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VIP Guide to Sydney During Mardi Gras

So, you know all you have to do is grab your app and tap the "Mardi Gras" icon to find out the latest and best events to attend during the 2013 Sydney Mardi Gras season - but whether you're a local who wants some tips or a visitor who has never been here, we want you to get out and experience the emerald city like the superstar you are.


So we caught up with some very influential and darn right talented folks to get them to spill the beans on unique things to do and favourite places to go all over gay old Sydney town.


Pete say's take a trip through history

I recommend to any Sydney visitor a trip to the Sydney Mardi Gras Museum. This is an exhibition that celebrates the 35 years of Mardi Gras and the Sydney LGBTQI community in all it's full glory and splendor. From the 78 ers who were arrested in 1978 . Who were marching to mark the 9th year anniversary of the Stonewall riots in NYC and were met with police batons at Taylor Square.

Through the decades of community change including the AIDS epidemic , law reform,  and to modern day. The parade and our parties are symbols of safe havens and places to go where we can be one and whole. The museum captures this like no other exhibition before seen.


Peter Urmson

Peter is the co-chair of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

For more information on the Museum, join the official Mardi Gras Group on


Take in our favourte Pommie's favourites...

Oh easy! I would recommend people to visit the Royal Mint (pictured), the Botanical Gardens and to take the Manly ferry.

Sydney is full of charm and theres so much to discover. Its such a WOW city.


Lee Dagger

BIMBO JONES Dj & Producer songwriter.

Lee is one of the worlds most in demand DJ's, Producers and Songwriters. His multi taksing talents have him flying all over the world playing the top clubs and global events. You will see him across Mardi Gras in Sydney 2013, plus check out his massive catalogue of hit remixes and productions for some of the worlds biggest chart and club stars.


Go West! (Inner West, that is)

Australia st, Newtown (Between King street and Lennox)
I lived on this street for over 5 years in an old two story terrace in the middle of this particular block. These are little diamonds that the locals love and continue to come back to time and again. It’ s a little off the main strip of King street, giving it a village feel moments from the eclectic suburbans. Eat, drink, and shop.

Barmuda cafe – Start with a Great breakfast, great bohemian vibe and excellent coffee. Hope they have the infamous potato stack on the menu still.
Stax of Wax – Do a spot of shopping where all the candles are handmade on premises and have been for over 21 years. Pick up a souvenir or two in any number of colours and scents.
Blackstar Pastries – A new starter in this otherwise established block but a crowd favourite. Wander in at any time and try their signature watermelon cake.
Courthouse Hotel – Finish it off at an original Australian pub where they serve from the middle of the room. This hotel is an old school favourite where beers in the courtyard are a weekend institution.


Steph Sands

Founder - Women Say Something
Chair –Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Women’s Board Committee
Board Co-Chair - Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, 2003-2005, 2009-2011




Cruise the foreshore for a lazy lunch and stroll

Obviously Sydney is known for its friendly faces and sparkling beaches, but for something different with more substance I love taking all my international friends when they come to Sydney for an extended walk along our harbourside where there are many attractions to fill the day.

Starting at Mrs Macquarie chair I love visiting the site to see its uninterrupted purity before they start setting up the Harbour Party at its location (which is one of my favourite parties).

Then cruising down through the botanical gardens taking in its peaceful beauty heading down to the Opera House steps where we soak in the dramatic views of our harbour showcasing the city skyline, the Harbour Bridge, and the Opera House. At this point we stop for a well deserved drink at the Opera Bar famous for its outdoor atmosphere
When ready, we stroll along the Circular Quay and stop at Wildfire Restaurant for a long boozy lunch enjoying the Overseas Passenger Terminal setting.

There are usually some alternative and quirky talent busking entertainment along the walkway here earning a quick dollar which are good to watch.

After lunch I love strolling through historic are of The Rocks finding some aboriginal markings on sandstone walls which have been preserved, and telling stories of the first settlers and how this area was headquarters as one of our first red light districts for prostitutes and labourers.

By then, the sun would have set and we would decide whether to head back home or perhaps stick around The Rocks for dinner and make the most of the day by strolling around to the Foreshore Promenade at the Pier, the home of Sydney Dance Company. If we stick around I like to watch some of the classes (and dare I say join in, if i was sober)


Johan Khoury

Johan is one of Australia's top event promoters, with brands like Daywash, Spinout, Nevermind (Club), Harbour Party and more under his belt. To top it off he is globally in demand as a DJ and remix producer too.

Join Johan's group on


Get some on the water high energy action

"Go on the jet boats through Sydney Harbour. You see all the sites and have the best time hooning around!"

There are a few operators that you can book with - either Darling Harbour or Circular Quay have jet boats - and both take you out into the harbour. They run most days rain or shine. Your going to get wet anyway!


Zoe Badwi

Zoe is Australia's APRA and ARIA Award nominated dance floor DIVA. She has slam dunked a tonne of singles to the top of the charts in the past few years, and in 2013 she is the voice of Mardi Gras!

Her new single, TORCHES is the official theme!

Join Zoe's group on


Reflect on the past and celebrate the future

Every Mardi Gras I reflect on the battles our community has won to inspire me on the battles to come, and in 2012 attending the history talks at the Mardi Gras Museum will be a key part of this. I am very excited to walk across the rainbow crossing with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, and at the Mardi Gras party I love hitting with dance floor with Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.


Alex Greenwich MP

Alex Greenwich MP
Member for Sydney
Chairperson, Australian Marriage Equality


Let us and other readers know your favourite spots in the comments section below - or better, leave a review on any of our city guide listings or expert services listings via the website or app!


Happy Mardi Gras!

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