There’s a certain allure of rooftop bars – maybe it’s the sense of soaring above it all, maybe it’s soaking up the sun’s rays and fresh air while enjoying some of the best views around – whatever the cause, these beguiling skyward spots are the best rooftop bars in Australia to enjoy your favourite tipple.
New South Wales
InterContinental Double Bay, Sydney
The sweeping ocean views and stylish white decor at InterContinental Sydney Double Bay’s rooftop treasure look like a Santorini postcard. While the infinity pool and blue-and-white-striped daybeds are for guest use only – with visitors of the Intercontinental’s predecessor, The Ritz Carlton, including the likes of Princess Diana and Elton John – dining and drinking is open to all. Pop a bottle of Moët & Chandon and witness one of the best sunset views of Sydney Harbour.
COVID19 update: With the current covid social distancing restrictions, the rooftop bar is available for use of hotel guests only. Tie your visit in with an overnight stay at InterContinental Sydney Double Bay to access this rooftop bar.
InterContinental Sydney Double Bay
Old Mate’s Place, Sydney
Once you have found the discreet ground-level entrance on Clarence Street, guests ascend four levels to find the cosy and hidden-away Old Mate’s Place. Filled with brown-leather booths, rows of bookcases and overflowing foliage, the main bar is a first-date dream. Romantic and candle-lit. Climb one more staircase, however, and you’ll find 360-degree views of the Sydney’s skyscrapers on the rooftop patio. The signature Philly cheese steak (there are six versions, including vegetarian) makes the perfect accompaniment to your whisky on the rocks.
Old Mate’s Place
Surf House, Byron Bay
Surf House not only offers coastal chic accommodation but Byron Bay’s only rooftop bar. Decked out with beach bric-a-brac and vintage Australian surf posters and photos – including one of a young Bob Hawke – the open-air space is the perfect locale. Unwinding with a beer from the local Stone & Wood brewery or a Brookie’s G&T from Cape Byron Distillery.
Hennessy Rooftop Bar, Adelaide
Perched above the opulent Mayfair Hotel, this chic outdoor terrace is located in the heart of Adelaide, offering some of the most spectacular vistas of the CBD. Named after the building’s architect, visitors must try the signature Honey Trap – a caipiroska made with Belvedere vodka, lime, ginger and honey collected from bees kept on the hotel’s rooftop, or the Kimochi, which means “It feels good” in Japanese, enough said.
© Meaghan Coles
Select a cigar from the humidor to complement your caviar and Cognac before taking a seat at this open-air terrace overlooking Parliament House, the spire of St Patrick’s Cathedral and the domes of Princess Theatre. Here, the mood is European through and through; the wicker chairs and white-clothed tables giving one the impression they are enjoying a nightcap on the streets of Paris. If you are in the mood for a late night supper, choose from the menu of foie gras, party pies and creme brulee.
Siglo © Tess Kelly
Henry’s Rooftop, Perth
Elizabeth Quay’s first permanent venue, The Reveley makes an imposing impression. A fortress of black glass and bronze screening perched beside the Swan River. The restaurant-slash-bar features three floors connected by a grand spiral staircase, with the open Henry’s Rooftop functioning as a casual stand-up bar. Visit with a friend and order one of the Giant Cocktails, with the Rosa Rosa – grapefruit vodka, Chambord, rose, strawberry and lemon – a particular delight on a hot summer’s day.
The QT’s 18th-floor rooftop bar features handpainted artworks depicting cocktail culture and a musical soundtrack curated by Andrew Lewis.Watch the sun slip into the ocean as you sip on signature cocktails. The QT GnT features West Winds Sabre Gin, Elderflower Quinine Syrup, Lime and Cucumber Soda.
Creative food director Robert Marchetti and Executive Chef Nic Wood have curated an opulent menu of bar bites. The top picks include Porchetta Fritters (suckling pig fritters with green sauce) and Fish Roll (polenta-crusted whiting with a caper, onion parsley salad, lemon and aioli.
For a limited time, QT will transform this stylish Perth rooftop bar into a lush haven of purple hues. The “bloody rooftop” takeover celebrates the release of Four Pillars Shiraz gin, a combination of Rare Dry Gin and Yarra valley grapes.
Whiskey and Wine, Cairns
A stylish new bar has arrived in Tropical North Queensland at Crystalbrook Flynn. Boasting views across the Coral Sea and out to the mountains of East Trinity, and a number of award-winning cocktail makers behind the bar, this is a watering hole that deserves to be on cocktail connoisseur’s must-visit lists. Sample creative concoctions from the cocktail menu or choose from the impressive range of over 80 local and imported whiskeys. Feeling peckish? Order a savoury high tea tower or some modern Australian share plates, and bask in the idyllic setting.
Whisky and Wine © Supplied
The Pool Terrace + Bar, Brisbane
After shopping along Queen Street Mall, cool down with a swim in the infinity-edge pool before ordering your favourite cocktail at this uber-trendy, Hollywood-style drinking hole. The ideal locale to watch the sun disappear beyond South Bank, this vast boutique space caters to all sorts: have a glass of vino by the bar, sip a scotch in the ‘library’ or clink your cosmo poolside.
Iris at Hotel X, Brisbane
Iris is a luxurious Mediterranean-inspired rooftop bar and restaurant covered in blossoming wisteria and twinkling fairy lights. Spanish plum, indigo and gold interiors are punctuated with olive trees. At golden hour it offers breathtaking views of Brisbane’s city skyline, Fortitude Valley and beyond.
This gorgeous rooftop bar has private dining, a bungalow poolside experience, and a space that transforms into a dancefloor as the night darkens.
Hobart’s first rooftop venue, Aura is perched high in the skies atop Crowne Plaza Hobart. The Daily Menu encompasses delectable treats along the lines of Tasmanian oysters served with caviar and buttermilk, market sashimi served with plum vinegar and fennel pollen or the Cape Grim beef tartare. Pair your snacks with one of the lounge bar’s signature cocktails and watch the sunset over the capital city from one of the best roosts around.
AURA Hobart Rooftop bar © Atomic Blender
This article is on the best rooftop bars in Australia is a Signature Luxury Travel & Style digital exclusive. Be the first to see more exclusive online content by subscribing to the enewsletter here.
Lead image: Hennesy Rooftop Bar © Adam Bruzzone