where to spend summer nights in melbourne (3)

Where To Spend Summer Nights In Melbourne?

With lockdown restrictions easing in Melbourne and the weather warming up, it's time to start planning your end-of-year break! Here is the lowdown on fun (and safe) activities you can enjoy this summer. Technically, summer has officially begun. Will we have heatwaves, blistered sunburnt skin and balmy nights? Who knows, it's Melbourne. We still may need the brollies and cardies on some days, but the summer spirit is here nonetheless, regardless of the weather. Summer is the social time of year, where we head out with friends and family and make the most of the extended daylight in the fresh air. Across the city and beyond, there are plenty of ways we can enjoy being outside when those hot summer nights do eventually hit.

Summer Activities

Relax At The Beach

There's nothing like spending the day soaking up the rays at the beach. Luckily, Melbourne is full of great spots to do exactly that. Brighton Beach is ideal for unwinding, and its famous multi-coloured bathing boxes provide the perfect backdrop for Insta snaps. St Kilda Beach is one of the city's most popular beaches, perfect for embracing water sports like kite surfing and paddleboarding. For a more secluded experience, Half Moon Bay, located in the suburb of Black Rock, boasts an iconic shipwreck and the towering Red Bluff cliffs.

Picnic At The Royal Botanic Gardens

where to spend summer nights in melbourne (2)Enjoy the tranquillity and peacefulness of the Royal Botanic Gardens, located on the CBD's fringe. The gardens are home to an astounding 8,500 plant species and an ornamental lake and boast scenic walks throughout. You can easily spend hours and hours here taking in the lush surroundings, so pack a picnic and make a day of it.

Surfers Paradise

The Gold Coast suburb, which is as famous as the city itself, Surfers Paradise is one of Australia's most popular summer vacation spots. Surfers Paradise balances the cosmopolitan glitz with beachy informality with skyscrapers overlooking a seemingly endless stretch of sand. The city's waterways are perfect for fishing, watersports and scenic cruises, while award-winning theme parks are just a 20-minute drive away. Start your visit at the SkyPoint Observation Deck, where you can take in panoramic views from an elevation of 230 metres. Afterwards, check out the shops and restaurants of Cavill Avenue, swim or sunbathe with the carefree crowd at Surfers Paradise Beach, and navigate a thrumming nightlife scene that embraces the good, the bad, and the vulgar.

Over five weeks in January and February, Seaside Sounds Kirra brings live music, face painting, food trucks and entertainment to the Kirra Foreshore. On Friday and Saturday nights, visit NightQuarter to discover an eclectic space filled with food stalls, fairy lights, bars, live music and boutique shops in repurposed shipping containers. Lastly, don't forget the Gold Coast Food & Wine Expo or the Health Harmony Soul Expo; these three-day events receive an impressive turnout each year – albeit for very different reasons.

Visit A Wildlife

Get nocturnal with nature this summer on a Sunset Safari at Werribee Open Range Zoo. This after-hours, small group event includes a guided tour, where you can observe animals such as southern white rhinos, giraffes and zebra, plus enjoy an intimate North African-inspired dinner and an immersive performance of drums, song and dance. "This is a completely authentic wildlife and cultural experience; you can't get closer to an African safari without buying a plane ticket," says Werribee Open Range Zoo director Glen Holland. 6-9 pm every Friday and Saturday night until March. Tickets are $105 ($94.50 for members), and proceeds help support Rhino Fund Uganda.

Raising money to fight to save the eastern barred bandicoot from extinction is Zoo Twilights, Melbourne Zoo's all-ages concerts on Fridays and Saturdays, starting January 25 until March 9. So pick a spot under the stars on the lush lawns, feast from the food trucks and pop-up bars and catch acts such as Cat Power; Briggs, Archie Roach and Alice Sky; Daryl Braithwaite and Ross Wilson; Vera Blue, Kesmar and The Cat Empire plus mmm-boppers Hanson are also performing for a night.


Australia's largest city is popular all year round, but summer sees Sydney's tourist numbers skyrocket. Sydney has a lot going for it, from iconic landmarks to world-class food and entertainment. However, one of the best things about summer is simply enjoying Sydney's beaches and coastlines. First, discover some of Sydney's best scenery on the Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk, a 6km journey past cliffs, coastal parks and rock pools. Then, stop and unwind on Bondi Beach for that perfect holiday snap, or embark on a scenic ferry ride from Sydney Harbour to Manly Beach for quality surf and a relaxed, local atmosphere.

