Anything but Immigration (or Golf)

June 17, 2022
Myer Lipschitz

I personally didn’t think playing golf three days in a row on the Queen’s birthday long weekend in Melbourne was selfish. My wife disagreed and as we are experiencing the coldest winter in Melbourne in 70 years, the dog box looked decidedly uninviting. What to do in one of the cities ranked the most livable for seven years in a row (now ranked eighth) when three games of golf might be injurious to your health?

I do feel a twinge of guilt, not about my wife (we work together so she usually celebrates her time alone when I play golf) but about playing golf most of my spare time. Whilst the Melbourne sand belt golf courses are some of the most celebrated in the world, I do feel a sense of guilt about not making the most of life in Melbourne and all the city has to offer.

I promptly went online and searched for “what to do in Melbourne” and was amazed at the amount of activities available. I’ve been told by our marketing manager to try to keep the blogs to 800 words which is a bit difficult given the vast choice, so I’ve limited this blog to free activities in Melbourne and also limited the list to those activities in Melbourne city as opposed to suburbia. Even then I couldn’t include all of them, however, hopefully this brief list will give you a small taste of what Melbourne has to offer.

– National Gallery of Victoria Architecture Commission: Pond[er] – an architectural installation, replete with a pink pond evocative of Australia’s inland salt lakes 

– Firelight Festival – including fire pits, light shows, pop-up foodie feasts.

– Melbourne craft fair – contemporary craft fair at Queen Victoria market.

– Library Cinema –contemporary classic and documentary films on the big screen at the library at the dock

– Music matinee – live music at lunchtime in the city

– Portuguese Festival –a showcase of all things Portuguese especially cuisine, children’s entertainment and activities and music

– St Paul’s Cathedral Lunchtime Concerts 

– A series of lunchtime concerts to encourage city workers and others to come into and enjoy the surroundings of the Cathedral during the day.

– Spectrum: An exhibition exploring colour in works drawn from the National Gallery of Victoria.

 – Josephine Mead: To the Sounds –– an exhibition of photographic and sonic works that examine the nexus where sound, love, (mis)communication and possibility meet.

– Makers Market at The District – This outdoor undercover market features craft, gifts, fashion and food. 

– Flash Forward – creating a connected network of laneways across Melbourne with their own stories, visuals and acoustic designs.

– ACMI – museum dedicated to the moving image through events, film screenings and exhibition.

– Queer – collection at National Gallery of Victoria to examine and reveal the queer stories works of art can tell.

– Seeing the invisible – an exhibition of artworks created with augmented reality

There are also many different walks to choose from including:

– Street art walk through the cities Lane ways and arcades

– Southbank and Docklands by bike/walk

– Walk/ride along Melbourne’s iconic Yarra River to discover art installations and maritime history

– Secret gardens and majestic parks – a walk through Melbourne/Parks and Gardens

– Heart of the city walk – walk through legendary landmarks, iconic malls, hidden little streets and art filled alleys

– Aboriginal Melbourne walk – discover Melbourne’s aboriginal heritage and culture

– Classic icons and architecture walk – take a walk through Melbourne’s classic icons in architecture

– Culture and ideas walk – take a walk through the city’s northern quarter where history, innovation and culture connect

– Melbourne music walk – discover Melbourne’s music highlights from music venues to busking hotspots and historic sites

There are oodles of professional sport to enjoy if one was brave (or stupid) enough to sit outside. 

We instead opted for none of these and went to The Lume, a digital art gallery which transforms some of the world’s finest art into fully immersive sensory encounters. We saw the exhibition of Vincent van Gogh at a cost of $44 per ticket; it was well worth the price. 

It was held in the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and the whole interior, including the carpet was transformed into a digital canvas. People sat on the floor or stood and even the activity by young children didn’t detract from the experience, to the contrary they almost formed part of the impressionist landscape.

It was thoroughly captivating and a very enjoyable way to spend a public holiday and a good reminder that there is much more to Melbourne than incredible golf courses.

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