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During Pride and Mardi Gras celebrations in Sydney, visitors and locals immerse themselves in the diverse queer neighbourhoods. While Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (16 February – 3 March 2024) is the world’s largest annual LGBTQIA+ festival, there are many more things to do and see in the harbour city.

Where to go in Sydney

In Sydney, rainbow flags and queer couples are everywhere, but a few neighbourhoods stand out for being concentrated rainbow cultures. Visit Surry Hills and Darlinghurst on the eastern edge of the city. Explore Oxford Street, home to Sydney’s largest selection of LGBTQIA+ nightlife venues and many other queer-focused businesses, including The Bookshop Darlinghurst and various cafes and restaurants. A decade-old neighbourhood institution, The Colombian Hotel, serves afternoon drinks.

Another queer strip is Newtown’s King Street in the Inner West, where the vibe is more alternative. There are tattoo parlours, design stores, and some of Sydney’s best Thai food is found here, along with queer folk, students from nearby universities, bohemian families, and many of Sydney’s musicians and artists. LGBTQIA+ residents live in nearby suburbs such as Erskineville, Enmore, and Marrickville

LGBTQ+ Staying In Sydney

Consider Potts Point and Elizabeth Bay, located between Darlinghurst, Kings Cross and Sydney Harbour. The densely populated area of Potts Point is popular with queer Sydneysiders, and it offers everything from upscale chain hotels to boutique lodges. Oxford Street is just a short walk away.

Queer Sydney Australia and the rainbow walkway.
Couple enjoying a walk along the rainbow path in Prince Alfred Park, Surry Hills.

Clovelly, Tamarama, and Coogee are famous queer-friendly beaches (this is where Speedos were invented). Check out the rainbow walkway at Coogee – the council voted unanimously to make the rainbow walkway permanent in 2021.

Couple dancing at the Oxford Street Party, a part of Sydney World Pride, a 17-day celebration of queer Australian people and culture, with more than 300 events across the city – including Sydney’s famous Mardi Gras Parade.

Sydney Queer Nightlife

There are many queer-focused venues in Sydney where you can meet like-minded people. The Beresford, situated off Oxford Street in Surry Hills, is a popular gay men’s hangout. It’s a great place to spend lazy afternoons before dancing the night away. On Sundays, the crowd is mainly gay. Nearby, Universal on Oxford Street in Darlinghurst hosts diverse events, from theatre to drag shows to full-on clubs. The stalwart Oxford Hotel is a multi-level rainbow utopia on Oxford Street in Darlinghurst. 

Couple embracing at Mardi Gras in Sydney Australia.
Couple celebrates at the Oxford Street Fair, a part of Sydney World Pride, a 17-day celebration of queer Australian people and culture, with more than 300 events across the city – including Sydney’s famous Mardi Gras Parade.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is more than just a parade: it’s an entire season of celebration locals call ‘gay Christmas’. The festival runs from February to early March, featuring dozens of unique events, including large-scale social gatherings and edgy theatre and dance performances.

Queer Sydney and Mardi Gras in Australia
Celebrating the colourful collision of creativity and culture across our communities, the world renowned Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade unites hundreds of thousands of revellers for the biggest night on the LGBTQI+ calendar.

Besides the parade, Victoria Park near Newtown hosts the annual Fair Day, a family-friendly event. Enjoy live entertainment, a smorgasbord of stalls, fantastic people-watching, and even a dog show.

Visit https://www.mardigras.org.au/2024-festival/ for information about Sydney Pride and Mardi Gras 2024, including event schedules, tickets, and accommodations.

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