Vivid Sydney 2019: Sneak peek of Lights for the Wild at Taronga Zoo

Stephanie Yip 20 May 2019 NEWS

The countdown is on for Vivid Sydney 2019. Here's what to expect at Taronga Zoo.

Lights officially turn on for Vivid Sydney 2019 at 6pm on 24 May with all your favourite precincts returning for 3 weeks of illuminated wonder, including Taronga Zoo.

Its Lights for the Wild experience is a ticketed event and this year it will showcase 233 illuminated sculptures across a 1-hour circuit light walk.

Most of the displays are making a reprise for this year's event, but there are a few new favourites to gawp over, including a trio of Sumatran tiger cubs.

We got an exclusive early sneak peek at this year's spectacle. Here's what to expect:

Vivid Sydney African lions. Image: Finder

Vivid Sydney Taronga Zoo 2019 highlights

The Sumatran tiger cubs is one of the first lantern displays you'll see on your walk. These cubs are poised in play on the ground so you can easily weave between them. They're one of the few new displays in this year's Lights for the Wild and are inspired by the zoo's new tiger cubs which were born on 17 January this year. During opening hours, you can see them along the Taronga Zoo Sydney's Tiger Trek.

The koala near the Centenary Theatre is another new addition to Lights for the Wild and a must-see, particularly as it's been given prime positioning with the Harbour Bridge and Opera House in its background. It'll definitely appear on your Instagram feeds in next to no time.

Vivid Sydney tarsier Image: Finder

The funnel web spider and its surrounding redback spiders will have you creeping and crawling up mounds, though the saltwater crocodile is perhaps the most animated of the lot. Brilliantly lit in blues, reds and yellows, it snaps away as it hunts its pray.

Throughout the walk bees, cicadas and pygmy tarsiers climb and perch on trees, transporting you into the wild. Flickering strobe lights accompany displays and larger stretches. They read quite like fireflies and only add to the sense of enchantment and wonder.

But for something truly magical, make sure you take the small windy boardwalk around the cicadas. At its peak you'll find yourself standing eye level against the trees, the cicadas calmly glowing on their branches and green lights twinkling. It's like something out of a dream.

Vivid Sydney cicadas Image: Finder

What's new at Vivid Sydney Taronga Zoo?

There are three new displays at Taronga Zoo this year. These are the iconic koala, three Sumatran tiger cubs and African lion family.

All three are placed at ground level for easy access for children, both big and small.

The entrance of Taronga Zoo has also been given a makeover. Last year, it was converted into a gigantic shark lantern which greeted visitors at the door. This year it takes on a similar vibe to Custom's House and the Museum of Contemporary Art with a jungle sequence light installation projected onto its front.

Vivid Sydney entrance illumination. Image: Finder

Vivid Sydney Taronga Zoo tickets and sessions

Lights for the Wild is on from Wednesday to Sunday, throughout Vivid Sydney. It's broken up into two sessions to keep numbers down and exclusivity up, one at 5.30pm and the other at 7.30pm.

Tickets are on sale via the Taronga Zoo website and cost $26.95 for adults and $19.95 for children. As Taronga Zoo is not-for-profit, all proceeds from sales go back to conservation and wildlife care.

As a bonus, American Express cardholders can score 10% off when you pay with your card and enter the code AMEX at the checkout.

For more information on Vivid Sydney 2019, check out our guide here.

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