There is so much to do in Melbourne that even locals have a hard time figuring out how to best spend their time!
Whether you’d like to visit Instagram-worthy locations and create lifelong memories or attend a once-a-year event, there is truly something for everyone. And the best part is, a lot of activities can be done on the cheap.
Here’s our guide to the best activities in Melbourne in 2021.
Check out Heide Summer Festival
After a tough year, the Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen is making a huge effort to give people something to smile about. At Heide Summer Festival, you can expect to be blown away by energetic performances from local jazz artists, First Nations musicians and dancers and more in the lush surrounds of Heide’s sculpture park. While some events are free, many are ticketed – although they’re still pretty affordable.
Go inland surfing
If you’ve always wanted to learn to surf but haven’t had the confidence to face the waves, try URBNSURF. The inland surf park has beginner lessons taught by friendly instructors, who will get you standing on your board in no time. If you’d prefer to just have a paddle around the crystal-clear waters, grab a Swim In The Bays pass and enjoy bodyboarding and softboarding in the gentle waves.
Enter the Rain Room
This work of art by London-based art collective Random International is an incredible, immersive experience that involves being surrounded by rain in a dark room – but don’t worry, you won’t feel a single drop! Thanks to the magic of motion detectors, the water sprinklers are cut off in areas where human presence is detected, so in a way the room allows you to feel as if you are controlling the weather. You can try the experience at Jackalope Pavilion near Catani Gardens in St Kilda before grabbing some lunch by the seaside.
Adventure through the Mornington Peninsula
Melbourne is lucky to be surrounded by amazing national parks, mountain ranges and other nature spots, including the beautiful Mornington Peninsula. If you’re planning to connect with nature this summer but don’t know where to go, Wild Adventures Melbourne makes the whole experience easy. By taking one of their tours, you can stand up paddleboard on the turquoise waters of the Mornington Peninsula, enjoy local wine and produce, and spot wildlife whilst bushwalking, before relaxing at one of the world’s best hot springs.
Cinema under the stars
Whether you’re a movie lover or looking for a romantic date idea, Moonlight Cinema in the Royal Botanic Gardens makes for a fun night out. Films range from cult classics to blockbusters – such as Jurassic Park and Wonder Woman 1984 – to keep you entertained under the starry night sky. There are tickets for every budget, starting at $18, so you can enjoy the experience without breaking the bank.
Unleash your chakras at free yoga classes
If you’re hoping to get fitter this year, look no further than Melbourne’s selection of free yoga classes. Taking place in Southbank and Carlton, the classes are open to all abilities. All you need is your own yoga mat and a gold coin donation. Bonus: it’s also a great way to meet new people!
Go ice skating
Whether you want to master the triple axel or just chill out, you can beat the heat at O’Brien Icehouse in Docklands. If you’re a skating beginner you need not worry, as you can sign up for a free lesson – no matter your age. And, if you like the idea of skating in time with music, plan your visit on a Friday for RnB Night.
Get your adrenaline racing on a ghost tour
By day, history buffs can learn about the city’s most notorious criminals at Old Melbourne Gaol, a prison that operated from 1842 to 1929. But when darkness falls, join one of the night tours and uncover the chilling stories of Victoria’s oldest prison. There are a range of different night tours to choose from, all packed with creepy ghost stories. For something a little more lighthearted, try the Old Melbourne Gaol Cluedo Experience, where you’ll step back in time to solve a mysterious murder in this board game brought to life.
Go to the beach
If there’s one thing Australia is internationally famous for, it’s the beach. With lots of beaches on offer including Brighton, Elwood and St Kilda, Melbourne’s coastline is gifted with beautiful sandy shores. Otherwise, you can drive to Torquay, which has a handful of incredible beaches to choose from. While you’re there, don’t forget to be sun smart!