It may be spring in Australia, but it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be warm in Melbourne. Melbourne has a reputation for changeable weather, and temperatures can vary wildly, no more so than in the spring, so make sure you pack your warm sweater before you head off in search of Australiana!
Melbourne Festival, venues across Melbourne, 10 – 26 October
This is an international arts festival, and is one of the major multi-disciplinary arts festivals of the world, providing a wide-ranging programme of dance and music, along with the visual arts and outdoor events.
You can find full information on all events and ticketing at visitor centres within the city or by visiting the Melbourne Festival website. There are lots of free events, ranging from talks to classical music, and ticket holders can enjoy special offers from festival restaurant partners.
For your chance to win dinner for two, upload your food images to Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #festival feasts. Australian residents can also win a trip for two to New York with China Southern Airlines.
Medibank Melbourne Marathon Festival, Yarra Park
Held on Sunday 12 October in Yarra Park, with an expo from the 9 October with exhibitors ranging from five-toed sock manufacturers and rehydrating drinks suppliers to running clubs.
Last year, the event was the largest marathon in Australian history, and this year they expect record numbers again.
Entry fees vary between $45 and $150 for adults, but it’s free to spectate. There will be a marathon, half-marathon 10km run, 5km run and 3km walk.
Australian Motor Cycle Grand Prix, 17-19 October
Although this isn’t actually in Melbourne, if you love speed and noise and all the thrill of watching racing then it’s worth heading off to Phillip Island.
General admission tickets start at $45 but if you’re planning on taking your tent and stopping in the campground, then you can expect to pay $125 (or $70 for a concession). Campervans, cars and caravans will cost more at $90 per adult. You’ll be accommodated on two sites but each has toilets and showers. Check the Moto GP website for the fine detail.
In addition to the racing, you’ll find plenty of entertainment and star speakers. Anyone travelling from the UK will probably have heard of Charlie Boorman whose adventurous streak has taken him on numerous motor bike adventures most notably with Ewan McGregor. He will be chatting about his exploits on Saturday and Sunday and will be taking questions and signing autographs as well. The world famous Royal Australian Airforce Roulette aerobatics team will also be putting on a display over the weekend.
Melbourne Meccano Exhibition, Brighton Philatelic Society, Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 October
Organised by the Melbourne Meccano Club, here’s an event for everyone who has the fondest memories of this wonderful old toy, in two halls filled with exhibits large and small. At only $5 for a ticket, it has to be worth a visit!
Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Regents Theatre, 16-25 October October
Tickets are priced between $155 and $75 Aus.
Think the ballet really isn’t for you? Trust us, this is probably the most stunning and moving piece of dance you will ever see. The corps de ballet are all male dancers and give the swans individual personalities and a menacing physicality. Add Tchaikovsky’s score and we dare you not to be moved!
Diwali Indian Festival of Light, Federation Square, Saturday 25 October, 12pm until 9-30pm
The Indian festival of light is a free event open to everyone. You’ll find stalls selling jewellery, arts and crafts and food, and Bollywood dancing and Indian music demonstrations. Check the festival website for more programme details as they’re made available.
Michael Jackson Fan Day, Luna Park, Sunday 26 October
Costs $12 per person for entry, but all proceeds go to the Royal Children’s Hospital.
The theme is Thrill the World and celebrates Jackson’s famous Thriller zombie dance; it can only be the run up to Halloween!
Take part in the silent auction, win spot prizes and raffles and enjoy the rides – and don’t forget to brush off your best zombies moves!
More things to do in Melbourne this October
Melbourne is a busy little city and there are a number of other Diwali celebrations going on as well as pop-up markets and the inevitable Halloween-fest. Whatever you’re up to in Melbourne this October, enjoy it!