Plan your WorldPride!
As anybody that has visited Sydney for Mardi Gras knows, it’s the most fabulous time of the year! The city comes alive, the pubs and clubs are heaving, the theatres are full, the sun is shining, the beaches glisten and the atmosphere is electric with rainbow vibrancy.
It’s also a time when Sydney hotels are full to the brim, so you can definitely save yourself some time and money by getting your Dinky Diary out now and booking early. If you’re flying to Sydney, now is also the time to be securing your flights.
One of the most common questions we get asked on social media is ‘which dates are best to visit for WorldPride?’ so we’ve made you a cheat sheet! Depending on how long you have to visit Sydney, the below has some itineraries to get you started!
And remember, there will be over 300 events across the WorldPride Official, WorldPride Arts, WorldPride Sports and Pride Amplified programs, so there will always be something to do! Subscribe to our newsletter for updates.
WORLDPRIDE MARATHON – Friday 24 February to Sunday 5 March (10 Days)
Oh so you’re a stamina queen? WorldPride goes for 17 days, but this 10-day itinerary only requires you to take 6 days of annual leave from work!
- Friday 24 February: Start the day taking part in WorldPride Sports, visiting the First Nations Gathering Space or the Pride Villages, then onto Live and Proud: Sydney WorldPride Opening Concert Presented by American Express.
- Saturday 25 February: Mardi Gras Parade straight into Mardi Gras Party. Icons.
- Sunday 26 February: Choose your own adventure – Mardi Gras Laneway for street party vibes, or Domain Dance Party for circuit realness.
- Monday 27 February: Recovery beach day. Head down to Pride Villages when you’re ready to go again, with a night on Oxford Street.
- Tuesday 28 February: See a show at the First Nations Gathering Space, or choose from one of our suggested day trips.
- Wednesday 1 March: Sweetie it’s time to camp it up for Kaftana Pool Party!
- Thursday 2 March: Back to Oxford Street? Or sample Sydney’s other gaybourhoods. For the arts lovers, it’s straight to the Sydney Opera House for Blak & Deadly: The First Nations Gala Concert.
- Friday 3 March: If you’re a LGBTQIA+ woman or ally, Ultra Violet is for you. Or if you’re needing to give the kidneys a rest, head to Mardi Gras’ comedy gala Laugh Out Proud.
- Saturday 4 March: Are we heading to Mardi Gras Sissy Ball to witness vogue legends from across the Asia-Pacific, or Bondi Beach Party Presented by Optus to dance? Look, we don’t want to be an enabler, but technically you could do a bit of both too!
- Sunday 5 March: Several many coffees later, you are awake for Pride March across the Sydney Harbour Bridge! Have brunch, visit Oxford Street which is closed for the day, have a power nap, and brace yourself for all-day music fest vibes of Rainbow Republic Presented by Optus.
MARDI GRAS ICONIC – Thursday 23 February to Monday 27 February (5 Days)
You’re coming to Sydney for the first time and want the full 45th anniversary Mardi Gras experience.
- Thursday 23 February: For the athletic crew, WorldPride Sports is on or start your Sydney trip at the beach! For the artsy, see a show at the First Nations Gathering Space.
- Friday 24 February: Spend the afternoon at the Pride Villages, have dinner out then head straight to Live and Proud: Sydney WorldPride Opening Concert Presented by American Express under the stars. Tomorrow is a big day, so maybe only a *little* night out on Oxford Street afterward.
- Saturday 25 February: This is it! Mardi Gras Parade and Mardi Gras Party. Treat yo’self to Diamond Club or Side Show for premium viewing of the iconic street Parade, and make sure you get your Party tickets the second they go on sale.
- Sunday 26 February: Are you alive? Good. Recovery at Mardi Gras Laneway, or for those that can really back it up, it’s
straightgay to circuit at Domain Dance Party.
- Monday 27 February: Brunch, beach, and maybe a cheeky last stop at the Pride Villages before your flight.
WORLDPRIDE ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME – Thursday 2 March to Monday 6 March (5 Days)
So, you’ve got limited time and want to focus on the one-off party events? Well the last weekend of WorldPride it is!
- Thursday 2 March: Start at a little venue you may have heard of…the Sydney Opera House for First Nations fabulousness at Blak & Deadly. If the party can’t wait, start at Pride Villages then hit the Oxford Street pubs and clubs.
