When the weather is a bit crappy you still want to do stuff, especially if you’re only in Melbourne for a short while. Luckily for you there are lots of things to do in Melbourne on a rainy day or when the weather is making you want to stay indoors. There are the obvious rainy day activities such as staying in and reading a book, catching up on emails etc. However, below we’ve listed some of the best indoor activities Melbourne has to offer.
Indoor Activities Melbourne
1. Melbourne Museum
Rainy days are perfect for visiting museums and learning more about the history of the city and the country you’re visiting. Melbourne Museum, located in the Carlton Gardens, is perfect for this as it’s a natural and cultural history museum. It’s also the largest museum in the Southern Hemisphere so there’s plenty to see to keep you occupied for a few hours.
2. Royal Exhibition Building
Also located within Carlton Gardens you can visit the impressive and historic Royal Exhibition Building. It was the first building in Australia to be given World Heritage status and was built in 1880 for the Great Exhibition. The Great Hall continues to host various trade shows and events including the annual International Flower and Garden Show. Tours of the Royal Exhibition Centre depart from Melbourne Museum.
3. Parliament House
Carrying on with a bit of culture and history why not visit Parliament House? An imposing building whose construction began in 1855, it still houses the Victorian Parliament. You can visit Parliament House every day apart from public holidays and even see parliament in action. There are several tour options available, including an architecture tour if you like that sort of thing.
4. Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium
Right, that’s enough culture for now, time to see some marine life! This is a fantastic place to visit if Australia’s marine life fascinates you. There are different ‘zones’ you can visit to see sharks, rays, a massive crocodile or two, penguins, seahorses, turtles, lizards and so much more. Chat to the staff at the travel shop at your hostel about ticket prices and any savings you can make by booking early.
Sometimes the weather makes you feel like doing very little except watch a film. You could head to the TV room and watch a film in there, or why not head to the local cinema to catch the latest blockbuster. You have several cinemas to choose from in Melbourne depending on what you’re after. There are several arthouse cinemas showing independent films, an IMAX, and several showing big commercial films. St Kilda also has a fantastic cinema called The Astor which is worth a visit. Head to The Sun Theatre to admire the Art Deco decor as much as the film you’re watching.
One of the many excellent museums you can find in Melbourne, Scienceworks features a Planetarium so you can explore the night sky at any time of day. There are also plenty of exhibitions. The theme, in case you hadn’t guessed it, is science and there are lots of interactive displays and the lightning theatre to explore.
7. Queen Victoria Market
The best markets in Melbourne (in my opinion) are handily indoors. Not only is it a historic market but it provides lots of fresh produce at very competitive prices. In addition to fresh fruit and vegetables, you can also purchase tasty cheeses and meats, other delicatessen products, and fresh fish and seafood. Read more about Queen Victoria Market.
8. Free Live Comedy Shows
Pretty much every night of the week you can find somewhere in Melbourne to watch some free comedy. What better way to stay warm than to have a good belly laugh? Here’s an extremely handy list of the venues to check out when you fancy a bit of a giggle: Melbourne free live comedy.
9. Escape Room
If there’s a few of you (between 2 and 6) that are bored together why not challenge yourselves at an Escape Room. Solve clues and puzzles within 70 minutes to escape from the room! Always good fun. There are several locations around Melbourne to solve one of 7 differently themed escape rooms.
10. Break Room
Feeling a bit fed up of the rainy days in Melbourne and want to let off a bit of steam? You’re going to love this! Head into a room with a bat wearing a ‘break suit’ and break things!
The ACMI is the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and it’s fascinating. Handily located in Federation Square, visit the museum which has lot’s of different exhibitions which change throughout the year. Or visit the cinemas which show some of the classic movies you’ll remember from the past as well as some contemporary films from Australia and the world. ACMI is open every day from 10am.
12. Caribbean Rollerama
Something a little bit different, why not go rollerskating to disco music? Prices begin from $7 and it’s just fun! A 2 minute walk away you’ll find a massive undercover market in the Caribbean Gardens. The Caribbean Park where these are both located are 25km out of Melbourne so you will need to find a way to get there. It’ll take you about an hour and a half by public transport to get there, so it’s worth trying to make a day of it.
13. Ice Skating
After roller skating we had to include ice skating too. Although you may not feel like being on ice on a cold and wet day as long as you wear sensible warm clothing the skating will warm you up. Get on a tram and head to O’Brien Group Arena at Docklands. Go there on ‘Tight Tuesday’ for heavily discounted ticket prices.
14. Visit a Brewery
If chocolate isn’t your thing (I don’t believe you), then maybe beer is. There are brewery tours which take you around the big breweries or the smaller micro-breweries with craft beers. After the tour (or sometimes during), sample some of the beers they sell.
15. Eureka Skydeck
If it’s absolutely chucking it down then the view may not be as spectacular as on a sunny day but at least you’ll be indoors! Eureka Skydeck has amazing views of Melbourne and it’ll only take you 38 seconds to get up to the 88th floor in the lift. Open from 10am to 10pm daily.
16. Ten Pin Bowling
One of the most popular indoor activities Melbourne has in common with most of the world – ten pin bowling! There are several places located within central Melbourne where you can challenge your friends.
Embrace your inner child and bounce! Bounce is a massive indoor trampoline park where you’ll stay dry and give yourself a bit of a workout. It’ll take you about an hour by public transport to get to Essendon Fields where Bounce is located. When there you can jump around on Australia’s biggest trampoline, try a trampoline slam dunk, use the wall tramps or play dodgeball!
18. Yarra Valley Chocolaterie (& Ice Creamery)
Let’s focus more on the chocolate here, because who doesn’t want to eat chocolate on a miserable day? An activity that you can visit if you have your own transport (or a friend with a car), but worth the trip because it’s a stunning location. And of course when you get there you can try lots of free chocolate then buy loads of chocolate to take back home!
19. Ghost Tours
Learn about the spooky side of Melbourne and enjoy one of the Ghost Tours around some historic buildings. There are plenty of indoor ghost tours available. More information here.
20. Rock Climbing at Hardrock
Learn to climb indoors! There are 2 venues, the one in the CBD has auto-belay walls, meaning you can climb alone if you don’t have someone to go with. The one in Nunawading (a bit of a trek to get to), has a bouldering cave.
21. Go to the Pub
Finally, if it’s just chilly and you don’t really fancy doing that much, there are so many good pubs all over town. During winter when it’s cold, as well as rainy, head to one of the pubs with an open fire to get yourself cosy whilst nursing a beer or two.
As you can see there are plenty of rainy day activities in Melbourne, a bit of something for everyone. If you know of any other indoor activities Melbourne has that you think we should include then let us know below!
Make sure you also check out our Guide to Winter in Melbourne.