Vivid Sydney announces exciting programme of events

Vivid Sydney will return in 2017, featuring a new precinct at Barangaroo, a larger light walk at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and a new design that will decorate the sails of the Sydney Opera House.

The 23-night festival will run from May 26th to June 17th, and will include the biggest Vivid Music programme to date, and new events about creative works from Vivid Ideas.

Vivid Sydney is Australia’s biggest tourist event, celebrating Sydney as a creative hub of the Asia Pacific area. The event combines light exhibitions, music performances and creative discussion and debate. It is now in its ninth year.

This year, the light installations will be expanded to include a new precinct at Barangaroo, which will lead visitors through intimate streets, past waterfronts and into a major foodie area. The trail at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney will also be expanded.

Light installations will be on display at the Sydney Opera House, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, the city skyline along the Cahill Expressway, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Central Business District, the Taronga Zoo and Martin Place.

The Vivid Music program is composed of 250 different events, including exclusive Australian performances from electronic pop group Goldfrapp and Curveball, a music and art event. Standout artists on the bill of those who will be performing include the Fleet Foxes, AIR, Laura Marling, Nick Murphy, and Metamorphosis. These performances will take place at a variety of venues across the city, including the Sydney Opera House, and promise to be an excellent way to spend an evening as part of your trip to Australia.

With American artist Shepard Fairey, creator of the Barack Obama HOPE campaign, headlining the programme, and over 200 events exploring the creative industry planned across, Vivid Sydney is all set to be a fantastic 23 days!


Top three day trips from Adelaide

If you’re dreaming of a personalised Australia holiday, you may be thinking about where you want to go, and how you can make sure you see the best Oz has to offer. If you’re travelling to Adelaide, you’ll be pleased to hear that you can enjoy all kinds of experiences within easy reach of the city centre. Here are just three of the best day trips on offer.


Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island is a beautiful natural haven, which can be reached by boat or plane. Here, as you may expect from the name, you’ll be able to see kangaroos bounding around in the wild, but there are also lots of other wildlife spotting opportunities available.

A tour of Seal Bay Conservation Park is a definite highlight. A guide will walk you through colonies of Australian sea lions, answering your questions and telling you everything you need to know about these magnificent creatures. You can also see koalas and wombats at Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. If you’re a keen hiker, take a trip to Flinders Chase National Park, and stretch your legs. Your efforts will be rewarded with incredible views of the famous Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks.


Barossa Valley

Barossa Valley is one of Australia’s premium wine-producing areas. Here, you can take a tour of famous wineries, sample the local produce, and enjoy lunch or a crisp glass of wine with beautiful views of the verdant vineyards and rolling hills for company. If you’re a wine lover, you can learn how to hone your tasting skills, as well as gaining a deeper insight into the wine-making process. You can take a half-day tour or a full-day tour, and if you don’t want to worry about being a designated driver, you can book transfers or a coach tour.


Cleland Wildlife Park

Just half an hour’s drive from central Adelaide, Cleland Wildlife Park is home to some of Australia’s most precious and popular residents. You can marvel at the cuteness of the koalas, hand feed wallabies and kangaroos and see dingoes, emu and wombats. Before you enjoy some cuddly encounters, your tour will take you to Mt Lofty, where you’ll be able to head up to the summit to see beautiful vistas of the city lying below. This is the highest point in the Adelaide Hills, standing at approximately 710 metres.


If you’re visiting Adelaide, don’t spend all your time in the city centre. There are plenty of fantastic day trips on offer, so you can really explore the region.


Sunrise to sunset at Mindil Beach

Australia is filled with picturesque beaches. But unlike most, Mindil Beach is best experienced at night. Located in Darwin, Australia, this beach is more than just sun, sand and sea. Mindil Beach is home to the iconic Mindil Beach Sunset Market.


About the market


Mindil Beach Sunset Market began in 1987, when six Australian entrepreneurs sought to replicate the success and beauty of Asian night markets. What began as a few stalls in the Darwin Mall soon grew and moved to the Mindil Beach Reserve, where it is still found to this day.

Today, the Mindil Beach Sunset Market is home to over 300 small businesses and employs over 1000 locals. The market has a strong conservation focus, banning plastic bags and putting recycling and sustainability measures to use.

The market is home to a diverse array of stalls. Food is the main focus, and the market is home to cuisines from across the world. From Sri Lankan to Greek to Malaysian to Portuguese, there’s a food stall for everyone.

