Here’s Your Complete Guide To The Noosa Rainbow River Festival


Noosa will again be bringing the queens back to Queensland and turning up the volume on the post-Mardi Gras party scene with the third Noosa Rainbow River Festival this weekend.

The festival is an LGBTI event open to all, running from Friday, March 16 to Sunday March 18. Partygoers will celebrate with a weekend of festivities, kicking off with welcome cocktails by the river followed by Melony’s Bar Hop along Noosa’s famous Gympie Terrace, hosted by Noosa’s favourite drag queen, Melony Brests.

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Saturday features the Festival Extravaganza, showcasing the Powderpuff Girls and guest band Flashback.

Wrapping up on Sunday will be the highlight of the weekend, the family-friendly River Parade and picnic, led by the fabulous Rainbow Party Boat.

“This year the Rainbow River Festival has even more reason to celebrate,” festival organiser Kirsty Patten said.

“Love has won and for the first time everyone in Australia can equally express their love and commitment to each other.

“The Festival has something for everyone, from a family-friendly, BYO riverside picnic, through to a party with a band and live drag performances.

Noosa Rainbow River Festival group shot

“And of course, we’re inviting the whole Noosa community to join us on the Noosa River for the famous annual River Parade.

“Hire a boat, bring your own boat or join the official Rainbow Party boat and party in the sun on a two-hour adventure up and down the Noosa River and canals.

“The theme of this year’s River Parade is Rainbow Love, so we’re asking everyone to be flirty, be daring and definitely be fabulous!”

For more details visit the Rainbow River Festival Facebook page. See the complete list of the festival’s events below:

Friday, March 16

  • Welcome sunset cocktails at the Noosa Yacht Club from 5pm. Free event.
  • Melony’s Bar Hop from 6:30pm. Free event departing from Noosa Yacht Club. Limited number of places
    available. Tickets are available here.

Saturday, March 17

  • Festival Extravaganza at Villa Noosa from 8 pm until 12 am. 18+ event featuring the band Flashback and fabulous drag trio the Powderpuff Girls. Tickets are $10 and are available here.

Sunday, March 18

  • BYO Riverside picnic near the Big Pelican on the grass area. Free event from 10 am to 12 noon. Look for the rainbow flags.
  • River Parade departs from the jetty at 172 Gympie Terrace at 12 noon and runs until 2 pm. Tickets for the official Rainbow Party Boat, the Catalina, have sold out, but revellers can charter your own boat and still join the party. Choose from either:
  • Pelican Boat Hire at 180 Gympie Terrace Noosaville. Call (07) 5449 7293 to make a booking. Visit them online here. Mention the Festival to receive a 20% discount.
  • Malu Os at 172 Gympie Terrace Noosaville. Call (07) 5474 4240 to make a booking. Visit them online here. Mention the Festival and receive a 20% discount off all two-hour Eco Boat hire.
  • The River Parade will turn around at Noosa Woods where Melony Brests will be put on a free show, open to all.
  • Farewell drinks at Red on Thomas, 4 Thomas Street, Noosaville. A free, 18+ event.