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Published June 13th 2016
An Insider's Guide: Best Wintery Day Things To Do
It's cold outside and perhaps the rain is coming down. It seems like the perfect opportunity to stay indoors, however Melbourne does possess some great delights on a wintry day.
In a city of changing weather (on a daily basis) Melburnians have become used to layering for different temperatures throughout the day, so it should come as no surprise to you that Melbourne is still filled with things to do, no matter what the weather turns out like.
Even on our bleak cold wet days there are still lots of fun things to do in the CBD. If you're able to spend the day and stay overnight, there is something lovely about staying in the city, particularly if you choose a heritage hotel. However there are endless accommodation choices of all styles in the CBD.
Wake up warm, cosy and refreshed in Melbourne at one of our many lovely hotels. This one is a balcony room at the Westin. *Image Westin Hotel website.
Getting back to the task at hand of a single day - Winter in Melbourne's CBD. Firstly make sure you are rugged up well in layers that can be taken off as you enter various stores, a folding umbrella is a handy thing and especially if it comes with a little covering so that you are not dripping water through all the stores when you enter. Some good shoes are a must too.
Many of Melbourne's attractions are actually indoors, hence armed with the assistance of your umbrella and your good shoes to get from place to place, once you are indoors the weather really makes no difference to you.
Some of my favorites include:
The National Gallery of Victoria with its fascinating water wall as you enter, usually has some interesting exhibits to see. Upstairs there is a lovely tea house and when is it is become freezing, you can warm up your hands over steaming mug of tea. Entry to the National Gallery is free.
The Australian Centre for Moving Images (ACMI) is another free indoor space where the kids can run amok in the cold wet weather. There are fun interactive exhibits to see and it's a good place to warm yourself up with a nice array of cafes upstairs at Federation Square.
The Melbourne Museum, whilst not the warmest place to be, is mostly indoors and can fill up several hours exploring the exhibits.
Next door to the Museum is IMAX cinema, our largest screen and there is usually a variety of movies playing.
Heading back into the heart of the CBD, pop down to one of the discounted theatre offices like Halftix and try your luck for cheap tickets to a theatre matinee.
If it is cold but not raining, one of the river boat trips can be fun - you can even go all the way to Williamstown, have lunch overlooking the bay and then travel back up again.
If money is no object, near the Melbourne Convention Centre there is a heli pad where you can book and take helicopter flights over Melbourne.
From the expensive to the free to browse. Most of the Melbourne Department Stores have now become integrated through walkways so you can effectively go from one department store to the next without really having to go out in the weather at all. You can begin at Flinders Street Station, walk down to the laneways, which are mainly covered. Perhaps grab a great doughnuts on the way and continue all the way through Royal Arcade and Block Arcade. Drool at the windows of Hopetoun Bakery in Block Arcade and partake in a hot chocolate at Koko Black in the Royal Arcade.
Arriving at Collins Street, you can enter Myers or David Jones and walk right through to Emporium and the Melbourne Shot Tower all of which are filled with a vast array of shopping choices, including cafes and restaurants
There's something about a cold wintery days that makes you want to snuggle up with some comfort food or a lovely cup of tea and Melbourne is certainly filled with options for this. Somehow it always makes me feel warm and cosy to take lunch or morning or afternoon tea at the Hopetoun Tea Rooms.
A relaxing and warming cup of tea at The Porcelain Tea Parlour. *Image The Porcelain Tea Parlour Facebook page.
Although lately I am also loving the tea houses in the Emporium Shopping Centre, Melbourne has so many choices for great cafes.
Here are just a couple of my favourites:
Bikinis being a long forgotten memory and it somehow socially acceptable to add on a kilo or two over winter - the Lindt chocolate cafe in Collins St is a perfect place to indulge with a decadent hot chocolate. Here is a list of my favourite places in Melbourne to get a great Hot Chocolate.
Alternatively The Rum Diary Bar will warm up the cockles of your heart with a little tipple (or two).
Perhaps you are craving a high tea but don't want to break the bank, here's a list of my cheapest high teas.
But it wouldn't be a great list unless there a few places you may not have heard of on your own. Have you tried the Dessert Delights at Om Nom - go ahead and indulge yourself. Om Nom is located in the Adelphi Hotel at 187 Flinders St and is the perfect place to experience desserts that look like pieces of art. Om Nom aims to amaze each and every guest with an extraordinary dish.
Delicious treats await at Om Nom *Image composite from Om Nom website
Here's another list of some of my favourite Melbourne adventures.
In winter I always seem to love secret hidden cafes and of course a legendary part of Melbourne's Cafe Culture is Brunettis for the large experience, however if you are after something a little cosier and more intimate, perhaps pop in to the Porcelain Tea Parlour.
Heading back towards the main part of the CBD, take a walk along Collins Street to discover many little hole in the wall cafes just perfect for winter days. If you sweet tooth is craving pop into Doughnut Time at 5 Degraves Street - the Melbourne laneways. You can't sit down so it's a sweet treat on the go, but it should certainly satisfy a sweet craving.
Delicious doughnuts from Doughnut Time *Image Doughnut Time facebook page.