You can’t take a step in Australia’s cultural capital without stumbling into a world-class cold- drip brew, an acclaimed art exhibition or witnessing an epic live music performance. While some of Melbourne’s must-dos are enduring, there’s always something new to discover in the city’s street-art covered corners. Here are the best things to do right this second.
Sleep in luxury at The Langham
With views of the Yarra River, The Langham Melbourne exudes opulence from all angles. The lobby, with its custom-made Waterford crystal chandelier, sets the tone for the 388 rooms which are equally as elegant. Each comes equipped with a sleek marble bathroom, handcrafted furniture and the Langham’s famed Blissful bed.
If you can pull yourself away from your room's skyline views, settle into the afternoon tea experience in the Aria Lounge. Expect moreish twists on classic dishes such as saffron arancini with shrimp butter sauce, kaffir key lime meringue tarts and scones served with Yarra Valley clotted cream and macerated strawberry preserve.
Go wild under moonlight
At The RISING Festival, which runs from June 7-18, you can watch a 10,000 strong orchestra of kazoos or go ice-skating under a constellation of brightly-lit sculptures. This quirky after-dark festival takes place across the city, from car parks to churches and theatres, celebrating what Melbourne does best: music, food, art and culture. Other event highlights include Night Trade with its giant Negroni tank and Anthem, a sound and video show at St Paul’s Cathedral.
Feel fancy at Gimlet
Gimlet at Cavendish House embodies Melbourne’s European-esque elegance in one incredible dining experience. Nab a spot at the bar for a front-row seat as the bartenders work their magic: the Flash of Lighting with Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac, raspberry leaf, pomegranate and ginger wine won’t disappoint. Slide into a chic leather booth for half-a-dozen oysters with seaweed butter and rye or settle in for a dry-aged club steak cooked over coals and served with caper and red wine sauce. Feeling particularly glamorous? Order the caviar service where salt-cured roe comes nestled in ice.
Walk through a magic “fire”
Stroll through luminous walkways, flickering fire gardens and glowing tunnels at Lightscape: an immersive journey inside Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens. Here you’ll explore light, colour and music via immersive installations such as an eight-metre sphere filled with more than 20,000 moving LEDs and singing trees (yes, you read that correctly). Book into a session every 15 minutes from Wednesday to Sunday, June 16 to August 6.
Giggle at the Melbourne Theatre Company
Catch comedian Judith Lucy in Happy Days at the Melbourne Theatre Company from May 1 to June 10. Samuel Beckett’s critically acclaimed, absurdist play – which recently celebrated its 60th birthday – centres on a woman buried to her waist who has a determinedly optimistic view on life. Be prepared to laugh and ponder some existential questions.