Hardly a week goes by in Melbourne where there isn’t some major event that is happening in town. You’ll quickly learn that whatever you’re into, be it sport, comedy, music or the arts that there is something for everyone. So, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best events that happen year in year out in the city that we think you’ll enjoy.
Running through the lifeblood of the city, Melbournians treat the AFL (Australian Football League) as a religion. Team loyalty is divided into suburban enclaves and the Grand Final is like an early Christmas present (if your team wins of course!). An AFL match is something you must experience when you’re in Melbourne, though nothing compares to the pomp and spectacle of attending the Grand Final at the world-famous MCG, which has music, passion, and streamers galore!
Melbourne’s passion for AFL is only rivalled by the passion we have for cricket. Pride in the Australian team reaches fever pitch on Boxing Day when the whole city lets its hair down, slaps on some sunscreen and flip flops and braves the scorching heat to watch them take on one of our bitter rivals (of which there are many). These tests usually last five days, but we recommend you go on the first day and revel in all the excitement!
But for a lot of Melbournians, The Australian Open is where they get their sporting fix. Run in late January, this international event becomes the centre of the world for die-hard tennis fanatics. We recommend you book a ticket for a night game at Rod Laver Arena for all the centre court action.
If fast cars in a beautiful setting are your thing, then you can’t go past The Melbourne Grand Prix. The city comes alive in March with ‘petrol heads’ descend on the city over a weekend where music, cars, and culture collide!
For the whole month of November, Melbourne seems to go horseracing crazy, donning their Sunday bests to watch what Australia calls ‘the race that stops the nation,' aka the Melbourne Cup. It’s a place to see and be seen, as celebrities and socialites rub shoulders with ‘common folk’ in a mixture of glitz, glam, gambling and lots of champagne!
Melbourne takes it's Chinese New Year celebrations very seriously and nobody does it better than Crown. Beautiful lanterns, trinket stalls and a Hawker bar, not to mention traditional Dragon shows and pop music make for a wonderful experience in mid February as the weather is balmy and the energy is infectious.
A world-class city, full of world-class restaurants needs to be celebrated with a night market, and you can’t visit Melbourne without going to the Melbourne Night Market. It’s a showcase of everything that’s magnificent about Melbourne and its diversity, offering everything from Brazilian feasts to Italian treats and everything in between. Come for the food, stay for the Sangria and salsa dancing.
For one night in February Melbourne becomes a proper 24-hour city with the White Night Festival. Originally conceived in Paris, the art and culture festival is a smorgasbord of light, colour, music and everything else that makes the city so wonderful. Art pieces project onto walls, in alleyways and on famous monuments like the Art Centre, NGV and City Library. The festival goes into the early hours of the morning, so we recommend that you start late and finish early to avoid the crowds.
For movie buffs, Melbourne is the place to be in August when the best national and international films are showcased for the public. The program is so big that some people take their annual leave just to watch as many movies as they can. But be quick, some of the best films sell out fast.
Behind Montreal and Edinburgh, Melbourne International Comedy Festival is the largest comedy festival in the world, showcasing some of the biggest names in comedy as well as up and comers; it is the place to get your laugh on in April.
We could go on and on about all the events that are happening in Melbourne, but we wouldn’t have time to mention all of them. We hope that you when you arrive you will immerse yourself in at least one major event, as it’s what Melbourne does best!