Alice Springs

Alice Springs is a must-visit for anyone who wants a taste of the real Australia, thanks to its outback setting and quirky events. Here you'll find plenty of Aboriginal art, get a taste of pioneer history and even get the chance to see Uluru (the red rock) up close and personal. Ride a camel or cruise on a Harley through the desert before enjoying a gourmet dune-top dinner.

Alice Springs shows its true colours through the Alice Springs Pride Carnivale, held in October at Snow Kenna Park. The outdoor, family-friendly event is followed by a film-festival and after-party, creating a day of fun for locals and visitors alike. Expect a kids space, fashion parade, roving performers, discussion space, workshop and market stalls.

Tasmania

Tasmania is so committed to welcoming gay travellers to its shores, it's released a gay and lesbian visitor's guide to help point visitors in the direction of the most friendly and fun attractions it has to offer.

The island has a vast gay history, and was the first state in the national to establish civil unions for same sex and other couples. Soak up the area's natural beauty by visiting its beaches, marine parks and forests, and don't miss your chance to embark on one of the best bush walks in the world while you're there.

Get your fix of art and culture at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and the Plimsoll Gallery, and enjoy the wealth of wineries that line the Huon, Coal, Derwent and Tamar River Valleys. The wine in Tasmania is widely regarded as some of the best in the country, and there are also plenty of decadent restaurants to dine out at here.

Melbourne

Melbourne's gay scene is thriving, thanks largely to the annual Midsumma Festival. This queer celebration is huge, spreading over 85 different venues across Melbourne and regional Victoria. For three weeks from mid January to February the area comes alive with vibrant parties, thought-provoking discussions and all-inclusive events.

Guests of Midsumma can expect to enjoy theatre, sport, parties, visual art, spoken word, film, live music, cabaret and public forums, with an audience of more than 150,000 people attending each year.

The capital city also has plenty of gay bars and clubs at which to let your hair down and party the night away, with St Kilda, South Yarra and Fitzroy some of the most popular spots for locals and visitors alike. The city also features plenty of markets, where fresh produce is sold alongside vintage clothing and homemade wares. Get your shopping fix at the Queen Victoria Market, St Kilda Farmers' Market or Yarra Valley Market and help support the local economy at the same time.

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