Australia's coolest rooftop bars

This summer, grab a friend and hit these trendy bars – all you have to do to find them is look up.

Hennessy Bar sits atop the snazzy Mayfair Hotel
  • Rachel Gray
  • January 2019

Whether you’re in Melbourne or Sydney, Perth or Hobart, there’s a sky-high venue for everyone – some offer tasty bar snacks, others host live music but one thing’s for sure: you won’t leave thirsty. Come for the cocktails and stay for the views at these hip rooftop bars around Australia.

Bob’s Bar, WA

If you like politics with your beer or beer with your politics, try Bob’s Bar, named after Australia’s former ale-loving prime minister Bob Hawke. Located on the roof of Perth’s Print Hall – which once housed The West Australian newspaper – here, you can take in some of the best cityscape views washed down with local brews such as Rocky Ridge, Mountain Goat and Mash Brewing (best sellers are Colonial Brewing Co’s draught and small ale). Pair your ale with a Bob’s Box for a cheeseburger, chicken wings, fries and a drink for AUD $20. Or order pizza to be delivered hot from Gazette Italian eatery on the ground floor.

Hennessy Bar, SA

Dress in your finest for a night at Hennessy bar on the 13th floor of the Mayfair Hotel, Adelaide. Enjoy views across the CBD on the terrace, while indoors, cowhide chairs and crystal chandeliers create a cool but luxe vibe. There’s an extensive champagne and cocktail list (try the Honey Trap with vodka, lime, ginger and honey). Or live large with a bottle of 2009 Louis Roederer Cristal champagne for a heart-stopping AUD $550.

The Corner Hotel, Victoria

An institution in Melbourne, The Corner Hotel in Richmond combines the city’s two greatest loves: live music and sport. Mick Jagger and Crowded House have rocked the downstairs stage, while the Melbourne Cricket Ground is a 10-minute walk away and Rod Laver Arena, not much further. Up on the industrial-style rooftop, crack open a beer, indulge in one of the signature cocktails and nibble on a share-plate of jalapeno croquettes as you wait for the next gig to turn up the bass.

Bring all your mates to the vibrant Corner Hotel.
Bring all your mates to the vibrant Corner Hotel.

Old Mates Place, NSW

The first challenge is finding Old Mates Place, which is hidden on the fourth floor of an old office building at 199 Clarence Street in the heart of Sydney’s CBD. Take the lift or the stairs to the rooftop where the friendly owners have softened vistas of skyscrapers with greenery, candles and snug booths. Choose from 63 types of rum, 30 gins or 22 tequilas or take your tastebuds on a ride with their signature Retox, a mix of activated charcoal, coconut sugar, dehydrated basil, rye, montenegro, lemon and whites. Hungry? Try the tasty Philly cheesesteak, jamon cheesesteak or go all imposter-like with a veggie cheesesteak made with mushrooms, roasted capsicum, onion and provolone cheese. Yum!

Nineteen, Queensland

Ride up to the 19th floor of The Star and check out one of the Gold Coast’s highest infinity pools before you slip into your private booth at Nineteen. Order the “secret recipe” Chilli and Coconut Martini or Pear Shaped (vodka, elderflower, lemon and pear puree) and top it off with a share plate of oysters dressed with Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Champagne mignonette, their signature lobster bolognese or local’s favourite – Patagonian toothfish. The bar caters for up to 500 people and regularly showcases Australian DJs who crank up the beats as the sun sets against a striking view of the glamorous Goldie.

The State Cinema bar, Tasmania

Catch a movie under the stars in the Apple Isle’s only rooftop cinema. The bar on top of North Hobart’s 1913-built State Cinema is quaint and cosy, serving James Boag and Cascade bottled beers and Tassie pinot noir. Movie nibbles are sold at the bar but for serious snacks, like a tandoori chicken panino, pop into the café downstairs before the film starts. The cinema is open in the warmer months from December to February but if wind or rain forces a film to be cancelled, head into one of the 11 indoor cinemas inside the heritage-listed building.