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Sydney Mardi Gras Parade 2018

Mardi Gras 2018

Sydney CBD, Darlinghurst and Moore Park

Parade start
Parade finish

Special event information

Huge crowds are expected to attend this years 40th anniversary of the Mardi Gras Parade so plan your trip to and from the celebrations ahead of time. Major roads will be closed from 17:00 in the Sydney CBD, Darlinghurst and Moore Park for the parade until around 04:00 the next day.

With extensive closures, the city is no place for cars on Mardi Gras night so leave the car at home and catch public transport. Trains run frequently to the CBD and additional buses will also run to help you get there. Extra late night services will run to help you get home after the celebrations as well.

Don't forget to top up your Opal card before leaving for the night as queues will be long at machines, especially on the way home.

Stay connected on the night and get real-time updates on transport services, event capacities and road closures:

You need an Opal card or single trip ticket to travel on public transport. Once you have yours, just add value then tap on and off to travel. Adult and Child/Youth Opal cards are available over the counter from 2,100 Opal retailers. To find one near you, look out for the Opal symbol at nearby stores or locate an Opal retailer.

Don't forget to Top up your Opal card ahead of the event to avoid queues at Opal top up machines. Top up your Opal card by downloading the Opal Travel app, going to a top up machine or Opal retailer.

Getting there

Sydney Trains services will run to a Saturday timetable, with frequent services to get you to the parade and home again.

The closest train stations to the start of the parade are Central, Town Hall, Martin Place and St James. City Circle services will run every five minutes.

NSW TrainLink Blue Mountains, South Coast and Central Coast & Newcastle Line trains arriving and departing Central between 17:00 and 00:40 will be built up to 8-car services.

Note: Museum Station will be closed from 17:00 on Saturday until 04:00 Sunday. Trains will not stop at the station during this time due to large crowds, please alight at St James Station instead.

Pedestrian access across the parade route will be managed at dedicated crossing points until 19:00. After such time the route will lockdown and no access across Oxford and Flinders Streets will be available until the parade finishes.

Make sure you head towards your preferred viewing side of the parade route early.

  • For access to the northern side around (Sydney CBD/Darlinghurst) of the parade route use Town Hall, St James or Martin Place stations.
  • For access to the southern side (Surry Hills) use Central station.


Due to trackwork between Lidcombe and Central, trains will still operate but some services will run to a changed timetable and stopping pattern, see details below.

Listen to guard announcements and check indicator boards before boarding the train. Trackwork is carried out on an ongoing basis to maintain the safety, reliability, and efficiency of the Sydney Trains network.  For the latest information, check trackwork service updates or use the Trip Planner.

  • T1 Northern Line (via Epping) services will terminate at Strathfield, to continue to the City change at Strathfield for a Western Line service.
  • T1 Western Line services will run to the City every 15 minutes, making additional stops at Newtown and Burwood. If you're travelling from Richmond, change at Lidcombe for services to the City.
  • T2 Inner West Line services will run every 30 minutes, stopping at Strathfield, Ashfield and all then stations to the City.
  • T2 Leppington Line services to the City will run every 30 minutes and to Granville every 15 minutes. Change at Granville for T1 Western Line services to the City, running every 15 minutes.

Getting home

Additional late night services will run on all lines to help you get home after the parade from Central, Town Hall, St James and Martin Place stations.

Go to Town Hall for T1 North Shore and Northern Line (via Macquarie Park) services

  • Services to the North Shore run every 15 minutes until 01:15.
  • Service to Epping via Chatswood will run every 15 minutes until midnight.

Go to Central for T1 Western, Northern (via Strathfield), T8 Airport & South Line services

  • Western Line services towards Penrith will run every 15 minutes until 01:15 and will make an additional stop at Newtown and Burwood.
  • Change at Lidcombe for Richmond line services, leaving every 30 minutes until 00:30.
  • Change at Strathfield for Northern Line services to Epping via Rhodes leaving every 15 minutes until 01:00.
  • T8 Airport & South services leave every 15 minutes until 01:00.

Go to St James Station for Airport & South, Bankstown, Inner West & Leppington Line services

  • T3 Bankstown services leave every 15 minutes until 01:00
  • T2 Inner West services leave every 30 minutes until 00:45. For services to Newtown and Burwood, catch a Western Line train running every 15 minutes from Central.
  • T2 Leppington services leave every 30 minutes until 01:00.

Go to Martin Place for Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra services

  • Services to Cronulla leave every 15 minutes until 01:15 and to Waterfall every 30 minutes until 23:45.
  • Trains between Bondi and Central will run as a shuttle service approximately every 10 minutes until 03:00.

Go to Central for regional NSW TrainLink services:

  • Blue Mountains Line: An additional train will leave Central at 00:48, stopping at Strathfield,  Parramatta, Blacktown, Penrith, Emu Plains then all stations to Mount Victoria.
  • South Coast Line: An additional train to Wollongong will leave Central at 23:59, stopping at Redfern, Wolli Creek, Hurstville, Sutherland, Waterfall then all stations to Wollongong.
  • Central Coast & Newcastle Line: An additional train will leave Central at 00:19, stopping at Strathfield, Eastwood, Epping, Hornsby, Berowra, Cowan, Hawkesbury River, Woy Woy, then all stations to Newcastle Interchange. The 00:46 service from Central to Wyong will continue onto Newcastle Interchange, stopping all stations.

