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Photograph: Prudence Upton

The best things to do in Sydney this weekend: March 6-8

From feminist thought festivals to rainbow parades, it's all happening in the Harbour City

Written by
Maxim Boon
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Hold on to your boa, babe, because Mardi Gras Parade Day is ready to fire a glitter cannon all over the SGC this weekend. If you don’t have a ticket to the arena spectacular, you can still catch every fabulous moment of it at viewing parties all over town, and you can keep that lovin’ feeling going by taking a stroll along one of Sydney’s new rainbow walkways. But if you’re in the mood for a more low-key weekend, there are plenty of other great activities to get involved with in Sydney. Here are our top recommendations.

All About Women at the Sydney Opera House

The annual festival of feminist thinking returns on Sunday, March 8, with a stacked line-up of panels. Novelist and political commentator Isabel Allende, who will speak about her 2021 memoir The Soul of a Woman, while no-nonsense UK columnist Caitlin Moran will discuss household labour, aging, masturbation and more when she takes the stage following the release of her latest book, More Than a Woman. Plus, American writer Koa Beck will speak about the limitations of white feminism and how to shake it up, and sex worker and writer Tilly Lawless will take the stage alongside CEO of the Scarlet Alliance Jules Kim and trans sex worker Chantell Martin.

Northies’ Chilli Festival

Some like it hot, and if you’re among them, you better head to the popular Cronulla pub, where things will be heating up at the annual chilli festival. Peppery, customisable Bloody Marys, tequila and $5 shots of cinnamon-spiced Fireball are keeping things spicy at the bar, but there are all manner of Scoville scale-busting, chilli-infused eats to enjoy too. BYO milk.

Playing Beatie Bow at the Wharf Theatres

There could hardly be a more apt play to raise the curtain on the newly refurbed home of STC in Walsh Bay. Based on Ruth Parks’ much-loved novel, it tells a story of mystical time-travel and ancient Celtic folklore in the Rocks circa 1873. Adapted by the brilliant Kate Mulvany and directed by STC chief Kip Williams, it’s a touching production with heart to spare. 

‘Narcissus Garden’ by Japanese art megastar Yayoi Kusama at the Museum of Sydney

It’s not every day that Sydney gets a brand-new installation by one of the world’s most in-demand artists. Kusama is perhaps best known for her hypnotic, dot-filled infinity rooms, but this Sydney Museum work plays with reflective surfaces in a very different way. High-shine mirrored orbs snake their way around the space, reflecting back a warped world. 

Mov’in Boat Cinema at Darling Harbour

There are just a few weeks left to catch a screening at Sydney’s first floating cinema. Bobbing along on the waters of Darling Harbour, you can stretch out and relax in your own private rowboat, while you take in a movie classic or a new blockbuster. This weekend you can catch the latest animated flick from studio Ghibli, Earwig and the Witch.

Henrietta’s Weekend Feast

Birds, beats and bottomless banquets are set to be the new weekend agenda at top-notch charcoal chook joint in Surry Hills. The Lebanese chicken restaurant, run by the same team behind Crown Street favourites Nour and Cuckoo Callay, is launching a new weekend feast, including bottomless refills of limited-edition frozen cocktails during your 90-minute sitting.

Keep that Mardi Gras spirit going a little longer by checking out these amazing drag experiences around Sydney.

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