The best gay bars in Melbourne
You would think what with the fanfare surrounding Sydney's annual Mardi Gras festival that the harbour city was the clear ringleader of Australia's gay scene, but Melbourne certainly gives its sibling some decent rivalry. After you're all partied out (for tonight), tick off our five ways to show your pride in Melbourne, or up your 'extra-curricular' game by visiting our top five sex shops.
Sex on premises venues in Melbourne
Guys, looking to get some action without navigating Grindr? You can always go to an SOPV. Here are Melbourne’s top five gay saunas and cruise lounges – remember to play safe. While you're at it, check out our list of top gay bars and pick-up bars.
The best outdoor queer-friendly bars in Melbourne
Summer’s the perfect time for birds of a feather to preen themselves, particularly if you're already out and about getting your Midsumma fix. We've found four outdoor bars for al fresco drinking and perving. Looking to push on? Check out the best gay bars and karaoke spots in Melbourne.
Hares & Hyenas
Having been in operation for over 20 years, you’d expect Hares & Hyenas to be a well-oiled machine… but this humble-looking bookshop is more like a super power-packing transformer. Bookshelves stuffed with fiction, biographies, humour, photography, erotica, religion, gender, coming out, fanzines, health and educational tomes can be wheeled away so that the room is adapted into a venue with theatre seating, a stage, and a lighting and sound system. Whatever mode it’s in, there’s a fully licensed bar and café, and an exhibition lining the walls at all times. Hares & Hyenas is the project of Rowland Thomson and Crusader Hillis, who met at Melbourne University in 1975 and became partners a few years later. In the 1980s, Hillis owned an art-house video shop in Elwood, while Thomson co-owned Dizzy Spinners on Brunswick Street – an early incarnation of the current Polyester Records. In 1991 they joined forces to open Hares & Hyenas, which moved all over Melbourne before settling in Johnston Street’s Spanish quarter, where they’ve been made to feel welcome. “The changes in 20 years are fairly staggering,” notes Thomson. “People only used to come in wearing sunglasses.” It’s now become a hub for not only the queer community, but anyone interested in socialising in a literary setting. Hares & Hyenas plays host to two book groups, a stitch’n’bitch, ButchFemmeTrans, Rainbow Girls and Rainbow Guys, to name but a few regular meet-ups, and has put on 350 spoken word events. “We also did
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Jurassic World: The Exhibition
UPDATE: It's your last chance to book tickets to the Melbourne Museum's incredible Jurassic World: The Exhibition. Whether you're a grown-up dino fan (who isn't?) or you're looking for a September school holiday highlight, make sure you visit the website and grab your passport to Isla Nublar now. There is a moment as you’re walking through the lush prehistoric forests of Jurassic World where you come across a huge, hollowed-out log. You step inside, and suddenly you hear a strange rumbling noise. Light filters through cracks in the log and, just for a moment, you see something moving. Was that scaly reptilian skin? A claw? An eye? Then, it dawns on you: the fences have been breached, and something big is out there. “It should feel like it would be able to eat you, or nuzzle up to you if it’s a friendlier dinosaur!” says Philip Millar, laughing. Millar is the associate creative director of Creature Technology, the Melbourne-based company behind the animatronic dinosaurs that will star in the Melbourne Museum’s blockbuster exhibition. His puppeteering expertise makes him a core member of the Creature Technology crew, who are widely considered to be at the forefront of naturalistic animatronics. Their credits include the Walking with Dinosaurs and How to Train Your Dragon arena spectaculars and the titular role in 2013’s musical version of King Kong. They have teamed up with Universal Pictures, Museum Victoria and US design group Imagine Exhibitions Inc to place highly realist
There’s no better way to farewell the weekend than parting with a Sunday sesh. And if there’s one place to kick on for Sunday Funday, especially when springtime hits, it’s at Bimbo’s Sunday Shake. Starting in September, every Sunday from 10am, Bimbo’s opens its doors for Fitzroy’s ultimate daytime party. With DJs playing on the rooftop courtyard as well as downstairs below the aeroplane, there’s sure to be a tune that you can boogy down to. DJs will be rotating monthly and this September will welcome Cee Cee Babcock, Natalie Turner, Hoops, J Schollo, Jamie Vale, Luke Vecchio, Morning Maxwell, Mose, Ezra Harvey, Cassettes for Kids, Awesome Wales, Jack Love and Matt Radovich. As per usual $4 gourmet pizzas will be on offer as well as drinks galore – we’re talking beer, wine and of course, Bimbo’s special flavour-infused vodkas. Oh, and come hungry because a new breakfast menu will also be on offer, starting September 4. So whether you’re looking for a morning party to continue the antics from Saturday night or you’re looking for a place to relax and catch up with friends, Bimbo’s has got your Sunday sorted.
Two countries, two cultures, seven cities: one festival
Confluence Festival of India in Australia is the most significant showcase of Indian arts and culture ever to be staged in Australia, taking place in seven cities across the country between August and November 2016. The festival program includes world-class dance, theatre and music as well as conferences and workshops on Indian innovation, politics and sport. Events are scheduled in Adelaide, Alice Springs, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. One of the festival’s key components is fostering bilateral ties, with joint performances and collaborations between Indian and Australian artists and thinkers.
Lunch at The Press Club
Chef, restaurateur and Masterchef judge George Calombaris’ restaurant The Press Club is the pinnacle of class – an intimate, 32-seater restaurant serving modern Greek at a devilishly affordable price. And if you’re deliberating when the perfect moment to enjoy the deliciousness of this five star restaurant would be, we’re recommending give lunch a try. Open Monday through to Saturday from midday to 3pm, lunch time at The Press Club should be on every Melbournian foodie’s bucket list. Grab a quick lunch from the $40 express set menu which includes two courses and a glass of Hellenic wine, or select from tasting menus which start from two courses at $35pp, three courses at $45pp or four courses at $60pp. Better yet, visit on a Saturday and opt for the Saturday lunch tasting menu which treats you to six courses for just $90pp. Minimalist in size but enormous in flavour, The Press Club high end Greek food at it’s very best.