About an hour's flight north of Sydney, Brisbane is the main gateway to Australia’s famous Gold Coast resort area. Dubbed "Bris Vegas" by locals, it’s an exciting city, known around the country for cutting-edge cultural offerings and non-stop nightlife. It’s also a beautiful city, with a surprising amount of architecture dating back to the 19th century. The innovative modern structures are no less appealing.
Brisbane is the capital of Queensland, the “Sunshine State” that occupies the northeastern corner of Australia. It’s a great base for outdoors enthusiasts, as the beaches of the Gold Coast are nearby, as are plenty of national parks.
It’s no surprise that the gay community here is out, loud, and proud. Big Gay Day, the city’s annual charity street party takes place in March. It pulls in thousands of people for a single cause: to raise funds for youth suicide prevention. The Brisbane Queer Film Festival screens gay-themed features and shorts in April, and the Brisbane Pride Festival has events the whole month of June.
Brisbane International Airport is about 6 miles from the city center. Coachtrans buses take you downtown and to the strip of hotels on the coast every 30 minutes. The Brisbane AirTrain is a rail option to and from the airport that takes just 20 minutes to Central, and taxis are also available. For longer distance regional rail services, see Queensland Rail
CityCat Ferries are a great way to see Brisbane. They dock at more than a dozen points along the Brisbane River. Departures are every hour. Translink covers public transport services for the whole South East Queensland region. OurBrisbane.com has useful tips on getting around too.
Currency and Money
The local currency is the Australian dollar. You shouldn’t have trouble finding ATMs in most urban areas.
DNA is a national glossy magazine with some very impressive photography. Local gay papers include Q News, with a detailed, updated roster of what's what and where, Queensland Pride, one of the Gay News Network publications, and FUSE Magazine out of Canberra, with gay local and national coverage.
Local men's social clubs with year-round events include: Boot Co, the area leather denim and uniform club; Brisbears, the local bears' group; and White Wolf with regular Brisbane dance parties and outdoor get-togethers.
Bars and cafes
Much of the city's nightlife, including live music and several gay clubs, is to be found in Fortitude Valley, once the counter-culture hub of the 60's and 70's. Note that clubs can't allow new customers to enter after 3am.
The Beat (Anne St at Brunswick, Fortitude Valley), young mixed crowd, after-hours partying once the other gay nightspots have called it a night, two dance floors and beer garden.
Bowler Bar at Tempo Hotel (388 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley), bistro food, bar, gaming, live music acts, indie-techno music, hip young mixed, mostly straight crowd.
Cloudland (641 Ann St, Fortitude Valley), an urban garden oasis of 5000 plants, with retractable glass roof, spectacular bars, booth bookings, lunch, dinner, special parties.
Fluffy at The Family (8 McLachlan St, Fortitude Valley), Sunday Fluffy, gayest of their nights, with weekly themes, drag divas. Other nights a devilishly bisexual crowd fills the clubs several levels and big dance floor.
Junk Bar (215 Waterworks Rd, Ashgrove), cozy suburban retro-style lounge, used records, snacks and chinese food from next door take-away.
Mineshaft (130 Leichhardt St, Sportsmen Hotel basement) men's leather/denim/uniform membership club, meeting place for Brisbears and Boot Co, annual party Kink.
Oh Hello! (621 Ann St, Fortitude Valley), art, fashion, disco/electro music, young indie crowd, live bands.
Sportsman Hotel (130 Leichhardt St; Spring Hill), quiet, casual downtown watering hole, basic food and lodgings, shows, local crowd, cheap lunch specials.
Stockholm Syndrome (340 Sandgate Rd), restaurant/cafe dining, cabaret and theater showbar, afterhours breakfast.
Wickham Hotel (308 Wickham St), in Fortitude Valley, wickedly fun gay gaming nightspot, lunch Monday to Friday, nightly special parties. Queensland-style outdoor area, live music performances, shows, dancing, member benefits.
Saunas and sex clubs
Bodyline (45 Peel St, Westend), free membership men's spa, steam and dry saunas, lounges, private rooms, suckatorium, maze, sling, glory holes, cruising areas, internet coffee shop.
Number 29 Cruise Club (29 McLachlan St), gay cruising venue, hot action on three levels, free high-speed internet, solarium, coffee lounge, theme rooms, cubicles, suckatorium, sling, glory holes, cruising areas, seven screens of videos, glory holes, outdoor smoking area. The Spunk'd men's adult store is in the same building.
In Bowen Hills, Wet (22 Jeays St), biggest splash on Sundays, open daily from 11am, lockers, private cubicles, indoor and outdoor pools, steam, dry sauna, Jacuzzi, maze cruising, glory holes, sling, lounge, internet cafe.
Madesco Escorts luxury male and executive escort service, has models, VIP and high-class escorts available in most large Australian cities, including Brisbane.
To the south down the coast, (outside our Brisbane map) this upmarket beach town has a small but active gay scene.
Club R (1/3 Alison St; Clubr.com.au), private men's cruise club, video lounges, five screens, play areas, cubicles, big retail adult shop.
Escape Bar & Club (2 Cavill Ave; Escapebar.com.au), girls nights, guys's nights, gay party club, weekly Sunday Rehab DJs from 9pm.
Central Brunswick Apartments (455 Brunswick Street; 61-73-852-1411), choice, central, four-star accommodations, all conveniences including sauna, spa, mini-gym, maid services, roof-level barbecue and great skyline views. Restaurants, cafes, shops, and 24-hour supermarket nearby.
Limes Hotel (142 Constance St; 61-73-852-9000) boutique hotel in Fortitude Valley, roof-top cinema and bar, 21 modern rooms, kitchenettes, WiFi.
M on Mary Apartment Hotel (70 Mary St; 61-73-503-8000), one and three bedroom apartments on 43 floors, services, modern boutique hotel facilities; spaciousness, privacy and convenience.
Besides being gay clubs, both the Sportsmen Hotel (130 Leichhardt St; ) in Spring Hill, with 10 rooms from AU$60, breakfast, TV lounge, sun deck, and cooking facilities; and the Wickham Hotel (308 Wickham St; 61-73-852-1301), in Fortitude Valley, offer convenient accommodations, right at the scene.
The Base Brisbane Embassy (214 Elizabeth St; 61-73-166-8000), one of Brisbane's many backpacker hotels, has clean, casual, inexpensive accommodations, self-catering kitchen, sun-decks, cinema, 24-hour access, and is a good place to meet people.
See our map & listings section tab above for locations and links, and some local restaurant options.
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