Visiting Melbourne

Welcome to Melbourne

Destination Melbourne are the proud publishers of the Official Visitors Guide to Melbourne. In addition to picking up a hard copy version of this must-have guide as you arrive through the airport, the guide is now available in iphone app, ipad and Android app versions. Download here for Melbourne's best guide, including interactive maps, itineraries, and to enjoy the special offers.

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If you are flying into Melbourne, make sure you go to visitvictoria.com to find out everything you need to know about the city and its attractions, Victoria's must-see destinations, accommodation options and travel ideas for every budget.

For business visitors stay up to date with meetings and events at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre or plan your next conference with the Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau.

Here are some of the many cultural and sporting events coming up in the city and around Victoria:



Bomber Command
04 October 2013 until 01 May 2014

Bomber Command

Bomber Command is a Shrine of Remembrance temporary exhibition dedicated to the stories of the men, tasked with a grim duty, who risked their lives in the most dangerous campaign fought by Australians during the Second World War.

It features period photographs, plus the stories of individual airmen and squadrons. Visitor's will see original uniforms, equipment and keepsakes, plus a host of original art on loan from the Australian War Memorial.

Bomber Command was the branch of the Royal Air Force responsible for the strategic bombing of Germany during the Second World War (1939 - 45).

Approximately 10,000 Australians served in the command, joining aircrews from Britain, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and elsewhere.

These Royal Australian Air Force airmen served primarily in the air - as pilots, engineers, navigators, wireless operators, observers and air gunners. Although their numbers amounted to less than 2 per cent of Australia's Second World War enlistments, the 3,486 Australians killed flying with Bomber Command accounted for 20 per cent of this nation's combat deaths during the war.

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Comedy at Spleen
25 November 2013 until 08 December 2014

Comedy at Spleen

Every Monday; Comedy@Spleen is the city's hottest show in town, with a packed room every single week.

With drop-in guests in the past like Jimeoin, Arj Barker, Adam Hills, Wil Anderson, Dave Hughes, Josh Thomas, Charlie Pickering, Claire Hooper and many more. You will never know which special guest you are going to get. They also feature all the hottest young acts in Melbourne that will be household names of tomorrow.

It's always a cracker of a show, and you always have to get in early to snare a seat!

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A conspiracy of cartographers: a series of book sculptures
31 January 2014 until 04 May 2014

A conspiracy of cartographers: a series of book sculptures

Leading book sculptor Nicholas Jones created a fantastic new body of sculptural works inspired by the groundbreaking atlas Terrarum Orbis Theatrum by Abraham Ortelius (1574), as part of his 2012-13 Creative Fellowship at the Library. Inspired by the topographical contours and line-work present in maps, his altered books turn two-dimensional maps into three-dimensional sculptures.

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Artist in Residence 2014 - Chris Beaumont
04 February 2014 until 27 May 2014

Artist in Residence 2014 - Chris Beaumont

Artist Chris Beaumont is the second artist to take up residence in the studio which is attached to fortyfivedownstairs' large gallery space.

It's particularly appropriate to Chris' work that the studio was formerly used as a kitchen space for gallery functions, as Chris Beaumont has always been fascinated by still life, and in particular the humble everyday aspects of our daily life and bread - in his hands the potato, the pumpkin, the eggplant and onion become precious, their apparently simplicity transformed into objects of beauty.

A committee that included Julian Burnside, Chair of fortyfivedownstairs, and artists Jon Cattapan and Kate Dawe, decided that Chris Beaumont, with his dedicated and determined art practice, was an ideal candidate for the studio residency, which also involves talking to some of the numerous senior student groups that visit the gallery each year.

The residency culminates in a two week exhibition from 27 May 2014. It will be almost ten years since Chris Beaumont last exhibited at fortyfivedownstairs!

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Curator Tour – Bomber Command Exhibition
06 February 2014 until 06 September 2014

Curator Tour – Bomber Command Exhibition

Join Shrine Curator Neil Sharkey on a tour of the current exhibition and explore the most dangerous campaign fought by Australians during the Second World War.

Having worked closely with veterans and collectors, Neil will relay some of the incredible stories of the 10,000 Australian airmen who served in Bomber Command and the 3,486 who did not return home.

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9th Indonesian Film Festival 2014
24 April 2014 until 30 April 2014

9th Indonesian Film Festival 2014

Film lovers, get along to the 9th Indonesian Film Festival, the largest celebration of Indonesian screen culture in Australia.

The Indonesian Film Festival is hosting a cinematic feast of Indonesian movies, as well as special events with the filmmakers and actors of the featured films. Non-screening events will include a workshop and public talk.