Sydney Buses

Extra buses will run on major corridors in and out of the City between 15:00 until 03:00.

Additional services will run from the Northern Beaches, North Shore via Miller Street and Pacific Highway, Inner West via Parramatta and City roads, Victoria Road, and the Eastern Suburbs. Make sure you plan ahead using the Trip Planner.

Bus diversions will affect a number of services in the Sydney CBD from 15:00, 17:00 and from 20:30 while major roads are closed for the parade. Some services will return to their regular routes from 01:00 while some diversions remain in effect until 04:00 when all roads are expected to reopen.

  • Buses on Oxford Street will divert via Darlinghurst Road and William Street.
  • Buses on Alison Road and Anzac Parade will divert via Cleveland Street and Chalmers Street.


  • Hillsbus will run additional services to the city on routes 607X, 610X and M61 from 17:00.
  • Extra late night services will run back to the Hills from QVB on routes 610X, 607X and M61 until around 04:00.

Sydney Ferries services will run to a Saturday timetable and some of the last ferries leave around 19:30.

Ferries will be very busy and may reach capacity early on Mardi Gras so have a back up plan in mind and consider the alternate transport options available.

Plan your trip in advance and allow plenty of extra travel time or consider the alternative public transport options available. Check Travel alerts or use the Trip Planner.

Light rail services run between Central Station and Dulwich Hill with stops at popular CBD and Inner West destinations.

From Central you can walk to the southern side of the parade route via Albion Street. For maps and service frequencies see Light rail service information.

Major road closures will be in place in the Sydney CBD, Darlinghurst, Surry Hills and Moore Park during the parade between 15:00 Saturday 4 March and 04:00 Sunday 5 March.

Key closures include:

  • 15:00: sections of Liverpool St at Hyde Park South and Yurong Pkwy
  • 17:00: major roads along and surrounding the parade route including Oxford St, Flinders St, College St, Wentworth Ave and Crown St.
  • 18:00: sections of South Dowling St between Oxford and Fitzroy streets.
  • 18:30: sections of Moore Park Rd and Anzac Pde as well as the Eastern Distributor Anzac Pde/Randwick on and off ramps
  • 21:00 to 01:00: sections of Castlereagh, Elizabeth, Pitt, Liverpool and Goulburn streets.

Please note: vehicles are not permitted to drive on, enter or exit a closed road from a driveway or car park. Access to your property and/or parking may be restricted due to closures and clearways, so please familiarise yourself with the road closure and clearway information when planning your movements on the day.

For closure and clearway details with maps, visit Live Traffic NSW, or download a real-time traffic app.

Special event clearways

Special event clearway parking restrictions will also be in place from 06:00 Saturday 3 March to 04:00 Sunday 4 March on most roads throughout the southern end of the Sydney CBD, Darlinghurst, Surry Hills and Moore Park.

Check signs carefully before parking as vehicles left in special event clearways will be towed and a fee applies. For the latest traffic information visit Live Traffic NSW, or download a real-time traffic app.


With carparks in the city expected to fill early and extensive restrictions on street parking in place, its best to leave the car at home and take advantage of the additional public transport services running to get you to and from Mardi Gras celebrations.

Special event clearways

Special event clearway parking restrictions will also be in place from 06:00 Saturday 3 March to 04:00 Sunday 4 March on most roads throughout the southern end of the Sydney CBD, Darlinghurst, Surry Hills and Moore Park.

Look for the bright yellow signs and read them carefully on the day and the night before when parking your vehicle on Mardi Gras as clearways come into effect early in the morning.

Clearways are 'no parking' zones, even for residents and businesses with parking permits and Mobility Scheme permits. Vehicles left in special event clearways will be towed and a fee applies. If your car is towed you can call 132 701 to find its new location.

For the latest traffic conditions and the full event closure details including clearway locations and maps at Live Traffic NSW. For traffic conditions download a real-time traffic app from the App Store or Google Play.

Taxi ranks within the closure area will not operate. The closest taxi rank outside of the closure areas is located at Chalmers St south of Devonshire St on the eastern side.

More information on taxi ranks will be available closer to the event date.

Taxis will be in very high demand on Mardi Gras so consider catching public transport instead. For details of taxi networks servicing the Sydney area, visit NSW Taxi Council.

Viewing areas

There will be 3 dedicated accessible viewing areas along the parade route:

  • 1a - in Taylor Square in front of the Oxford Hotel.
  • 1b - in front of Sir Allen Taylor & Co café bar at Taylor Square.
  • 2 - corner of Short Street and Flinders Street.
  • 3 - corner of Flinders Street and South Dowling Street.

All guests with accessibility requirements need to register for the accessible viewing areas. For more information, see accessible viewing options.


Accessible trips are shown in the Trip Planner with the wheelchair icon. You can check 'accessible services only' in the Options to ensure you only see accessible services. Only trip plans with accessible train platforms, ferry wharves and buses will be presented. See accessible travel or download a transport app (check the 'Accessibility' filter).