Sydney Mardi Gras
Sydney Mardi Gras returned for its 31st fabulous year on Feb. 14. The three weeks of entertainment -- Joan Rivers is lending her comedic talents, actor Alan Cumming is set to perform, and Angels in America: Part I will play at the Riverside Theatres -- culminate in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade on March 7.
Because the month-long event is such a staple of Sydney 's culture, gay and otherwise, there are several travel packages available.
Hautes Vacances (French for "high travel"), a new boutique gay travel company, is offering The Sydney Mardi Gras Experience . Whether you buy the three-day ($1,525 for a single in a double bedroom) or the lengthier 10-day package ($2,300 for a single in a double bedroom), there are exclusive benefits such as accommodation in a centrally located boutique hotel, you get to ride on the official Sex & The City Mardi Gras float, personal 24-hour concierge service, and Official Mardi Gras Party Member VIP tickets.
And if, at the end of the festivities, you're still not fully satisfied, Small World Journeys , a gay-friendly Australian tour operator, has put together an exclusive Post-Sydney Mardi Gras Eco-Tour for the gay and lesbian crowd. The eight-day trip ($2,235) begins March 9 and includes whitewater rafting, rainforest hikes, sailing to the Great Barrier Reef , snorkeling, and scuba diving. The tour, led by professional local guides, also features dinners at upscale restaurants and four-star (eco-friendly) accommodations.
This year also sees the return of The Pink Flight , which travels to Sydney via Auckland in gay style. The theme for the flight is "Party" and the experience will include onboard entertainment. But it's only available on March 6, so booking early is key.