Vivid Sydney 2017 - Sydney CBD
Sydney CBD precincts - Circular Quay, The Rocks, The Royal Botanic Garden, Martin Place, Darling Harbour & Barangaroo South
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Special Event Information
Vivid Sydney 2017 is a 23-day festival of light, music and ideas.
Plenty of additional public transport services will run during the busier nights to help people travel to and from the Vivid Sydney precincts.
Large crowds are expected in the city throughout the event, especially on Friday nights and weekends including the June long weekend. Consider visiting during the week to avoid the crowds.
With extensive road closures and parking restrictions, the city is no place for cars during the festival. Leave the car at home and take advantage of the extra public transport services running.
You don’t need to see it all in one night – plan your visit over a couple of nights. Your Vivid Sydney experience starts at vividsydney.com/transport.
Vivid Sydney precincts in the city are best accessed by foot. The festival runs for 23 nights so don’t try to see it all at once!
On the busier nights when big crowds are expected, there are walking routes to help you get to the precincts from major transport hubs:
- Circular Quay East & The Royal Botanic Garden:
To visit Vivid Sydney’s most iconic and popular precincts, it’s best to go on a weeknight if you can. Catch a train to Wynyard or Martin Place (check out Martin Place precinct while you're there!) and head to Circular Quay via Hunter Street and Pitt Street. At Circular Quay follow the one-way path to your right along the eastern promenade to get to the Sydney Opera House and entry gates into the Royal Botanic Garden. After enjoying the Garden Walk you’ll surface at Bridge Street near the Conservatorium of Music where you can head to Wynyard, Martin Place or St James stations to get home.
- Barangaroo (South) & Darling Harbour:
Visit the newest precinct in the lively southern end of Barangaroo by catching a train to Wynyard and using the underground Wynyard Walk to conveniently take you directly into the Light Walk. From there you can enjoy the walk to Darling Harbour via King Street Wharf where pyrotechnics, fountain and laser displays will be showcased.
- The Rocks:
Catch a train to Wynyard and walk up George Street through First Fleet Park or via Argyle Street and the Overseas Passenger Terminal onto the western Circular Quay promenade to see the oldest parts of Sydney’s city and its iconic Harbour illuminated with colourful projections.
- Almost 3,000 extra trains will be running throughout the event, especially on the busier Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
- On weekends trains will run approximately every 5 minutes from 17:00 until midnight on the City Circle Line and every 7-8 minutes on Friday nights from 21:00.
- Plenty of additional services will also run on most lines. You can find all the details of extra services in the Trip Planner.
- Many Vivid Sydney events and installations are best accessed by train. The best stations include:
- Central for Central Station Clock Tower and the southern end of the Darling Harbour precinct
- Circular Quay (weeknights only) for the Sydney Opera House, Royal Botanic Garden, Campbell's Cove and The Rocks
- Wynyard for Barangaroo South and Darling Harbour, as well as Circular Quay, Royal Botanic Gardens and The Rocks
- Martin Place for Martin Place precinct, east Circular Quay and Royal Botanic Garden.
- Town Hall for the Darling Harbour precinct.
- Chatswood for the Chatswood CBD precinct. For transport information on the Chatswood precinct, visit Vivid Sydney 2017 - Chatswood.
- Please note that Circular Quay will be extremely popular during Vivid Sydney. On Saturday nights and the long weekend, trains will not be stopping at Circular Quay Station between 18:00 and 22:00.
- If you're travelling to Circular Quay during these times you can get off at Martin Place or Wynyard instead which are within short walking distance of the Vivid precincts.
Additional late night NSW TrainLink intercity services will run to help get you home. You can find all the details of extra services in the Trip Planner.
Central Coast & Newcastle Line:
- Saturday nights: An additional train from Central to Hamilton will run at 22:09, 23:11 and 00:15.
- Friday nights: An additional train will leave Gosford at 17:52 and arrive at Sydney at 19:16. Extra trains will also run back to Hamilton at 22:09 and 23:11.
- Sunday: Additional trains to Hamilton will run from Central at 22:15 and 23:15.
Blue Mountains Line and South Coast Line: services on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays will be increased from 4 to 8 carriages during key bump in and bump out times.
Trackwork is taking place during Vivid Sydney and may affect how you travel. Extra rail replacement buses will be on standby during all weekends to make sure customers can travel to and from Vivid Sydney events. Check trackwork service updates or use the Trip Planner to find the latest information before you travel.
Saturday 10, Sunday 11 and Monday public holiday 12 June – Long weekend major trackwork will take place on the T1 North Shore & Northern Lines, Central Coast & Newcastle Line and Hunter Lines.
- Buses replace T1 North Shore trains between Berowra and Hornsby and T1 Northern Line trains between Hornsby and Strathfield via Eastwood. On Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 from 21:00 until 01:00 each night buses will also replace trains between Epping and Macquarie Park.
- Central Coast & Newcastle Line: buses replace trains between Central and Hamilton, then continue to Newcastle
- Hunter Line: buses replace trains between Scone, Dungog, Telarah and Hamilton, then continue to Newcastle
Extra rail replacement buses will be on standby during the long weekend to make sure customers can travel to and from Vivid Sydney events.
Saturday 17 June – trackwork will take place on the T1 Western Line
- Buses replace T1 Western Line trains between Blacktown and Richmond.
- Central Coast & Newcastle and Blue Mountains Line trains will arrive into Central at platform 16 and depart from platform 18.