- Friday 3 March: The first of the special events awaits you – Ultra Violet at Sydney Town Hall – for LGBQTIA+ women and allies. Or head to some of Sydney’s other gaybourhoods.
- Saturday 4 March: Bondi Beach Party Presented by Optus. Enough said.
- Sunday 5 March: Enter the ballot to take part in the Pride March across Sydney Harbour Bridge, and then spend the afternoon on Oxford Street before hitting Rainbow Republic Presented by Optus for six hours of live music.
- Monday 6 March: Recovery. By lunchtime decide this holiday is not over, and you’re renting a car to head up (or down) the coast.
PARTY PARTY PARTY – Sunday 19 February to Sunday 5 March (15 Days)
In the spirt of Saint Gaga, you want “No sleep. Bus. Club. Another club. Another club. Another club.”
Whether you’re a local, or a very keen visitor demanding to do it all, below are the must-have parties. Remember Mardi Gras parties sell out, so get in early to secure your ticket (and many events have early-bird pricing too).
- Sunday 19 February: Mardi Gras Fair Day Presented by American Express is a completely free event, and as the sun sets the stage comes alive with a free concert to get us in the WorldPride mood.
- Monday 20 February: Mardi Gras Paradiso Pool Party is held on the picturesque city rooftop The Ivy. Get into your swimmers and dance the night away.
- Saturday 25 February: The one, the only Mardi Gras Party.
- Sunday 26 February: The annual favourite Mardi Gras Laneway, or if a 10,000-person circuit party is more your vibe, Domain Dance Party it is!
- Wednesday 1 March: We’re back at The Ivy for Kaftana Pool Party. And yep, that means wear a kaftan! Camp.
- Friday 3 March: For the first time, Sydney Town Hall will host Ultra Violet – the party for LGBTQIA+ women and allies.
- Saturday 4 March: Bondi Beach Party Presented by Optus is going to be one for the history books.
- Sunday 5 March: Rainbow Republic Presented by Optus is six hours of DJs and live music.
Remember these are just the Official events – there will be many more parties hosted by major event producers through our Pride Amplified program. Subscribe to our newsletter to get updates.
SPORTY SPICE – Sunday 19 February to 26 February (8 days)
Over 20 different sports have been funded to stage free and low-cost events as part of WorldPride Sports, so whether you’re a spectator or player, these 8 days are for you! Individual WorldPride Sports events haven’t been scheduled yet, but as long as you’re in town for this period you’ll be sorted.
- Sunday 19 February: Start at Mardi Gras Fair Day Presented by American Express, which is an all-day free event in the sun where many of queer sports groups have stalls, games and demonstrations.
- Monday 20 February: This marks the official start of WorldPride Sports, and after a long day of being sweaty, change into your Budgy Smugglers for Mardi Gras Paradiso Pool Party.
- Tuesday 21 February – Friday 24 February: WorldPride Sports are on for this entire period.
- Friday 24 February: You’ve been so active, it’s time to sit back and relax at the Live and Proud: Sydney WorldPride Opening Concert Presented by American Express or hang out with the global queer community at the Pride Villages before a night on Oxford Street.
- Saturday 25 February: Mardi Gras Parade and Mardi Gras Party! Many sports have floats, so connect with teams in advance as there may be an opportunity to be in the Parade yourself!
- Sunday 26 February: You’ve been so sporty all week, so let’s check your cardiovascular endurance by dancing the day away at Mardi Gras Laneway or Domain Dance Party. Or if you need something lower key(ish), Pride Villages extend onto Oxford Street all day.
HUMAN RIGHTS CONFERENCE
We are extremely proud to be hosting the largest LGBTQIA+ Human Rights Conference ever staged in the Southern Hemisphere. Whether you’re a community member, work in Diversity & Inclusion, policy, health or justice, March 1-3 is the time you need to be in Sydney.
If you’re visiting Australia for the first time, you could ease your way into summer with a visit to the north coast of New South Wales (the state Sydney is in) before coming into Sydney for WorldPride. We’ve got some suggested locations here, and you could even start your WorldPride in Newcastle at Pink Salt.
Let’s be honest, you’re probably going to want to plan your WorldPride recovery too! There are lots of holiday options near Sydney, from beach to nature trips. Here are some thought-starters for you.