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Embrace Sydney’s queer neighbourhoods

Prince Alfred Park, Surry HillsCredit: Destination NSW

Couple enjoying a walk along the rainbow path in Prince Alfred Park, Surry Hills.

#feelnewsydney #ilovesydney

Embrace Sydney’s queer neighbourhoods

Prince Alfred Park, Surry Hills Credit: Destination NSW

Couple enjoying a walk along the rainbow path in Prince Alfred Park, Surry Hills.

#feelnewsydney #ilovesydney

Hashtags #feelnewsydney #ilovesydney

Get your glow on — Sydney WorldPride 2023 kicks off on 17 February, 2023 and culminates with a historic Pride March across the Sydney Harbour Bridge on 5 March. Be inspired by the sparkle of the world-famous Mardi Gras Parade, parties, concerts and events to explore more of this beautiful harbour city. Discover the distinctive personality of each of Sydney’s neighbourhoods, including these four precincts that are the perfect places for a pre-event drink or as the base for your stay. Bronzed and beautiful Bondi hosts WorldPride’s Bondi Beach Party, while the ever-alternative Newtown is home to plenty of events at the Carriageworks arts centre as well as the Mardi Gras Fair Day. The city centre’s arts and nightlife scene forms the backdrop to the Live and Proud: Sydney WorldPride Opening Concert, and the Blak & Deadly: The First Nations Gala Concert at the Sydney Opera House. And the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade makes its way through Darlinghurst, with its vibrant LGBTQIA+ community and cutting-edge dining scene.

Sydney city

Eat & drink

Soak up incredible harbour views as you savour top-tier seafood and French flair at Whalebridge at Circular Quay — sit outside on the promenade with a generous tower of the day’s finest catches. While away a memorable evening at recently refurbished Art Deco Shell House: with four venues in one, it’s a bar-hopper’s dream. Grab an old-fashioned at Shell House’s Clocktower; pair the sunset at Sky Bar with a natural wine; relish a wagyu burger and beer at the laidback Menzies Bistro; or sink into a booth for a late-night Mediterranean feast at the Dining Room & Terrace. Or enjoy a looser vibe at veteran chef Dan Hong’s MuMu, which takes southeast Asian street food to new heights alongside yuzu slushies, distinctive durian ice-cream and bright neon signs.

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Feel the love at some of Sydney WorldPride’s biggest events in the city centre, then see for yourself how innovative works at the Sydney Opera House by world-renowned companies such as Bangarra Dance Theatre, Bell Shakespeare or Opera Australia are just as awe-inspiring as the sails themselves. Or immerse in the art of fashion with a stylist-guided odyssey through the city’s best boutiques and designer stores with Splendour Tailored Tours.

Find a fresh perspective on the city from the summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with BridgeClimb — during Sydney WorldPride a daily Pride Climb guided by a drag queen adds even more sparkle to the glistening harbour. Or gain a deeper understanding of the land you look out upon on BridgeClimb’s Burrawa Indigenous Experience, led by a First Nations storyteller who reframes the harbour via 60,000-plus years of the oldest living culture in the world.

Dive into Sydney’s cutting-edge nightlife at Mary’s Underground, an intimate, unpretentious club in Circular Quay where the LGBTQIA+ community turn looks and meet on the dancefloor.

Stay

Take in panoramic Sydney Harbour views at InterContinental Sydney, or base yourself at one of two recently opened five-star boutique hotels, the Art Deco Kimpton Margot Sydney and the heritage Porter House Hotel, both of which are within walking distance of the festivities on Darlinghurst’s Oxford Street.

Tower Bar, Shell House, Sydney Credit: Jonny Valiant,

Tower Bar at Shell House, Sydney

#feelnew #feelnewsydney

Tower Bar, Shell House, Sydney Credit: Jonny Valiant,

Tower Bar at Shell House, Sydney

#feelnew #feelnewsydney

Aster Bar Credit: InterContinental Sydney

Aster Bar, InterContinental Sydney

#feelnewsydney #ilovesydney

Aster Bar Credit: InterContinental Sydney

Aster Bar, InterContinental Sydney

#feelnewsydney #ilovesydney

Darlinghurst + surrounds

Eat & drink

Indulge your adventurous side with experimental menus and bold decor at eateries across Sydney’s inner east. Get down to earth at natural wine bar Poly in Surry Hills, where head chef Mat Lindsay transforms pies, onion rings and the classic Australian pavlova dessert into unpretentious yet artful bar food. Or celebrate sacrilegious and delicious departures from Italian classics at nearby garage trattoria Pellegrino 2000. Devour barramundi with a Catalan twist at Parlar in Potts Point, and get a feel for Kings Cross’s long-gone cabaret bars at cosy underground cocktail bar Dulcie’s, a drinking den of velvet booths with table service late into the night.

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Feel the buzz on Oxford Street, the LGBTQIA+ centre of Sydney and an essential stop during a WorldPride pilgrimage. Work up a sweat on a heaving dancefloor at Stonewall or Universal, which is often packed for mid-week drag competitions. Absorb the energy at the Oxford Hotels upstairs drag-cabaret lounge Ginger’s, the welcoming, relaxed ground-floor bar, or the downstairs club Oxford Underground, which hosts everything from bear nights to drag bingo. Mingle with a diverse crowd of all identities and ages drawn to disco, ‘80s hits and ‘90s pop from Thursday to Sunday at Palms on Oxford, a few doors down from the Oxford Hotel. And join an all-inclusive party when POOF DOOF takes over Kinselas on Taylor Square each Saturday night.

