This list was compiled in 2006. The updated 2011 Edition can be found here.

Pretty much every town in Australia loves a party, but one that’s particularly special to Sydney and the rest of the world is the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. It’s likely you’ve at least heard about it – but hearing in this case is definitely not as good as seeing.

On the first Saturday in March, Sydney stops for Australia’s largest costume parade. The costumes come in all shapes, sizes and tastes – the smallest ones are barely visible, and the largest are transportable only on the back of a truck. The entries strut, dance, skip, pose, ride and shimmy down a packed and cheering Oxford Street in the name of tradition, celebration and unity.

“Hey, this is my hometown – and I’m proud that nothing in Sydney is taboo.”
– Catriona Rowntree

The nighttime parade has something for everyone, and is held to raise funds for charities. The Mardi Gras will make you laugh, surprise you, and perhaps even move you to shed a tear.

Did you know?
Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”. Nearly half a million people watched the 2006 Mardi Gras live, and if you happen to have access to huge quantities of milk crates, you can make an absolute fortune renting them out for five bucks a throw for people to stand on and see what’s going on – yes, the crowds lining the streets are that thick.

How to get there
There are frequent daily flights to Sydney from all major cities in Australia.

The best place to spot the Mardi Gras parade is on Oxford Street in Darlinghurst. There are frequent trains to St James and Museum railway stations from where it’s a short walk through Hyde Park to Oxford Street.

Best time to go
The Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras takes place every year on the first Saturday in March.

Further information
Useful websites:

www.sydney.com.au
Comprehensive website with visitor information

www.discoversydney.com.au
Comprehensive website with visitor information

www.mardigras.org.au
Official website of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

transportnsw.info
The Transport Infoline offers timetable, route, ticket and fare information for trains, buses and ferries in the Greater Sydney Metropolitan Area.

 

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