“I’m originally from Scotland, and the thing that drew me to Sydney was the weather,” says, Manager on Duty Steven Hamilton at the Sheraton on the Park (161 Elizabeth St. Tel: 1-800-325-3535. www.sheratonontheparksydney.com), ironically lifting an eyebrow. On this particular morning in early March, the tail end of Australia’s summer, GLBT tourists from the Northern Hemisphere have flocked to Oz for its beaches packed with people in skimpy swimsuits and the world-renowned Sydney Mardi Gras.
“We definitely see some tropical weather systems here,” he says, “but the downpours usually don’t last for too long.”
Even as we chat over coffee in the privileged cocoon of the hotel’s comfortably appointed 21st-floor club lounge, the skies begin to clear. In the distance, we can see a cruise ship in Sydney’s Middle Harbour, and spread immediately below us is the lush green lawn of Hyde Park, where an impressive alley of fig trees and a giant Alice In Wonderland–style chess board beckon visitors to come make the most of this outdoor-oriented city.