New Zealand LGBTQ Travel Guide© Pexels
New Zealand LGBTQ Travel Guide

New Zealand LGBTQ Travel Guide

© Pexels

Is New Zealand a Gay-Friendly Country?

Absolutely! New Zealand is socially a progressive country where lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders are not only integrated but welcome members of society. LGBTQ travellers will feel at ease in New Zealand, especially in the country’s largest cities with dedicated entertainment and social scenes. We do warn you, however, the bar scene and community is quite small, so New Zealand is by no means a destination to go exclusively for its gay scene. Nevertheless, a trip to K’ Road or Cuba Street in between exploring New Zealand’s spectacular scenery, makes a fun addition to LGBTQ travel in New Zealand. Dive more into the details in this New Zealand LGBTQ travel guide.

For help planning a trip to New Zealand, be sure to head over to The Best Travel Guide to New Zealand.

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Facts About LGBTQ in New Zealand

  • New Zealand legalised same-sex marriage in 2013
  • Adoption by same-sex couples has been legal since 2013
  • It has been more than 30 years since same-sex sexual activity was decriminalized in 1986
  • New Zealand had the first openly transgender mayor, Georgina Beyer, in 1995. In 1999, she became the world’s first transgender member of Parliament
  • Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression has been illegal since 1993
  • LGB members have been allowed to serve in the military openly since 1993
  • Openly gay and lesbian politicians have been serving since 1993, with Rainbow Labour, a branch of the Labour Party, being formed in 1997 to represent LGBTQ people.
New Zealand LGBTQ Travel Guide© Unsplash

The Gay Scene in Auckland

Offering the most eclectic LGBTQ scene in New Zealand, Auckland is a must-go for gay and lesbian travellers looking to meet like-minded people. The most iconic bars and clubs can be found on Karangahape Road, affectionately known as K’ Road. In addition, eateries and bars like Garnet Station (85 Garnet Road) and SPQR (150 Ponsonby Road) offer an alternative vibe that’s popular with the LGBTQ community.

LGBTQ and Gay Bars in Auckland

  • The Eagle Bar, 259 Karangahape Road
  • Good Times Bar, 146 Karangahape Road
  • Caluzzi Bar & Cabaret, 461 Karangahape Road
  • Family Bar & Club, 270 Karangahape Road

For more about Auckland’s bars and clubs, see The Guide to Auckland Nightlife.

New Zealand LGBTQ Travel Guide©

The Gay Scene in Wellington

New Zealand’s capital might have a small gay scene when it comes to bars and clubs, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. While the city centre has two exclusive gay bars, venues like The Fringe Bar (36-32 Allen Street) and Hawthorn Lounge (2/82 Tory Street) are popular LGBTQ hangouts incorporating comedy and luxury.

LGBTQ and Gay Bars in Wellington

  • Scotty & Mal’s (S&M’s), 176 Cuba Street
  • Ivy Bar & Cabaret, 49 Cuba Street

For more about Wellington’s bars and clubs, see The Guide to Wellington Nightlife.

New Zealand LGBTQ Travel Guide© Nancy Zhou - ChristchurchNZ

The Gay Scene in Christchurch

Again, Christchurch is an example of a small LBGQT scene in a New Zealand city. Regardless, the South Island’s latest city has plenty of gay-friendly bars and clubs with a diverse vibe, including The Dirty Land (131 Victoria Street) and Boo Radley’s Food & Liquor (1/98 Victoria Street). You’ll also find New Zealand’s only gay sauna, Menfriends (427 Tuam Street) in Christchurch.

LGBTQ and Gay Bars in Christchurch

  • Cruz, 77 Victoria Street
New Zealand LGBTQ Travel Guide© WellingtonNZ

Pride Festivals

Of course, a highlight of New Zealand’s even calendars is the LGBTQ festivals. Of course, exact dates change each year for these events but we’ve listed the months to look out for if you want to join in on the action.

  • Auckland Pride Festival – February
  • Big Gay Out, Auckland – February
  • Wellington International Pride Parade – late February to early March
  • Winter Pride, Queenstown – late August to early September
  • Christchurch Pride – November
  • Hamilton Pride – September

For more events, head over to New Zealand Events Calendar: What’s Going On? and Top New Zealand Events in 2021.


Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before calling New Zealand home. He has now spent over a decade in the New Zealand tourism industry, clocking in more than 600 activities across the country. He is passionate about sharing those experiences and advice on NZ Pocket Guide and its YouTube channel. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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