Sydney Mardi Gras - Good for solo?

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    Jan 02, 2013 2:56 AM GMT
    Happy new year's, y'all!

    Considering taking my first trip out of North America to AUS in Feb, and realizing I could potentially make it for Mardi Gras in Sydney at the end of the month. I managed to put a hotel on hold 10 min away from Sydney's Oxford St area...just in case I pull the trigger on this and get the guts up to go.

    The idea for a trip was originally just something to try getting away on my own, but then the idea of tying it into Mardi Gras popped into my head. So...question is, has anyone here been to Sydney's Mardi Gras...and what do you think of this idea for a first-time solo traveler?

    I guess my concern is...these events can be pretty huge, and I don't want to get lost in a "sea of millions"... on the other hand, it definitely sounds like something that would be cool to be around. But will I be able to chat with locals and just have a chill time during Mardi Gras... or am I just going to end up swirling in a sea of high and drunk bare-chested men? Maybe it is a better idea for a first-timer to go on NOT the Mardi Gras weekend?

    On the other hand...if I go to Sydney and plan my trip to leave just before Mardi Gras weekend starts, I can imagine locals saying to me... "oh, you're missing Mardi Gras? Pity you couldn't stay..." and then regretting coming back to Canada, not having gone to it. Australia isn't the kind of place you can just decide to go to on a whim from Canada, after all!

    Advice appreciated BOYZzzzZZzzz....
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    Jan 02, 2013 5:35 AM GMT
    What have you got to lose if you do it? Sydney Mardi Gras has an awesome energy about it, and the best part for me is the days leading up to it. There's people from all around the world, the clubs are busy and everything is gay haha. If you arrive a few days before give yourself sometime to settle and enjoy the city then you will be fine. It's very busy on the day of the parade and after party! Hopefully you will be able to meet some new people during that time. Enjoy!!
  • TheAlchemixt

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    Jan 02, 2013 6:04 AM GMT
    Try to see if there are any hostels in the area. If there is one there then you should be able to make friends with people that stay in the hostel who want to party at mardi gras as well.
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    Jan 02, 2013 5:43 PM GMT
    pre- mardi gras parties are the best to go to meet foreigners on the same boat as you. The Underwear parties goes off like socks.
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    Jan 02, 2013 10:16 PM GMT
    Mardi Gras is DEFINITELY good for solo. Just head out to one of the bars and you're sure to make friends in minutes who will keep you company for the duration of the event. Your Canadian accent and good looks will definitely help you out there...

    As far as getting lost in a sea of millions, well yes there are a lot of gays there, but Mardi Gras is what you want it to be and you'll definitely be able to meet guys just for casual conversations and to chill.

    Also be sure to stop by Melbourne when you come to Aus ;-)
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    Jan 02, 2013 10:36 PM GMT
    I'll actually be leaving Sydney before Mardi Gras (but hiking Incan trail seemed better), but let me know if you want tips on whats good, and what to avoid.

    My only serious advice is bring lots of money, but Sydney is crazy expensive. A house spirit in a gay bar will probably be around 8-9 AUS dollars (and I'd imagine with Mardi Gras prices it will be higher).
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    Jan 02, 2013 11:36 PM GMT
    I pulled the trigger and booked a trip to Melbourne and Sydney today, starting with 4-5 days in Melbourne and ending in Sydney for a week at the end of Mardi Gras. Its going to be a whopping 30 hour transit time from Toronto (via New York, LA and Sydney).

    I guess my concern about Mardi Gras is: It's not ALL about the big Harbour Party is it? The other bars will still be busy and stuff? I am SO not into those $100 parties any more...

    As for costs...yeah, I am used to expensive. Beers in Toronto are upwards of $7 for preems, and a double of any bar rail liquor will set you back $8-$10 a glass. Rents go for $2000-$2500/month for a downtown 2 bedroom apartment.

    Admittedly, the flight I booked is fully refundable up to 3 weeks prior to departure...and I really have no clue what there is to see or do in Melbourne, or Sydney for that matter. If I don't feel confident I have enough lined up (hotel, places to go, things to see) than I can always cancel and go to OZ another time. Where should I stay in Melbourne that will be in the $130 range/night?

    I do feel kind of overwhelmed about it all right now, TBH... I have never done anything quite like this in my life...and probably won't again.
  • fitone

    Posts: 276

    Jan 03, 2013 2:14 AM GMT
    I went to Europe solo when I was 29. I met more people than on any vacation. Lots tried to take me under their wing.
    I went to Mardi Gras single several years ago and met guys from all over the world.
    You should definitely go for it!
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    Jan 03, 2013 8:06 AM GMT
    mk2000 saidWhere should I stay in Melbourne that will be in the $130 range/night?

    I do feel kind of overwhelmed about it all right now, TBH... I have never done anything quite like this in my life...and probably won't again.

    I don't know about price, but if you want to meet guys in Melbourne, other than in a bar, look into staying at a gay B&B.
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    Jan 03, 2013 8:35 AM GMT
    Well done mate you will never regret coming.

    All cities in Australia have a lot to offer.

    Melbourne its a very different city to Sydney and is much more European in feel culture and architecture.

    Check out www.visitmelbourne.com go with the things that really appeal to you.

    For Sydney check out www.Sydney.com

    Accommodation in Sydney during Mardi Gras is not such a hassle - check out www.wotif.com for cheap great deals in both Sydney and Melbourne

    Make sure you nominate the Melbourne and Sydney CBD for your hotel area so you will be close and in walking distance to everything

    You will find Aussie guys friendly and helpful - and get out of the gay areas as well - the above two guides will help you to do this

    Have fun

    ps...just noticed the above addresses I put in take you back to RJ - just cut and paste into a browser...
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    Jan 03, 2013 5:56 PM GMT
    Hey y'all.

    Thanks for the responses. I've become quite excited about Sydney, but I'm having trouble finding what exactly the draw is to Melbourne. Both locals and tourists who've been there, say I should go. As a solo traveler, I don't see enough to keep me occupied. While I get the impression that Melbourne is a very nice city, I do feel that it gives of a suburban feel, a place that empties out at night, as people stream home crowded on trams. A place where there's lots to do - but most of it is oriented toward kids and family. The other part of Melbourne that I am seeing is academic and bookish.

    I was really hoping to find places where I could chill and meet locals, watching a drag show or sitting on a patio. Something a little mature, where one could strike up conversations. I am learning more and more, though, that the establishments in Melbourne are more clubby than anything...and that, again, screams suburban (hordes of kids in cars huffing it to the city on the weekends to party).

    Please tell me I am wrong...I want to make it work, but without much to do as a lone young male in Melbourne, I'd call off Melbourne. The thought process then goes: If I call off Melbourne, then all that's left is a week in Sydney...and a week in Australia isn't enough to take the trip atall ... so cancelling Melbourne means cancelling the trip. icon_sad.gif
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    Jan 04, 2013 4:29 AM GMT
    mk2000 saidHey y'all.

    Please tell me I am wrong...I want to make it work, but without much to do as a lone young male in Melbourne, I'd call off Melbourne. The thought process then goes: If I call off Melbourne, then all that's left is a week in Sydney...and a week in Australia isn't enough to take the trip atall ... so cancelling Melbourne means cancelling the trip. icon_sad.gif

    If you can get beyond cities - there is the Great Barrier Reef (scuba and snorkeling) and the beach resorts of the Gold Coast, which includes some gay resorts - researchable online. There are also getaway areas from Sydney, such as the Blue Mountains - which also have gay places to stay (or did). Or if no interest in beach and reefs, you could include an equal amount of time in New Zealand (many airlines permit stop-offs there.)
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    Jan 04, 2013 12:35 PM GMT
    I've lived both in Melbourne and Sydney, 8 months and 1.5 years respectively. Both have amazing cultures and great cities to have fun. Of course you'll be going during Mardi Gras, which makes Sydney a very attractive city to visit due to its massive amounts of events. I don't need to mention a list, it speaks for itself.

    You have to also look at what is the primary goal of your trip. It seems like it's Mardi Gras in Sydney, but are you looking for something similar in Melbourne? Are you looking to party, hook up, and do all that jazz while there as well? Or to sightsee? The reason why I ask is that Melbourne is a beautiful city and there's always things happening, but not the same as Sydney especially during MG.

    In Melbourne....
    do you love music and the arts? Plenty of events in different locales and pubs!
    museum? Plenty of great museums
    food? LOTS and lots of great restaurants to be had by all!
    Shopping? Chapel St, Bridge Rd, Chadstone, Bourke St., Sydney Rd., Brunswick to name a few are great shopping locations. Absolutely fantastic fashion sense.
    gay bars and club? Greyhound is a must south of the river, especially Fridays - great performance by the group called Boylesque (hot as well!). There's also a few on and off of Chapel St - Love Machine / DnM (really fun) etc. Good quality pick up in terms of boys. North side of the river, you've got Sirquit which is a cruise bar, Peel just a few blocks away (great dancing scene), and WoW and Club 80 if you want sex within walking distance.

    Midsumma Festival in Melbourne is unfortunately at the end of Jan/beginning of Feb, which has lots of events, especially queer oriented. You most likely will miss this as I'm assuming you're coming at the middle of the month to catch MG.


    Just a few that might perk your attention, but you cannot expect the same intensity and type of events you would see during Mardi Gras in Melbourne.
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    Jan 06, 2013 7:03 AM GMT
    A good website to help get good, cheap accom in Melb is tripraider.com - they basically 'out' all of the secret hotel details in Melb and Syd. It's great.

    As far as what to do in Melbourne- Melboune has a great bar and restaurant scene. It certainly isn't all about big landmarks but you'll have a great time exploring the city and finding all of the cool shops/bars etc.

    Melb also does have a very exciting gay/queer scene, so you should have no problem finding things to fill in your time.

    I disagree about needing to stay in a gay b&b- you'll quickly meet new people in the gay bars and then you always have grinder to find nearby gays :-)

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    Jan 06, 2013 7:57 AM GMT
    ozmuscle2 saidWell done mate you will never regret coming.

    All cities in Australia have a lot to offer.

    Melbourne its a very different city to Sydney and is much more European in feel culture and architecture.

    Check out www.visitmelbourne.com go with the things that really appeal to you.

    For Sydney check out www.Sydney.com

    Accommodation in Sydney during Mardi Gras is not such a hassle - check out www.wotif.com for cheap great deals in both Sydney and Melbourne

    Make sure you nominate the Melbourne and Sydney CBD for your hotel area so you will be close and in walking distance to everything

    You will find Aussie guys friendly and helpful - and get out of the gay areas as well - the above two guides will help you to do this

    Have fun

    ps...just noticed the above addresses I put in take you back to RJ - just cut and paste into a browser...



    i want to go icon_smile.gif, i mean really go.. are there jobs for engineers in Sydney? what about becoming a citizen? i read somewhere that Australia has the highest cost of living in the world, of course i would want to visit first before anything permanent

    I think you will have a blast mk2000, i have upcoming Fed jury duty otherwise i would consider doing mardi gras, or wait till Carnival-Rio
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    Jan 06, 2013 8:19 AM GMT
    do it, it will be fun icon_smile.gif
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    Jan 06, 2013 8:46 AM GMT
    go for it:...You won't regret it. I've been wanting to go likewise to MG in Australia. I hear its one big party. Haven't been there myself and was thinking the same time as you...since its on my bucket list to go Down Under and check out all the hype. Plus how can you not resist seeing some of those hot AussieBum Models? Would love to go w/ you, but I'm not sure if I'm up for the long flight plus I need to save some $$$ after venturing over to Europe last summer and Hawaii in November. I'm thinking of doing a cruise between NZ and Aussieland as I heard NZ is an awesome place to visit and hike and was told that March is the time to visit as its the end of their summer. Post some picks on your profile when done so we can see how it turned out. Have a beer for me mate while your there. Cheerio!
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    Jan 06, 2013 8:51 AM GMT
    Check out couchsurfing and / or meetup dot com events for Marci g. meet ups. You can jut mingle with all the backpackers / solo travelers. Or just find people in Sydney here on RL
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    Jan 06, 2013 8:57 AM GMT
    awesome

    you have given me inspiration. never been to Australia. never been to mardi gras. like to be around hot guys. plus if they are also gay. looks like i'll be heading over there in a couple years icon_razz.gif