There's no shortage of after-hours entertainment Down Under so we've put together a list of cool things to do when you're there.
Australia is a huge and diverse country when it comes to nightlife, and you’ll find Aussies having fun everywhere, from pubs and clubs in the cities to BBQs in the Outback. The big cities come to life with a dazzling array of old-school and trendy haunts, while more remote places simply offer the chance of a good campfire and outdoor session under the stars.
We’ve put together some of Australia’s top places for nightlife below:
A favourite party haunt for Australians, you’ll find a busy strip of restaurants, bars, clubs, and theme parks behind the stunning Surfer’s Paradise beach. Get a bird’s eye view of the Gold Coast and sea while sipping a cool drink at the Seventy7 bar on the Skypoint Observation Deck, which stays open till 10pm on Saturday nights. A cheaper way to enjoy a night out is to book a Backpacker’s Big Night Out, where you’ll get VIP entry into nightclubs, free food and drink, and be driven from place to place.
Melbourne is a great centre for art, food, and music, with a vibrant street art scene and thriving hipster culture - which can only mean great food and excellent bars. Get a hit of Australian street art and dive bars at the legendary Cherry Bar in the suburb of Fitzroy before putting on your dancing shoes and heading to the Laundry Bar. Alternatively, grab some pub grub before a live gig at the shabby chic Esplanade Hotel in beachside St Kilda. For the latest chart toppers and chic nightclubs, visit the Crowne on the banks of the river Yarra, where you’ll have your pick of 14 bars and nightclubs or you can try your luck at the casino. For a cultural evening, visit the Malthouse Theatre in Southbank and enjoy some of the greatest Australian productions in this historical building, which was originally a brewery.
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Sydney boasts excellent nightlife with plenty of places to let your hair down after a day’s chilling out on the beach. If you want to party, head into central Sydney to Scruffy Murphy’s where there’s always something on, from karaoke nights, live bands and DJs, to footy on the big screen. The art-deco inspired Club Soho is now the ‘it’ place in King’s Cross to enjoy music and show off your dance moves over two floors. Don’t forget to dress to impress! You’ll also find live gigs over at the infamous Imperial Hotel (the one from Muriel’s Wedding) followed by DJs playing until the early hours. For a chillout evening, catch a movie on the massive IMAX Cinema screen measuring a huge 117.1 ft x 97.4 ft. at Darling Harbour.
Brisbane has an eclectic mix of rooftop bars, Irish pubs, and sophisticated nightclubs. Fortitude Valley comes to life at night with the sound of live music and nightclub dance beats, and you’ll have your pick of bars and clubs after a cheap dinner at one of the BYOB restaurants in the area. Make the best of the warm weather at an outdoor rooftop bar such as Elixir or head to the grungier Ric’s Outdoor Bar for cheap drinks and an alternative vibe. Discover new on-stage talent at The Hideaway bar or, for a more sophisticated evening, you could spend the night sampling some of the 150 boutique whiskeys at Nant Whiskey Bar. The Eagle Street pier boasts a shimmering strip of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs where you’ll come across the after-work crowd taking advantage of happy hour discounts on a Friday night. For a taste of Ireland and live music from Rock ‘n Roll to Irish folk, check out some of the Irish pubs in the CBD, such as Irish Murphy’s and Mick O’Malley’s.
With all those hours of sunshine, Perth has some of the greatest rooftop and waterfront bars in Australia. Try an ‘artisanal’ cocktail by one of Bar Lafayatte’s mixologists near St George’s Terrace or spend an evening on a rooftop bar such as the Mechanics Institute, a hipster hangout serving up craft beers and gourmet burgers. Shake the sand from your feet and plant them straight onto the Hotel Rottnest on Rottnest Island. Sit back and relax with a drink al fresco and enjoy some live big name Australian bands in the courtyard. For a more relaxing evening, grab a blanket and enjoy a chilled night out at Ben and Jerry’s Outdoor Cinema where you’ll find the genius combination of great movies with delicious ice-cream.
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Cairns is a popular stop for backpackers with plenty of hostels, great restaurants, bars and a smattering of nightclubs. Gilligan’s Backpackers resort attracts thousands of backpackers each year, it’s one of the larger hostels where you can choose to stay or simply pop down for a visit to enjoy a beer or party all night. For a good feed, try out the Pier Bar and Grill while taking advantage of their happy hour, taking place from 5pm to 7pm. For a more sophisticated evening, you can enjoy a graceful ballet performance at the Cairns Convention and Exhibition Centre or sit back for a show at the Cairns Reef Casino.
‘Nightlife’ may not be the best way to describe the dingy shacks that often pass for bars in the Outback but they’re definitely worth a visit! The famous Daly Waters pub is a favourite haunt for locals in the town of the same name in the Northern Territory. It’s memorably decorated with “treasures” left by former customers, including driving licenses and women’s underwear. You can pop by for a cold one, or stay longer and book a room for the night. The Prairie Hotel in Townsville offers up a great feed surrounded by farmers’ hats and a large, stuffed buffalo head that greets customers as they enter.
Another way to enjoy the Outback is to go a designated camping spot with a few mates and fire up the bbq. Enjoy an incredible Uluru sunrise after a night of sing-songs, sausages and a few brewskies. Search here for National Parks and established camping sites in the Northern Territory.
Last but not least, have fun, and enjoy the party!