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10 of Australia’s best rooftop bars

Experience the best of Australia’s sunshine and laid-back bar culture by checking out these stylish, original and unexpected rooftop bars.

Dandy’s Rooftop in Brisbane

Coordinate your drinks with the decor at the brightest bar in Brisbane

Coordinate your drinks with the decor at the brightest bar in Brisbane

One of the brightest, near-psychedelic, locations in Brisbane, Dandy’s Rooftop is the kind of bar the Cheshire Cat would feel at home in. Canary, tangerine and magenta picnic tables, bright patterned sunshades and green astrosurf sit beneath an elaborately textured ceiling that, after a few too many Sangrias, might have you questioning which way is up. For an equally unconventional place to stay, check into the playfully decorated W Brisbane on the other side of the river.

Zeta Bar in Sydney

Enjoy a 'culinary cocktail' in luxurious surroundings at Zeta Bar

Enjoy a 'culinary cocktail' in luxurious surroundings at Zeta Bar

The old-world Zeta Bar at Hilton Sydney fuses traditional decor and cutting-edge mixology. Soft leather sofas, open fireplaces and low-lighting create the perfect atmosphere for sipping on one of the ‘culinary cocktails’. Favourites include the Wake & Flake (a refreshing gin cocktail served with cornflake syrup and a cornflake rim) and La Carbonara (bacon-infused rye and vermouth, served with a side of bacon).

2WK Bar & Restaurant in Adelaide

Sip seasonal beers and potent martinis at 2WK Bar

Sip seasonal beers and potent martinis at 2WK Bar

With quite possibly the best view in Adelaide, 2WK Bar & Restaurant is a gorgeous spot to watch the sunset while catching up with both new and old friends. The ‘slow brew’ menu features a seasonal collection of locally brewed beers, while travellers who prefer something sweeter will adore The 2WK – a light yet powerful cocktail made up of peach, pear, honey and plenty of gin. After one of these, Miller Apartments is mercifully nearby, and they also conveniently offer a chargeback service at many of the local bars for your peace of mind.

The Island Rooftop in Surfers’ Paradise

Luxuriate in the laid-back atmosphere at The Island Rooftop

Luxuriate in the laid-back atmosphere at The Island Rooftop

Soaked in the laid-back atmosphere Surfers’ Paradise is known for, The Island Rooftop serves up endless pitchers of icy beer. Fresh lobster rolls and wood oven pizzas will set you up well for a night of live music and laughter beneath strings of gently twinkling fairy-lights. And when your eyes start closing, it’s only one flight of stairs down to the equally stunning Island Gold Coast hotel.

Rooftop Bar in Melbourne

Try a Long Island Iced Tea at Melbourne's Rooftop Bar

Try a Long Island Iced Tea at Melbourne's Rooftop Bar

Melbourne’s Rooftop Bar is open all year round – offering breathtaking views of the city skyline – and from December to March, it hosts five film screenings a week. So you can pull up a deckchair and sip on a Long Island Iced Tea, while admiring the skyline and Ryan Gosling’s face. And there’s no need to say goodbye to the view when you leave the bar – Mantra on Russell self-catered apartments are a 2-minute walk away and offer similarly breathtaking vistas.

Sixteen Antlers in Brisbane

Discover an urban forest hideaway at Sixteen Antlers in Brisbane

Discover an urban forest hideaway at Sixteen Antlers in Brisbane

Sixteen Antlers takes its name from the silver roof “branches” that support the bar’s glass ceiling, while the strategic greenery and intimate lighting make this luxury hotel bar feel like an urban forest hideaway. The bar’s signature cocktail is an Antlers Forest (a heady mix of Belvedere vodka, Chambord, Creme de Cacao, Kahlua and espresso), offering a perfect accompaniment to the popular Saturday Sessions.

Coogee Pavilion in Sydney

Cool down with a botanical cocktail at 'The Pav'

Cool down with a botanical cocktail at 'The Pav'

Adored by locals, ‘The Pav’ was designed to look like a Victorian botanist’s conservatory. Think dramatically flowering plants, anatomical drawings, industrial furnishings and gorgeous views of the Coogee coastline. The bar is stocked with an impressive collection of local beers but it’s the elaborate cocktails (specifically The Pink Flamingo) that will keep you coming back for more. Make The Pav your local and stay next door at the Coogee Sands Hotel.

The Howling Moon in Canberra

Start your day right with a boozy brunch at The Howling Moon

Start your day right with a boozy brunch at The Howling Moon

The view from The Howling Moon stretches from Black Mountain in the north to the Brindabella Mountain Range in the south-west. With an almost-as-impressive cocktail menu and hearty food to sink your teeth into, it’s easy to see why The Howling Moon is so popular with the locals. The bar also sits on the 6th floor of the Canberra Rex Hotel, so you can sleep it all off in luxurious surroundings.

Mr. P. P.'s Deli in Gold Coast

Travel back in time at Mr. P. P.'s Deli with a classic cocktail

Travel back in time at Mr. P. P.'s Deli with a classic cocktail

Mr P. P.’s Deli is named after Mr. P. P. Agnew, the eccentric 19th-century Postmaster General who was a illustrator, playwright, actor, poet and cultural powerhouse. Today this split-level deli and rooftop bar is decorated with Mr. P. P.’s illustrations and travel diaries. Sunny days at Mr P. P.’s Deli are the closest most travellers get to travelling back to one of the most exciting times in Gold Coast history, and the local tap beers aren’t bad, either. For a room with a similar view and a short walk from Mr P. P.’s, check into Palmerston Tower.

The Sherry in Perth

Relax in The Sherry's secret rooftop garden

Relax in The Sherry's secret rooftop garden

The cherry perched on the top of Perth’s refurbished Flour Factory, The Sherry rooftop bar includes its own secret garden. Tall brick walls screen The Sherry terrace and tropical garden, while floor-to-ceiling windows flood the space with natural light. Make the most of the Northbridge bars, restaurants, cafés and the parkland sculptures at Russell Square by checking into the boutique Attika Hotel.