Sydney Buses will run extra services on major corridors to get you to and from the City during Vivid Sydney. On weekends, extra buses will run on major corridors to the Sydney CBD between 15:30 and 19:00 and extra buses will leave the city between 20:30 until 23:30
Many buses will be diverted until approximately midnight and use temporary stops due to road closures so make sure to check signage at bus stops and use the Trip Planner before you travel.
While roads are closed from 18:00 on Fridays and from 17:00 on weekends, bus services that usually travel to and from Circular Quay will instead terminate and start from Martin Place at Castlereagh Street and Elizabeth Street.
CDC Hillsbus will run plenty of additional services to and from the city on Saturday and Sunday nights and the long weekend on routes 607X, 610X, 620X and M61 to help you get to Vivid Sydney. Services run as frequently as every 5 to 10 minutes from 16:00 on some routes.
Services back to the Hills run till late and leave the City from the QVB or Kent Street.
Additional Forest Coachlines route 271 buses will run on Sunday nights, increasing the frequency from hourly to every half an hour. The extra services will run at:
- From Terrey Hills to Town Hall: 17:30, 18:30, 19:30, 20:30, 21:30 and 22:30.
- From York Street at QVB, Town Hall to Terrey Hills: 17:30, 18:30, 19:30, 20:30, 21:30, 22:30 and 23:30.
Ferries will be in high demand during Vivid Sydney and are likely to reach capacity early, especially on Friday nights and weekends so make sure to have a backup plan. Long queues are expected so consider taking one of the frequent trains or buses instead.
Due to the high demand, customers will be required to exit the ferry once they reach their destination. You will not be able to stay on the ferry and take the return trip. This is to make sure that everyone gets the chance to access ferry services. To find out when your last ferry service will be running, use the Trip Planner.
Ferries for Vivid Sydney ticketed events at Taronga Zoo: Services to the Taronga Zoo Wharf will be in very high demand. If you’ve got an event ticket consider catching a bus from Wynyard or North Sydney to the Zoo instead as Circular Quay wharves will be very busy and services are likely to reach capacity early.
For more transport information to the Zoo during Vivid visit Vivid Sydney 2017 - Taronga Zoo. Please note: there are no free ferry services during Vivid Sydney.
Additional light rail services will run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights increasing the frequency of services on the busier nights:
- From 19:00 on Friday nights and from 17:00 on Saturday nights + Sun 11 Jun, services will run every 10 minutes until midnight.
- From 17:00 on Sunday nights + Mon 12 Jun (public holiday), services will run every 12 minutes until midnight.
Light rail services run between Central Station and Dulwich Hill with stops at popular CBD and Inner West destinations. For maps and service frequencies see light rail service information.
Road closures will be in place in the Sydney CBD, Circular Quay, The Rocks and Barangaroo until midnight each night:
- Monday to Thursday nights: minor closures from 19:00 on George Street and Hickson Road north of Alfred Street.
- Friday nights: moderate closures from 18:00 north of Bridge Street.
- Sunday nights + Mon 12 Jun: major closures from 17:00 in place north of Bridge Street.
- Saturday nights and the long weekend: significant closures from 17:00 in place north of Hunter Street.
Visit the Vivid Sydney - Interactive Map for road closures details on each respective day of the festival and the closest transport hubs.
Parking restrictions: special event clearways will also be in place on roads throughout the Sydney CBD, Circular Quay and The Rocks from 15:00 until midnight each of the 23 days of the festival.
Check signage carefully before parking as clearways are no parking zones, even for residents and businesses with parking permits and Mobility Scheme permits. Vehicles left in special event clearways will be towed and a fee applies. If your car is towed you can call 132 701 to find its new location.
While roads are closed in Circular Quay on Friday nights and on the weekends, taxi ranks will be relocated to temporary alternate locations.
Friday and Sunday nights (incl Mon 12 Jun) a temporary taxi rank will operate from 18:00 and 17:00 respectively until midnight on Bridge Street between Loftus Street and Pitt Street.
Saturday nights (excl Sat 10 Jun) a temporary taxi rank will operate from 17:00 until midnight on Loftus Street between Bridge St and Bent Street.
Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 June (long weekend) taxi ranks located at the Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay will not operate. Temporary and alternate taxi ranks will operate from 17:00 until midnight at:
- Near Circular Quay: Phillip Street between Bent Street and Hunter Street (Chifley Square Plaza).
- Near The Rocks: Harrington Street between Essex Street and Grosvenor Street.
On Monday to Thursday nights taxi ranks will operate as per normal. Please be patient and considerate of others when waiting for taxis as demand for taxis will be high during Vivid and queues may be lengthy. For details of taxi networks servicing the Sydney area, visit NSW Taxi Council.
Many of Vivid Sydney events are accessible, visit Vivid Sydney Access and Inclusion for more information.
Patrons with accessibility needs are encouraged to visit Vivid Sydney on weeknights, when crowds are typically smaller. Limited accessible parking will be available in Walsh Bay, on Hickson Road north of Pottinger Street, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Accessible set-down and pick-up points will be available at:
- Macquarie Street near Sydney Opera House, East Circular Quay (drop-off only).
- Hickson Road between Pottinger Street and Pier One Sydney Harbour Hotel, Walsh Bay (drop-off and parking available).
A valid Australian Disability Parking Permit or NSW Mobility Parking Scheme Permit must be displayed in the windscreen to gain access to accessible parking and accessible set-down and pick-up points.
Accessible trips are shown in the Trip Planner with the wheelchair icon. You can select "accessible services only" in the Options to ensure you only see accessible services. Only trip plans with accessible train platforms, ferry wharves and buses will be presented. See accessible travel or download a transport app (select the "Accessibility" filter).