Australia’s fourth-largest city, Perth is located in the southwest between the Indian Ocean and the Darling Range. It’s as far as you can get from the main gay cities of Sydney and Melbourne, but Perth has a thriving community of its own. Perth Pride Festival , which has been going strong for more than two decades, has taken place every October, and the Pride Parade is a mid-November annual event. Many LGBTI people also take part in the February/March Perth International Arts Festival with five weeks of film, theater, dance, writers, visual arts and more. Bears Perth have regular events too.
Perth is no rural outpost. The skyscrapers of its Central Business District are certainly impressive. It’s older buildings, some of the country’s most venerable, are equally as eye-catching. This is a foodie haven, especially for lovers of seafood. It’s also a magnet for those who love the outdoors, as the beaches are beautiful and the national parks incredibly varied.
Spend days exploring hip port neighbourhood Fremantle; lounge on all 19 of the city’s beaches, including famed Rottnest Island; or picnic in the shade in the gargantuan Botanic Gardens. Make for the restaurants of downtown, Subiaco and Fremantle when you fancy sampling such local flavors as Manjimup black truffles, Ord River sweet papaya, Broome mangoes and local venison, berries and, of course, seafood. Liquid delights are on tap here, too; the wine regions of both Swan Valley and Margaret River are within easy reach and the state has a tasty crop of microbreweries. Stir in an influx of compact, specialist cocktail haunts, or “small bars,” that have sprung up in the city’s alleys and laneways and the city truly is a drinker’s delight. See more area destinations at our activities listings.
The local cultural scene offers year-round entertainment at a number of venues. The Blue Room presents contemporary independent theater performances. His Majestys Theatre (The Maj) Edwardian-era theatre, features West Australia Ballet and West Australian Opera productions; also with a cafe/cabaret. The State Theatre Centre of WA and Perth Theatre complex is home to the Black Swan State Theatre Company with world premiere productions and re-interpretations of international theatre classics; and the Barking Gecko Theatre Company. Perth Concert Hall presents performances by the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. Perth Arena hosts big name international entertainment, music concerts, and sports.
Perth Airport is the region’s principal gateway. It has many national as well as international flights. Unless you’re renting a car, there are taxis and shuttles to make your way downtown. Passengers arriving at the international terminal can take the Connect Shuttle to either the City Central or Fremantle stations - for $15 per single (cheaper in groups). The Transperth operates inexpensive daily public transport on city bus number 37 between terminals T3 and T4, and Kings Park. If arriving at T1 or T2 take a free terminal transfer bus, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to connect to another terminal.
Since you’ll want to get to the nearby beaches and parks, a car is a good idea. But for getting around the inner city there are four color-coded no-charge CAT bus routes within the Free Transit Zone. To travel outside the zone, buy a ticket from the driver or a SmartRider card at Perth Railway Station, Wellington Street. The Transperth website has information on all the buses, trains and ferries you might need.
Urbi bike-sharing, launched in 2016, offers stations less than 400m apart throughout the metropolitan area. Bikes are accessed via an app or rented at each station and include helmet and lock. Cost: $4 for 45 minutes, $10 for a day, $35 for a week, or $55 per month.
Many of the gay venues are located in Mount Lawley and Northbridge.
Currency and Money
The local currency is the Australian dollar. You shouldn’t have trouble finding ATMs in most urban areas.
Media & Resources
DNA is the national glossy magazine with some very impressive photography.
Out in Perth is the city’s rainbow-colored gay rag, found at over 230 locations around Western Australia. Check it out for local articles and events listings.
Show Me Perth is a good general public information online source for events, dining options, and tourist attractions.
For map locations and website links to the businesses below, and more, see our gay Perth listings pages.
Pension of Perth (3 Throssell St; 61 8 9228-9049), French provincial decor, three-room B&B, Federation tuck-pointed home building circa 1897, overlooking Hyde Park, breakfast on the veranda.
Ningaloo Reef Holidays (13 Griffiths Way, Exmouth; 61 400 933-338), offers a selection of up to 20 holiday homes in a unique coastline area that's a nature lovers' paradise.
Richard's of Northbridge (165 Brisbane St; 61 8 9227-8303), gay-owned B&B, large en-suite bedrooms with city skyline views or private courtyard; short walk to restaurants/ pub, hearty breakfasts, spa baths, WiFi, lounge with fireplace.
The Cape Lodge (3341 Caves Rd, Yallingup), 22 five-star wine-country rooms and suites and fine dining in one of the most picturesque regions of the State. A rugged coastline and majestic native forest location beside by the Indian Ocean, surrounded by Margaret River Vineyards, just three hours drive south of Perth.
See more hotel and guesthouse suggestions at our map & listings pages.
Blue Room Theatre (Perth Cultural Centre, 53 James St), contemporary independent theater performances include themes of LGBTQ interest.
C Restaurant (44 St Georges Terrace), bar & restaurant, 33rd floor city vistas, classic and modern cuisine, breakfast, lunch, dinner and high tea.
Connections (81 James St), big night out club, dancing, theme nights, drag shows, bingo, Mr Leather contest, go-gos, guest porn stars, kink nights, lesbian mud wrestling.
Court Hotel (50 Beaufort St), large gay and mixed club; pizza/pasta, burgers and seafood, drinks; weekend and special parties including foam events, quiz nights, outdoor patios/beer garden, show nights.
His Majestys Theatre (825 Hay St), cafe and cabaret in last Edwardian theatre in Western Australia; Ballet & Opera performances.
Lorton Park Tennis Club (Lord and Bulwer Streets), tennis courts, gay/lesbian clubhouse nights, special events parties, live entertainment, popular Sundowner evenings; non-members welcome.
Lucky Shag Waterfront Bar (Barrack Street Jetty), waterside bar and restaurant, lunch, dinner, sports on big screens, DJs and live bands.
Perth Steam Works (369 William St, Northbridge), bathhouse for men, 6-man heated spa pool, dry sauna & steam room, dark cruising area, regular & fetish cabins, bar and cafe; naked nights, free STI testing by MClinic, 4pm Thursdays.
Queens Hotel Bar & Bistro (520 Beaufort St), food and beer, breakfast through dinner, convivial crowd and staff.
The Sparrow's Nest (912 Albany Hwy, E Victoria Park), 3pm-midnight gay/lesbian-friendly café and espresso bar; fresh juices, Tuesday-Saturday big late breakfast/ Sunday brunch, toasties, burgers, sandwiches, veggie/vegan options.