Gay Perth: Where to eat, drink, play and sleep
Perth always seems to fly under the radar when talking about Australian cities. But, with its relaxed and clean city centre, village-esque suburbs, stunning beaches and surprisingly good gay scene, we think Perth deserves to be on your gay-cation bucket list.
While Perth may not have the same volume of attractions as Sydney and Melbourne, there’s more than enough to keep you busy on your rainbow holiday, as well as a welcoming local gay community.
Here’s our essential travel guide for gay Perth.
The whole of Perth is gay-friendly, but just like other Australian cities, there are some gaybourhoods where you’re more likely to meet other community members. Impress them with your local knowledge of things that only Perth guys will understand!
According to the Census a few years back, Maylands, Bayswater and East Perth are the most popular suburbs for queer couples. Still, if you’re visiting, you’ll want to head to the CBD and Northbridge.
The CBD and Northbridge are where you’ll find most of the gay nightlife in Perth, as well as a host of other gay-friendly venues. Fremantle, 30 minutes from the city centre, is a vibrant, colourful neighbourhood with a Newtown (Sydney) vibe, which is also well worth a visit — especially if you like the beach.
Gay meeting places in Perth
There are so many gay meeting places in Perth you certainly won’t be short of options. Enjoy gay bars, clubs, cafés, theatre and festivals, as well as a variety of gay social events to choose from.
Check out the list below for our recommendations if you’re spending a weekend in the city. And, if you’re in town for longer than a weekend and want to meet more of the Perth gay community, there’s a whole load of other resources available.
Out In Perth has all the latest gay events and news. Queer Perth is another excellent resource, and the Perth Gay Social Club (voted Social Group of the Year 2021 at the Proud Awards) has regular events where you can meet other members of the gay community in Perth.
Where to drink — best gay bars Perth
If you want a night to remember, a visit to Connections Nightclub is a must-do. The venue has been there since 1975 and has only gotten more fabulous every year. You’ll find a rooftop terrace, multiple dance floors, a ‘we welcome everyone atmosphere’, and a wild array of events on offer.
These aren’t just drag and dance nights, though. You’ll find quirky events such as ‘Twerking through the ages’, a night that’s bound to be seriously bootylicious. Connections Nightclub is home to some of the best nightlife in Perth.
With a giant rainbow wrapped around the building, The Court isn’t shy about shouting for LGBTQ+ patrons. It’s one of the most well-known all-inclusive bars and clubs in Perth, with a packed calendar of events, including drag nights and party nights.
One visit to The Court won’t be enough, though — there are six bars, various function areas, three dance floors, and even an outdoor pizzeria to explore.
Grab a drink at The Rechabite’s stunning rooftop bar ‘Hello’. It’s an incredible scene for those who want stunning views and delicious cocktails, tapped beers or a cheeky wine.
Keep an eye open for occasional queer club events in the basement, which are known to draw a very gay, trans and non-binary loving crowd!
The Flaming Galah
A little out of Perth, Fremantle’s self-proclaimed ‘Queer Bar’ serves up delicious food & drinks with side of sass. From ‘topless lunches’ to ‘Fri-gay’ nights you won’t be disappointed when you visit The Flaming Galah.
Hula Bula Bar
You’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve been transported to a faraway tropical island when you visit the Hula Bula Bar, a gay-friendly venue that guarantees you a fun night out. You can expect exotic Tiki décor, delicious cocktails, and the finest rums. Dancing is pretty much mandatory here, especially on ‘Swingin’ Saturdays’ when the place comes alive with vintage tunes.
Where to eat — gay cafés in Perth
More than just a place to party, The Court is also home to some first-rate food. You can refuel on-site with its extensive menu of pub classics, tapas and pizzas for lunch and dinner. There’s a ‘neat and tidy’ dress code, so be sure to check out the website before visiting.
The Sparrow’s Nest
Local Perth lesbian Lara Wolinski founded Sparrow’s Nest as a place for LGBTQ+ communities to gather and enjoy the day. In this queer Perth café, you can expect top-notch coffee, good old-fashioned customer service, and a host of delicious brunch and brekkie foods.
