Fairy Lights

28 May

Sydney Harbour is pretty impressive no matter what the time of day or year, but there is something very special about it at night, with all the boats and the bridge lit up and the sun going down behind the skyline. Currently, and for the next two weeks, it is even more impressive due to Vivid: Sydney’s festival of light, music and ideas. James (who had an unexpected weekend at home) and I took the ferry into Circular Quay where the festival is taking place.

Buildings and skyscrapers around the main terminal were all lit up, fibre optic sculptures were set up around The Rocks area, the Museum of Contemporary Art was transformed with light projections, turning the building itself into an exhibition and the facade of Customs House was illuminated by a technique called projection mapping, with some incredible 3D effects. I took some pictures but the best way is to see it for yourself with this video (particularly good after 30 sec and also 2min into the clip). The Opera House itself was also lit up with art work projected on to the sails. One of the best effects was when it appeared that the sails were billowing and moving in a breeze. I noticed my old workplace, ITN, did a report on the Opera House illuminations (video is here, although, embarrassingly they do get the name of the last building wrong, never mind.) It all felt quite Christmassy, especially as everyone was wrapped up!

When it comes to harbour highlights, Vivid is not the only event worth mentioning. The other day, walking along Rose Bay promenade, I noticed two creatures darting under the water. When I looked more closely, I realised they were in fact penguins! After a few minutes, a small crowd had gathered to watch the sight and a third penguin joined them. It was incredible to watch them flying through the water and see the tiny fish jumping along the surface as the penguins looked for food. A woman told me she has lived in the area for fifty years and has not seen penguins in this part of the harbour for over thirty years, so it was quite a unique experience. It was pretty exciting to be privy to something, not seen here for decades. Fairy penguins are the smallest of all penguins so you had to keep your eyes peeled to see them but it was certainly a highlight of my day 🙂


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