There’s a reason why Melbourne continues to be the world’s most liveable city year on year – to put it simply – it’s the capital of cool – and for many, Australia’s hippest city. There’s a little something for everyone at any time of year… good coffee, street art, live music, rooftop bars, festivals, markets, shopping, authentic international eats, food trucks – you name it – Melbourne’s got it! But with so much going on – it’s hard to keep track of what’s cool and what’s not. Not to worry! We’ve got you covered… here’s what to do in Melbourne in winter…
Winter in Melbourne Guide
1. Go Ski-ing
It still surprises me that there’s snow in Australia (and penguins) but Melbourne is the best place to be if you fancy a bit of snow action. Mt Buller and Mt Baw Baw are both around 2 – 3 hours drive away and well worth a visit if you enjoy ski-ing or snowboarding. If you just fancy playing around in the snow then head to Lake Mountain which is a bit closer, but you can’t ski there.
2. Visit the Winter Night Market
Queen Victoria Market is located directly opposite Nomads Melbourne and it’s a tourist attraction at the best of times. (As well as a fantastic place to get fresh fruit, veg and awesome cheese!) Grab yourself a warming hot chocolate, mulled wine or hot cider and explore. During winter the night market is bustling with live music, food trucks, international food stalls, a fortune teller and other performers… As well as all of the usual souvenirs, clothing and jewellery stalls that you will find any other day of the week.
3. Watch a film at Melbourne International Film Festival
Running from the 2nd to the 9th of August in 2018, the annual Melbourne film festival is favoured by locals and takes place in numerous locations throughout the city. Not to mention – it’s cheap! You will find anything and everything from all genres, nationalities and cultures.
4. Slide down a Giant Ice Slide
Yes you read correctly! Eureka Skydeck first brought a giant ice slide to Melbourne in 2016! Grab an inflatable donut and make your way down the 40 meter long slide. Fun! Cost in 2017 was $12 for 3 slides. Eureka Skydeck is also a really cheap way to get a 360 degree perspective of Melbourne and the city’s history. To reach the observation deck, be prepared for the fastest elevator ride in the southern hemisphere. The free audio tour is a great way to learn about Melbourne’s history and architecture.
5. See Melbourne lit up at Gertrude Street Projection Festival
Sadly the Gertrude Street Projection Festival is not happening in 2018 but it will be back in 2019! Expect to see the street’s buildings play backdrop to a number of epic light, music and art projections, along with loads of parties, events and theatrical shows. Things are going to get weird! The best bit? Most of the events are FREE!
6. Watch Free Fireworks at the Docklands
Every Friday night throughout Winter from 6:30pm – 8:30pm there is a free fireworks display, food trucks, performers and live music taking place in the Docklands – just on the edge of Melbourne’s city centre. Entry is free! The fireworks display will kick off at 7:30pm.
7. Go to an AFL game
The Australian Football League (Aussie Rules) is an absolute religion among the local Victorian population and the atmosphere is amazing! The season ends at the end of September and tickets start from around $15 – $20. They can usually be purchased at either the MCG or Etihad Stadium… make sure you try a pie!
8. Grab a Coffee at a Cat Cafe
Get indoors and head to Australia’s first Cat Cafe! Located right by Queen Victoria Market, the cafe allows you to sip on a coffee or grab a feed in the company of Cats. The cats are rescued and live in the cafe – and they are super cute! There are limited spaces so it is best to book ahead online here.
9. Visit Madame Brussels Lane European Night Market
Held on Friday nights from mid July to mid August the Madame Brussels Lane European Night Market is an absolute must – try pretzels, German sausages, pop up beer bars and, of course, some live music. Open 5pm until late. Entry is free. Visit their website for exact dates of opening.
10. Spend Time Indoors!
With it being winter it’s likely to be a bit colder, but not to worry because there are loads of indoor activities in Melbourne which will help keep you warm and cosy whilst it’s chilly outdoors. From classic indoor activities such as ten pin bowling or watching a movie to exploring museums or art galleries or even rock climbing there’s a bit of something for everyone.
The majority of tours and activities in and around Melbourne can be done all year round. If you’re on a budget then check out Free or Cheap Things to Do in Melbourne or our Budget Things to Do in St Kilda.
Got a question about Melbourne? Need some more ideas for what to do in Melbourne in winter? Our travel agents are standing by to help!