The Queens Tavern
A fun spot to eat for the LGBTQ community because of its welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. While The Queens Tavern is not an exclusive LGBTQ pub, they run queer-based events, such as “Kink Drinks” once a month for the fetish community. They also offer great food, drinks, and entertainment, making it a popular gathering place for all members of the community.
The Moon Café
The Moon is known for its welcoming staff, great coffee, and open-minded vibe, making it a go-to spot for queer folks and allies alike.
Whether you’re in the mood for a perfectly baked croissant, a colourful macaron, or a warm cup of coffee, Chu Bakery is a must-visit destination in Perth for its welcoming and inclusive environment.
Where to play — things to do in gay Perth
Gay theatre Perth
The Blue Room Theatre
The self-proclaimed ‘home of independent theatre’ in Western Australia, The Blue Room Theatre, isn’t a gay theatre per se. Yet, with its diverse and eclectic line-up of shows, it’s a must-visit for theatre lovers. An ally of the gay community, check out their website for what independent theatre productions are showing while you’re in town.
Gay cruise clubs Perth
There isn’t a huge gay cruising scene in terms of dedicated venues in Perth, but there are gay bars, gay clubs, and a gay sauna where you might meet someone like-minded.
Check out our guide on how to up your chances of picking up at a gay venue! Find our complete guide to sex venues across the country in Australia’s best gay saunas and sex-on-premises venues.
Swanbourne Beach (nude beach)
This stunning beach offers a relaxed and accepting atmosphere where people can feel comfortable being themselves. The beach is clothing-optional, so visitors can choose to sunbathe, swim, or walk along the shore in whatever attire they prefer. Additionally, the area is well-known for its vibrant and friendly LGBTQ community, making it a great place to meet new friends and enjoy a day in the sun.
Gay saunas in Perth
Perth Steamworks is Perth’s only male sauna. You’ll find it in the heart of the Northbridge area, and you’ll definitely want to stay a while once you check in. There’s a heated spa, sauna, café, BDSM room with a sling, and video rooms. If you want some privacy, there are private rooms with swipe card access, double beds, TVs with Netflix and adult entertainment, and more.
Perth’s friendly ‘sexy health’ service, M Clinic, offers confidential HIV and STI testing at Perth Steamworks every Thursday — no Medicare required.
Other things to do in Perth
Loton Tennis Club
This inclusive club has been providing LGBTIQ+ members and allies with six grass courts and two flood-lit hard courts to play on. And after you’ve worked up a sweat, head on over to the clubhouse for a refreshing drink in a cozy atmosphere. Don’t forget to check out their website for membership info and session schedules.
Robertson Park is a must-visit destination in Perth for the LGBTQ community. Not only is it a beautiful public park with lush greenery and plenty of space to relax and unwind, but it’s also home to the Perth AIDS Memorial, which pays tribute to those who have lost their lives to HIV/AIDS.
The memorial is a powerful reminder of the struggles that the LGBTQ community has faced, and the ongoing fight for equality and acceptance. Whether you’re looking to pay your respects, reflect on the past, or simply enjoy a peaceful afternoon outdoors, Robertson Park is a meaningful and significant spot for anyone in the community to visit.
Where to stay — gay-friendly and gay hotels in Perth
Stay in Perth’s CBD and its surrounding suburbs to be close to all the action. East Perth, Maylands and Mount Lawley are all great options if you want to stay in Perth’s gaybourhoods. A range of accommodation options is available, from hotels to Airbnb’s. You can also check out the popular misterb&b for LGBTQ-friendly accommodation. If the Swan River isn’t coastal enough for you, consider staying in Fremantle or Scarborough.
For anyone on a tighter budget, you can still stay in Perth’s CBD. Hostels and lodges are located around Northbridge, East Perth, and the CBD. There are also hostels in and around Fremantle if you’d prefer to stay by the sea.
So, there you have it. The guide of where to eat, drink, play and stay in Perth for gay men. We can’t wait to see Perth’s gay scene continue to add even more venues and events to turn Western Australia into a rainbow icon.
Want to visit other locations in Australia on your trip? Take a look at our gay-friendly travel guides to these Australian cities: