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 pinkboard.com.au. 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 thepinkdirectory.com.au. Online directory of gay and lesbian business and community information.

DNA dnamagazine.com.au. 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) galta.com.au. An online resource and nonprofit organization that promotes the gay and lesbian tourism industry with good links.

Gay Travel gaytravel.com. Online travel agent, concentrating mostly on accommodation.

International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association iglta.org. Trade group with lists of gay-owned or gay-friendly travel businesses.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Australia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Solo travel in Australia: everything you need to know

Solo travel in Australia: everything you need to know

Australia remains a classic travel destination. A steady stream of gap-year backpackers, career breakers and round-the-world-trippers head down under to sample …

22 Nov 2016 • Shafik Meghji insert_drive_file Article
Road trip Australia: 6 of the best routes

Road trip Australia: 6 of the best routes

Pack your stuff, throw it in a camper van along with a surfboard and don’t look back… This might be an old cliché but it’s one for good reason: Australia…

18 Oct 2016 • Ros Walford insert_drive_file Article
Sydney or Melbourne: the great Aussie debate

Sydney or Melbourne: the great Aussie debate

Sydney and Melbourne have been battling it out for supremacy as long as Europeans have been setting sail for Australia. Both are capitals of their respective st…

03 Oct 2016 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month