Gay and lesbian Australia
Australia is a fixture on the Queer map thanks to its great climate and laidback lifestyle. Sydney is Australia’s gay-friendly capital, especially in March when hundreds of thousands of people pour in for the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. Despite its reputation as a macho culture, the country revels in a large and active scene: you’ll find an air of confidence and a sense of community that is often missing in other parts of the world.
Sydney is the jewel in Australia’s navel. Famous as one of the world’s great gay cities, it attracts lesbian and gay visitors from around the world. Melbourne closely follows, but there are scenes in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, and to a lesser extent Perth, Adelaide, Hobart and Darwin.
Away from the cities, things get more discreet, but a lot of country areas do have friendly local scenes – impossible to pinpoint, but easy to stumble across. However, Outback mainstays of mining and cattle ranching are not famed for their tolerance of homosexuality, so tread carefully in remote destinations.
Gay and lesbian contacts
Pinkboard . Popular, long-running website with useful “Graffiti Walls” full of parties, personal ads and classifieds sections with everything from house-shares, party tickets for sale, employment, and a help and advice section. Posting ads is free.
The Pink Directory . Online directory of gay and lesbian business and community information.
DNA . The nation’s best-selling Queer title, an upmarket lifestyle magazine for gay men.
Tourist services and travel agents
GALTA (Gay and Lesbian Tourism Australia) . An online resource and nonprofit organization that promotes the gay and lesbian tourism industry with good links.
Gay Travel . Online travel agent, concentrating mostly on accommodation.
International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association . Trade group with lists of gay-owned or gay-friendly travel businesses.
Everything you need to know before you set off.
Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners
Planning your trip to Australia
Everything you need to plan where to go and what to do.
The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.
The world's quirkiest food festivals
Tomato-drenched crowds wading through a lake of passata at Valencia’s La Tomatina festival might be a familiar image, but such passionate and eccentric cele…
A Rough Guide to: visiting Australia's Great Barrier Reef
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s greatest natural wonders – it’s the largest structure ever built by living things and is even visib…
The best aerial views in the world
Got a head for heights? If you're craving a new perspective on your travels, the best thing to do is get up high. From mountain-top panoramas to cityscapes, her…