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
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.
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.
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
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