Sydney Opera House lit up to celebrate the opening of Sydney WorldPride 2023 (@davidfrancis19)
Sydney Opera House lit up to celebrate the opening of Sydney WorldPride 2023 (@davidfrancis19)
2 min read

The Sydney Opera House has been lit up with a Progress Pride Flag to mark the start of Sydney WorldPride, in a visible display of welcome to locals and tourists to the Australian city.

This is one of 45 free public artworks that will be unveiled to mark 45 years of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, with the installations stretching from the Royal Botanic Gardens to Manly Beach, to Wollongong and all the way to the Scenic Skyway in the Blue Mountains.

Museums, businesses and councils are among a number of organisations installing rainbow public artworks across the city to celebrate Sydney WorldPride.


In the city, the Australian property industry – in collaboration with LGBTQIA+ property and construction industry group BuildingPride – will be lighting up six iconic buildings that stretch from Circular Quay to Sydney Tower in the CBD, in the colours of the pride flag. The buildings will be lit up on 24-26 Feb and 3-5 March to coincide with Sydney WorldPride events in The Domain.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sydney, Australia (@sydney)

The biggest painted artwork is by First Nations artist Dylan Mooney, who will be working with a team of muralists to paint the northern side of the Top of the Town building in Darlinghurst.

On Sydney’s North Shore, Taronga Zoo Sydney’s giant bronze gorilla, Queen Nyani (formerly King Nyani) created by public artists Gillie and Marc, will be decked out with a giant rainbow cape and recline under the lights cast by an array of disco balls hung from the fig tree above him.

Kate Wickett, Sydney WorldPride’s Chief Executive Officer, said it is a sign of how much things have changed since the first Mardi Gras in 1978, that businesses, organisations and institutions across Sydney are coming together in a visible display of support for the LGBTQIA+ community and turning the city rainbow for WorldPride.

“What an incredible welcome to this wonderful and inclusive city,” Wickett said.

“I couldn’t be prouder to see these 45 rainbow installations come to life in the coming days.”

Ben Franklin, Minister for Tourism and the Arts, said visitors and Sydneysiders will be blown away by the vibrant colour that will enliven Sydney for WorldPride.

“Whether its floral walls, decal on streets, scenic cable cars, murals on buildings, light installations, tunnels, fountains, flags or ferris wheels, the city is about to be reimagined in all the colours of the rainbow for Sydney WorldPride,” Mr Franklin said.

“We are ready to welcome 78,000 visitors to Sydney for this explosion of art, culture, sport and to celebrate the biggest Pride event in the world.

“Sydney WorldPride is the rainbow-coloured celebration that Sydney needs to provide local businesses with a huge $112 million economic boost to the visitor economy. The festival will also contribute to and promote Sydney’s night-time economy, showcasing the city as a destination that is vibrant, diverse and inclusive.”

Sydney Opera House lit up to celebrate the opening of Sydney WorldPride 2023 (@davidfrancis19)
Sydney Opera House lit up to celebrate the opening of Sydney WorldPride 2023 (@davidfrancis19)

Other rainbows include a rainbow Ferris Wheel at Luna Park Sydney, a light installation at PHIVE in Parramatta and an ‘Embrace the Rainbow’ activation in Pacific Square, Maroubra.

The full list of Rainbow City installations, with information about the dates the installations will be available to view, is available here.

Last Updated on Feb 18, 2023

The news team for Gay Nation love tips from our readers. Got tips or a news story that you would like published? Go here to tell us something.
Visit the Gay Nation store Now