How Sydney is transforming into a ‘Rainbow City’ for WorldPride

Coogee Beach Rainbow Stairs

Sydney will transform into a Rainbow City for Sydney WorldPride 2023, with organisations across Greater Sydney installing free, public artworks to celebrate the 17-day LGBTQIA+ festival. 

A Rainbow City map will release in early February to allow Sydney-siders and visitors alike to travel the city to view the glorious kaleidoscope of rainbow art.

“It is so exciting to see organisations from all sectors across Sydney – from public institutions to businesses –embrace WorldPride in such a positive way,” said Sydney WorldPride Chief Executive, Kate Wickett.

“Sydney is a world-class city that celebrates diversity, and I can’t wait for visitors to see the fantastic display of support for the LGBTQIA+ community when more than 500,000 take part in Sydney WorldPride next year.”

Chief Executive of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, Denise Ora, also voiced her excitement for the project.

“We are so proud to transform our iconic green wall inside The Calyx at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney into a stunning floral rainbow display to celebrate plant diversity, Sydney WorldPride and our vibrant LGBTQIA+ community,” she said.

“Our talented horticulture and design teams are also converting the fountain at the entrance to The Calyx into in a unique circular style rainbow of plants to support World Pride month”.

Clover Moore, the Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney, added: “We’re excited to be part of the Rainbow City project and look forward to seeing our city dressed in the vibrant colours of the rainbow.”

The aim of the project is to have 45 artworks part of Rainbow City, to celebrate 45 years of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Public space holders in Greater Sydney can contact Sydney WorldPride to express their interest, as long as the artworks are free to access, substantial and have no branding as part of the artwork.

Artworks can take any form – from flowers and lights to water and sculpture, and can be based on any interpretation of the rainbow.

What you can look forward to

Here are just some of the many iconic Sydney locations that are getting the Rainbow City treatment.

The Calyx at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

The Calyx is a hub of activity located in the heart of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney – one of the largest living green walls in the Southern Hemisphere..

This installation will feature 50-metre-long abstract floral rainbow wall made up of around 18,000 colourful plants.

The floral rainbow wall forms part of the Garden’s new Love Your Nature horticultural exhibition, which fittingly celebrates the diverse world of plant-love with a kaleidoscope of colour, plants and passion.

Along with offering visitors a truly unique and immersive botanical experience, The Calyx is also home to a new cafe, a retail shop and it hosts an exciting range of events and workshops.

The City of Sydney will also install its own floral installations, including planter boxes and a floral wall.

This will also use hundreds of plants and foliage in the colours of the rainbow flag.

Calyx Flower Wall
Image: Supplied

Coogee Beach Rainbow Walkway

Randwick Council will also update its famous 27-metre-long rainbow walkway at Coogee Beach to add the colours of the Progress Flag.

The Progress Flag, a version of the traditional rainbow flag, includes additional stripes to represent people of colour and the trans community.

Coogee Beach’s rainbow walkway was opened by Randwick Mayor Danny Said, Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger and Destination NSW CEO Steve Cox in 2021 to show support for Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and the LGBTQIA+ community.

The updated rainbow walkway will be unveiled in time for Sydney WorldPride and will be a permanent feature of Coogee Beach.

The rainbow walkway can be found on the lower main steps of Coogee Beach near the corner of Arden Street and Coogee Bay Road.

Scenic Skyway, Katoomba

In the Blue Mountains, Katoomba’s famous Scenic Skyway will also transform into a giant progress flag.

The dramatic vision will surround the World Heritage landscapes of the Three Sisters and the Jamison Valley.

First opened in 1958, it is the largest aerial cable car in the Southern Hemisphere.

University of Sydney’s ’45’ Mural

Situated on the Footbridge Gallery’s Dash Wall in the University’s Camperdown campus, the mural celebrates the 45 years of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras by animating the number ’45’.

The light installation is inspired by the rainbow font ‘Gilbert’, originally designed by Hayato Yamasaki after the late Gilbert Baker (1951-2017), the gay right’s activist and creator of the rainbow flag.

The artwork will open on 17 February and continue every night until 20 March 2023.

Best seen at twilight, it is a family-friendly exhibition with an outside sound stage from 19:00-21:00 each night during the Sydney WorldPride festival.

The full list of rainbows will display on an interactive map which people can use to visit all the installations during Sydney WorldPride 2023.

Sydney WorldPride is also accepting applications from public space holders who would like to be part of Rainbow City.

To see the Rainbow City grow in number in the coming months, or to plan and book your trip, please visit

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