The pandemic left many thirsting for interaction. We see you, hear you, and feel you. And our Australia: Summer Down Under tour is just the thing to tickle you down there. Ten fun days kick off in Melbourne before we fly to Tasmania. Ending things on a high note, our last leg in Sydney coincides with the campiest, brightest, most over-the-top Pride party on Earth: Mardi Gras! This really is a parade like no other, so here are ten reasons it feels correct to fly down and flash your passports, our little koalas.
10. Things kick off with a sunset cruise.
It wouldn’t be an Out Adventures tour without being a little extra. We’ll drop our bags off at our centrally-located hotel in Sydney, then board a Mardi Gras sunset cruise to flaunt our stuff all over the harbour. Mix and mingle with other LGBT+ folk, enjoy a cocktail, and groove to the beats of a live DJ while the sun sets and you sailors shimmy.
9. Because Kylie Minogue. And other icons.
The Princess of Pop may be pint-sized, but her reign down here runs wide and long. This is her land, but she’s only one of many global icons to perform at Mardi Gras’ midnight after-party. Past performers include Dua Lipa, Cher, and the transvestalizing RuPaul. Whoever headlines the event, remember to channel the spirit of Kylie herself.
8. It’s in bloody Sydney.
The metropolis where we wrap up our holiday is summin’ else: Sydney is world-class, with spectacular sights like the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, and Royal Botanic Garden. If time and budget permit, you should definitely consider extending your stay a few days.
7. It’s perfect for girlfriends with girlfriends.
Got a gal pal that likes to shake her groove thing? Sydney is one of the most lesbian-welcoming cities on Earth, and this would not be the first time women joined an Out Adventures tour. Feel free to invite the girls: we’ll welcome them with open arms, then set them free in Sydney’s Sapphic seas like Ellen DeGeneres as Dory (before she got canceled).
6. The parade is at night.
Sydney summers swelter, so it’s only sensible to save the celebration ’til the sun sets. Plus, you can trade in your sunscreen for something more sparkly. Think Disneyland’s Main Street Electrical Parade, then spice it up with a celebration of sexuality, individuality, and literal fireworks. This is what adds up to Sydney Mardi Gras: disparate elements coming together (and coming out) for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
5. Celebrate boundless progress.
Like most Pride celebrations, Sydney Mardi Gras was born at Stonewall. One night in 1978, organizers planned their first legal protest. Despite obtaining permits for a peaceful march, people were met with mass arrests at Kings Cross. The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper struck an especially low blow and published a list shaming and naming everybody arrested. Despite most charges being dropped, reputations were smeared and the damage was done. Never forget, but look how far we’ve come.
4. It will warm up your winter.
The biggest problem with commemorating Stonewall is that June is winter for Australia. Sydney’s 1980 event – only in its third year – was so frigid they officially changed the entire season of their commemoration. Moving forward it would happen during Australia’s summer, in February-March.
3. One (admittedly compound) word: WorldPride!
If you don’t get your fill on our tour in 2022, or if the timing isn’t right, you can always head down in 2023 for an even bigger, more audacious festival. That’s when Sydney will host WorldPride for the first time in the Southern Hemisphere.
2. Because you can.
It sounds corny but it’s true: this is the dawn of a new era. As fanatical globetrotters who love to share the world, we were stunned when international travel was shut down. If all goes to plan, this will be one of our first tours after the renaissance. We’ll be keen as wombats to celebrate, so join us for an extra gay old time in the land of The Bee Gees…who were totally straight. 🙄
1. Australia plays safe. So do we.
As one of Australia’s first major events to move forward post-pandemic, we truly feel safe attending Sydney Mardi Gras. The country’s response was to crush the smallest waves with aggressive lockdowns. The government ostensibly kept the virus off the island. We also take the safety of travel seriously. If you have any questions about our trip protections and protocols, please ask! We have a comprehensive plan in place.
Photo Credits: Cover) Juliette F on Unsplash. 10) Daniel Chen on Unsplash. 8) Kewal on Unsplash. 7) Brian Kyed on Unsplash. 6) Carl Hiehn. 4) Adrian Rem on Unsplash. 3) Wikipedia Commons. 2) Rudy Dong on Unsplash. 1) Daniel Norris on Unsplash.