Auckland Gay and Lesbian Scene
(Auckland, North Island, New Zealand NZ)
The gay and lesbian scene on New Zealand's North Island is becoming more open and obvious, although by international standards, it is still relatively small and low-key. When it comes to the city of Auckland, there are a number of venues suiting this crowd. However, most bars, clubs and nightspots tend to cater for more of a mixed crowd.
There is often something interesting to see at the slightly off-beat Basement Theatre on Lower Greys Avenue. Located close to Aotea Square at the Auckland Town Hall, the Basement regularly stages some interesting shows, live music, dance, poetry and comedy gigs, a number of which are LGBT themed.
For some serious drinking and clubbing in Auckland, Karangahape Road (K' Road) is the place to come and is to be found on the southern side of the city center, in between Myers Park and the Mercury Theatre. Many people refer to Karangahape Road as the city's 'Rainbow Strip', due to its popularity with the resident gay community.
Well worth looking out for here is the Family Bar, which first opened in the year 2006 and is still going strong, with its pulsing music, regular drag queen acts, fun karaoke and happy hours, when cheap booze and Matua Valley wine is on tap. The Family Bar is open Monday through Sunday, from 09:00 in the morning right up until 05:00 in the morning, so if you like a late night, it is a sound choice. Also standing on Karangahape Road is the 'non-attitude' Urge Bar, which has been serving the Auckland gay community since 1997. Interestingly, this makes it the longest running bar of its kind in the whole of New Zealand.
Auckland Gay Festivals and Events
First held in 1992, the two-week Hero Parade ran for just under a decade, until 2001, with its annual gay and lesbian procession taking to the streets of Auckland in February, usually the week prior to the famous Sydney Mardi Gras. It was very successful in promoting the subject of acceptance and gay rights in New Zealand, and at its peak, drew over 100,000 people to the city.
Due to financial pressures and lack of sponsorship, the Hero Parade event could not be held again for many years, although happily it has recently been resurrected once more. February 2013 saw its return and its costumed parade once again headed along Ponsonby Road, being followed by a party at Victoria Park.
Useful LGBT gay and lesbian names and addresses:
- Pride Centre
Address: 281 Karangahape Road, Auckland, New Zealand
Tel: +64 (0)9 302 0590
An excellent contact point for gay and lesbian visitors.
A gay and lesbian newspaper, published fortnightly, full of LGBT information about the local scene and sold at most newsagents.
- New Zealand Gay Guide
A small book full of LGBT information.
A bi-monthly national magazine, sold at most newsagents around the city.
This is a popular monthly gay magazine, sold at most newsagents.