Jun 19, 2018

Nice Things About Winter. VIVID Taronga 2018.

We're only around 20 days into winter 2018 but it feels like it's been winter forever.  

Sydney is one of those places that seems to fight the arrival of winter with the same zeal that cosmetic companies fight 'ageing'.  We keep winter at bay with a lifestyle that embraces the great outdoors practically all year round.  Outdoor festivals, sporting events and concerts occur all year round.   Any excuse for a bit of party and a chance to dress up.  People (like myself) wear T shirts and shorts with Birkis and thongs (without socks) well into autumn when we're out and about.  

Enabling all of this has been our weather whose warmth and sun have seen many of us still at the beach late into autumn this year.  But all good things come to an end and we are now 20 days into winter.  With around another 70 to go, I'm sucking it up and embracing the special things about winter in Sydney.

Firstly, the mornings.  The weekend ones.  Weekday ones have to be survived. But the weekend ones are luxurious with all their free hours but challenging in that it's harder to keep warm when you're not rushing about.  It took me three hot drinks and a spot on the floor right in front of my heater to prepare me for the shower on Saturday morning.

I then gave myself a pat on the back for keeping my stretched out pair of J Brand skinny jeans.  Not just because they bring back fond memories of bargain shopping on US websites back in the day when we were close to parity with the greenback but also because they fit over a pair of thermal legging and under a pair of long boots.  These new fangled skinny jeans and jeggings couldn't let a middle aged woman get away with that now could they?

Colour co-ordinated marshmallows and scarves are trending this winter in Sydney.

After making all that effort to get rugged up for the elements, we couldn't just have Saturday breakfast at a cafe, could we?  So it was off to Kings Cross /Potts Point in search of the markets and a coffee / babycino.  Marcelle on MacLeay St serves these beautiful rainbow marshmallows with their babycinos.

It was brave and it was naive but we then decided to visit VIVID at Taronga for the last night of the event.

One failed train ride (Circular Quay station was closed), one mad dash to the ferry terminal, one wait in the ferry line only to miss it by 12 people and one $42 taxi ride later.... we finally found ourselves walking under this canopy of lights at the zoo entrance.

We had tickets for the 7.30pm session and it was pandemonium.  My friends took half an hour to find a spot in the zoo car park.  Traffic on the normally quiet access roads was banked up and motionless.  Even the sneaky short cuts were paralysed.  All that sitting in traffic allowed me to get an up close and personal view of Mosman as we passed through.  Mosman, you are rather fancy, aren't you?  I hope to visit you again soon under less stressful circumstances.

Giant bee lanterns glowed in the trees above as we walked into the zoo.

American Express sponsored Ties for the Wild which saw funds raised for the zoo with each white ribbon visitors tied to this display.

Most of the animal enclosures were barricaded and I have a feeling many of the animals were either asleep or safely transferred to other parts of the zoo for the night however my giraffes were up and having supper.

The animals were beautifully rendered in colourful shimmering lanterns some of which had moving body parts.

The zoo was the perfect setting because of its gently sloping terrain which made for easy walking and a stunning 'stage' upon which to show off the animals to their best advantage.  I could also see the Harbour Bridge lit up in the background though this didn't quite make it into my photos.

The boys had a lovely evening.  Unlike the city event, it was much easier to keep an eye on them as there weren't too many dark open spaces for them to run into.

Chameleons kept watch from rooves.

A Sumatran Tiger kept guard at the food market where we had dinner (hot chips, of course).

I remember previously seeing some of the larger animals on display in Hyde Park.  They looked beautiful there but in the zoo they took on a majestic and somewhat mystical quality.

It was hard to stay flustered and frazzled from our transport fiasco once we got into the zoo and had the animals to gaze up at.

My favourites were the mother and child pairs. This echidna had a row of ants in front of her that she poked at with her tongue.

A baby riding piggy back its mother Tasmanian Devil.

The thoughtful and stern gorillas near the zoo entrance seemed to be reflecting on the state of our planet.  Imploring us, as humans, to change our ways and make the world a better place for all of Gods creations.

I'm looking at my VIVID map as I type but I'm still not sure which animal this is. 

I suspect it's a Weedy Sea Dragon.  We walked 'through' it under a sky of glittering lights at the end of the show.  It was the perfect conclusion to a special night.


  1. Thanks, SSG, for sharing your beautiful photos. I checked the temps in Sydney and smiled reading about how you're handling winter. I'm used to colder temps in the winter here.

  2. Oh these photos look beautiful! I'm glad you got to enjoy Vivid even if it was a bit stressful getting there!

    I know it's not as cold as Sydney, but we are having some super chilly mornings so it's definitely winter here too. Yey for layering!


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