Vivid Festival & Sydney’s Christian Heritage 2023


6 Days


Tuesday 23 May, 2023



Your next holiday awaits!

“”I could just enjoy each day and know that it was all taken care of!””

This Tour Includes

A Christian Tour Leader

Daily Devotions

14 Meals

View Hotel North Sydney

Sightseeing & Entry Fees

Sydney Vivid Festival

Tour Summary

Come light up your life as you join like-minded people for the Vivid Light Festival to enjoy fun, faith and fellowship. Stay in the heart of Sydney, the sparkling “Emerald City”, and uncover its Christian history and the secrets that many locals don’t even know about. Enjoy Harbour views from your hotel and celebrate the beauty of Sydney’s waterways with two river cruises and a Vivid Festival Dinner Cruise to marvel at the incredible illuminations.

Explore Australia’s Christian history and pay tribute to our early Christian leaders and the impact they had on our Nation. Learn about the people and events that shaped the fledgling colony of New South Wales as we visit Christian Heritage sites, historic churches, Old Government House and Botany Bay.

Discover quintessential Sydney with a tour of the Opera House, visits to Botany Bay, Cronulla and Bondi Beach and some glorious “secret gardens”. Combined with time at leisure so you can “choose your own adventure” this will be a most memorable Sydney Stay-cation.

Warm Regards
The CFT Team

Your Travel Itinerary

Day 1
Tuesday 23 May 2023

Sydney Sightseeing

A relaxing start to what will be a wonderful Sydney “Stay-cation” – our coach departs Sydney Central station at 11am and will pick up the rest of our group at the airport before heading to beautiful Cronulla Beach. Choose something for lunch and then we can sit by the seaside and watch the surf roll in. “How’s the serenity?!”

We are bound for Botany Bay and will look around the historic site where HMS Endeavour arrived in April 1770. It was at Kamay (Botany Bay) that James Cook first set foot on the Australian continent, and where his landing was challenged by two men from the Gweagal clan of the Dharawal nation. For both indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, this is one of Australia’s foundational moments in history for it is where European settlement had its embryonic beginnings.

Bondi Beach is iconically “Sydney” as well as one of Australia’s most famous beaches – grab an ice cream and walk along its golden sands or dip your toes in the ocean.

Then it is a drive through some of Sydney’s loveliest / best known locations – Watsons Bay, The Gap, Rose Bay, Double Bay and Kings Cross – before we stop at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair for stunning views of Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. We drive across the “Coathanger” to arrive at our home for the next five nights – the View Hotel, North Sydney. Check in to your room and enjoy your spectacular Harbour views – this is the life!

Day 2
Wednesday 24 May 2023

Historic Parramatta & River Ferry

Using Sydney’s green and yellow ferries is a wonderful way to “commute” and we take a short trip across the Harbour to Circular Quay where we join the Parramatta River Cat.

We are following the same river journey as those early long-boat expeditions that sought fertile and arable land to feed the fledgling Sydney Colony. Enjoy the interesting ferry and on the way we will learn of Boorong, third wife of Bennelong; Boorong was an important figure in early colonial history in her own right and was “received as an inmate, with great kindness, in the family of Mrs Johnson, the clergyman’s wife”. The son of Boorong & Bennelong, known as Dickey, converted to Christianity as a young man, received baptism, and became probably the first Indigenous Australian evangelist.

Once in Parramatta we delve into our colonial history, including that of the early Australian church. We stop off at historic St John’s Church, the oldest continuously used church site in Australia; the original church was built between 1799 and 1802 with Rev. Samuel Marsden ministering to the colonists. After lunch we tour the convict built Old Government House, UNESCO listed as the oldest surviving public building in Australia.

We return “home” through the tree lined streets of Gladesville, Hunters Hill and River Road, then the old Pacific Highway back to North Sydney.

Tonight, after dinner, we will enjoy a CFT screen presentation on the Grand Land of the Bible.

Day 3
Thursday 25 May 2023

Christian Beginnings | Opera House

We celebrate our Nation’s Christian Heritage with a walking tour to view where Rev Richard Johnson preached his first sermon on Australian soil on 3 February 1788 and the site of the first church in Sydney. We see the replica flag flying where the English Union Flag was raised by the First Fleet and then follow the pathway marking the extent of the original waterline of Sydney Cove.

The gleaming white sails of the world-famous Sydney Opera House beckon us out along Bennelong Point; a guided tour will help us understand more about this iconic building which is now celebrating its 50th Anniversary. Enjoy lunch at the Opera House before having the afternoon to explore at leisure.

