Sydney, Australia, is a dream destination for many LGBTQ travellers, thanks to its progressive outlook alongside its always pleasant weather, white-sand beaches, and vibrant local culture. The city’s annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade and festival is legendary in queer circles. And that makes the announcement that 2023’s WorldPride event will be held in Sydney that much sweeter. But you’ve only got a few months to go until the celebration begins, which means now’s the perfect time to start planning. Here’s what you need to know. By Paul Heney
What is WorldPride?
WorldPride, which promotes LGBTQ visibility through parades, festivals, and cultural activities, is generally held every two to three years in different cities across the globe. The first event was in Rome in 2000, with more recent happenings in London, Toronto, Madrid, New York City, and Copenhagen-Malmö.
When is Sydney WorldPride?
The Sydney event, which starts on February 17 and ends on March 5, will be the eighth iteration of WorldPride, but the first held in the Southern Hemisphere. The team behind the event chose the date to coincide with the city’s Mardi Gras celebration, ensuring that there will be plenty to do for every visitor.
What events to expect
Activities will include concerts, a First Nations celebration, dance parties, a conference on human rights, plays, theatre performances, pool parties, gala dinners, sporting events, beach parties, and more than 60 individual art experiences. Some highlights include Live & Proud, the Sydney WorldPride Opening Concert hosted by Australian TV personality Courtney Act; Rainbow Republic, a massive 20,000-strong dance party held in the heart of the city; and a historic Pride March that will take place on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. However, this is just a taste of the more than 300 events taking place across Sydney for WorldPride. And organisers believe there will be some half a million visitors on hand to celebrate it all.
What else to do in Sydney — and beyond
Just because there are more than 300 WorldPride events in Sydney doesn’t mean your experience needs to stop there. Tour operators will be working to extend the fun — both in Sydney and surrounding destinations.
“For WorldPride, we have our annual Mardi Gras Sunset Cruise on stunning Sydney Harbour the night before the WorldPride opening ceremony. We are working with Sydney Bridge Climbs for ‘Climbs with a Drag Queen.'” said Mario Paez, the managing director and co-founder of Planetdwellers, a Sydney-based travel business that is LGBTQ owned and operated. “We are also doing our popular Day or Gay Tours [where] people can be on tour with a group and head west to famous places like the Blue Mountains, north to the Hunter Valley wineries and vineyards, or down the south coast to the beautiful farm and coastal areas that are surrounded by quaint towns.”
Paez’s company was recently named the exclusive Australian WorldPride travel partner for the USA market. And though he wants guests to see and do it all, Paez reiterates that there’s still plenty of magic all within the Sydney city limits.
“Sydney is a stunning city that is so beautiful — the iconic bridge and Opera House are just a tease for the real thing,” he said. “The food and coffee culture has matured into something of its own creation, and most visitors are simply blown away by that. Sydney is also so green and lush and is quite walkable. It has plenty of public transport options to quickly move around from bar to bar and event to event. It is a safe and welcoming city; on a sunny Sydney day, you just cannot beat it.”
How to get tickets
Want to join the fun? Individual tickets for many events are already on sale at sydneyworldpride.com, with event listings getting added regularly.
This story first appeared on www.travelandleisure.com
Main and Feature Image Credit: Courtesy of World Pride