Your guide to queer life in Sydney, from friendly places to the best parties in town

Queer eye on Sydney


Meet the crew: Heaps Gay

Whether you're gay, straight or somewhere in between, you'll have a heaps good time at one of Sydney's favourite queer and inclusive parties.

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The Bearded Tit

If you want to see Sydney at her absolute best, go for a drink at Redfern’s neighbourhood art bar, the Bearded Tit.

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Gay and lesbian


Come here for regular queer nights, fresh band gigs, and the legends from Bad Deep doing a bi-monthly party.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Sydney's nightlife, now

Sydney’s nightlife scene has shifted dramatically since the controversial lockout laws were first imposed in March of 2014. The changes have been felt in a myriad of ways for punters, promoters, partygoers, DJs and musicians and, most visibly, the venues. Since Time Out initially reported on reforms, the Flinders, Soho, Trademark, Q Bar, Hugos Lounge and the Backroom have all closed.   The lockout laws were introduced in March 2014 by the state government in an attempt to curb alcohol-fuelled violence, following a number of fatalities. The suite of reforms mainly have affected the ‘entertainment precinct’, which stretches across the CBD, Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, the Rocks, Kings Cross and Cockle Bay, and include 1.30am venue lockouts, the 3am cessation of alcohol service at bars, pubs and clubs and the state-wide take-away alcohol must not be sold after 10pm. As a result the laws have affected the way Sydneysiders go out… What were once bustling nightspots are now much quieter, there’s been as dispersing of revellers to the fringes of the city, and generally there is a lot less positivity towards late night culture in what could and should be a vibrant and functional, 24 hour city.   Tyson Koh is someone who’s entrenched in music and nightlife in Sydney. The producer and programmer of the ABC’s long-running Rage, Koh also DJs and has thrown a few parties in his time. He heads up the alliance Keep Sydney Open, which is fast gaining momentum.   “We’re aiming to get publ

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Broadway Sydney announces new food retailers

Visitors to Broadway Shopping Centre this year will have noticed Level 2 has been kept under wraps while undergoing a major redevelopment.   Next month we’ll get to see the results of this multi-million dollar renovation as the bandages fall away to reveal an exciting new food offering for Broadway customers, starring the fifth Sydney outlet for Taiwanese dumpling masters Din Tai Fung. Joining those popular purveyors of xiaolongbao will be Mexican taqueria kings Guzman y Gomez, ready to satisfy those burrito cravings, as well as popular franchises Grill’d Healthy Burgers and Nando’s. The other food outlets announced are Zeus Street Greek; Pepper Seeds Thai; Sushi Hon; Schnitz; Mumbai Express; and Ilmi Korean BBQ. The new food retailers join a high profile list of fashion and beauty tenants including recently announced Sephora, H&M and Calvin Klein Underwear, moving into Level 2 this August. More names will be revealed over the coming weeks – watch this space.  

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Things to do Buy tickets

Sydney Dog Lovers Show

Whether you’re a dog owner or you’re hoping to become one, there’ll be plenty of puppies to go round at the Dog Lovers Show. You can pick up expert tips on behaviour, diet, first aid and surviving with a new puppy. This year’s event will be star-studded as celebrity vet Dr Chris Brown will be there to captain a team of talented K9s in the Weave Pole Challenge. Renowned animal trainer Peta Clarke will take to the stage to offer insights into celeb-dog training and will introduce the canine duo that stole the show as ‘Bruiser’ and ‘Rufus’ in Legally Blonde the Musical. Pamper your pooch with gifts from the hundreds of stalls selling the latest gear. Hear the stories of war veterans and their experiences in working with war dogs and, most importantly, visit the Pat-A-Pooch nursery to cuddle all the pups you could ever imagine.  Book online to fetch up to a 20 per cent discount. 

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Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards and exhibition showcase not only the best of the natural world, but the patience, ingenuity and talent of the photographers who spend their time embedded within wildlife so that they can get that incredible, revealing shot. Previously held at the Australian Museum, this year's exhibition, showcasing the best of wildlife photography in 2015, is taking place at the Australian National Maritime Museum. Wrestling komodo dragons, ethereal egrets and thirsty squirrels are among the creatures captured on camera by this year’s finalists. Judged by a panel of industry-recognised professionals, the images were taken by some of the world’s best nature photographers and selected for their creativity, artistry and technical complexity. Among the 100 images on show is Australian explorer and conservation photographer  Michael AW's 'Under Water' category winner (pictured): a photograph of a Bryde's whale in the middle of a feeding frenzy, taken off the east coast of South Africa. Entry is by a Special Exhibition ticket that also grants visitors access into another key exhibition at the Maritime Museum, Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Longitude, which is on loan for a limited season from the Natural History Museum, London.  

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Bledisloe Cup Charity Lunch

Cross-Tasman rivalries are sharpening up once more with the annual New Zealand vs Australia rugby union clash the Bledisloe Cup this August. This year the Bledisloe Cup Charity Lunch is taking place at Beer DeLuxe in King Street Wharf, hosted by Phillip Cornwell and featuring special guest former rugby union star (and current Balmain coach) Matt Dunning. Tickets to the lunch are $100 per person including a three-course meal and drinks. The afternoon will feature raffles and hot charity auction items guests can bid for courtesy of some of Australia’s best craft brewers. From Two Birds Brewing, there’s a T-shirt and beer prize pack. From Akasha Brewing there’s a cap, T-shirt and brewery tour on offer (the tour includes a complimentary tasting paddle). There’s also a tour on offer from Wayward Brewing – to which the winning bidder can bring 20 mates, including tastings. Time Out is also getting in on the charity spirit with two gift bags, each including bottles of white wine and red wine, a six-month subscription to Time Out Sydney magazine, and a copy of the Time Out Sydney Pub Guide 2016. If you love craft beer almost as much as you love your rugby then you’re going to want to get along to this – but book now to avoid disappointment. The very deserving charity benefiting from the event is Bear Cottage – the only children’s hospice in NSW.

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