Your Tour Leader will assist you in your choice of activity – there are so many things to choose from! The Botanic Gardens are easily accessed from the Opera House and you can wander up to the newly renovated Art Gallery of NSW. As you are at Circular Quay you may wish to take a return ferry across to Manly or the UNESCO Heritage site of Cockatoo Island (or any of the other great harbour destinations). We are also close to the historic Rocks precinct which offers museums, galleries, shopping and walking tours (must pre-book).

Circular Quay also offers train and bus links and your Opal Card makes it easy to negotiate the transport system (alternatively catch train or ferry back to North Sydney and relax at our hotel). The Hop-on / off Sydney Explorer also leaves from the Quay if you wish to do a circuit of Greater Sydney. Rest assured you will not be left alone, the only thing you need to choose is what you want to do.

One delightful option is to end your day with Evensong at St Andrew’s Cathedral, when the cathedral’s world famous boys and men’s choir sing to the glory to God. (Evensong is from 5.15pm – 6pm with St Andrews right next to Town Hall station – it is easy to return to North Sydney for our 7pm dinner).

Day 4
Friday 26 May 2023

Riverboat Postman | Sydney Tower | Vivid

The Hawkesbury River just north of Sydney is a beautiful, unspoiled waterway and today we will journey there by train; enjoy great views of the Ku-ring-Gai National Park and the Hawkesbury River inlets as we descend to the river station.

The Riverboat Postman boat awaits our arrival; ostensibly a working vessel, delivering the mail and other daily essentials to the isolated water-access-only residents, this is a delightful cruise upstream with an interesting commentary. Enjoy a light lunch of fish and chips whilst being regaled by local stories from the skipper (some of which are true!).

We return to Sydney with time to freshen up before the first night of Vivid Light Festival kicks off – enjoy dinner at Sydney Tower with panoramic views of the Harbour and City. Our return home will take us past many of the specially illuminated buildings and the viewing can continue from our hotel’s windows. Wow!!!

Day 5
Saturday 27 May 2023

Garden Tour | Vivid Dinner Cruise

Today we will explore two spectacular gardens that many Sydneysiders don’t even know about. Alternatively, you may wish to follow your own adventure and choose to pre-book an exciting BridgeClimb or walking tour or simply take time out to visit museums or go shopping in the Big Smoke. We will drop you off in the city before continuing on to the E.G. Waterhouse National Camellia Gardens in Caringbah.

Overlooking the beautiful Yowie Bay, these gardens were named an International Camellia Garden of Excellence (one of 40 and the only such garden in NSW). Enjoy the camellias in bloom and be sure to stop in at ‘The Teahouse’, a little cafe that merges the indoors with the visual inspiration of the gardens and is famous for its scones!

We stop off at the Hazelhurst Arts Centre where you can wander the galleries and grab a bite to eat at the café. After lunch, we will visit the beloved Auburn Botanic Gardens; there is much to delight in these suburban gardens, from the Rainforest garden, a billabong and aviaries with birds roaming freely, to a Japanese Garden, Reflection Pool, Scented Garden and much more!

Our day of beauty culminates with a glorious Twilight Dinner Cruise – marvel as the Harbour foreshores and buildings are illuminated by Vivid’s spectacular lighting displays.

Day 6
Sunday 28 May 2023

Worship | Christian Heritage | Home

This morning we will worship at St Philip’s Church, a lovely Gothic style sandstone church in the centre of the oldest parish of Australia. At St Philip’s we can inspect Rev Richard Johnson’s original Bible, used when he preached the first sermon on Australian soil in 1788.

We will also see the grave of Rev Kirkby, the founder of the Bush Church Aid Society. Both these men, Johnson as the Colony’s first Chaplain and Kirkby, the founder of Bush Ministry, made an indelible impact on Christianity in Australia and we are grateful for their faithful service.

Enjoy a final group lunch together before we must say farewell. We return home feeling blessed after a delightful holiday of unique experiences shared with new friends.

All Inclusive Fares

Vivid Festival & Sydney’s Christian Heritage 2023 Pricing

Departs from: Description Twin PP Single
From Sydney $2,490 $2,990

Tour Code:



Tuesday 23 May, 2023


Sunday 28 May, 2023



Flights from other capital cities and regional centres may be required to connect with this tour. It is recommended that you book these flights early to ensure that you receive the very best possible price. CFT can assist you with booking flights if required and this will incur an administration fee of $25.

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Vivid Festival & Sydney’s Christian Heritage 2023
Tuesday 23 May, 2023
6 Days

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Travel and fellowship
with other Christians

The care of a
Christian Tour Leader

Relax. Everything is
taken care of

Daily devotions and
organised Sunday service

Fully escorted with no
hidden costs

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Vivid Festival & Sydney’s Christian Heritage 2023
Tuesday 23 May, 2023
6 Days