But food isn’t the only thing to be found at Mindil Beach Sunset Market. The market is also home to art, jewellery, clothes, homewares and Aboriginal artifacts. With live music and other performers to set the scene, the Sunset Market is not to be missed on your trip to Darwin.


Tips for your visit


Mindil Beach doesn’t just operate at night. During the day, it’s a beautiful beach on the Beagle Gulf and is a perfect place to relax and read a book.

Just a short walk from the beach are the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens. These gardens cover over 100 acres and hold a vast array of north Australian and other tropical plant species. It’s a great place to explore the rainforest and wait for the sunset.

At Mindil Beach, you can watch the breathtakingly beautiful sun set over the ocean before you head over to the market. The market opens as the sun is setting, but make sure you’re in place to catch the sight from the beach before heading to the market.

The market only operates in the dry season, so plan your visit between May and October. It takes place two days a week. Thursday is the full market, while Sunday is more laid-back and family-oriented, perfect if you’re travelling with kids.


Experience Aboriginal Australia in the Red Centre

The ‘Red Centre’ is the name given to the southern desert region of the Northern Territory in Australia, and this evocative plain in which the red dust is all around and ancestral spirits watch over Uluru holds high significance for the Aboriginal people.

Some of Australia’s most famous monuments are to be found here, too. One of the most iconic is Uluru, otherwise known as Ayers Rock. Uluru is found at the centre of the outback and the heart of the Red Centre. What gives the area its name is the oxidised iron in the soils, the source of the region’s distinctive red glow. When set against the dazzling blue of the sky Down Under, the area provides some of the most spectacular sunsets and sunrises in the world; a spectrum of shades of pinks, purples and reds.

Aboriginal guides will take you on tours of the area, sharing their ancient tales as you travel around the base of the rock, which ancient myth states was formed by ancestral spirits and placed centrally to act as the heart of the area. Among the other cultural landmarks you can also explore in the Red Centre are the MacDonnell Ranges, Watarrka National Park and the main Aboriginal Village and township of Alice Springs, though it is worth bearing in mind that outdoor activities can be limited in the summer due to the outback heat.

Other tours around the area include the ‘Kangaroo Dreaming’ safaris, which take visitors on a five-day 4WD trip to see these intriguing native animals bouncing around the red centre. You can also participate in fishing trips the natural Aboriginal way or enjoy art classes which will help you build an understanding of the meaning of aboriginal art. These experiences will give you a unique, deep insight into Aboriginal beliefs in a way you won’t find anywhere else, and help you understand how the plants, animals and earth hold a significant meaning in their culture.

The Aboriginal people have fought for their land rights over the years and they now hold title to about 50 percent of the province’s area. More and more visitors are visiting the Red Centre as interest in the Aboriginal culture, beliefs and way of life is rising, so now is the perfect time to visit if you’re keen to learn more about the oldest surviving culture in the world. The Red Centre attracted over half a million visitors last year alone, and it is well worth joining them!


Virgin Australia named 2016′s most punctual airline

The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) has revealed that Virgin Australia was once again the most punctual airline in Australia in 2016.

The rankings reveal that Virgin secured the highest success rate for flights running on time for both arrivals (86.7 per cent) and departures (88.4). Those figures narrowly outdo Qantas, who notched 86.4 per cent on its arrivals and 88 per cent on its departures.

John Thomas, Group Executive for Virgin Australia Airlines, stressed that the workforce had been striving to operate as close to the schedule as possible.

“We understand the importance our guests place on getting to their destination on time. We have many teams across the business, including our flight and cabin crew, network operations team, and ground crew, working hard every day to help deliver this strong result, and we thank them for their dedication to this task.”

“As part of our ongoing push to improve on-time performance we have placed a heavy emphasis on ensuring our first flights of the day depart on-time which helps us better manage circumstances that arise during the course of the day that are out of our control, such as weather events,” he said.

Tigerair came in third in both on-time percentage for arrivals (81.6 per cent) and departures (83.1 per cent), while Jetstar came in fourth with 76.2 per cent for arrivals and 73.3 per cent for departures. In order to qualify for BITRE’s ‘on-time’ status, a flight must arrive or depart within 15 minutes of the carrier’s schedule.

In the regional rankings, Regional Express led the way with 87.5 per cent for on-time arrivals. Virgin Australia Regional Airlines was next with 86.8 per cent and QantasLink finished third with 85.7 per cent.