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Discover the Best New Things to Do in Melbourne This Winter

Melbourne, known for its vibrant culture, eclectic arts scene, and bustling streets, transforms into a winter wonderland as the colder months roll in. Winter in Melbourne is far from dreary; it’s a time when the city comes alive with unique events, cozy experiences, and exciting new activities. If you’re planning to visit Melbourne this winter or looking for fresh ideas to enjoy the season, here are the best new things to do in Melbourne this winter.

Explore the Lightscape at Royal Botanic Gardens

Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne
The Royal Botanic Gardens is a must-visit during winter, thanks to the enchanting Lightscape event. This immersive experience transforms the gardens into a magical light and sound show. Wander through illuminated pathways, marvel at the artistic light installations, and enjoy the mesmerising music that accompanies this spectacle. It's an ideal evening out for families, couples, or anyone looking to experience the gardens in a whole new light.

Indulge in Winter Igloo Dining

Various Locations
Igloo dining has taken Melbourne by storm, offering a cozy and unique dining experience. Several venues across the city, including Federation Square and The Wharf Hotel, set up transparent igloos complete with heaters, plush seating, and stunning views. Enjoy a gourmet meal, sip on mulled wine, and take in the cityscape from the comfort of your private igloo. It's the perfect way to stay warm while indulging in Melbourne’s culinary delights.

Visit the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces at NGV

National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)
The National Gallery of Victoria hosts the annual Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition, featuring world-renowned art collections and special exhibitions. This winter, the NGV is showcasing works from some of the most influential artists in history. Whether you’re an art aficionado or simply curious, the Winter Masterpieces is a cultural experience not to be missed.

Attend the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF)

Various Venues
The Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) is a highlight of the winter season, celebrating its rich history with a lineup of cutting-edge films from around the world. This year’s festival promises an array of new releases, documentaries, and classics. Attend screenings, participate in Q&A sessions with filmmakers, and immerse yourself in the world of cinema.

Experience the Winter Night Market at Queen Victoria Market

Queen Victoria Market
 The Winter Night Market at Queen Victoria Market is a vibrant, weekly event featuring food stalls, live music, and unique shopping experiences. Warm up with delicious street food, from hearty soups to gourmet burgers, and explore the market's artisan stalls. With its lively atmosphere and diverse offerings, the Winter Night Market is a quintessential Melbourne experience.

Try the New Indoor Skiing and Snowboarding at URBNSURF

URBNSURF Melbourne
If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush this winter, head to URBNSURF, Australia’s first surf park. This winter, URBNSURF has introduced indoor skiing and snowboarding sessions. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, you can enjoy the thrill of winter sports without leaving the city. The park offers lessons, equipment rental, and a variety of slopes to cater to all skill levels.

Relax at the Hot Springs Retreat

Peninsula Hot Springs
Just a short drive from Melbourne, the Peninsula Hot Springs offers a tranquil escape from the winter chill. The hot springs have recently added new bathing experiences, including private hot tubs and luxurious spa treatments. Immerse yourself in the natural thermal waters, surrounded by serene landscapes, and unwind with a range of wellness activities. It’s the perfect winter getaway for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Discover the New Winter Art Series at ACCA

Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA)

The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) is known for its innovative exhibitions, and this winter is no exception. The Winter Art Series features new works from contemporary artists, exploring themes relevant to the season. Attend exhibitions, artist talks, and workshops to delve deeper into the contemporary art scene and get inspired by cutting-edge creativity.

Join a Winter Wine Tasting Tour

Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula
Melbourne’s surrounding wine regions are beautiful in winter, offering cozy cellar door experiences and hearty seasonal fare. New wine tasting tours have been introduced this year, focusing on winter varietals and food pairings. Explore the Yarra Valley or Mornington Peninsula, meet winemakers, and savour the rich flavours of winter wines. Some tours even include gourmet meals, cooking classes, and vineyard walks.

