The Queer Girl City Guide for Sydney
Glittery, pompous, and energetic: these are the three words that come to mind when defining the extravagant Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade.
Marked as one of the most belligerent and happening events for queer men and women from across the globe, the Mardi Gras is unlike something you’ve ever seen before.
This year’s Mardi Gras was marked with a glittery display of over 507 pounds of rainbow showered across the whole location. More than 500,000 people attending the show witnessed a brilliant display of queer unity and rainfall of glitter all around.
The Mardi Gras event and the receptive attitude of people down under have made Sydney, Australia one of the most favored locations for queer girls and boys to spend a good getaway or, better yet, find employment in.
In this guide, GS Diamonds looks at all that a queer girl can enjoy while in the city of Sydney, Australia. Go through this guide and get lost in the glittery streets and among the welcoming people of Australia’s most happening city.
Where to Begin
Much like San Francisco and Boston, the heart of Sydney lies in its harbor. The Sydney Harbour is, hence, one of the most iconic places in the city. The harbor attracts viewers across the year, because of two reasons in specific; first, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and second, the Opera House.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is an interesting mechanism and a marvel of modern engineering. The bridge spreads over a wide area. Numerous tourists throng the place for a view of the bridge and the wonderful structure that it boasts of. Looking at the bridge, there is little that you would expect to beat this marvel until you turn around and look bewilderingly in the direction of Sydney’s famous Opera House.
As the cultural center of the country, Sydney’s Opera House has roofs that resemble the giant sails of a ship going into the sea with a mission. You can achieve your queer fantasy by doing what Cate Blanchett and Oprah Winfrey did; getting a bird's eye view of the Oprah House by climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge itself.
Lying beyond the central business districts and the Harbour itself is the diverse and unique neighborhoods of Sydney. Most of these neighborhoods are gay-friendly, especially the Potts Point.
Potts Point is an upscale neighborhood located within the inner-city, which is a favored spot for queers. The area contains numerous high-end apartments that give you a view to the harbor and leafy gardens. The streetscape for the neighborhood boasts of unique eateries and restaurants that cater to the queers visiting the area. Most of the neighborhood ice cream shops and parlors are run by queer entrepreneurs who find a good customer base among their very own.
Once you get tired of Potts Point and the nearby Darlinghurst, you can enjoy the scenic views and offerings of Newtown. Newtown dethrones Potts Point as the Mecca for lesbians in Sydney.
Once you enter Newtown, you can stroll around the streets to find lesbians everywhere. From pubs, cafes, and restaurants to bookshops, you would find lesbians everywhere. They can often be found ordering their favorite donuts at Donut Time.
People who have visited Newtown can vouch for the fact that it is one of the safest spots in the world for lesbians to cuddle up and feel comfortable in their own skin. Once you enter the area, you're likely to meet several strong, confident, and accomplished lesbian women. There is much to like about Newtown because of the amazing landscape and environment it offers. The streets are vibrant with love and compassion, and the cafes and bookshops are frequented by lesbians from all over Sydney.
Once you delve deeper into the streetscape of Newtown, you get to realize that it is the very industrial and grungy neighborhood that you can find all along in the States. A little like Fishtown in Philly and Bushwick in Brooklyn, Newtown is the place where different creative people and artists can find a good spot for food, drinks, and inspiration.
King Spot is the main highlight in Newtown, as this is where most shops lie. King Spot is also host to lesbian-friendly bars, such as Newtown Hotel and The Courthouse. You can walk further across the area and find several places where you can eat, drink, and have a good time. The area presents unparalleled opportunities for you to enjoy your nights with your partner, or better yet, find the new girl of your choice.
Where to Stay
Obviously, you cannot neglect the importance of bedding down. No city gives you a complete experience, but Sydney does when it comes to bedding down for a queer girl. The city is host to multiple comfy options, with the most uniquely Australian one being The Old Clare. Located nearby Chippendale, this former brewery and pub have a unique Australian design to it.
Boasting of food from Michelin Star chef Jason Atherton, the Old Clare gives guests a thorough experience catered to their needs. Chippendale also offers a convenient unpacking location for queer girls, as it is the newly gentrified area for art galleries, bars, creative agencies, and food options. Just step out of your room and experience the full blend of Australian hospitality and acceptability of queer culture.
Sydney Food Scene
While Melbourne used to be the food capital of Australia, the food scene in Sydney is giving Melbourne a run for their money.
What makes Sydney’s food scene amazing is the acceptability of diverse audiences. The trio of Australian restaurants hosted by Bill Granger can assist you here, as these restaurants offer an extensive and healthy take into the different dynamics of Aussies' food. The food is refreshing, healthy, and exactly what you need to step into your routine for the day.
Dine comfortably in Sydney with those you want, as the city is receptive of all.
Getting Out of the City
Most queer women throng the city of Sydney during the Mardi Grass season. Once the parade and the festivities are over, you can rejoice in the other sights and sounds around the wonderful city of Sydney.
For post-Mardi Gras recovery, you can head over to Byron Bay, which is the perfect location to breathe in the sights and sounds of the beaches in Australia. Byron Bay is located around the Northeast corner of the NSW province and is the chief meeting point for surfers and people with an alternative lifestyle. The region has wonderful natural wonders, which you can see by going to the beach with your group of enthusiastic queer girls.
The town around Byron Bay also has a rich mythic history associated with it. From the stories of the humpback whale that would come across the shores here for mating, to the stories of Aborigines that are still native to this area, everything around Byron Bay is captivating and enchanting.
The town around Byron Bay has a plethora of cute and fancy shops that sit well with the artistic mind that most queer girls happen to have. The Farm at Byron Bay is a working farm that offers a barn-like restaurant experience for all. The restaurant offers local dishes that are made through the production from their own connected farm. The ethos of Byron is a perfect display in this barn-like restaurant, as you see people moving in harmony, having a spiritual connection with each other.
Byron Bay isn’t really far off from Sydney and can be reached by a short flight, or an exciting road trip. In any case, you are set to enjoy captivating sights and a diverse group of queer girls along the journey.
Things You Should Know
When visiting Sydney in the summers, for the Mardi Gras, you are better off investing in your wardrobe. To begin with, you should have a hat, some good walking shoes, an extra slip-on, and a good sunscreen in your bag. The sun in this part of the world is extremely strong, and you would want to have your wardrobe stacked accordingly. Also, remember to remain hydrated, as water is extremely necessary to keep your body at par with what is happening around.
Qantas is the best way for you to get to Sydney from any location in the world. There are direct flights to Sydney from LA, San Francisco, and other locations, offered by Qantas. The CEO of Qantas, Alan Joyce, has talked about their LGBT inclusivity on numerous occasions and is openly gay himself. Qantas is also one of the chief sponsors for the Mardi Gras, which is why you can start your exciting journey the right way by jumping in a Qantas plane.
The Opal Card is necessary for getting around busses, trains, and ferries in Sydney. Walking is an option, but going by trains and buses is easier and comfortable. To top it all, the inclusive streetscape and the openness to queer love inside trains is what makes traveling for a queer girl extremely easy in Sydney.