Melbourne has a pretty harsh, wet winter, but it has some benefits over warmer climates.
While you imagine the land down under to be blissfully warm year-round, down the southeast corner, it can get bitterly cold in the winter months, so arrive prepared. Winter in Victoria can mean cold weather and rain.
Whether you’re in the city or the countryside, touring the streets of Melbourne or the Great Ocean Road, here are some ideas for what to pack in winter.
Don’t the Weather change the Routines you’ve Worked so Hard to Create. This means we stick to our workout times, even if it’s cold. Keep the food prep going (Winter can be easier) and ensure you always have a gym partner to keep you and them accountable.
Extend Your Warm-Up a Bit
Cold weather equals cold muscles, and cold muscles put under a high strain without a thorough warm-up can lead to injuries. A great way to get nice and warm is to start with around 10 minutes of steady-state aerobic activity, followed by some functional movements you plan on using in the session, i.e. If you’re squatting, warm up with some squats to get those muscle groups going.
Injuries over winter can put a significant roadblock on your progress, which can then lead to extended periods on the sidelines. Hydration is still, if not more Important! We notice this can fall by the wayside over Winter with water swapping for warm drinks like coffee, tea etc. In many cases, these warm us up are used in place of the usual glass of water and can then lead to dehydration and, in turn, low energy levels and increased potential for injury.
Warm clothes to layer
Layers make you warmer and are a traveller’s best friend. A suitcase only has so much space, so when you layer winter outfits, you only need to refresh or change the underlayer and can wear much the same outerwear each and every day.
Jeans are a must, and you might like thermal tights to wear underneath, especially if you are heading out of Melbourne and to a high country area with snow. On the top, think of layers like long-sleeve t-shirts and fine woollen knits. Unlike Europe, Australian shops and houses are not overheated in winter, so wearing layers isn’t a problem as you pop in and out of buildings.
It gets cold in Victoria in winter. Really cold. So make sure you pack a big warm overcoat that can make any outfit toasty. You will only need one coat for your tour to Victoria, Australia, but it needs to be versatile for the city, and the countryside, so keep that in mind.
Since it rains a fair bit in winter, pack waterproof boots or shoes that can handle big puddles or mud. Again, think of a shoe that could take you from downtown Melbourne to a vineyard to a farm – a comfortable black boot should do this, and wearing black, you’ll blend right in Victoria.
Don’t underestimate the power of a scarf. If you don’t have the space to pack a warm hat or beanie and gloves, do at least pack a warm and woolly scarf to wrap around wherever you feel cold. Even better, an oversized scarf or poncho could double as a picnic rug.
How to stay warm in Melbourne in winter
- Hang out in the hothouses at the Royal Botanic Garden and Treasury Gardens and pretend you're somewhere tropical.
- Beginning at Flinders Street Station, see how far you can make it underground through the CBD. Start with the Degraves Street Subway and Campbell Arcade (while you still can – it might be destroyed to make way for the new Metro Tunnel).
- Knit yourself a woolly scarf. Thread Den and Wool Baa can help you brush up on your skills, and many wool merchants host in-store stitch'n'bitch classes so you can buddy up with fellow knitting nerds in the process.
- Hot water, hot water, hot water. When you’re chilled to the bone, nothing beats a hot soak or sauna. Try Ofuroya Japanese bathhouse or Peninsula Hot Springs if you fancy a day trip. NB: These will reopen during phase three of Victoria's unlocking policy, so ring ahead to make sure they are open.
Rug up, whack on your waterproof gear and go on a hike.
- Sweat the sads away at hot yoga. Try One Hot Yoga, or for those in the east, head to Bikram Yoga Richmond. NB: These will reopen during phase three of Victoria's unlocking policy, so ring ahead to make sure they are open.
- Make like a fancy lady or gent and have a spot of high tea. Scones, warm tarts and warm brews are just the things on a cold day.
- Enjoy a brew (a tea, not a beer) at one of our fine tea establishments (like Tea Drop)
- Enjoy a brew (a beer, not a tea) at one of our fine drinking establishments – replete with open fire – we know exactly where to go.
- Shoot stick. Pool’s the indoor sport of the gods, and there’s no better time to indulge than when the weather’s cruel. Head to Red Triangle Snooker Room – you can get a table of your own for a measly $18 an hour (half-price rates are available before 6 pm on weekdays). NB: Red Snooker reopens on June 18.
