Melbourne will welcome the inquisitive, the artistic, the culturally savvy and the social for a night that will light up the night like no other when it hosts the fifth annual White Night from 7pm on 18 February 2017 until 7am on 19 February 2017. It’s the perfect excuse to have the night of your life, and see the city in a whole new light – literally – but why not stay a little longer and experience the best of what Melbourne has to offer? Here are our suggestions for a killer weekend in Melbourne:
White Night officially kicks off at 7pm, but there’s no rush – it goes all night. Why not seek out a spot at one of the city’s much-loved rooftop bars to pop some celebratory champagne and watch the sun go down before hitting the streets – after all, the light projections will look a whole lot sharper after dark. Our picks for a brew with a view include Rooftop on the seventh level of Curtain House (try Cookie on level one for dinner beforehand), Goldilocks two doors down, and the city’s newest rooftop bar at QT Melbourne.
Coffee and brunch
Following the all-night extravaganza that is White Night, coffee will no doubt be in order. Luckily for White Night owls, some of the best coffee in the world can be found in Melbourne. Follow your nose to standing room only coffee spots like Switchboard, Traveller and Patricia or pull up a pew and break the fast at Hardware Societe, Higher Ground or Krimper.
Although a whole night of impressive lighting projections and art installations will go a long way to conquering any thirst for art and culture, Melbourne has more to explore. The work of one of the most influential living artists, David Hockney: Current (until 13 March 2017) is now showing at the National Gallery of Victoria alongside Viktor and Rolf: Fashion Artists (until 26 February 2016) showcasing the 20 year career of these talented Dutch designers. Smack bang in the centre of the city, the State Library of Victoria offers more than a plethora of books to read. Its central dome makes it an architectural icon and its gallery spaces show exhibitions such as the current David Collopy: Yesterday Once More (until 6 March 2017) featuring old and new photographs of Melbourne’s landmarks. On the northern edge of the city, Melbourne Museum’s recently redeveloped Children’s Gallery is the perfect spot for tots to play and the Milarri Garden offers an outdoor space to absorb the history learned within.
Theatre and performance
The Book of Mormon, the sell-out musical by the creators of South Park, is now showing at Melbourne’s heritage Princess Theatre. A must-see while in town, it has been a smash hit globally and promises an impressive performance. At the Sumner Theatre on Southbank, the Melbourne Theatre Company presents Born Yesterday (until 25 February 2017), a 1940s style romance that has plenty to say about the dark side of politics and the power of knowledge. Cirque du Soleil presents its all new Kooza (until 26 March 2017) under the Big Top at Flemington Racecourse, a short train ride from the city, showcasing death-defying acrobatics that are sure to astound.
Where to stay
Melbourne’s newest hotel, QT, offers 11 levels of glamorous accommodation and destination dining options in what was once a Greater Union Cinema. The QT Gel Beds are made especially for the hotel, and after a night’s kip it’s likely you’ll want to purchase one for your own home. Insta-fiends will love a night at St Jeromes The Hotel located on the rooftop of Melbourne Central where luxury bell tents are kitted out with comfy bedroom facilities, bikes to borrow and breaky delivered to your doorstep. For apartment living at its finest, the new Oaks Southbank is our top pick with one and two bedrooms apartments available at a price that won’t break the bank.
Summer in Melbourne is abuzz with sporty types in active wear, jogging, cycling and walking around Melbourne’s outdoor spaces. Join the tribe of sun-worshipers and fresh-air-fiends, borrow a Melbourne Bike Share bike (now with free helmets) and meander the banks of the Capital City Trail or Main Yarra Trail. Ditch the bike and head into the Royal Botanic Gardens for a bite to eat at Jardin Tan, a punt on the Ornamental Lake or, later in the day, catch a film at Moonlight Cinema. Head bayside for selfies by the brightly coloured beach boxes at Brighton or stroll along the Solar System Trail and soak up the rays along St Kilda’s foreshore. Early risers can opt for a dawn hot air balloon ride over the city with Global Ballooning.