Welcome to Melbourne 
Australia Nightlife Gay Scene


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. From the rough and ready

Collingwood scene to the thrills and sparkles of Commercial Road, Melbourne is everything to all gay men. 

Just pick your poison and get serious, because the boys here like to party hard.

1. Sircuit Bar

In a relatively short space of time Sircuit Bar has thoroughly engrained itself on the Melbourne scene. With the frankly 

stylish ground floor space that's more New York than we're used to (think exposed brick walls and industrial chic) 

the huge central bar services boys from all sides. There are plenty of pool tables for those want to square off with one 

another, and a cruising maze upstairs so the winner takes all. A constantly revolving roster of theme nights means everyone

has at least one reason to visit, from the leather lads and wannabe cowboys on a bucking bronco to camper drag lovers.

2. The Laird

The traditional home of all things manly, sweaty, furry and leather clad, The Laird is not one for the faint hearted, though 

it's bark is definitely worse than its bite. In fact, the crowd in this VCAT-approved men only joint is probably one of the 

friendliest on the scene, just don't expect any Kylie tunes. An excellent beer garden out back makes for perfect blokey 

afternoons, while the weekend often plays host to dance parties. 

The real star of the show is Thursday night's strictly leather event, Spit n' Polish, complete with free buzz cuts.

3. Glasshouse Hotel

One for the ladies, Collingwood's Glasshouse is the traditional home of Melbourne's lesbian scene, though the new 

owners are opening things up a bit and inviting the gay boys and straight friends along for the ride. They've given 

things a bit of laic too, and she’s definitely slicker these days. The main bar sits right in the middle of the front room,

and there's a dance floor beyond, plus one of Melbourne's biggest beer gardens perfect for long hot summers. 

Regular club nights, comedy and drag shows keep the crowds amused.

4. The Peel

Technically more of a club than a pub, the Peel does have a more relaxed front bar, and opens from 9pm. It’s also 

somewhat of a legend on the scene, infamous as the place you end up when things get very, very messy. Whatever your

 take on the Peel, the place is always crammed to the rafters, and everyone's always having a blast. Interdimensional 

powers transformed the layout without the joint ever seemingly having closed, and low there's now a massive courtyard 

so smokers can party on without feeling like a leper colony. It's huge, 

it stays open very, very late, and it's probably your dirty secret. You know you love it.

5. DT's Hotel

Richmond's premiere gay joint has been at it for many years. It's a relaxed affair with a real anyone's welcome vibe. 

During the week is a calmer affair, with drag shows taking over at the weekends. Sunday afternoons feature a giant spin 

and win wheel with largely booze-related bounty. It's all a bit exotic out back with palm trees and ponds, though 

do expect to get up close and personal with you neighbour as it’s a nice and cosy space.

6. Prince of Wales Hotel

The Prince is a legend of Melbourne's vibrant beachfront suburb, St Kilda. It's a funny old creature and a game of two 

halves - namely the straight half and the gay half. Somehow the left-hand bar got claimed by the LGBT brigade, while 

the pool tables and sport-playing TVs next door remain the domain of the straight blokes. Somehow it just works, and 

everyone mingles quite happily out front. A magical door leads through to the secreted burlesque-style gay club beyond, 

and Monday nights' Dollar Pots are super-gay and super cheap, even if the pots aint quite $1 anymore.

7. Greyhound

New owners have given this old stalwart of the Melbourne scene a bit of a fancy facelift. Out goes the old crusty rock bar

that once co-habited peacefully, replaced with a much more glittery gay bar to match the infamous Saturday night club 

shenanigans. These days the cocktails are far more complex than Jack and Coke. Enjoy Thursday drag bingo, with some 

more drag on Fridays with Tabitha Turlington and Pussy Willow hosting, and then a tad more drag with three live shows 

during Saturday's club extravaganza. The beer's cheap, and so are the boys.

8. Xchange Hotel

The traditional home of Melbourne's twink scene, this is the place to track down the cute fuzz-free face set in teeny tiny

outfits. Recently renovated, they've added a brand new light rig and LED video wall to the dance room for extra shiny effect.

The front bar is a more relaxed affair, with pool tables so you can impress the kids with your ball sinking talents. 

Expect aural pleasures provide by Britney, Gaga, Kylie and Beyonce, with drag shows to boot, 

and there's a rooftop terrace if it all gets too much.

9. Heaven's Door

Another one for the young and pretty amongst us, Heaven's Door is a fairly dinky little sequin on the glittering strip of 

Commercial Road that seems to have gone from strength to strength over the last few years. Good job really, as the 

future of the iconic Market hangs in the balance. It's a cute little space with an even cuter courtyard out back, and has 

an upstairs bar for those heaving weekend nights. The music is particularly loud and jumping, and everyone always 

seems to be having a whole lot of fun. A tiny stage regular hosts entertaining characters.

10. The Railway Hotel

This one's a bit of a cheeky addition. Not technically a gay pub for whatever reason - and the reasons really are lost in 

the mists of time - Sunday afternoons got claimed by the gay hordes. Even the owners are a bit perplexed. It certainly isn't 

official, and you won't find it mentioned on the website, but every gay guy and gal within a 5-mile radius shows up and 

shows off in the sun-drenched terrace up on the roof. Get there early, because it will be thronging in no 

time and you'll need the best people-watching vantage point.

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