With a calendar chock-a-block with film, theatre, comedy, art, fashion and food events, Melbourne always seems to be celebrating one thing or another. Historic theatres, state-of-the-art stadiums and unique venues provide the stage for international sporting championships, artistic entertainment, and food and wine festivals throughout the year.
January: Australian Open & One-day International Cricket
The Australian Open, the first of the four annual international Grand Slam tennis events, is in full swing. Spending a summer day at a one-day international cricket match on the sacred grounds of the MCG, has to be experienced at least once in a lifetime.
February: White Night Melbourne
Experience Melbourne in a different light as White Night transforms the city with vivid lighting installations and illuminations, street performances, film, music, dance and interactive events. It’s an all-night celebration of culture and creativity across Melbourne’s streets and laneways, parklands, public places and cultural spaces.
March: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
Food and wine lovers in their thousands descend on Melbourne each year to indulge in a delicious three weeks of around 300 separate events, that fill Melbourne’s restaurants, laneways, and rooftop venues. It’s a mouth-watering celebration of Victoria's award-winning chefs, restaurateurs, winemakers, and local producers.
March: Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show
Each Autumn, the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show returns in a festival of colour and floral design at the World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens. It is the biggest annual flower and garden show in the southern hemisphere, and it’s blooming lovely.
March: L'Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival
Long regarded as Australia’s fashion and shopping capital, during the Melbourne Fashion Festival, the city’s sartorial splendor is in the spotlight. The hottest tickets are for the runway shows, featuring established and emerging Australian models and designers, but there’s plenty more events to join in.
March/April: Melbourne International Comedy Festival
For three and a half hilarious weeks each year, Melbourne becomes the centre of the comedy universe, as the third-largest international comedy festival takes over the city. It’s one big sidesplitting party with local and international acts performing in venues of all shapes and sizes.
July: Melbourne Open House
For one weekend, Open House Melbourne, throws open the doors to some of its most treasured buildings, not normally open to the public. Free entry makes the event extremely popular and crowded, but the chance to see what’s behind the usually closed doors is irresistible.
July/August: Melbourne International Film Festival
The Melbourne International Film Festival is an iconic Melbourne event dating back to the 1950s, making it one of the oldest film festivals in the world. A must for film buffs, the festival screens a diverse range of world cinema from Australian and international filmmakers.
October: Melbourne Festival
Melbourne Festival is one of Australia's leading international arts festivals, with a reputation for presenting an unparalleled feast of international and Australian events in the fields of dance, theatre, music, visual arts, and multimedia. There are many free and outdoor events throughout the 17-day pageant.
November: Spring Racing Carnival
The race that stops a nation, the Melbourne Cup, always held on the first Tuesday in November, is the highlight of Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival. Buy an outlandish hat and join the fashions on the field. Oaks Day is traditionally ‘Ladies' Day’ of the carnival.