- Get slurpy. We've ranked the best noodle soups in Melbourne – nothing like a steaming bowl of ramen or pho to warm your insides.
- Hunker down and watch a game of footy over a pint at one of Melbourne's best pubs.
- Pick your day right, and the movies make for a cheap, warm winter date. Try Mondays at Cinema Nova, Tuesdays at Lido and the Classic, and Wednesdays and Thursdays at the Astor). NB: Cinemas can reopen on June 22 but check with the venue directly before heading there.
- Pick up a new skill at General Assembly, Laneway Learning or the CAE.
- Warm the cockles of your heart with a parma.
- Sample (read: feast on) cheese and red wine: we love Milk the Cow or any of these places.
- Pretend you're in Europe by pulling up a stool at one of the CBD's laneway bars or cafés on a cold afternoon. Wine or espresso, your choice.
- Embark on a marathon board game tournament at home or in a bar with board games.
- Stomp around in your gumboots at the Collingwood Children's Farm, then head to the Farm Café for some warming baked beans. NB: Collingwood Children's Farm has decided not to reopen June 1, but it will be reopening over winter.
- Become obsessed with hot alcoholic beverages. We're partial to savouring a spicy mulled wine.
- Bite into a slow-cooked, smoked or slow-roasted anything. We love the smoky meat at Fancy Hank's.
- When all else fails, have a doona day and just hang in your PJs. Treat yourself to some swish new sets from Kip and Co.
- Find a super cute Airbnb in the Dandenongs and hibernate, waking up only for mulled wine and ridiculously beautiful hikes.
- Stealth layering is essential. HEATTECH means you can pick your layers to suit the indoors, outdoors, or extreme conditions (all while being super thin)—what a nifty little fabric!
- Start sitting in the Z-Class tram stairwells (the commuter pros know that’s where the heat comes from).
- Journey to the tram feel like a trek through Antarctica? Add thermals under your jeans to get rid of that chilled-to-the-bone feeling. You’re welcome.
- Or, add a knit under your dress to make for some Alexa Chung-style layering with a hint of being a full-blown practical adult.
- Then ditch the knit when you get to the office to discover the thermostat is set to 30 degrees (and still look stylish).
- Pretend it’s still warm by rugging up and braving the St Kilda foreshore. (Pro tip: there are 456% fewer crowds in winter).
- Then hit up I Love Pho for sweet, delicious warm pho afterwards.
- Beating the need to wear 17 scarves to the footy because you're sitting at the top of the southern stand (at the altitude usually reserved for passenger planes) by getting your adult on and booking tickets in advance.
- Melbourne is a confused soul in winter—the mornings will be brisk (read: icy), but step into the sun, and you’ll be sweating, so layer up, people.
- Take a hot yoga class—if only to stay warm—because heating is expensive, and everyone knows summer bodies are made in winter.
- Don’t be fooled by the sunshine streaming in your window every morning. This is Melbourne’s cruel joke. Trust us and keep rugged up.
- Obviously, get out of the city and experience a real winter with snow. Mt Hotham, we’re looking at you.
- Hit the snow armed with layers. Knits and thermals are your friends here.
- Stock up on black, black, and more black because what’s winter without dressing head to toe in black?
- Winter is the season to enjoy wine. Did we just make that up? Yes, BUT the vineyards genuinely come alive in winter and give us all of the European vibes.
- Winter is undeniably the best time to go camping. There are no mozzies, you can rug up, you get to toast marshmallows, and you won’t even be that cold if you remember to layer.
It's getting closer to that time of year where the leaves fall, the days get progressively shorter, and the wind and rain increases, but it also means romantic getaways, open fireplaces, slow-cooked lamb shanks, hot chocolates and one of my favourite things, snow.
Weekend getaways in Melbourne
Mornington Peninsula may be at its most popular in the summer months, but it has just as much to offer in the winter months with the many wineries, restaurants, the hot springs, and various attractions listed here. For places to stay for couples, have a look at Flinders Hotel, Summit Views, Arthur's Views or Dream Views. For a luxury family escape, have a look at the Somerset View houses in Red Hill and for cheaper family accommodation, have a look at The Mornington Peninsula Seastays and the RACV Cape Schanck resort often have winter specials. If you love wine, then don't miss the Winter Wine Weekend on the Queen's Birthday weekend.
