LGBT

LGBT events, gay clubs and bars and all that's queer in Melbourne

The best gay bars in Melbourne
Bars

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
Sex and dating

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
Gay and lesbian

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
Gay and lesbian

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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The Perth Hitlist: What to do and where to go on a three or five day stay
Travel

The Perth Hitlist: What to do and where to go on a three or five day stay

It’s the only capital city in Australia where you can watch the sun set over the ocean, but that’s not the only reason Perth is now one of the coolest places to visit. Once known only for its pristine beaches, Perth’s love of food and culture is capturing the attention of tastemakers. Blame it on Instagram or the perfect weather – no one can explain how WA’s capital city made its way onto the international radar – but the latest frenzy of new hotel openings, a statewide culinary scene that is booming and a string of new urban projects may provide some clues. Stay a little longer and you can explore ancient caves and award winning wineries just three hours ‘down south’.

Five hidden secrets of Victoria Harbour
Things to do

Five hidden secrets of Victoria Harbour

Melburnians like to think we know everything about the city in which we live. We know where to find the cheapest coffee or the best dumplings in the city, but there are certain things that even a life-long Melburnian may not have an index of knowledge about. Case in point: Victoria Harbour. Victoria Harbour is a precinct of Docklands, located where Collins and Bourke streets meet beside the picturesque harbour. With its direct connection to the CBD via Collins Street, Vic Harbour is a mix of residential, office, retail and community spaces. It’s ready to be explored, so hop on the tram and make a day of it.  Find out even more about Victoria Harbour on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Here's what happened at Little Creatures Live at GABS Beer Cider and Food Fest
Things to do

Here's what happened at Little Creatures Live at GABS Beer Cider and Food Fest

What do jugglers, can-can dancers and drummers have in common? They all wowed crowds at GABS Beer, Cider and Food Fest in Melbourne last weekend (May 19-21), thanks to a certain West Australian brewery who are known for being more than a little bit quirky. Last week, Little Creatures took their travelling roadshow series to Collingwood pub the Gem. This time, they went from cosy pub to the big stage, setting up a huge pop-up beer and performance space at one of the largest beer festivals in the southern hemisphere. It was hard to miss the red and white-striped umbrellas, Kombi van, and elevated stage smack bang in the middle of the Royal Exhibition Building. Thirsty beer-lovers gravitated to the bar, where friendly Little Creatures brewers served up six of Creatures’ tasty beers, including a Festoon White IPA brewed specially for GABS, as well as the winter seasonal Fire Falcon Hoppy Red and their new single batch Dreadnought Foreign Extra Stout. (Praise be to whoever invented tasting paddles!). Suddenly, all eyes rose to the stage on top of the bar. A team of marching band-style drummers erupted into a thunderous performance, lighting a fire under beer-lovers in even the farthest corner of the room. Throughout the day and night, performers seemed to suddenly appear on the stage, each one completely different from the last. Minds were blown when a team of acrobats lifted each other in increasingly difficult positions, and when a bevvy of colourful can-can dancers whipp

Blanc de Blanc
Theatre

Blanc de Blanc

After sizzling hot runs in Sydney, London and Adelaide, Blanc de Blanc is finally making its way to Melbourne for a season of Champagne-fuelled cabaret. The evening of adults-only circus, dance, acrobatics and other antics will be heating up the Spiegeltent at Map 57, a brand new arts precinct in St Kilda. This winter cast of quirky performers – comedians, models, show girls, singers, contortionists and aerial artists – will turn the night into a mad romp that begins in a sophisticated Parisian cabaret venue and slowly transforms into a crazed nightclub party. Expect bubbles, burlesque, balloons, sequins and tops off, for a hands down good time.  "If Baz Luhrmann made a nightclub it'd be like this" – Time Out Sydney Find out more about Blanc de Blanc.