Australia is a popular destination for gay and lesbian travellers, with the so-called 'pink tourism' appeal of Sydney especially big, thanks largely to the city's annual, high-profile and spectacular Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. In general, Australians are open-minded, but the further from the cities you get, the more likely you are to run into suspicion or hostility.

Throughout the country, but particularly on the east coast, there are tour operators, travel agents and accommodation places that make a point of welcoming the gay and lesbian community.

Same-sex acts are legal in all states, but the age of consent varies.

Major Gay & Lesbian Events

Resources

Major cities have gay-community newspapers, available from clubs, cafes, venues and newsagents. Lifestyle magazines include DNA, Lesbians on the Loose (LOTL) and the Sydney-based SX. In Melbourne look for MCV, in Queensland, Queensland Pride. Perth has the free OutinPerth and Adelaide has Blaze.

Gay & Lesbian Tourism Australia (Galta; www.galta.com.au) General information on gay-friendly businesses, places to stay and nightlife.

Same Same (www.samesame.com.au) News, events and lifestyle features.

Gay Stay Australia (www.gaystayaustralia.com) A useful resource for accommodation.