In the popular imagination Australia is blond bodies frolicking on white beaches under blue skies stretching as far as the eye can see. The reality is much different of course - and far more intriguing. Sydney, in particular, has emerged as thriving gay metropolis, with huge Asian and Latino immigrant populations making it one of the most multicultural in the world.While there are venues throughout the sprawling city of more than four million, gay social life is centered on and around Oxford Street in the Darlinghurst neighborhood in the Eastern 'burbs. It is lined with thriving clubs, restaurants and pubs. It is the main drag for the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade in February, which draws visitors from around the globe for a week of nonstop celebration.