change to a bus.
- From 26 May, a high frequency turn-up-and-go service will operate between Tallawong and Chatswood Stations.
- North West Night Bus services will replace Sydney Metro trains on Sunday to Wednesday nights from 9:25pm at Tallawong and 10:10pm at Chatswood. The last bus departs Tallawong at 12:10am and Chatswood at 12:50am.
- Change at Epping to connect with a T9 Northern Line train to the city or change at Chatswood for a T1 North Shore Line service to the city.
- Get off the Metro at Chatswood for direct access to Vivid Sydney at Chatswood or change to a bus to Taronga Zoo.
- Extra buses will run on major corridors to and from the Sydney CBD on some weeknights and on weekends.
- From 6pm on Fridays and from 5pm on weekends (including public holiday Monday), roads are closed in the city’s north so buses will be terminating early, using alternate stops and diverting from regular routes until midnight.
- In Chatswood on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, plus Sunday 9 June, buses will be diverting and using temporary stops on Archer Street while roads are closed, until 10:30pm. Bus stops along Victoria Avenue at The Concourse, Westfield and Chatswood Chase will be closed from 6:30pm on Thursday and Friday nights and from 5pm on Saturday nights and Sunday 9 June.
- For anyone going to Taronga Zoo, catch a bus to Spit Junction in Mosman and change to a Route 247 bus that runs from there to the top gate of the Zoo, with extra services running on Fridays and weekends. B-Line services run every eight to 12 minutes to Spit Junction. A number of bus routes also run towards Mosman from Wynyard, North Sydney and Chatswood train stations. Route 238 buses will also run between Taronga Zoo Wharf and the Zoo every 10 minutes from 5pm until 10pm on Fridays and weekends.
- Ferries are very popular during Vivid and will fill from the early afternoon so passengers should have a back-up plan and consider catching a train or bus instead. In particular, anyone going to the Luna Park precinct should catch a train to Milsons Point and walk from there.
- Extra F2 ferry services will run between Circular Quay and Taronga Zoo but these services will be very busy and long queues are expected, especially on Friday nights and weekends. Anyone going to Taronga Zoo should consider catching a bus or catching a train to Wynyard, North Sydney or Chatswood and changing to a bus.
- Light rail is the best way to get to the Darling Harbour and Tumbalong precincts, with Exhibition Centre, Convention and Pyrmont Bay being the closest stops.
- Extra services will run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
- Trackwork taking place during Vivid Sydney:
- Weeknights: Buses replace services between Central and The Star from 11pm to 6am on Monday 27 until Fri 31 May and Monday 3 until Friday 7 June.
VIVID SYDNEY ROAD CLOSURES AND SPECIAL EVENT CLEARWAYS
- On Monday to Thursday nights, roads will be closed from 7pm until midnight on George Street and Hickson Road in The Rocks.
- On Friday nights from 6pm and Sunday nights (plus Monday 10 June) from 5pm, there will be closures on roads north of Bridge Street in Circular Quay, and George Street and Hickson Road in The Rocks.
- On Saturday nights, major roads will be closed from 5pm until midnight including most roads north of Hunter Street in The Rocks, Circular Quay and the Sydney CBD.
- On Saturday 25 May and the long weekend, there will be additional closures on Bridge Street, Loftus Street and Phillip Street.
- Special event clearways will be in place on most major roads in The Rocks, Circular Quay and the Sydney CBD each day from 3pm until midnight so parking will be very limited, especially on Friday nights and weekends.
- Due to road closures, access to some car parks will be restricted and some taxi ranks will be relocated.
- Roads will be closed from 6:30pm on Thursday and Friday nights, and from 5pm on Saturday nights plus Sunday 9 June. All roads will reopen by 10:30pm. Closures include:
- Victoria Avenue between Anderson Street and Archer Street.
- Anderson Street between Endeavour Street and Albert Avenue.
- Southbound lanes of Anderson Street between Help Street and Ferguson Lane.
- Traffic is expected to be heavy in the Chatswood CBD while roads are closed and on the Pacific Highway, Boundary Street, Mowbray Road and Fullers Road approaching Chatswood in both directions. Motorists are advised to allow additional travel time.
- Special event clearways will be in place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, plus Sunday 9 June, from 3pm until 10:30pm on sections of key roads including Victoria Avenue, Albert Avenue, Archer Street, Tulip Street and Daisy Street.
- No planned road closures will be in place around the Zoo but heavy traffic is expected on Bradleys Head Road, Military Road and Spit Road approaching the Zoo, particularly on weekends. Motorists are advised to allow plenty of extra travel time, carpool when possible and plan to arrive early.
- Parking at the Zoo is limited and will fill quickly so consider taking public transport.