Spending the summer in Sydney is the perfect excuse to join roughly one million spectators for Sydney's world-famous fireworks display on December 31. Then, for three weeks in January, the Sydney Festival features a diverse program of more than 150 events celebrating the boldest and best visual and performing arts. Then in February, Mardi Gras lights up the city with performances, film screenings, funfairs, parties, and one of the world's biggest LGBTQI pride parades.

Splash At Adelphi Pool

If there's one place to take a dip this summer, it's at the Adelphi Hotel! A glass-bottom pool that sits nine storeys above Flinders Lane, you'd be forgiven for thinking you've been transported to Miami when you step onto the Adelphi Hotel rooftop. With its retro cocktails and coastal white deck chairs, it's certainly a cool place to be on a hot day! You don't have to be a guest at the hotel to enjoy the 13.5 metre-long pool; it's open to the public for just $35, including towel hire for the day.

FAQs About Summer Nights In Melbourne

Drink spritzes at a rooftop bar.
Enjoy a meal outdoors.
Watch a movie at an outdoor cinema.
Row a boat down the Yarra.
Scoop up the city's best gelato.
Kick back by Adelphi's rooftop pool.

Melbourne warms up in summer with mean temperatures between 14 - 25.3°C (57.2 - 77.5°F). However, these months are dry, with occasional hot spells that can last more than three days. Melbourne's top temperatures are usually in January and February when temperatures can occasionally soar past 30°C (86°F).

  • Camp out in the garden.
  • Set up an art table with paint and paper. Let the kids do the rest.
  • Organise a treasure hunt.
  • Play Hide-n-Seek.
  • Have a garden tea party.
  • Let the kids help you do some gardening.
  • Fill a plastic or sink bath with water and toys.
  • Play "Simon Says".

Cinema Under The Stars

Lido Cinema in Hawthorn recently announced that its rooftop cinema experience is returning from November 2. With movies such as No Time to Die, Lassie Come Home and Goodfellas set to show on the big screen this summer. It's the perfect opportunity to grab a cocktail from their rooftop bar and take in a movie under the stars.

Picnic On A Goboat

Picnicking on a Scandinavian-inspired boat as you skipper down the Yarra River – it doesn't get any better than this. GoBoat has reopened on the waters and caters to groups of six who want to enjoy a summer day with a difference. The boats have their very own in-built wooden table where you can lay out your BYO picnic and drinks. You don't require a boating licence to operate a GoBoat, and the team provides a full safety run-through before you set off. Happy boating!

Ride The Waves At A Surf Park

URBNSURF is the latest craze to take over Melbourne and is sure to be the go-to spot this summer. Whether you're a complete beginner or a pro, Australia's first inland surf park is where you'll want to put your skills to the test. There are different levels of waves to cater to varying abilities, and when you're tired of riding the waves, you can stretch out and unwind in one of the beach-style cabanas.


In sunny Queensland, Brisbane, the largest city, is a wonderful destination for a subtropical summer escape. Cruise along the Brisbane River on a CityCat ferry, and explore more than 6000 hectares of inner-city parklands and green spaces. South Bank is a favourite spot among locals and visitors alike, boasting a waterfront promenade, shops, restaurants, a Ferris wheel, a Nepalese pagoda, and a manufactured beach overlooking Brisbane River. With fantastic dining and state-of-the-art cultural spaces to boot, there's something for everyone in Brisbane.

In Brisbane, summer is sports season, with cricket, AFL, soccer, and rugby match drawing huge crowds to The Gabba and Suncorp Stadium. Watch the Brisbane International from a courtside seat, or make your way to the big outdoor screen and watch the tennis with a cold beverage in hand. Check out the schedule of gigs coming up for City Sounds – the largest program of free live music in Australia – or head north for an unforgettable week of festivities at the Woodford Folk Festival.

Summer Night Market

Why shop in a mall by day when you can shop as the sun sets in one of Melbourne's many night markets? Big ones include the Summer Night Market at Queen Vic Market, every Wednesday until late March, with 60 food stalls and bars, 100 specialty stalls, and live music and games such as giant Jenga, totem tennis, and chess. The Coburg Night market, located on the corner of Bell Street and Sydney Road, has a similar vibe, and it's on Friday nights until December 21. Set against a backdrop of silhouetted roller coasters and towering palms is the St Kilda Twilight Market, in the O'Donnell Gardens, every Thursday night until February 7. Returning on January 10 is the South Melbourne Night Market, every Thursday until the end of February.

where to spend summer nights in melbourne (1)There's also a series of one-offs happening, with the Paris-end of Collins Street becoming home to a pop-up boutique Christmas market on December 14. It will be located at Market Place in Collins Place and sells wares until 6 pm. Further out, the St Andrews Twilight Market is this Tuesday from 4 pm; Eltham's Twilight Christmas Market is 4-9 pm this Thursday at Eltham Town Square, while the Mornington Racecourse Twilight Market kicks off from 3 pm on Saturday, December 15.

