Destinations / Oceania

Culture & Personality: Why You Shouldn’t Miss Spring in Melbourne

As spring stretches sunlight into the evening across Melbourne’s dynamic cityscape, twist your way through the laneways and boutiques of a city filled with the sounds of live bands, smells of culinary treats and the vibrant showcase of iconic fashionistas and creative artisans.

For a city that marches to the beat of its own drum, Melbourne certainly keeps a varied rhythm during spring, providing world-famous sporting events, such as the Spring Racing Carnival, along with beloved festivals and enticing markets and boutiques. A trip to Melbourne in spring reveals the city’s endless charm, as its inner precincts welcome pop-up stalls, art installations and that warm sense of a tight-knit community.

There are few equals to the music, sport, recreation, shopping and dining available in Melbourne. To help you embrace the best of the city during spring, we’ve highlighted the must-do experiences and events. Read on to discover what awaits you in Melbourne.

Where to Shop in Melbourne During Spring

Block Arcade
Credit: Visit Victoria

Shopping, particularly fashion, is integral to local life in Melbourne, where some of Australia’s most iconic markets and boutiques showcase the country’s emerging and established creatives. These talented locals are complemented by international designers who provide Melbourne’s shopping scene with a distinct global flair.

Throughout the city you’ll discover various shopping areas, including high-end fashion roads and streets, inner-city shopping malls and those almost hidden laneways. You can also find one-of-a-kind handicrafts and artisan goods, along with world-class coffee shops and outdoor restaurants.

Bourke St Mall
Credit: Visit Victoria

Highlights of Spring Shopping in Melbourne

  • Browsing the exclusive Zana La Collection fashion concept store and extravagant bridal wear on High Street Armadale.
  • Finding beautiful flower arrangements at Dragonfly Flowers or bespoke resin jewellery at Dinosaur Designs, both on Chapel Street.
  • Shopping at over 200 of the best brand names at the Emporium Melbourne
  • Combining rich history, Heritage-listed architecture and renowned chocolate, fashion and beauty retailers at Block Arcade.
  • Discovering unique handmade treasures, indie shops and vintage retailers along Flinders Lane.
  • Purchasing heavily discounted clothes at the factory outlets on Bridge Road.
  • Checking out the indie boutiques, thrift stores, upcycled goods and multicultural fashion on Sydney Road.
  • Shopping the latest in international designer fashion, beauty and lifestyle trends along St Collins Lane.
  • Perusing Australia’s two biggest department stores, David Jones and Myer, at Bourke Street Mall.

Where to Wine & Dine in Melbourne During Spring

Naked in the Sky
Credit: Visit Victoria

Springtime in Melbourne brings fresh seasonal produce from many of the city’s surrounding rural areas. These are complemented by Melbourne’s alluring cafes and casual restaurants, which serve up the city’s world-famous freshly-roasted coffee and a range of fancy high tea experiences.

Sitting alongside these laid-back eateries are the city’s renowned hatted restaurants, which boast exquisite meals and first-class service. Once the dinner crowd disperses, Melbourne welcomes the late-night partyers and live music enthusiasts with its rooftop bars, British-style corner pubs and perennial gig venues and DJ-led clubs.

Bomba rooftop terrace
Credit: Visit Victoria

Highlights of Spring Dining in Melbourne

  • Dining on internationally-renowned cuisine at the three-hatted restaurant, Attica, ranked in the world’s top 20 restaurants.
  • Mixing contemporary Spanish fare and rooftop cocktails at the bodega-styled Bomba.
  • Sipping on European wines in the luxe Cumulus Up loft-style bar.
  • Enjoying a boozy brunch at Fitzrovia in St Kilda or Grub Fitzroy in Fitzroy.
  • Tucking into Australian beer, live music and rooftop scenery at the iconic Corner Hotel.
  • Devouring fresh bagels and specialty coffee at the vintage-chic Manchester Press.
  • Soaking up city views during an unforgettable rooftop high tea/garden party at Madame Brussels.
  • Combining craft beer, gourmet eats, crisp tunes and effortless city views at the Naked in the Sky rooftop bar.
  • Catching a live gig or DJ set at the renowned Howler bar, housed in a bespoke cinema.

