Melbourne’s jam-packed events calendar means there’s always a new reason to make travel plans, regardless of whether you’re a culture vulture, sports fiend, theatre fan – or anything else. 

Immerse yourself in world-class exhibitions

Pierre bonard

Jump into the deep end of Melbourne’s cultural calendar with spectacular exhibitions within walking distance of each other. On St Kilda Road, the National Gallery of Victoria’s blockbuster winter 2023 showcase delivers the emotively colourful world of French painter Pierre Bonnard and explores his instrumental role in the birth of Modernism (until 8 October 2023). See another Melbourne Winter Masterpiece just a short walk across the Princes Bridge at Federation Square, where ACMI celebrates female and gender-busting trailblazers across 120 years of film with its exhibition Goddess: Power, Glamour, Rebellion, winding up on 1 October. 

Get your game on

National hockey league

There’s no beating a game of Australian Rules Football at the MCG for an energy-charged atmosphere. September is finals season, which means the roar of the crowd gets even louder and the spectacle on the hallowed turf of the iconic East Melbourne ground reaches a nail-biting pitch. The sport-obsessed city is also the place to witness other epic headliner events, such as when the FIBA Basketball World Cup’s Boomers vs World fixture sees the Australian men’s team take on Brazil, Venezuela and up-and-comers South Sudan across three nights at Rod Laver Arena in August. The same venue will host the 2023 US National Hockey League Global Series, a pre-season curtain-raiser in which the Arizona Coyotes will lock sticks with the Los Angeles Kings on 23 and 24 September.   

Fly Qantas Economy Return to Melbourne and lock in these epic moments. Book now.

Marvel at the animal kingdom’s mysteries 

Fantastic beasts exhibition

Explore the magic of the natural world through a wizarding lens at Melbourne Museum’s Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature. Science sits alongside storytelling in this incredible collection of wildlife specimens from London’s prestigious Natural History Museum, shown along with artefacts from the cinematic Wizarding World such as custom-made models, original artworks and props from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts film series. The combined effect of actual specimens mixed with creatures from a fictional world highlights the planet’s most extraordinary wildlife and the incredible survival abilities that help them dazzle, disappear and escape from danger. 

Experience a boundary-pushing arts festival 

Carltons historic royal exhibition

Making its debut on the Melbourne arts scene, Now or Never promises a bumper 17-day program exploring the intersection of art, ideas, technology and sound. A host of experimental music and visual arts events join with virtual-reality experiences and thought-provoking talks by the world’s leading creative visionaries from 17 August to 2 September, when free and ticketed events take place across the inner city. Carlton’s historic Royal Exhibition Building will act as festival hub, with its towering cathedral ceilings adding their own frisson to epic events created by electronic and multimedia artists demanding full sensory immersion.

Fly Qantas Economy Return to Melbourne and make the most of these epic moments. Book now.

Catch a thrilling stage show 

The bohemian glamour and wild energy of fin de siècle Paris are impossible to resist in Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Returning to the opulent Regent Theatre from 20 August, the hit Broadway production inspired by Baz Luhrmann’s film features captivating stage design and costumes as well as a powerhouse collection of pop hits updated with tracks from artists including Beyoncé, Katy Perry and Adele. Making its Melbourne debut at the Athenaeum Theatre in October, Elvis: A Musical Revolution celebrates the colourful life and hip-swinging times of Elvis Presley. Blue suede shoes optional.

Moulin roughe cta

Start planning now

Image credits: Michelle Grace Hunder (Moulin Rouge), Lillie Thomson, Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London, Now or Never – MESS

SEE ALSO: 5 Amazing Adventures You Should Have in Melbourne

You may also like