Attend the Ice Skating Festival at Docklands

Docklands, Melbourne
The Docklands Ice Skating Festival is a new addition to Melbourne’s winter events, transforming the waterfront into a winter wonderland. The festival features a large ice rink, live entertainment, food stalls, and festive decorations. Glide across the ice with stunning views of the city, enjoy warm treats from local vendors, and participate in family-friendly activities. It’s a magical way to embrace the winter season.

Explore the New Winter Pop-Up Bars

Various Locations
Melbourne’s bar scene gets even more exciting in winter with a slew of new winter-themed pop-up bars. These temporary establishments offer unique cocktails, cozy atmospheres, and winter-inspired decor. Sip on hot toddies, mulled wine, and other seasonal concoctions while enjoying live music and entertainment. Some notable pop-ups this winter include The Alpine Club at the Carlton Club and The Winter Village at Federation Square.

Visit the Melbourne Zoo’s Wild Nights

Melbourne Zoo
Melbourne Zoo’s Wild Nights is a new evening event that brings the zoo to life after dark. Experience the zoo in a whole new way with illuminated trails, animal encounters, and interactive installations. Warm up by the fire pits, enjoy nocturnal animal presentations, and indulge in winter treats from food trucks. It’s an enchanting night out for families and animal lovers.

Attend a Live Theatre Performance

Various Theatres
Melbourne’s theatre scene is thriving, with several new productions debuting this winter. From classic plays to contemporary dramas and musicals, there’s something for every theatre-goer. Venues like the Arts Centre Melbourne, Malthouse Theatre, and Melbourne Theatre Company host a variety of performances. Check out the latest shows and enjoy a night of culture and entertainment.

Explore the New Winter Garden at the State Library

State Library of Victoria
 The State Library of Victoria has unveiled a new winter garden, offering a serene retreat in the heart of the city. The garden features winter blooms, cozy seating areas, and tranquil water features. It’s a perfect spot to relax with a book, enjoy a warm drink, and escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The library also hosts winter-themed events, including readings, workshops, and exhibitions.

Participate in the Winter Glow at Adventure Park Geelong

Adventure Park Geelong
Just a short drive from Melbourne, Adventure Park Geelong has introduced Winter Glow, a new event featuring light displays, fire shows, and winter activities. Wander through illuminated gardens, enjoy live performances, and take part in family-friendly activities like ice skating and snow play. It’s a fun-filled outing for all ages, offering a magical winter experience.

Enjoy a Gourmet Hot Chocolate at Koko Black

Various Locations
Koko Black, Melbourne’s premier chocolatier, has introduced new gourmet hot chocolate flavours for winter. Visit one of their chic locations and indulge in rich, velvety hot chocolate creations, from classic dark chocolate to innovative new flavours like salted caramel and chilli. Pair your drink with delectable chocolate treats for the ultimate winter indulgence.

Attend the Winter Village at Fed Square

Federation Square
Federation Square transforms into a festive wonderland with the Winter Village, featuring ice skating, igloo dining, and winter markets. The village offers a range of activities and entertainment, including live music, fire pits, and food stalls. It’s a lively spot to gather with friends and family, enjoy winter activities, and soak in the festive atmosphere.

Explore the New Laneway Art Installations

Various Laneways in Melbourne CBD
Melbourne’s laneways are famous for their street art, and this winter, new installations have been unveiled, adding a fresh layer of creativity to the city. Take a self-guided tour through laneways like Hosier Lane, AC/DC Lane, and Blender Lane to discover vibrant murals, interactive art pieces, and hidden gems. It’s a unique way to explore the city and appreciate Melbourne’s dynamic art scene.

Experience the Winter Jazz Festival

Various Venues
The Winter Jazz Festival is a new addition to Melbourne’s music scene, featuring a lineup of local and international jazz artists. Enjoy live performances at iconic venues, intimate clubs, and pop-up stages across the city. The festival offers a range of events, from traditional jazz concerts to contemporary fusion performances. It’s a perfect way to warm up with soulful tunes and vibrant rhythms.