Go On An Ice Cream/Gelato Hunt.

Cool down on a hot summer's day with some of Melbourne's best ice cream and gelato spots. Gelato Messina (which has various locations across Melbourne) has been dubbed the best gelato in Australia, so naturally, you'll need to sample some of its flavours to see what all the fuss is about. Other great choices for ice cream include Nitro Lab on Bourke Street in the CBD, where liquid nitrogen is used to flash freeze your order, and Melbourne institution Pidapipo. Last but certainly not least, you can even let robots assemble your ice cream of choice at Niska Robotic Ice Cream Bar located at Federation Square.

Ways To Spend Summer Indoors

The Ian Potter Centre

It is located At Federation Square, Flinders Street. So head indoors and be inspired by the works on show. This summer, NGV Australia will host five free exhibitions by Australian artists, including one that will feature the works of Victorian avant-garde artist Gareth Sansom.

Holey Moley Golf Club

You are located At Little Bourke Street, Melbourne. Bring the outdoor fun in atHoley Moley Golf Club, where you can tee off for a round of mini-golf, paired with a round of cocktails. Throughout this two-storey, pop culture-themed indoor course, you'll find references to The Simpsons, Game of Thrones, Pacman and much more, making for plenty of fun photo ops. At the end of your game, grab another drink from The Caddyshack Bar.

Eureka Skydeck

You are located At Riverside Quay, Southbank. First, take in the views over Melbourne on a sunny day from the enclosed comfort of the Eureka Skydeck. Then, if you're game, take on the Edge Experience— a glass cube that extends from the 88th floor of the Eureka Tower. You'll be 300-metres up with a view up, out, and — if you're brave enough to look —straight down!

Gg Ez 

It is located At Queen Street, Melbourne. GG EZ stands for Good Game Easy, and it's Australia's first e-sports bar. What is e-sport, you ask? It's online gaming — think epic League of Legends or Starcraft battles — and its popularity increases by the minute. So much so, this bar screens it lives as it's being played across the globe. So head here for a pint to cool you down and for a sticky beak into the unique world of competitive online gaming.

The Fashion Capital

You are located At Dandenong Road, Chadstone. The air-conditioned and sun-protected interior of shopping centres makes them a great place to cool down on a hot day. Add to this the plethora of stores Chadstone has on offer, and you could keep yourself busy (and cool) for hours. Take advantage of the Chadstone Fashion Shuttle to get you there from the city and when you arrive, be sure to pick up a Tourism Passport with exclusive deals for out of towners.

O'brien Group Arena

It is located At Pearl River Road, Docklands. Ice-skating is an activity often associated with winter, which can only be a good thing if you're looking to cool off. O'Brien Group Arena is kept at a frosty 16 degrees Celsius — a welcome change from the scorching summer temperature outside. A range of special activities is on offer during the school holidays, making it the perfect place for family fun.

Sealife Melbourne

We are located At Corner King and Flinders Street, Melbourne. Cool off underwater while staying dry at SEA LIFE Melbourne. Watch as fish, stingrays, turtles, and sharks swim overhead in the aquarium tunnels, say hello to Pinjarra in the crocodile enclosure and have fun getting to know the sea life in the hands-on rock pools. Of course, your visit to the aquarium won't be complete without visiting the King and Gentoo Penguins. Chill out with them as they shuffle, swim and slide in their icy enclosure.

Trapt Bar And Escape Rooms

Located At Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. Put your problem solving and teamwork skills to the test by taking on an escape room challenge at TRAPT. Your team will be placed in a room full of riddles and clues that you'll need to solve to escape before your 45 minutes is up. Suited to groups of between four and six people, TRAPT is perfect for when you're in town with friends. There is also a licensed bar on-site, so it's an activity best saved for a Melbourne visit sans the little ones.


Summer is a fantastic time to enjoy Melbourne's great outdoors, but when it starts to heat up, it's a good idea to throw some indoor activities into your visit, too. Here are ten ways to beat the heat in Melbourne this summer.

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