Presented by Indonesian Film Festival Inc. in association with Melbourne University Indonesian Students Association (MUISA).

For details about Indonesian Film Festival including session time and how to buy tickets, please visit the website.

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A Requiem for ANZAC Day
25 April 2014 until 25 April 2014

A Requiem for ANZAC Day

Brahms' grand Requiem is his largest and yet also his most personal work, here performed in the composer's authorised arrangement for choir and piano four hands.

Created to be not so much a mass for the dead as a source of solace for the living, it offers a message of comfort and consolation, irrespective of one's nation or creed.


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ANZAC Day at the Shrine
25 April 2014 until 25 April 2014

ANZAC Day at the Shrine

ANZAC Day, originally a commemoration of the landing of Australian and New Zealand forces at Gallipoli on the 25th April 1915, has grown to become perhaps the most important national day in Australia.

In addition to recognising the service and sacrifice of all Australians who have served in war or on peacekeeping operations ANZAC Day has become core to the identity of Australia itself, a day on which Australians reflect on the Anzac spirit and its place in Australia today.

The Dawn Service is a major part of the tradition of ANZAC Day and harks back to the military practice of 'standing to' at dawn. Each dawn and dusk, the most favourable times for attack, soldiers were called to 'stand to' and manned their posts in full kit, ready to repulse enemy attacks or launch their own.

Dawn Services are held across Australia, including Victoria's State service held at the Shrine, at 6.00am each April 25 and are followed by the ANZAC Day March in many cities and towns. The March, led by veterans and serving personnel, now also includes the descendants of veterans, sometimes alongside their relatives but more often, as the men of the Second World War in particular pass on, in honour of those who served.

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Buddha's Day and Multicultural Festival
26 April 2014 until 27 April 2014

Buddha's Day and Multicultural Festival

Buddha's Day and Multicultural Festival is a truly unique annual event which celebrates Melbourne's diverse multicultural society.

Running over two days, the Buddha's Day and Multicultural Festival begins in the heart of Melbourne, at Federation Square.

The Festival commemorates the birth of the Buddha, one of the most significant days of the Buddhist calendar, and highlights and promotes cooperation, community understanding and harmony in our inclusive and culturally diverse community.

The Festival incorporates the traditions of Buddhist ceremony including the 'Bathing of the Buddha', daily Dharma ceremonies, the Wishing Bell and traditional incense offerings; a vegetarian culinary tour of Asia along the River Terrace and cooking demonstrations; cultural dance and performances from around the globe; cultural demonstrations in BMW Edge; music; art and craft, community service groups providing information and assistance; and special activities and programs for children at ArtPlay.

A festival for the mind, body and spirit.

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Catherine Evans Exhibition
30 April 2014 until 17 May 2014

Catherine Evans Exhibition

Catherine Evans seeks to transpose the marks on our bodies into a large-scale map using basalt boulders, textiles and photography.

With reference to indigenous stone arrangements, the exhibition encompasses both the geographic and corporeal time scales in order to examine the latent histories of these materials, traversing the mineral to the organic, and the infinite to the micro.

This exhibition is supported by the Victorian College of the Arts and Arts Victoria through its Graduate Mentorship program.

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Broken Nation
30 April 2014 until 30 April 2014

Broken Nation

For many Australians the First World War is the event that defined our nation - larrikin diggers, trench warfare, and the landing at Gallipoli. But it was also the families at home who made the war effort possible with their resilience in the face of hardship.

Join Joan Beaumont, internationally recognised historian and author of Broken Nation, as she brings these war years to life.

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Article 14.1
01 May 2014 until 11 May 2014

Article 14.1

Article 14.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.

Millions of people fled Vietnam at the fall of Saigon, with an estimated 500,000 people perishing at sea. Decades later, hope still lingers for many of those that may have survived.

As part of the Next Wave Festival, artist Phuong Ngo will live in public view for 10 days, on the same supplies his parents had on their boat, occupying his time by folding origami boats out of hell bank notes. Audience members are invited to fold boats and listen to narrative recordings from other Vietnamese refugees.

At the conclusion of Article 14.1, the paper boats will be burnt in honour of those who were lost and continue to be lost at sea.

Work is viewable 24/7 and accessible from 10am until late daily.

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Australian Octet – Chamber Masterworks
30 May 2014 until 30 May 2014

Australian Octet – Chamber Masterworks

Australian Octet is Melbourne Chamber Orchestra's new flagship chamber ensemble, dedicated to performing music for five to eight strings. Under the leadership of Artistic Director, William Hennessy, their debut season will showcase three very different monuments of the chamber repertoire and the first new Australian string octet in 20 years, by Batavia composer Richard Mills.

