Eat Play and Explore Melbourne in Summer

Pack your swimwear – and your adventurous spirit. Here’s where to eat, play and explore in Melbourne this sunny season.

Take flight

Fancy a sangria on the beach? How about while floating high above the city? The Melbourne Star Observation Wheel has transformed into the ultimate summer setting with its beach-themed cabins. The colourful beach boxes give you your coastal fix without leaving the Docklands – and while peaking at around 40 storeys high. Kitted out with deck chairs and pool toys, they boast sweeping 360-degree views across Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula and all the way through to Geelong and Mount Macedon. A private 30-minute flight in one of the temperature controlled cabins, including sangria and a cheese board, is $65 per person for a group of six, or $360 for a two-person flight.

Miss Behave

The world record-holding sword swallower is coming to liven up our city – and your life. Do we have your attention yet? London’s queen of cabaret, Miss Behave, is bringing The Miss Behave Gameshow to Melbourne for an exquisite evening of equal parts game show and disco party. No night is the same but every night is guaranteed to be riotous fun. It’s on at Fairfax Studio until January 27. Be sure to pencil in a pre-drink at the in-house bar before the show, too.

Local hit

If there’s one thing that epitomises Melbourne in summer, it’s the Australian Open. Get along and watch the world’s best battle it out at Rod Laver Arena, and check out the action unfolding off the court too. This year we’re spoilt with showdown performances from Craig David, Angus & Julia Stone, Jet, Something for Kate and Jebediah. You can also take your pick of gourmet delights from Neil Perry’s Burger Project, Mamasita and Nobu.

Float on

Dining on dry land is so 2018. Arbory Bar’s pop-up floating bar is back and oh buoy it’s a beauty. Now sitting at an extended 69 metres in length, the floating pontoon is moored alongside Arbory’s permanent fixture beside platform 13 at Flinders Street Station. You’ll be greeted with – and treated to – 360-degree views of the Yarra River and the CBD skyline, an extensive cocktail list including pomegranate daiquiris, and a menu brimming with fresh seafood and wood-fired pizzas. It’s topped off with live music soundtracking the balmy evenings every weekend throughout the sunny season.

Starry night

Date night just got extra dreamy with the return of Williamstown’s Sunset Cinema. Pack a picnic for two – or take along the whole family – and nestle into a cosy spot at Commonwealth Reserve. The nostalgic lineup includes classics like Cool Runnings and Dirty Dancing as well as Hollywood’s latest blockbusters including Bohemian Rhapsody, Holmes & Watson and Mary Poppins Returns. A bar will be serving up a range of Grant Burge wine and Young Henrys craft beer and cider, and you can stock up on popcorn and lollies too. Tickets start at $20 for adults.

Bright spark

Whether you decide to spend your Australia Day at the beach or roaming the city’s famed laneways, make sure you’re back in our neighbourhood to catch the spectacular Australia Day fireworks at Docklands. Kicking off at 6pm, the Harbour Esplanade will come alive with roaming artists, entertainment, gourmet delights and markets. You’ll also have the best vantage points to enjoy the fireworks, which begin at 9pm.