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2023 Sydney VIVID Festival of Lights & Beyond

Sydney’s Festival of Lights (VIVID) is one of our annual guided photographic adventures and will inspire and motivate you if you keen to enhance your photographic skills during a four-day, four-night Sydney adventure filled with opportunities for all levels, beginners to advanced.

In 2023 we’ve introduced you printing two of your favourite images on A3+ professional quality paper, packaged ready for you take home and frame.

Three nights are dedicated to Vivid, Sydney’s annual festival of lights, with a dinner cruise with the chance to capture amazing images of the light displays at Darling Harbour and Sydney’s harbour.

The adventure includes, one sunrise and one sunset shoot, evening harbour bridge photographic session.  We visit the historic Coal Loader area with its green rooftop and old tunnels, a visit to Redfern for the picturesque terraced houses and the aboriginal murals; a walk through Sydney’s laneways which showcase street art, graffiti and great cafés; and Manly Beach, complete with surfers for long exposure photographic opportunities. This will be a great learning environment with expert guidance, instruction and personal attention. The adventure caters to all levels, from beginners to advanced photographers, but you should have a basic understanding of your camera’s settings. You will leave this adventure with new skills, new friends, inspiration and some really, really, stunning photos to show off.  Of course, we will have time for photo reviews and printing of two of your favourite images to take away, ready to frame.


Thursday 1 June After checking into our hotel – meet in the foyer at 3pm.  Time to get to know each other and go through camera settings, ISO, aperture and shutter speed, plus use of filters.  You’ll also receive your Opal card with lanyard which is topped up with $50 for all your train & ferry trips this weekend, a beautiful A5 photo diary – be sure to jot down the settings you’ll need.  Tonight we walk to dinner, continuing our chat over settings, itinerary and getting to know each other more.

Friday 2 June After breakfast at Circular Quay, we head out to Manly on the ferry to capture some amazing seascape images which include surfers in action, while maybe not good for the surfers, let’s hope for some really stormy weather. Fish & chips for lunch while we sit on the steps of Manly’s beach.  After lunch, we head back to Sydney where we walk the laneways for some amazing street photography opportunities.  Tonight we walk to dinner and dine at one of Lesley’s favourite restaurants before continuing our walking to McMahons Point where we will capture evening images of Sydney’s Harbour Bridge lighting spectacular as well as long exposure images of the ferry’s crossing the harbour.  Board our ferry and off we head to Circular Quay for a magical night to capture the festival of lights.

Saturday 3 June   No sleep in this morning as we’re being picked up early so we can capture images from our really special vantage point (Balls Head), here we are looking to photograph Sydney’s Harbour in blue hour and the sun rising over Sydney’s Harbour Bridge.  After such an early start, let’s enjoy our sumptuous cooked breakfast at Coal Loader Cafe, then we spend the morning walking around Coal Loader which is an amazing place with so much to photograph – from leading lines to dilapidated wharf and artistic structures.    We head over to Redfern for lunch, followed by some amazing street photography plus if the fire engines are around, we will likely be able to capture images from within the Redfern Fire Station (this is always a treat)! Before we head out for our dinner cruise, we have time to freshen up & quick battery recharge.  Tonight you will have the most amazing vantage point to be able to capture images of Sydney’s Festival of Lights from onboard our boat while we also enjoy a dinner harbour cruise.

Sunday 4 June A little (😂)sleep in this morning as we’ll have breakfast and lunch in Sydney’s central area – spend the morning walking the laneways and exploring the Queen Victoria Building which has the most amazing architectural photographic opportunities. We also visit one of Sydney’s train stations to capture the most amazing architectural and leading lines!  If you’re into long exposure you’ll have a ball with this location. This afternoon we spend time processing our photos in preparation for printing plus, we’ll need charge our batteries as tonight we’re exploring more of the VIVID light festival’s light structures but before dinner we head to Bangaroo and setup for sunset over Sydney’s upper harbour.

Monday 5th June Let’s enjoy breakfast at our hotel this morning, then it’s printing of your photos, carefully wrapping them in acid free paper and storing in the cardboard tube.  Ok, now the for our farewell lunch – let’s raise our glass of bubbles and toast our newfound photography.     After lunch it’s time for those goodbye hugs!


What’s included:

  • Four nights twin-share accommodation at North Sydney View hotel which affords the most amazing harbour views
  • 3 nights of VIVID photographic opportunities
  • 3 photography mentors – Lesley, Leanne & Christine
  • Transport to all activities outlined:  train, ferry & mini-van
  • Breakfast, lunch & dinner as outlined above – alcohol is own cost
  • Photography review session
  • Lots of photography mentoring
  • Printing of two of your favourite images on Epson P706 SureColour photo printer.  Printed in A3+ on professional photographic paper
  • Women in Photography Alumni discount applies if you’re a member
  • A5 photo diary which is invaluable for making notes on where you’ve visited plus also a quick reference camera setting guide on the front.

What’s Not Included:

  • Return airfares to Sydney
  • Transfers to/from View hotel in North Sydney
  • Morning, afternoon teas
  • Alcohol, drinks or snacks not outlined above
  • Purchases or spending of a personal nature
  • Any pre-departure NZ & Australian Government COVID or pandemic testing & travel documentation requirements

All prices quoted are NZD – T&C’s, camera gear & equipment list available here


Women in Photography has the necessary protocols in place to operate under the the COVID-19 Protection Framework red, amber and green levels. For your safety, that of your fellow passengers and those leading leading Women in Photography’s events, we are have robust processes in place to ensure that we can operate safely at red, amber and green levels of the COVID-19 Protection Framework. Click here to know more about this policy and the requirements of you as an attendee.

Limited to a maximum of 10 a $500 deposit secures your place.  If you want your own room, just an additional cost of $400 for the four nights is payable with your final payment. Book now by paying your deposit – balance of payment is due 21 days prior to departure. We recommend you purchase Travel & Pandemic Travel Insurance to provide cover should you not be able to travel – please contact kerry@privatetravel.co.nz to discuss this policy.



  • If you choose to cancel your booking, your deposit is non-refundable unless we can fill your place
  • If we have to cancel we will give you a full refund or you can have your deposit transferred to any of our other events
  • Full payment is due 30 days before the commencement date and is thereafter non-refundable in the event of your choosing to cancel, unless we are able to re-fill your place.

The event is finished.

The Sharing a twin room deposit $500 ticket sales has ended!
The I’d prefer a room on my own - deposit $500 ticket sales has ended!


01 - 05 Jun 2023





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