Melbourne is not only renowned for its lush parks and gardens, Victorian-era architecture and tree-lined boulevards; it’s a city that’s just as well-known for its rainy weather. It’s not uncommon that you can experience four seasons in one day. Though, with the onset of a Melbourne winter, those other three seasons seem to disappear. In the middle of a rainy winter, like we are in now, the temperatures plummet at speed.
Melbourne’s wet and wild winter weather shouldn’t put a dampener on any keen traveller’s plans to visit in the cooler months. There’s still plenty to do in Melbourne in winter, and there are many ways you can experience the city while still keeping warm and cosy. Why not plan a winter-warmer visit and experience an indoorsy jaunt through this sophisticated and most liveable city in Australia.
Head to the National Gallery of Victoria for art and culture
Melbourne hosts a vibrant art and culture scene, accentuated by the many galleries dotted around the city. The National Gallery of Victoria is Melbourne’s premier gallery located on St Kilda Road and is easily accessible by foot if you’re staying in the city. The National Gallery of Victoria is open each day; a warm and inviting destination to shade you from the winter elements. Works from many of the world’s most famous artists have been shown here and there are new and exciting exhibitions all year round. Lengthen your stay by taking in a free talk or tour or peruse the stunning gift shop after your artistic wander through the gallery’s majestic spaces.
Recharge the batteries at Supercharger or Raw Trader
After an energetic morning of gallery wandering, why not rest and refuel? Melbourne is famous for its multicultural foodie destinations like Chinatown on the city’s rim or Lygon Street, Melbourne’s ‘Little Italy’ in nearby Carlton. Yet, Melbourne is also a destination for healthy meals and the burgeoning raw food trade. Recharge the batteries while at Emporium Melbourne with a ‘fill your bowl’ meal at Supercharger. Grains, vegetable dishes, broths, sauces and ‘smashes’ like avocado are on hand so you can stack your bowl with body-nourishing and healthy options at cheap prices. Did I mention they're all vegan and gluten free?
For a little ‘decadence without the guilt’ in the afternoon, visit Raw Trader in Sutherland Street off Elizabeth Street. Their café menu will soothe your sweet-tooth with a slice of cheesecake or tart and warm you from any winter chills over a café latte as cobblestoned Melbourne wanders by you outside.
Stay warm at Melbourne City Baths and keep fit at the same time
If you like to keep fit in your travels, then why not try some laps at the Melbourne City Baths? Melbourne City Baths on Swanston Street hosts a heated pool, spa, sauna and fully equipped gym for any traveller who’s keen to keep up with his or her exercise regime.
Melbourne City Baths first opened in 1860 as a location for the city’s residents to bathe. Melbourne City Baths has evolved over the years and is now a central fitness complex for visiting travellers and locals alike. Pay a guest price to swim, or purchase an all-encompassing pass that will provide you with a spa and sauna session after your swim.
Rock out at any one of Melbourne’s live music venues
You may remember the iconic video clip to AC/DC’s “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n Roll).” The band rode on a moving flatbed truck to belt out this rock anthem alongside bag-pipe players and onlookers along Swanston Street. Since then, Melbourne has only roared in its reputation for live venues around the city and you can head to many of the city’s bars and clubs to experience a well-known act from overseas or an upstart from the suburbs. Many bands come here to ‘make it’ and Melbourne is the city to do it.
Depending on the bill, most venues will charge either a door price or you’ll need to book your tickets in advance. However, there are still some great locations where you can see bands for free. Head to venues such as The Toff in Town on Swanston Street where you can also take in a late supper in the dining carriage; an actual train carriage! For nostalgia and riff-laden grit, Cherry Bar in the aptly named AC/DC Lane is a keen choice. Or, head underground to any one of Melbourne’s laneway, independent record stores for an off-chance, in-store set.
Do you have plans to travel to Melbourne? Why not consider a trip in winter with the aforementioned travel tips? Or, have you visited Melbourne in winter and what are some of your winter-warming travel tips? I’d love to hear about your experiences if you’ve visited.