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Fringe festivals, extreme sports and boy shorts

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Are your holiday choices usually about as safe as driving a beige Volvo while wearing a blue suit with a white shirt and blue stripped tie? Then it’s time to step outside your comfort zone and do something spectacular!

Australia is about to throw some of the most exciting and outrageous events on the sport and arts calendar in your direction. So don’t bury your face in the finance section and hope they go away…grab one with both hands and devour it – you wild thing, you!

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival struts into town from 19 February to 6 March, with talks, parties, parades and fairs ranging from family-friendly to strictly adults-only. Take the kids along to the Fair Day picnic, or go with friends to be intellectually stimulated at the Queer Thinking lectures. For racier entertainment, the Pool Party at exclusive Ivy Pool Bar is the ticket, where DJs will spin tunes all day and night long.

And if you’re too excited to sleep, the Star City Hotel Sydney has an adjoining 24 hour casino where you can try your hand at stud poker and more.

See more great Sydney hotel deals.

Whether you’ve mastered the duck dive or struggle with dog paddle, it’s hard to beat a day at the beach surveying the surfing talent and talents of the Quiksilver Pro (mens) and Roxy Pro (womens), 26 February to 9 March at the Gold Coast. As Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmour and the rest of the world’s best dance on water, you can lay back under the sun and ponder what it must be like to ditch nine-to-five and paddle the globe on a  plank of polystyrene and fibreglass for a living.

Relax in your air-conditioned apartment or room at the Islander Resort Hotel, complete with swimming pool.

See more great Gold Coast hotel deals.

The Adelaide Fringe Festival from 18 February to 13 March is a patchwork of art, culture, ideas and wonderfully eclectic performers.  Do you choose the circus acts, or the dance spectaculars for kids and adults? The tribute to Metallica or Sinatra? Perhaps some theatre, cabaret or bizarre puppetry fun, such as Punch and Judy Take Afghanistan!

The Chifley On South Terrace Hotel Adelaide is the ideal festival base —close to the action with an onsite bar renowned for its selection of fine wines.

See more great Adelaide hotel deals.

The Yamaha World Superbike Championship roars around Phillip Island from 25-27 February. Between sessions watching leather clad lunatics scrape around corners at ungodly speeds, there’s the expo, helicopter tours—and the Afterburner Ride Day to pursue your own racing fantasies.

90 minutes away, in the Mornington Peninsula, the Best Western Brooklands of Mornington is housed in a stunning homestead with a great cocktail bar.

See more great Mornington Peninsula hotel deals for 25-27 February.

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