In Focus

What to do in Melbourne this winter

Teleisha Thomas

Teleisha Thomas

June 2023

Explore the vibrant wonders of Melbourne during the winter season with our guide to the city’s top attractions and activities as the weather cools. From cosy cafés and art galleries to outdoor adventures, Melbourne offers a myriad of experiences that will make this winter truly memorable.

Embrace the chilly weather and explore Lightscape. After a hugely popular debut in Melbourne last year, the experience returns to the Royal Botanic Gardens from June 16th to August 6th. Take a night-time stroll and enjoy luminous pathways, tree-lit canopies and soothing soundscapes along a 2.1km trail accompanied by colour-changing installations, illuminated sculptures and much more. This family-friendly experience is a true winter masterpiece.

NGV Setup

Get a dose of culture and stay warm by attending the Melbourne Now exhibition, currently on at the NGV. The exhibit highlights Victorian-based artists, designers, studios and firms whose practices are shaping the cultural landscape of our city and is a must-see for locals and visitors alike. 

Also at the NGV is the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition that this year presents the world premiere of Pierre Bonnard: Designed by India Mahdavi. Curated by Paris’s Musée d’Orsay, the exhibition showcases the work of the great French painter.

5492559472d11048255f92c49517ba29 1600 X1200

Indulge in comforting food and wine at the Winter Night Market at the Queen Victoria Markets. On every Wednesday evening between June and the end of August, the market has live music, food stalls, baked goods and warming drinks. Stay warm by staying inside and enjoying great food and wine at old favourites and newcomers such as Embla, Osteria Ilaria, Epocha, 1800 Lasagne and Centonove.

Immerse yourself in cultural delights such as Rising Festival from the 7th – 18th June. This fortnight of powerful theatre, exhilarating dance, local and international music, public performance and outdoor works of mass participation gives Melburnians and visitors the opportunity to discover a new side of the city.

Whether you’re a local seeking new adventures or a visitor discovering the city for the first time, there are a range of options to ensure you make the most of the winter months.

Out of town

Discover Victoria’s top attractions and experiences during the cool winter season.

Enjoy the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in Geelong on July 28th. The event features a program of string-featured works, led by violist and chamber music curator Christopher Moore.

From late June to mid-July, the much-loved Ballarat Winter Festival is set to dazzle again with an impressive line-up of events including the Winter Wonderlights at Sovereign Hill and a pop-up ice rink in the heart of Ballarat’s CBD.

Created by Switzerland-based artist Dan Acher and set to a tranquil soundtrack by French musician Guillaume Desbois, Borealis on the Lake will bring the Northern Lights to Lake Daylesford once again this winter. Catch the light and music installation every Thursday to Sunday night from July 20th to October 1st.

Another reason to visit Daylesford this year will be in August, for their Winter Sounds experience. Winter Sounds bring some of Australia’s finest artists to extraordinary spaces across Daylesford and the surrounding areas.

The Maldon In Winter 2023 Festival is a celebration of winter, with candlelit recitals and fairy light-lit shop windows. Experience the magical music, theatre, poetry and markets from June 23th to July 10th, with the festival opening night featuring a community bonfire

When the weather cools down on the Mornington Peninsula the crowds retreat and there is more to explore. Indulge in Bottomless Brunches at Hotel Sorrento until mid-August and enjoy a Chocolate and Wine Matching experience at Rahona Valley winery in Dromana.

Stiple pattern image