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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8 hot experiences to have this summer in Melbourne
Things to do

8 hot experiences to have this summer in Melbourne

The Christmas and New Year’s hullabaloo might be over but in Melbourne things are only just starting to heat up. The long days, mild nights and glorious weather mean it’s time to experience the best our city has to offer. Whether you're looking for rooftop drinks with a view or fabulous festivals, summer in Melbourne has it all with art, markets, food, film and more. Plus if your wallet is looking a little thin post-holidays there’s plenty of free and cheap events as well.

Gaijin
Restaurants

Gaijin

This South Yarra Japanese fusion restaurant offers up a seriously extensive sushi, sashimi and snack menu, alongside premium sake, wine and Japanese tea.  The menu starts with izakaya-style snacks including big bang; nasu dengaku (eggplant); chicken karaage; seared scallop (Hokkaido scallops seared with butter, soy and mirin); crispy soft shell crab; and salmon tartare served on a nori tempura crisp. The creative sushi roll menu steers away from traditional rolls and mixes things up with all things crunchy, spicy, saucy and fresh. Order up a spider vs dragon roll with soft shell crab, tempura crunch and cream cheese topped with seared unagi and teriyaki sauce; or a Tasmanian roll with cream cheese, avocado and crab stick wrapped with salmon slices, rolled with sushi rice and nori then fried served with Gaijin spicy mayo and teriyaki sauce. The star of the menu though is the all-you-can-eat-sushi and sashimi (available Monday through Friday). Order up unlimited fresh salmon, kingfish or tuna sashimi; selected sushi rolls and share plates for just $50 (including sashimi) or $42 (excluding sashimi). Wash it all down with wine, sake, beers and more matching beverages. Head in to check out Gaijin's wide-ranging, contemporary menu and book in for a sushi feast today. 

Max your summer in Melbourne
Things to do

Max your summer in Melbourne

The days are longer, the nights are warmer, and the city is packed with events every day of the week. Summer in Melbourne means a full social calendar, a Christmas break and the relief of not having to leave the house with ten layers on. Whether you’re in the mood for night markets, blockbuster shows or exhilarating sports events, we’ve got you covered with our summer hit-list. Tick them all off, and take summer to the max.   In association with  

Amex Eats: Salt and pepper squid in Melbourne
Restaurants

Amex Eats: Salt and pepper squid in Melbourne

Deep fried squid, calamari, salt and pepper squid – whatever you want to call it and whichever way you want to fry it – it comes up on every other menu in Melbourne. From pubs to fine diners, Italian institutions to the local fish and chip shop, we scooted around the city to see who's frying up the cephalopods in the most interesting of ways, and letting you pay for your salty fried treat using your American Express.