Sydney is located on Australia’s south-east coast, on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. It’s a busy metropolis built around one of the world’s most beautiful harbours.
Bordered by kilometres of peaceful beaches on the city’s east, and spectacular national parks to the west, Sydney invites you to choose your own pace: opt for easy relaxation, or dive headfirst into the city’s vibrant and diverse culture.
Our city is also the perfect gateway for exploring the rest of the country — once you’re here, you can easily drive to coastal towns and picturesque wine regions, or you can get a plane to just about anywhere in Australia.
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras takes place in February and early March, when Sydney is at its absolute best: the end of our warm, sunny summer.
In February, the average high is 26.8 degrees Celsius (that’s 80.2 degrees Fahrenheit, for our American friends). The days are long, and nights are perfect for spending outdoors, with the average low just 19.9 degrees Celsius (67.8 degrees Fahrenheit).
New South Wales – of which Sydney is the capital city – is the heaven in between the hot tropics of Queensland, and the dry heat of Victoria.
Sydney is considered one of the most LGBTQIA+ friendly places in the world. Although it took us until 2017 to achieve marriage equality, we have a long history of activism and queer culture and are considered the LGBTQIA+ capital of Australasia and the Pacific.
Since 1978, we have hosted the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. The event is now an enormous pride festival, but it began as a protest march to call for an end to discrimination against gays and lesbians. Many participants were arrested at the first protest, but the event now goes ahead with the enthusiastic support of the whole city. Visitors join us from all over the world, and hundreds of thousands of people participate each year.
Mardi Gras takes place on the lands of the Gadigal, Cammeraygal, Bidjigal, Darug, Dharawal people, who are the Traditional Custodians of the Sydney Basin.
More than 5 million Sydneysiders call our city home, and almost half of our residents were born overseas, making it one of the most multicultural places in the world.
The Central Business District is built on the edge of Sydney Harbour, an expansive body of water full of headlands, coves and islands to discover. On the south-east corner of the CBD, you’ll find Darlinghurst, Surry Hills and Kings Cross: a residential area with a thriving restaurant and bar scene, and the city’s traditional home for LGBTQIA+ communities.
The city’s inner-west is another hub for LGBTQIA+ people: Newtown, Marrickville, Erskineville and Enmore all have fabulous small bars and friendly neighbourhood pubs. Head further west to enjoy even more of Sydney’s cultural and culinary scene (Lakemba, Cabramatta, Burwood and Parramatta are all dining hubs), or keep going until you reach the gorgeous Blue Mountains National Park, at the western edge of the city. The beaches all along Sydney’s coastline, from Palm Beach in the North (known as ‘Summer Bay’ to fans of the Aussie soap opera Home & Away), down to Cronulla in the South, span iconic surf beaches to quiet inlets perfect for swimming.
With gorgeous beaches, buzzing streets, delicious food and happy people, we’re sure you’re going to fall in love with Sydney. Take a look at our recommendations of things to do while you’re in our harbour city.
Getting Around Sydney
Public transport is used across Australia by locals and visitors alike, and Sydney is no exception. We give you the low-down on how to navigate from buses to ferries and everything in between.
Sydney Day Trips
Sydney is a city built for day trips. The coastline is dotted with natural wonders and charming seaside communities, while if you venture further inland you’ll discover historic towns and rugged bushland as far as the eye can see.