The LGBTQ+ community is buzzing with excitement about Sydney and World Pride 2023, but don’t sleep Melbourne! Located southeast of Sydney in the Australian state of Victoria, Melbourne has one of Australia’s largest LGBTQ+ populations, and believe it or not, it’s always buzzing with fun queer-focused activities and sights to see.
So, if you’re planning a trip to Australia, you should consider spending a few days in Victoria’s capital city. So, for travel inspiration and future planning, here’s a list of LGBTQ+-related things to do in Melbourne.
Victorian Pride Centre
Take a tour of Australia’s first LGBTQ+ center. The new Victorian Pride Centre is designed to house important LGBTQ+ organizations as well as a multi-purpose space that includes meeting rooms, a rooftop terrace, co-working spaces, a theatrette, and a gallery. However, The Pride Center is an open door to the whole community to not only celebrate and honor the LGBTQ+ community’s history, but it’s also a place to connect, support, and amplify our voices, resources, and services so that the local queer communities are cohesive, inclusive, resilient, and thrive. It’s the newest architectural marvel in Melbourne and a must-see stop.
Queer NGV Collection
Queer is an Australian-first exhibition that will explore that shed light on the NGV Collection, an exhibition of works created through a queer lens to celebrate the rich, diverse, and sometimes untold stories that emerge. Spanning five gallery spaces and featuring more than 300 artworks across historical eras and cultures, the exhibition is the most historically expansive thematic presentation of artworks relating to queer stories ever mounted in an Australian art institution. Queer runs until August 21, 2022.
St. Kilda Beach
Known for being Melbourne’s primary LGBTQ+ beach, St. Kilda Beach is the perfect place to hang out on the sand and enjoy the views of Port Phillip Bay. St. Kilda is also known for being home to a large portion of Melbourne’s LGBTQ+ population, and there are plenty of queer-owned businesses, bars, and restaurants in the area to support, including Little Rebel Barbershop, Mabu Mabu restaurant, and A Plus Market, a secondhand fashion market for plus-size people – all a short shared-ride away.
Melbourne’s Pride Events and Festivals
Midsumma Festival is touted as one of Australia’s premier LGBTQ+ festivals and events, running a total of three weeks, which is longer than the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Next year, Midsumma Festival 2023 will run from January 22 to February 12. The annual festival includes visual arts, live music, theater, spoken word, cabaret performances, films, parties, sports, social events, and public forums.
Melbourne Pride 2023 is on February 13, 2023, which is a day after Midsumma Festival ends. It is a State Government initiative, and next year, LGBTQ+ revelers will also celebrate the 40th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Victoria. The outdoor street party in the city’s Gertrude and Smith Street precinct will run from 11 am-9 pm with a variety of events to showcase local fine arts, community activism, culture, and more. It will also be broadcast via a livestream, allowing people across the state of Victoria to view it!
Melbourne’s Queer Nightlife
A cabaret bar, The 86 hosts a wide variety of fun events and performances every week. This is the spot to be if you are a fan of comedy, drag, or burlesque. The 86 is located near the majority of Melbourne’s other gay bars, so you’ll only have a short walk to continue your fun night out.
Located in the Prahran neighborhood, another home to many queer Melburnians, Attik is a buzzing bar and the go-to spot if you enjoy dancing. Every Friday Attik hosts MOTHER, an event exclusively for queer women. Oh, and they have a great pizza menu, too!
Poof Doof is a legendary queer party that originated in Melbourne in 2014 and has become the biggest queer Saturday night event. With multiple levels, dance floors, and bars, it is safe to say that there is no shortage of fun at Poof Doof.
Prince Public Bar
Known as Melbourne’s oldest LGBTQ+-friendly bar, Prince Public Bar is a great place to enjoy some pints and good eats with friends. The crowd is always diverse and lively, and you can sometimes catch local musicians’ performances, too. It’s also in St. Kilda, so you can head there after your day trip to St. Kilda Beach.
Check out the VisitMelbourne.com for more information to help you plan your next trip to Melbourne or explore the state of Victoria.