10 of the best: carnivals and festivals - 7. Sydney Mardi Gras, Australia
The event: Originally begun as a protest event, this irreverent and fun celebration by the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities has now come to define the diversity and tolerance of Sydney. www.mardigras.org.au
When: March 3, 2012
What happens: Sydney’s biggest party of the year involves tens of thousands of participants watched by hundreds of thousands of spectators. Proceedings are kicked off by the Dykes on Bikes, with more than 100 groups taking part on gaily-decorated floats or walking, among them Lifesavers with Pride, Rainbow Babies and Oz Fag Hags. A Mardi Gras Party including theatrical shows and four dance venues follows the parade, continuing the carnival atmosphere into the night.
Do it: Flight Centre offers flights to Sydney and hotels, with airfares and four nights in the city starting from £1,099.