There’s plenty to get excited about when winter hits Melbourne. We understand the gravitational pull of Netflix, but try to keep the bingeing at bay and get out and about as much as possible. In any case, it’s a great excuse to buy a new beanie or coat.
Here are some events happening this chilly season that are definitely worth leaving the house for.
Staged over three nights for the first time this year, the “reimagined” White Night promises to be a less chaotic, more gothic event than its predecessors. Three key precincts of the city will be taken over on consecutive nights, and while the festival format may have changed, many beloved White Night traditions will live on. Expect the city’s cultural institutions to extend their hours and the streets to come alive with video projections, live musicians and DJs, all-night dancing, and weird and wonderful activities for all ages.
August 22–24, various locations
Supersense: Festival of the Ecstatic
The forward-thinking arts festival returns for a fifth time and will be held across Melbourne’s Arts Precinct from August 23–25. Previous line-ups have included punk outfit Pussy Riot, Kiwi pop renegade Kimbra and UK space rock royalty Spiritualized. The 2019 line-up is yet to be announced, so stay tuned.
August 23–25, various locations
Run Melbourne has long been one of the city’s most popular races, with entry-level 5 kilometre, 10 kilometre and half marathon (21.1 kilometre) distance options. Held at the end of July, it’s also an excellent motivator during the frosty winter months, when most of us would rather curl up under a rug than throw on some runners and brave the elements. Race entrants are encouraged to fundraise for a charity of their choice, such as the Starlight Children’s Foundation, whose mission is to brighten the lives of seriously sick kids. Free entertainment and a dynamic atmosphere makes it fun for spectators, too.
July 28, Melbourne CBD
Winter Night Market
The eighth instalment of Queen Victoria Market’s hugely successful Winter Night Market delivers a bigger-than-ever 13-week program this year, held every Wednesday night between June 5 and August 28 from 5pm to 10pm. Between July 3 and 31, there will be a Christmas in July theme, with decorations, snow machines, and an ugly Christmas sweater competition. As usual, a huge variety of cuisines from all over the globe will be represented, and there’ll be over 50 fashion and artisan stalls, specialising in handmade and locally designed pieces.
June 5 – August 28, Queen Victoria Market
Skating at Crown Riverwalk Southbank
Australians can sometimes feel a bit cheated of the winter snowfalls experienced in the northern hemisphere. You needn’t knock yourself out on the ski slopes for a taste of it, though – this year there’s a pop-up ice-skating rink right at Crown Riverwalk courtesy of Skating At Festival. For less experienced skaters, blue “kanga” skate aids are provided to help navigate the ice. Skate rental is included in the entry price.
June 22 – July 15, Crown Riverwalk, Southbank
Peninsula Hot Springs
If staying warm when the cold hits is more your thing, head down to Peninsula Hot Springs for an indulgent treat. One of Mornington’s favourite attractions, the 22-year-old springs are set across 42 acres of sand dunes and bushland, and include an attached spa for massage and beauty therapies, and no less than four cafes. In September last year the new Bath House Amphitheatre was unveiled, featuring seven new hot spring pools, a wellness centre, an open-air stage and cultural meeting space, and a hot and cold therapy experience dubbed Fire, Ice and Bathe.
7am–10pm daily, 140 Springs Lane, Fingal
Woodend Winter Festival (event finished)
Less than an hour’s drive from Melbourne ,the Woodend Winter Festival boasts a bumper four-day program over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. Events and activities include classical music concerts, tango lessons, poetry at the pub, political debates and pottery exhibitions. The festival kicks off with opening night fireworks on Friday at Buffalo Sports Stadium and concludes on Monday evening with an Italian feast and opera music at the Victoria Hotel.
June 7–10, Woodend
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Swisse. The Swisse Immunity range contains vitamins, minerals and herbs designed to help maintain healthy immune function and provide relief from cold symptoms this winter. Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist talk to your health professional. Supplements may only be of assistance if dietary intake is inadequate.