7 Australian Pride festivals not to miss in 2021!
In a time where the “Staycation” is the only vacation possible for many of us, here’s out countdown of 10 “not to be missed” pride events taking place across Australia this Summer. And while Sydney Mardi Gras may often steal the limelight, these seven events offer the perfect excuse for a Summer road trip! Explore tropical beaches, lush forests and charming countryside, the perfect socially distant escape.
Albany Pride Festival, Western Australia
Feb 12th to 27th, 2021
Albany Pride includes several sporting events including Hockey and Basketball!
Located on the southern coast of Western Australia, Albany has been celebrating Albany Pride Week annually since 2016, getting bigger and more ambitious from year to year. Highlights include some great drag acts, and a fun fair day.
Albany, lies on the northern shore of Princess Royal Harbour, King George Sound and is a 5 hour drive from Perth. Regional Express Airlines (Rex) flies daily between Albany and Perth.
World-class wine, food, fishing, surfing, swimming, diving, hiking, four-wheel-driving, camping and other activities are all within minutes of the town. Albany is famous for its beaches, such as popular Middleton Beach. East of the city, Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve is home to secluded Little Beach.
The Albany Waves hotel is close to the beach and all the pride action.
Port Douglas Hot and Steamy Festival Queensland
Feb 19th to 22nd, 2021
Port Douglas is home to great beaches and the lead up party to Mardi Gras.
Backing up the success of their first year, the 2021 Hot & Steamy Festival will again feature an exceptional line up of entertainment including drag-cabaret extravaganza show ‘After Dark.
Port Douglas is a chic, yet relaxed sea-side village. It is the ideal base to explore the World Heritage-Listed Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. After the party why not disconnect from the digital world entirely and spend a few nights in the World’s oldest living rainforest and immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of nature.
We recommend staying at the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, the only beachfront property to the Famous Four Mile Beach.
Sunshine Coast Mardi Gras, Queensland
20th Feb , 2021
Escape to the Sunshine coast. Relax on the beach and then party all evening.
The Sunshine Coast Mardi Gras takes place for the first time this year. The inaugural Sunshine Coast Mardi Gras celebrates the sunny LGBTIQ+ community just north of Brisbane. The vibrant festival will be family friendly from 4pm to 7pm (rides and attractions open) and adults only from 7pm to midnight. The event is held in Aussie World.
Hosted my Miss Lady Saint Diva, Miss Synthetique and Paul Wheeler we have a range of acts lined up from drag queens and singers to the Police Marching Band promoting diversity and inclusion.
After the party, Head to Mooloolaba, home to one of the best beaches on the Sunny Coast, and it’s also known for its great nightlife.
Stay at the Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, perfect for escaping after a night of partying
Broome Mardi Gras, Western Australia
24th – 28th Feb, 2021
Broome Mardi Gras was one of our editor’s favourite events last year!
Broome is a unique town, on a peninsula, where one of the world’s last great wildernesses meets the Indian Ocean. Broome’s exotic pearling-town past has left a rich history and a unique multi-cultural mix of people. It is the perfect getaway to experience wide empty beaches, abundant wildlife, a tropical climate and breathtaking colours and scenery.
Host to host Australia’s most remote Mardi Gras, every year, Drag queens flock to Broome for the town’s annual pride celebration, more than 3,000km from the official Mardi Gras in Sydney.
Broome’s annual Mardi Gras features some unique events including the Kimberley Queen at the Mangrove Hotel, Mardi Gras Cabaret at the Broome Civic Centre and The Mardi Gras Dance Party. Don’t miss the Big Splash Pool Party taking place at the Kimberley Sands Resort.
Stay at the Mangrove Hotel, host of some of the pride parties and situated amongst tropical gardens with stunning views over Roebuck Bay. Or pamper yourself at the Kimberley Sands Resort, located in a peaceful bush setting just minutes from the turquoise blue waters and white sands of the iconic Cable Beach.
Chill Out Festival, Victoria
27th Feb – 8th March, 2021
Daylesford is home to a growing gay community and hosts a colourful 10 day festival.
The Chillout Festival is Australia’s longest running and largest regional pride festival taking place each year in late February through to early March. Events include the Poof Doof Jamboree at the Hepburn Pavilion Cafe Amphitheatre, the Chillout Picnic, a sexy Bush Dance, the Wigs and Wine Tour, and several well being and mindfulness trips through the Wombat State Forest.
The event takes place in Daylesford, a 90 minute trip from Melbourne CBD travelling by car and just under an hour from Tullamarine (Melbourne) Airport. Known for its natural mineral springs and natural beauty, Daylesford is a town in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range of Victoria.
Natural attractions abound in Daylesford, from the stately gardens of Wombat Hill Botanical Park, to the superb serenity of Lake Daylesford, to the rugged terrain and trails of Hepburn Regional Park.
Stay at the Hotel Frangos right in the heart of Daylesford, offering individually-styled guest rooms, each unique and with their own style and character. Further out from the centre, try The Dudley Boutique hotel, with great breakfasts, friendly staff and an exceptional rating!
Midsumma Festival, Victoria
19th April – 5th May
Midsumma is the perfect blend of circuit and culture!
Melbourne, one of the most livable cities in the world and the gay scene here has a chilled vibe quite different to its more famous sister city, Sydney. Well known for its stunning street-art, great coffee and stunning wineries, Melbourne offers visitors the perfect mix of circuit and culture!
If you want to be close to all the gay action, stay in Fitzroy, Collingwood and Carlton, north of the river, and St Kilda, South Yarra and Prahran, to the south. Catch a drag show at famous bars including The Peel and the legendary Poof Doof or get up close and personal with some hot leather boys and bears at The Laird.
Stay at the Crown Metropol with panoramic city views and stylish modern décor. The Cosmopolitan Hotel in St Kilda will get you close to the parade and comes complete with its own tram stop.
Midsumma Festival is one of Melbourne’s biggest gay arts and cultural events (more than 180) spread over around 100 different venues throughout the city. The festival attracts more than 260,000 people. The event is usually held from mid January to mid February each year but has moved to mid April to early May for 2021.
With these new festival dates not to so much falling in mid-summer, but in mid-autumn instead.. the Midsumma Pride March takes place in St Kilda on 23 May from 11am.
Newcastle Pride, New South Wales
6th Aug – 29th Aug
Newcastle NSW Fair Day is one of the highlights of the pride celebrations.
Located at the mouth of the Hunter River, Newcastle is about 2 hour drive northeast of Sydney. You can catch a train from Sydney to ‘Newie’ as it is affectionately known, every 30 mins.
With plenty of opportunities for sun, sand, and surf, this off the beaten track city is full of fun things to do without the crowds of Sydney. It is New South Wales’ second-largest city with cool cafés and beautiful beaches. The city is gateway to the Hunter Valley, one of Australia’s major wine regions. It is also surrounded by eight stunning beaches including its most famous, Merewether, which features both white sand and spectacular waves.
When it comes to the best areas to stay in Newcastle, NSW, the CBD area and Newcastle East offer most of the cultural attractions and some fantastic beaches. The Waterfront Hotel Kuching offers amazing views and is right on the historic harbour front.
Newcastle Pride NSW includes the Twister Cabaret show, a Fair Day, the Heaven and hell Dance Party a series of Matinee movies and the Hunter Coast Pride Cup! Events are spread out over the month of August.
Discover More of Gay Australia
- Explore the top gay events in Australia
- Check out our guide to gay Sydney