Spend an afternoon recovering with hours of retail therapy on Oxford Street, browsing drag costumes at the legendary House of Priscilla and party and parade attire at DailyJocks, before drifting towards Paddington and the flagship stores of Australian labels such as Double Rainbouu, Dion Lee, Nique and more.

Stay

Get into an artistic groove at Surry Hills’s Ace Hotel, which takes the style and polish that has made the boutique hotel brand beloved across the globe and combined it with artist residencies and events with leading creative figures. Join a fashionable crowd just across the road at the boutique Paramount House Hotel, home to the Art Deco Golden Age Cinema, the slick Paramount Coffee Project cafe and the rooftop Paramount Recreation Club. Keep your pulse on Paddington at the new boutique hotel Oxford House, a relaxing oasis with glistening pool right on Oxford Street.

Parlar. Sydney Credit: Parlar

This fine-diner in Potts Point aims to share the cuisine of Catalonia in Spain’s north-east, through the use of Australian ingredients prepared with techniques from the Iberian Peninsula.

#feelnewsydney

Parlar. Sydney Credit: Parlar

This fine-diner in Potts Point aims to share the cuisine of Catalonia in Spain’s north-east, through the use of Australian ingredients prepared with techniques from the Iberian Peninsula.

#feelnewsydney

Ace Hotel, Sydney Credit: Ace Hoteld

The first southern hemisphere hotel from the Ace Hotel Group has now opened in Surry Hills, Sydney

#feelnewsydney

Ace Hotel, Sydney Credit: Ace Hoteld

The first southern hemisphere hotel from the Ace Hotel Group has now opened in Surry Hills, Sydney

#feelnewsydney

Bondi

Eat & drink

Step inside an Instagram post with a cocktail overlooking Bondi Beach and a gorgeous white-stone ocean pool at Icebergs Dining Room before enjoying its simple yet elegant Italian dining and silver service. Indulge in a seafood feast in the dining room or pop in for house-made pita and souvlaki at Topikós (Greek for ‘local’), a welcoming beachside space. Or snack on treats from nearby Frank’s Deli over a craft ale at the Curly Lewis brewery.

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Refresh with a dip at Bondi Beach — or blend in with the locals by renting a surfboard and paddling out to the world-famous waves. Then trace the dramatic coastline south of the beach on the 6km Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, strolling along cliffsides, beaches and swimming spots like the rocky shores of Gordon’s Bay. And seek out emerging local fashion designers alongside jewellers, artists and vintage bric-a-brac sellers at the beachside Bondi Markets, each Sunday from 10am to 4pm.

Stay

Ease into the ultra-laidback vibe of this beachside suburb at quirky boutique hotel QT Bondi, where the spacious guest suites are decked out in beachy pastels and breezy designer touches (and dressing gowns that feel fantastic after a day of sun and surf).

Bondi Icebergs, Sydney Credit: Destination NSW

Couple enjoying a morning swim at Bondi Icebergs, Bondi Beach.

#feelnewsydney #ilovesydney

Bondi Icebergs, Sydney Credit: Destination NSW

Couple enjoying a morning swim at Bondi Icebergs, Bondi Beach.

#feelnewsydney #ilovesydney

Topikós Bar & Dining Room, Sydney Credit: Topikós Bar & Dining Room

Topikós Bar & Dining Room in Bondi, Sydney

#feelnew #feelnewsydney

Topikós Bar & Dining Room, Sydney Credit: Topikós Bar & Dining Room

Topikós Bar & Dining Room in Bondi, Sydney

#feelnew #feelnewsydney

Newtown + surrounds

Eat & drink

Tap into the bohemian spirit of Newtown as you graze your way through this popular restaurant and bar hub in Sydney’s inner west. Feel your head spin as you survey a kaleidoscope of designer stores, knick-knack shops and cheap-eats restaurants alongside one-of-a-kind dining experiences on King Street. Be spoiled for choice of sake at vinyl bar Ante, which has more than 60 types of the Japanese rice wine on offer alongside 2,500 LP records. Take pleasure in people-watching from the second-floor terrace of the Newtown Hotel on King Street. Or slip behind the rockabilly pink-and-purple salon façade of Bar Louise, a modern Spanish restaurant on Enmore Road from the team behind the nearby Continental Deli, famous for its canned ‘Mar-tinnys’.

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Follow in the footsteps of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at Erskineville’s The Imperial, which pays tribute to the iconic film with its Drag ‘N’ Dine shows at the Priscilla bistro — or take in alternative and occasionally outrageous shows in the Imperial’s downstairs club. Spend a fruitful day trawling King Street and Enmore Road’s countless vintage shops, from Newtown Vintage to SWOP, or put yourself in the hands of a Local Sauce guide for a three-hour Newtown Chewtown Food & Street Art tour ending at a craft brewery.

Stay

Bed down in an industrial-chic room in the heart of Enmore Road’s small bar scene at the Urban Newtown, or straddle the inner west and the city centre at Chippendale’s Old Clare Hotel, an elegant yet welcoming boutique hotel filled with character – and a rooftop pool.

Continental Deli Bar Bistro, Newtown Credit: Destination NSW

People enjoying food and drink at Continental Deli Bar Bistro, Newtown.

#feelnewsydney #ilovesydney

Continental Deli Bar Bistro, Newtown Credit: Destination NSW

People enjoying food and drink at Continental Deli Bar Bistro, Newtown.

#feelnewsydney #ilovesydney

The Imperial Erskineville Credit: Destination NSW

Drag artists getting ready for Drag n' Dine at The Imperial Erskineville in Sydney's inner west.

#feelnewsydney #ilovesydney

The Imperial Erskineville Credit: Destination NSW

Drag artists getting ready for Drag n' Dine at The Imperial Erskineville in Sydney's inner west.

#feelnewsydney #ilovesydney

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