The program includes:
- Richard Mills' Lachrymae, Chorales and Postlude (world premiere season)
- Shostakovich's Two Pieces for String Octet, Op.11
- Brahms' Quintet in F major, Op 88
- Enescu's Octet Op.7


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Armin Only – Intense World Tour
07 June 2014 until 07 June 2014

Armin Only – Intense World Tour

Armin van Buuren, the world's number one DJ, promises to deliver a stunning live performance with dance acts and incredible technical effects that have never been used before in electronic dance music at the Hisense Arena in Melbourne.

With concept development by ALDA Events, expect to be blown away by an exclusive six hour set.

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Blindside Festival – Meet the Public
27 August 2014 until 06 September 2014

Blindside Festival – Meet the Public

This event features a series of Commissions by four Australian artists and art collectives, who explore the parameters for artist and audience engagement through live art, participatory and site-specific interventions, and inter-subjective encounters.

Each commissioned project will transform Gallery One over three days, through participatory design or explorations in social practice where the public becomes central to the work. A workshop or performance is also presented as an extension of each project, allowing structures and concepts for audience interaction to be further investigated.

Collision, a space for ideas to collide and populate, will be presented in Gallery Two over the duration of the festival. Featuring a built conversation pit, visitors are invited to perform their own interventions utilising a variety of modes of communication and technologies.

A dedicated publication, featuring three critical essays by Australian arts writers, will be published, and art debate, an event with guest speakers who will debate what the role of the public is in art practice today, will be presented in conjunction with the Festival.

Blindside invites you to meet the public.

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Australian Football League Finals Series
05 September 2014 until 27 September 2014

Australian Football League Finals Series

Don't miss the spectacular crescendo of 23 weeks of fantastic competition in the Australian Football League Finals Series.

From March to September Australian Rules Football teams fight it out to make the top eight and qualify for the final series.

This titanic contest is between two teams with one emerging as the premier side for the year.

Close to 95,000 fans pack the stands of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) for the grand final while millions watch it worldwide on cable, satellite and free to air television.

The final series offers sheer atmosphere and excitement and is a truly unique Australian experience.

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2014 Medibank Melbourne Marathon Festival
12 October 2014 until 12 October 2014

2014 Medibank Melbourne Marathon Festival

The 2014 Medibank Melbourne Marathon Festival will be held on Sunday October 12.

In 2013, over 34,000 who took part in the five events and with 6850 competitors completing the Medibank Melbourne Marathon making the event the largest marathon in Australian history.

In 2013, the race lost its national marathon status, but gained more credibility both in Australia and overseas with phenomenal achievements and by far the best marathon race, ever had.

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Bupa Around the Bay
19 October 2014 until 19 October 2014

Bupa Around the Bay

Over the past 20 years Bupa Around the Bay - Fundraise for The Smith Family has grown to become Australia's largest mass participation bike ride and one of Melbourne's major sporting events. With five ride options to select from, there is a ride to suit everyone. With limited places available, claim your spot in cycling history now by registering on the website.

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Appalachian Spring
07 November 2014 until 07 November 2014

Appalachian Spring

A soaring evocation of the American spirit in sound, Appalachian Spring is the most enduringly popular work by American composer, Aaron Copland. Originally written as a chamber ballet for Martha Graham, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra performs this Pulitzer Prize-winning work in its original chamber suite form.

As part of the program, London and Melbourne-based pianist Daniel de Borah will perform Shostakovich's high-octane Piano Concerto No.1.

The program includes:
- Schubert's String Quartet in E flat D87 (arr full strings)
- Shostakovich's Concerto in C minor for Piano, Trumpet and String Orchestra
- Veress's Transylvanian Dances
- Copland's Appalachian Spring (version for 13 instruments).

Directed by William Hennessy.


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Australian Open - The Grand Slam of Asia/Pacific
12 January 2015 until 25 January 2015

Australian Open - The Grand Slam of Asia/Pacific

Summer in Australia is tennis. Balmy nights, world-class tennis players, colourful fans, live entertainment at Grand Slam Oval and all the tennis action live on the big screen at Garden Square. For two weeks in January, Melbourne Park has it all.

Witness the drama unfold as the world's greatest athletes dominate the courts at Melbourne Park and test each other's skill, determination, courage and endurance. More than mere sporting heroes, the likes of Rafa, Roger, Novak, Andy, Maria, Victoria, Caroline and Serena are global superstars, all striving to claim the first Grand Slam® title of the tennis season. Every year the Australian Open gets bigger, better, more intense and more breathtaking as these stunning athletes leave nothing to chance in their quest for the ultimate prize.

Visit the Australian Open website, or sign up to Australian Open Update for all the latest news and offers from the Australian Open.

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