Hepburn Springs probably needs little introduction as to why this is a great spot, after all, it is called the 'spa country' for a reason. If rest and relaxation are on the top of your plan, this is the place to do it. For luxurious accommodation, book into Saltus, visit the hot springs, book yourself in for a massage and afterwards settle in with a good book and a glass of wine in front of the fireplace with some chocolate from the nearby Chocolate Mill. With accommodation this good, you will not want to go far, but if you must, then Daylesford is only a 5-minute drive away. If you are taking family or friends, then take a look at Replete. It's in a perfect location, has a spa bath and sauna and is cheaper than Saltus. With so much accommodation, there's no need to be limited to these two. Click here for more great options.
Marysville is at the base of Lake Mountain and is the perfect place for a family snow play weekend away. Lake Mountain holds a family fun day on the opening day of the season, this years will be held on Saturday the 7th of June. Marysville accommodation is back up and running with a number of brand new places to stay. Have a look at Moondani Accommodation & Spa, which sleeps up to 4 people for a luxurious treat, Amelina cottages are for couples and for an excellent budget option, have a look at the Tower Motel located in the main street. There are plenty of natural attractions to discover, such as waterfalls, lookouts, beech forests and more. A visit to the Marysville tourist information centre will have you sorted.
Kyneton is not too far away from the city ( 85km ) and has many excellent cafes, historic buildings and the well renowned Piper Street, which is home to many cute country stores. Kyneton is a great base to look around other towns, including the nearby Hanging Rock, Mt Macedon, Daylesford and Trentham Falls. Whilst there, have a look at the Kyneton botanic gardens, which has 17 heritage-listed trees. Kyneton has a community market in Piper St on the 2nd Saturday of the month and is worth a look. Accommodation varies between farm stays, B&B's, motels and self-contained cottages, which can be found here along with more information on Kyneton.
Bright is a lovely town all year round, very cold in the winter but that's because it's in the vicinity of Falls Creek and Mt Hotham, which makes it perfect if you want to look around and also visit the mountains for skiing, snowboarding or sightseeing. Accommodation in Bright is plentiful but make sure you book well in advance because it's likely to be booked out.
Melbourne CBD may sound like an odd choice for those living in and around Melbourne, but staying in a 5-star hotel for a weekend is pure luxury, and with websites such as wotif and need it now, you can get a great deal.
Halls Gap in the Grampians is perfect for the adventurous couple or family wanting to bushwalk, rock climb in the cooler climate and enjoy the comforts of an open fire with marshmallows come evening time. For luxury family accommodation, have a look at Avue Retreat or a romantic getaway, and look at Aspect Villas. If you're not too fussed and want to stay in the middle of Halls Gap, then look at the Halls Gap Caravan Park.
Mt Dandenong is the perfect romantic getaway for couples in winter. Stroll some of the gardens, eat at one of the many beautiful cafes, including Cloudhill, book a massage, and visit some cute village towns such as Sassafras, Monbulk, Olinda, Emerald, and shop of the many art studios and gift shops. Take a look at the view from Mt Dandenong Sky High. Ride on Puffing Billy or just relax in front of an open fire at one of the cosy pubs. For a list of things to do, click here. As for accommodation that can be found here.
Yarra Valley is known as a 'wine country' with some of the best located within the region. This is where food and wine lovers rejoice, and the spectacular scenery makes for a perfect getaway. For couples, have a look at the Balgownie Estate or Healesville Garden Accommodation for families.
With its variable climate, Melbourne heats up December to February (summer), cools down March to May (autumn), chills out June to August (winter), and warms up again September to November (spring). Melbourne's top temperatures are usually in January and February.
In winter, average temperatures range from 6.5 - 14.2°C (43.7 - 57.6°F), and snow falls in the north-east of Victoria, known as High Country. The weather is frequently cold and cloudy, and nights can be accompanied by frosts.
Winters here are crisp, mild with moderate rainfall, mostly welcoming but sometimes harsh too. Melbourne is the coffee capital of Australia, to be explored and enjoyed in Winter.