With the average flight time from the U.S. to Australia being about 18.5 hours, a trip “down under” can seem really daunting. Even though it’s a long flight, Australia is an incredible destination for LGBTQ+ travelers.
Beyond beautiful, scenic beaches home to the Great Barrier Reef, Australia also has exciting nightlife with numerous huge queer events hosted throughout the year. Plus, with their summer season happening during the U.S. winter — there’s no better way to escape the snow than with some outback sun!
Are you debating if Australia is worth the flight?
Keep reading for some of the amazing travel opportunities available while taking a dream getaway to Australia.
If you’re looking for a club to dance the night away or a place to have a few beers with local queers, Sydney’s Oxford Street is the heart of the city’s gay scene. Some of the best LGBTQ+ bars you can visit are Stonewall (named after the New York City original) with three levels of bars and live entertainment, the world-famous Imperial Erskineville, a fixture of the area, Columbia bar in the Columbian Hotel, the dual dance floors at Arq, and Palms on Oxford.
ChillOut Festival is Australia’s largest rural Pride event held in March. The festival, held in Daylesford, celebrates the queer, rural community. The event boasts a relaxed, down-to-earth vibe while bringing out some of Australia’s stars. In 2023, “Eurovision” Superstar Kate Miller-Heidke will attend along with “Drag Race Down Under’s Art Simone.”
Great Barrier Reef
Located on Whistunday Island, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the World's Seven Wonders. Spanning over 2000 kilometers of coastline, the reef is perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving. When you’re done exploring the ocean, take a break and relax on Whitehaven Beach. It’s known for being one of Australia’s most photographed beaches, and what better way to soak up some sun?
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
From February to March, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is one of the most world-famous, outrageous LGBTQ+ events. The festival includes the Mardi Gras Parade, Mardi Gras Party, comedy and film festivals, pool parties, and even a family-friendly fair day.
If you’re more interested in experiencing the arts and culture side of Australia, the Midsumma Festival in January through February will be right up your alley. Held annually since 1988, this is the arts and cultural festival in Melbourne. It features over 100 events, including a cardinal in Alexandra Gardens, a pride march, parties featuring live performances, projection, music, and visual art.
Out Adventures — Australia Summer Down Under
One of the travel companies that Rainbow Getaways partners with is Out Adventures, a premiere LGBTQ+ travel company. Their Australia program, Summer Down Under, is a great way to taste Australia's best. From walking tours around Melbourne, sipping wine in Australian wine country, and experiencing the outback to splashing around Sydney and partying it up during Mardi Gras — this program has it all!
If you’re ready to book your getaway to Australia, schedule a consultant with Rainbow Getaways, and we’ll help you with everything you need to know.
Rainbow Getaways proudly help travelers of the LGBTQ community (and our allies) research, plan, and book incredible vacations where you feel confident and comfortable enjoying and exploring your destination. We plan each vacation to meet your specific needs, so you'll have an experience just as unique as you.