Is The Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras Worth It?

For people in the northern hemisphere, is the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras worth the trip? UPDATED: Latest 2018 parade & party info.

The answer, in a word, is YES!!!

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is one on the world’s most well-known and loved LGBT celebrations. It’s a spectacle of colour, glamour and undeniably hedonistic fun.


The 2018 Sydney Mardi Gras promises to be even more special. Why? Because it will be the 40th anniversary. From its humble beginnings as a protest march to the world famous, month- long celebration it’s become today, Mardi Gras has come a long way.

Check out the awesome 2018 promo video below.

To stay up to date about everything related to the 2018 parade, sign up to the newsletter on the official Sydney Mardi Gras website.

But back to why the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is definitely worth checking out (at least once in your life):

(As a disclaimer, I should point out that I am an Aussie, so I may be slightly biased about how great a place Australia is to visit. I am however, not in any way affiliated with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. These are just my own thoughts based on my own experiences of having been to the celebrations a few times myself over the years.)

Escape the cold

The first few months of the year aren’t exactly filled with welcoming weather in most parts of the northern hemisphere. In many countries, days are short, cold, damp and dark.

While Europeans and Americans are miserable, depressed and comfort eating on their couches, Sydney is sparkling. The Sydney Mardi Gras falls at the height of the Australian Summer, making it the perfect time to visit. And Sydney is in many ways, the ultimate Summer city. It’s Australia’s largest city, so if you’re into culture and urban life, you’ll find it in abundance here.

READ – The Gay Gap Year


But Sydney is also a city on the water. There’s the famous Sydney Harbour (with the dual highlights of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour bridge, but then there are also the beaches. There are so many beautiful beaches to choose from. Bondi may be the best known, but there are plenty of other beaches to choose from, all within a relatively short drive away from the city hub. So this way, you can wear speedos all day on the beach and shorts and a shirt all night dancing! Isn’t that a nice thing to be able to do in February and March?

It’s not just one parade/party

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras often conjures up images of its two main events – the parade and the massive party that follows on from the parade. These two events however, are just the culmination of what is a world-class, month long LGBT festival. There are numerous smaller parties held throughout the month, as well as celebrations of all sorts of LGBT-related things such as film, theatre, live performances and more!

READ – The Gay Hotel Dilemma


If parades and parties aren’t your thing, you’re more than likely to find something else more suited to your taste. A great way to stay up-to-date is to sign up to receive regular eNewsletters from the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. That way, you’re guaranteed not to miss a thing!

It’s not just about Sydney

If you’ve arrived by plane to Australia, the odds are that it was a pretty long flight. So, what’s the rush to get back home? Jobs, bills, friends – surely they can all wait a bit! They’ll all be there waiting for you when you get home anyway!

You’re in Australia! A country that’s about the same size as about Western Europe. A short trip to Sydney makes about as much sense as a short trip to Europe from America. You just won’t fit everything in.

So, while you’re over here, take some time to see more than just Sydney. The most travelled tourist road (for good reason I might add) is the east coast of Australia. Tropical North Queensland beckons with the beautiful tri-cities of Cairns, Port Douglas and Palm Cove. The Daintree Rainforest is one of the oldest (and most beautiful) in the world. And then of course, there’s the amazing Great Barrier Reef. What more needs to be said?

Heading down the coast (by train) is a great way to really see the beauty) and you’ve got plenty of coastal towns, villages and cities to visit and explore. The capital of the state is Brisbane, recently the host of the G20 Summit, and definitely worth a couple of days to visit.

If you’re more of a beach bum, you’re in luck. Brisbane is a short drive away some from of the most popular and beautiful beaches in the country. To the north is the beautiful Sunshine Coast, while to the south, you’ve got the world famous Gold Coast. And if you’re a bit of a thrill seeker and into theme parks, you’re spoilt for choice in this part of the world with Dream World, Sea World, Movie World and Wet ‘n’ Wild all located near each other.

READ – Australia’s Last 100% Gay Resort


Further South, and Byron Bay is definitely worth a look-in, as are the beautiful hinterland towns of Bangalore and Lismore. This might feel like a remote part of the world, but it’s incredibly LGBT-friendly. Oh, and if you’re in this part of the world for new year’e eve, Tropical Fruits is the place to be.

And all of this is just the tip of the iceberg. Australia has something to offer every kind of traveller.

The trip of a lifetime

Travelling to Australia (from almost any other country in the world) takes a long time. It not only takes a long time to get here, but it also takes a lot of time to plan. Oh and money. There’s that too. Flights from the UK for instance, aren’t as cheap to Australia as they are to say Ibiza.

But Australia is no Ibiza. It’s not a one trick pony. It’s one of the oldest, most isolated and most beautiful places you are likely to ever see in your lifetime. There is so much to see and do, you could easily spend a few months here, and still barely tick off your to-see list.

So, if you do make the trip Down Under for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, be sure to give yourself some more time to enjoy just some of that this magnificent country has to offer. It really will be the trip of YOUR lifetime!

You can check out the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi website for more information. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and even Spotify!



231 thoughts on “Is The Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras Worth It?

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