Life Is Better On Top Of The Rocks

There are so many ways to enjoy Vivid Sydney at street level, immersing yourself in the many individual displays of light, sound and art throughout the precinct. However, to fully appreciate the scope and scale of Vivid Sydney, there is nothing quite like seeing the lights in their full panoramic beauty. And there is no other spot in Sydney which offers more spectacular vantage points than The Rocks.

Here are our top 6 prime viewing positions to enjoy the best of Vivid Sydney from up high.


A front-row seat

Top Vivid Sydney viewpoints at The Rocks - Cruise Bar

View from Cruise Bar

Cruise Bar enjoys prime position during Vivid Sydney and will certainly be a hive of activity throughout the festival. Perched on the top levels of the Overseas Passenger Terminal, those panoramic Sydney Harbour views will be hard to beat. Cruise Bar will be hosting live bands and DJs on evenings throughout the festival, and this year are official collaborators on the Festival music program. The bar also offers special Vivid Sydney packages including canapes and drinks for $150 per person. On June 16, Cruise Bar will host a Vivid Closing Party.

Cruise Bar, Level 1-3 Circular Quay West, The Rocks, (02) 9251 1188


High and mighty

Top Vivid Sydney viewpoints at The Rocks - Altitude Restaurant

View from Altitude Restaurant

The name says it all about the position. Altitude Restaurant, on the 36th floor of the luxurious Shangri-La hotel, overlooks majestic Sydney Harbour and offers one of the best vantage points. Altitude’s chef de cuisine Ricardo Ferreira has created a decadent six-course dining experience inspired by the sights, sounds and colours of Vivid Sydney ($170 per person), with matched wines selected by sommelier John MacKinnon ($65 per person extra). It’s a small price to pay for a million-dollar view of one of the most spectacular events in the world.

Altitude Restaurant, Shangri-La Hotel, 176 Cumberland Street, Sydney, (02) 9250 6123


For the culture vulture

Top Vivid Sydney viewpoints at The Rocks - MCA Terrac

View from MCA Cafe & Sculpture Terrace

The Museum of Contemporary Art’s rooftop terrace has unobstructed views of the large-scale installations, and best of all it’s open late during Vivid Sydney, from Wednesday to Sunday. The view itself is definitely a perfect reason to visit, but of course sight-seeing is hungry work and the café will be serving Vivid Sydney-inspired cocktails, plus Algerian dishes and sweets inspired by an exhibition of work from French-Algerian artist Kader Attia.

Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George Street, The Rocks, (02) 9250 8443


Colonial charm

Best views of Vivid Sydney at The Rocks - Wolfies

View from Wolfies

For a Rocks experience which harks back to its roots, Wolfies Grill has both the views and the ambience. Located in an original sandstone storehouse and featuring exposed timber beams and mahogany floors, Wolfies has colonial charm and atmosphere. And of course the waterfront location with one of the best views of the Sydney Opera House. Enjoy the view with a delicious menu of contemporary Australian cuisine.

Wolfies, 27 Circular Quay West, The Rocks, 1300 115 116


Be a part of the show

Best views of Vivid Sydney at The Rocks - BridgeClimb

View from BridgeClimb

If you like to work up a sweat to enjoy your Vivid Sydney views, then climbing to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge clad in a special Vivid Sydney-issue flashing vest is our pick. Once you’re at the top, take a moment to contemplate what must be one of the world’s most spectacular views, across Sydney Harbour to the Opera House – not to mention the Bridge itself around and under you. If you have more energy to spare, it’s time to step onto the illuminated 70s-style flashing dancefloor specially built at the bridge summit. The Vivid Sydney experience is available on all night climbs during the festival.

BridgeClimb Sydney, 3 Cumberland Street, The Rocks, (02) 8274 7777


A view like no other

Vivid Sydney at The Rocks - Harbour View Hotel

View from Harbour View Hotel

The Harbour View Hotel’s name says it all really, and rightly so—it’s the closest hotel to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. During Vivid Sydney, this Rocks institution will be the perfect viewing point for the light installations around the harbour area and in particular the Harbour Bridge. Full of character and charm, this hotel offers culture vultures not only the unparalleled views, but also a tempting menu of comfort classics. The Sunday Roast with all the traditional trimmings is quite legendary. Be sure to book a space early for dinner as seating is limited.

The Harbour View Hotel, 18 Lower Fort Street, The Rocks, (02) 9252 4111

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