Stylish Melbourne Neighbourhoods During Spring

Flinders Lane
Credit: Visit Victoria

The best Melbourne trips include visiting some of the city’s unique neighbourhoods. These areas bring their own blend of art, community, dining, shopping and entertainment to Melbourne, infusing the city with old-fashioned charm, one-of-a-kind artisans and distinct delicacies.

From Armadale and South Yarra to Carlton and St Kilda, no two neighbourhoods are alike, providing you with an even greater sense of the city’s breadth of cultural, historical and contemporary experiences. Curious travellers will undoubtedly enjoy exploring the various nooks and crannies of Melbourne’s precincts, where you might just find yet another reason to love this city.

St Kilda Sea Baths
Credit: Visit Victoria

Highlights of Melbourne’s Neighbourhoods in Spring

  • Discovering intimate art galleries, factory outlets and unique collectables in Collingwood.
  • Partying at beachside bars, enjoying the historic rides at Luna Park and dipping into seawater spas at the St Kilda Sea Baths.
  • Treating your stomach to Fitzroy’s popular eat streets, where you’ll also find lively bars on Brunswick Street and local designers on Smith Street.
  • Going on a vintage shopping spree, cheering on an AFL team or watching the local bands at the Corner Hotel in Richmond.
  • Finding your Italian soul at Carlton’s Lygon Street eateries, where you can also explore Melbourne Museum and see arthouse films at Cinema Nova.
  • Shopping along High Street in Armadale, which also offers an incredible gastronomic experience at Amaru Restaurant.
  • Taking long, boozy lunches between fashion shopping and browsing the Station and Gould galleries in South Yarra.
  • Sipping on riverside cocktails or coffee, before browsing international designer boutiques in Southbank.

How to Soak up Melbourne’s Culture During Spring

Cherry Bar
Credit: Visit Victoria

Melbourne is a cultural hub year-round, but spring may be one of the best times of the year to soak up this undeniable charisma, thanks to the pleasant weather, outdoor lifestyle and unique art pop-ups and installations. The city’s verdant gardens treat you to vibrant blooms and scenic walking trails.

The city also showcases the best of the world’s famous performers and up-and-coming acts. Intimate and large-scale venues create unforgettable stages for these entertainers, hosting around 3,000 gigs each week. During the day, Melbourne’s museums boast various exclusive exhibits, while the city’s artisans, makers and dwellers provide the diverse fabric for this incredible culture.

The Corner Hotel
Credit: Visit Victoria

Highlights of Melbourne’s Spring Culture 

  • Seeing the Arid Garden, vibrant Camellia Collection and unique Herb Garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens.
  • Watching international and local musicians at iconic gig venues, such as Howler, the Corner Hotel, The Toff in Town and Cherry Bar.
  • Admiring over 7,000 flowers at the Queen Victoria Gardens or strolling through the Heritage-listed Carlton Gardens.
  • Browsing the innovative creations of Melbourne’s best artisans at the Rose Street Artists’ Market.
  • Exploring the bohemian market and creative art pop-ups and installations at the Boho Luxe Market Spring Festival.
  • Catching the Real Madrid World of Football Experience at Melbourne Museum or the NGV International 50th Anniversary exhibits at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Can’t-Miss Spring Events in Melbourne

Melbourne international arts festival
Credit: Visit Victoria
  1. Melbourne International Arts Festival (3-21 October)

Join the city-wide celebration of dance, theatre, music, circus and art during the annual Melbourne International Arts Festival. Enjoy free events, live music, inspiring talks and visual art displays.

  1. Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival (1 September – 25 November)

The Spring Racing Carnival is Australia’s world-famous horse racing event, drawing the biggest names in racing and a nation-wide audience. The carnival also showcases the latest in world fashion, with many attendees donning international and local designers.

It all kicks off with the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield on 1 September, before welcoming the Cali-style Stella Artois Caulfield Cup Carnival and nation-stopping Lexus Melbourne Cup and finishing with the Ballarat Cup. Keep a keen eye on the standout horse, Winx, who is looking for an unprecedented fourth win in the $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate.

