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Australians are party animals when they're in the mood. Whether it's a few beers around the barbecue with friends or an all-night rave at a trendy dance club, they're always on the lookout for the next event. You'll find that alcohol plays a big part in the Aussie culture. The best way to find out what's going on is to get hold of the "Metro" section of the Friday Sydney Morning Herald or the "Seven Days" pullout from the Thursday Daily Telegraph. You can buy tickets to events at Ticketek offices. In the city is Ticketek @ Park, 50 Park St. (corner Castlereagh St.). Another is Hum on Oxford, 55 Oxford St. Darlinghurst (corner Riley St.). 

Dance Clubs

Clubs come and go, so check the latest with a phone call. Nightclub entrance charges also change regularly.

Gay & Lesbian Clubs

Sydney has a huge gay community, so there's a very happening scene. The center of it all is Oxford Street, though Newtown has established itself as a gay hangout, too. For information on events, pick up a copy of the Sydney Star Observer or Lesbians on the Loose, available at art-house cinemas, cafes, and stores around Oxford Street. 

Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras -- Each March, some 450,000 people pack into the city center, concentrated on Oxford Street, to watch as members of Sydney's GLBT communities pack a punch with colorful floats and frocks. The crowd is diverse, from kids to grannies, and those in the know bring a stepladder or milk crate to get a better view. Sydney's hotels are at their busiest during Mardi Gras, particularly anything with a view of the route. The postparade party is an affair not for the fainthearted! Sequins, tight pants, and anything outrageously glamorous goes. Some 19,000 revelers attend. For more information check out the official Mardi Gras website, www.mardigras.org.au.

The Bar Scene

Most of Australia's drinking holes are known as "hotels," after the tradition of providing room and board alongside a good drink in the old days. Occasionally you might hear them referred to as pubs. The term "bar" tends to apply in upscale hotels and trendy establishments. Bars close at various times, generally from midnight to around 3am. Unless the listing says otherwise, these bars do not charge a cover.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.