To limit the spread of the coronavirus, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please consult government travel advisories before booking. The WHO is closely monitoring the coronavirus and more information can be found here.
Things to Do During Sydney Mardi Gras
Transforming the city into a riot of outrageous costumes and foot-stomping beats, Mardi Gras in Sydney is no ordinary carnival—it's one of the world’s largest and most important LGBTQ pride festivals. Here’s what to know if you plan to attend.
Mardi Gras History
Australia’s first ever Mardi Gras parade took place in 1978, on the anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York, a reaction to discrimination against the city’s LGBTQ community. The incident is heralded as a major milestone for the gay community, resulting in key changes in both laws and public opinion. Today, many of the events at Sydney’s Mardi Gras have a political undercurrent, with workshops, talks, and demonstrations focusing on equal rights and LGBTQ issues, and the festival is renowned as a vibrant and far-reaching celebration of diversity, individuality, and acceptance.
Ways to Celebrate Sydney Mardi Gras
Get glammed up for the grand Mardi Gras parade, the festival’s headline event, which takes place along Oxford Street, Flinders Street, and Taylor Square on the first Saturday of March.
Make the most of Sydney’s Mardi Gras celebrations, including popular events such as the Bondi Beach Drag Races, the Mardi Gras Film Festival, and Victoria Park Fair Day.
Snag tickets for the legendary Mardi Gras party, with live performances by big-name international acts.
Challenge yourself to a Mardi Gras–themed Sydney BridgeClimb and wave a rainbow flag from the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Celebrate by taking in Sydney’s top attractions on a Sydney Harbour cruise, admiring the views from the Sydney Tower, taking a tour of the Sydney Opera House, or hitting the waves at Bondi Beach.
Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge for unrivaled views from a height of 440 feet (134 meters) on this Australian landmark. Choose a half-day BridgeClimb with a guide in the morning or afternoon, or climb at dawn, twilight, or night. Choose from several other options, including a Sampler Climb that takes you halfway up, or a BridgeClimb Summit Express for a rigorous ascent at a faster pace. Climbs to the summit are limited to 14 participants to ensure personalized attention in a small group.
Go behind the scenes at the Sydney Opera House for a fascinating look at this Sydney icon. Your knowledgeable guide leads you through the World Heritage–listed building on a walking tour, sharing entertaining stories about the revered performance center's history and providing access to off-limits parts of the house. Tours take place every 30 minutes throughout the day, so it’s easy to fit into your sightseeing schedule. Upgrade to top off your experience with a delicious tasting plate at the Opera kitchen or dine at the famous Opera Bar
Join a hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour by double-decker bus to discover the highlights of Sydney and Bondi Beach. Enjoy unobstructed views and recorded onboard commentary as you travel along two routes to top destinations like Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour, and Bondi Beach. Go in-depth at any given place by simply hopping off the bus to explore. You can experience Sydney and Bondi's most noteworthy attractions at your own pace with your choice of ticket, valid for either 24 or 48 hours.
Spend a day exploring Sydney with an expert guide, and take in iconic highlights around the famous harbor-side city on this full-day tour. Admire the swoop of Sydney Harbour Bridge and the sails of the Sydney Opera House. Tickle your toes in the sands of Manly Beach, and then head over to Bondi Beach later that day. Take in the sights of downtown Sydney, and wrap up with a scenic drive to The Gap and Watson’s Bay. You can also upgrade to add a lunch cruise on Sydney Harbour if you'd like.
Cruise through Sydney Harbour in style on board a spacious flagship vessel that departs from Circular Quay and King Street Wharf. Glide by landmarks, including the floodlit Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House, and watch the city change colors with the sunset. Then sit down for a 3-course dinner with an array of international dishes including fresh seafood. Enjoy the views from your table or the viewing deck, and live entertainment on this 2.5-hour dinner cruise.
Spend some time like a classic Aussie on a historical pub tour of The Rocks, Sydney’s oldest neighborhood. Join a fun-loving and informative guide, and visit some of the quarter’s oldest drinking holes to experience authentic Aussie pub life. Enjoy five drinks and dinner; discover pubs' behind-the-scenes secrets; and uncover the The Rocks' history, discovering how its drink spots have shaped local culture. Includes souvenir gift, photos, and discount vouchers for local shops and restaurants.
Enjoy a deluxe sunset cruise on Sydney Harbour accompanied by a delicious two-course dinner with unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks. From the water, admire iconic sights such as Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Fort Denison, Luna Park and more. Snap photos as the sky shimmers at sunset and the city skyline lights up for the night as you cruise through Sydney in the evening.
Take in views from one of Sydney's best vantage points, the revolving restaurant at 360 Bar and Dining, which perches on top of Sydney Tower, 88 stories above the ground. Choose from an à la carte menu to customize your 2- or 3-course meal, enjoying an elegant meal while overlooking the stunning Sydney skyline. This sophisticated restaurant offers an intimate, stylish fine dining experience, with contemporary Australian-French fusion cuisine.
Please note: 360 Bar and Dining is closed for refurbishment until August 2020.
Soak in 360-degree views as you dine on a delicious buffet lunch or dinner at Sydney Tower Restaurant's revolving restaurant. From your vantage point high above the streets of Sydney, the views change as the restaurant slowly revolves during your meal. Large picture windows frame iconic sights like the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour, Circular Quay and, in the distance, the Blue Mountains. The buffet lunch or dinner includes a range of tasty dishes that is sure to please everyone in your party.
Discover the history of Sydney on a 2.5-hour walking tour and pub crawl in The Rocks. Your knowledgeable and entertaining guide takes you to four of Sydney's oldest pubs where you try a different glass of craft beer, cider, or wine in each venue. Learn about the early days of the British colony in Australia and hear the stories of these old-time pubs as you enjoy their rich atmosphere and tasty drinks.
Learn the art of surfing with a lesson from a qualified instructor at the world-famous Bondi Beach, just a short hop from central Sydney. Get an informative and fun surfing lesson with your expert instructor, who shows you the basics, including getting up on the board, reading the surf and catching waves. If you want advanced instruction, private lessons accommodate all levels of expertise. Add a great workout and some waterside excitement to your vacation with a private or small-group surfing lesson in the heart of Australia’s surf culture.
Explore the LGBT history of Sydney during an entertaining and informative 2-hour walking tour. Follow your informative local guide through Hyde Park, the Royal Botanic Garden and over to rainbow-bedecked Oxford Street to hear about Sydney’s history and modern-day status as one of the world’s most gay-friendly cities, and home to the famous Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Wrap up with a complimentary drink at a gay bar on Oxford Street.
Sydney is famous for its nightlife, but with new bars and restaurants springing up all the time, it’s impossible to keep up. This 3-hour small-group walking tour will help you escape the tourist trail and discover Sydney’s burgeoning small bar scene, including drinks, tapas, and snacks at three different bars.
Soak up spectacular views of Sydney while enjoying a seafood lunch buffet during a 2.5-hour sightseeing cruise on a deluxe cruise boat. Get great photo ops of Sydney Harbour’s landmarks including Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and Fort Denison and hear informative commentary from your captain. Fresh seafood options may include prawns, crab, fish, rock oysters along with meats, salads and other local favorites. Upgrade for guaranteed window seats and drink options such as premium white and red wines, draught beer and soft drinks.