  1. School of Rock – The Musical (From 31 October)

Broadway graces Melbourne’s East End Theatre District at Her Majesty’s Theatre with the award-winning musical, School of Rock. Based on the movie, the musical features plenty of laughs, talented musicians and hit songs.

  1. Melbourne Fringe Festival (13-30 September)

One of Melbourne’s biggest yearly events, the renowned Melbourne Fringe Festival returns in September with indie art shows and pop-ups. You can also enjoy live cabaret, circus performances, comedy shows and dance during Melbourne’s celebration of arts and culture.

Fringe Festival
Credit: Theresa Harrison
  1. Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix (26-28 October)

Taking place on Phillip Island, the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix is the nation’s biggest motorcycle event, welcoming international and local riders competing for Grand Prix glory. Along with high-octane motorcycle racing, the GP features numerous off-track events. 

  1. Fast5 Netball World Series (27-28 October)

The Fast5 Netball World Series takes place in Hisense Arena, showcasing the world’s best international netball teams, including New Zealand, Australia, England and Jamaica.

  1. The Lost Lands Festival (3-4 November) 

The Lost Lands is a family-friendly festival in Werribee Park, which hosts artwork, circus acts, comedic performances and kids programs. You can also watch some of Australia’s best musicians, including Tim Finn, The Jungle Giants and Kate Miller-Heidke.

  1. Pinot Palooza (6 October)

Taste the world’s finest wines at Pinot Palooza in Carlton, which showcases Pinot from producers in Australia, New Zealand and France with unlimited tastings and wine talks.

School of Rock
Credit: Visit Victoria
  1. PAX Australia (26-28 October) 

Gamers descend upon Melbourne during PAX Australia, the country’s biggest gaming convention with the latest blockbuster games, expert panel discussions, tournaments and freeplay stations.

  1. AFL Grand Final (29 September)

Watch Australia’s two best AFL teams compete for Grand Final glory at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. This highly touted sporting event showcases incredible football skills and features live pre-game and half-time entertainment.

  1. World Cup of Golf (21-25 November)

Part of the PGA Tour, the World Cup of Golf takes place at The Metropolitan Golf Club, where two golfers represent their country during this highly competitive competition. 

  1. WWE Super Show-Down (6 October)

Held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the WWE Super Show-Down features the largest amount of WWE Superstars and Legends to ever grace Australia. Witness The Undertaker take on Triple H for the first time since WrestleMania 28, along with famous WWE Superstars, including John Cene, Ronda Rousey, Seth Rollins, Shawn Michaels, Big Show, The Miz, Charlotte Flair, Nia Jax and the Australian tag team Billie Kay and Peyton Royce of The IIconics.

Exclusive Melbourne Hotel Deals for Spring

QT Melbourne

Special Offer: Save 6%
Booking Dates: 13th August 2018- 13th September 2018
Travel Dates: 13th August 2018 – 25th December 2018
Room Type: All

Book hotel | Official site

Imagine Marco

Special Offer: Save 6%
Guests who have booked  this offer will receive the following inclusions:

  • Get a complimentary upgrade to Sky category (located above level 25)
  • One complimentary Imagine gift bag on arrival (one per booking regardless of the number of nights stay)
  • Complimentary WIFI access

Booking Dates: 13th August 2018 – 13th September 2018
Travel Dates: 13th August 2018 – 25th December 2018
Room Types: 1 and 2 Bedroom Apartment

Book hotel | Official site

Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne

Exclusive Offer: Stay 2 Nights & Save 20%
Booking Dates: 13th August 2018 – 19th August 2018
Travel Dates: 13th August 2018 – 30th January 2019
Room Types: All

Book hotel | Official site

Vibe Hotel Carlton Melbourne

Exclusive Offer: Stay 2 Nights & Save 20%
Booking Dates: 13th August 2018 – 19th August 2018
Travel Dates: 13th August 2018 – 30th January 2019
Room Types: All

Book hotel | Official site


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