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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A Long Lunch with Moo Brew and Moorilla Wines

The Sackville Hotel is hosting a long winter lunch matched with the taste of Tassie, care of three craft brews from Moo Brew and three wines from Moorilla Wines.    The lunch is priced at $60 a head, and includes roasted beets with baby watercress and feta as a starter, followed by salt and pepper bugs with kimchi cucumbers and wasabi mayo. Your main will star a grass-fed beef tenderloin with seasonal vegetable sides and for dessert a chocolate fudge brownie should take care of any lingering sugar cravings.   This lunchtime bounty will be accompanied by a pilsner, hefeweizen and dark ale from Moo Brew, alongside a sparkling riesling, sauvignon blanc and a pinot noir from Moorilla.    This is the sort of event it pays to arrive hungry for, and with four courses and matched beverages included in the ticket price, it's also great value for an indulgent afternoon.   

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Laugh Your Pants Off at The Star Event Centre

Bears hibernate in winter but Sydneysiders would be mad to do the same. Especially when there’s a cracking night of some of Australia’s funniest and most famous comedians on at The Star Event Centre – part of The Star's campaign to brighten up the cold season in Sydney.  Laugh Your Pants Off is two hours of guaranteed hilarity that will star Akmal Saleh (recently of I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Here); Merrick Watts (legend of radio, TV and the comedy stage); Tom Gleeson (always a hoot on The Weekly with Charlie Pickering); and the acerbic Nazeem Hussain (Legally Brown). They’ll be joined by the inimitable Bev Killick (who brought the house down at Time Out’s recent Melbourne Pub Awards); dry charmer Katie Burch (National Raw Comedy runner-up); Dave Eastgate (A Moody Christmas); and veteran laughmeister Steve Allison. As an added incentive all ticket holders are entitled to a 15 per cent discount at Harvest Buffet, the all-you-can eat buffet at The Star featuring top seafood, roasts, soups, Italian, Indian and Chinese food as well as a tempting range of desserts and cheeses. Because hey, no one likes to laugh it up on an empty stomach. The Star Event Centre is up on Level 3 of The Star at 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont. Find out more about The Star’s winter attractions.

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Max Brenner High Tea at the InterContinental Sydney Double Bay

Here’s one way to ease the pain of another whole month of winter in Sydney. Stillery Cocktail Bar at the InterContinental Sydney Double Bay is hosting a chocolate high tea created by the Max Brenner chocolatiers. You’re welcome. The Max Brenner Signature High Tea is a three-tiered stand of unique creations including a chocolate caramel cheesecake, choc chip scone, éclair, white and milk duo mousse, fudge cookie and chocolate lick dip. Costing $59 per person, the high tea comes with a pot of warm, pure melted chocolate, fruit, whipped cream and tea or coffee. For an additional $10 you can add on some savouries too, and Champagne paring is $20. If you have littlies in tow they can have the kids’ high tea, which is $27 for a fudge cookie, chocolate caramel cheesecake, lime coconut marshmallow and chocolate lick dip with strawberries. It’s the perfect winter treat to enjoy next to the fireplace and it’s available every weekend in August. Be sure to reserve in advance, chocoholics. You’re not going to want to miss this one.

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Things to do

The Game Changers

Meet the Game Changers — the Australian entrepreneurs who are making waves in their respective industries. From the world of fine dining to skate and surf publishing, these men have carved out fascinating careers for themselves. They’re doing things on their own terms, in their own way, in their own time.

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