On the coldest of winter days, an escape to somewhere a little warmer is always a tempting idea. We’ve all daydreamed while scraping snow off the car, about turning in the snowsuit for a swimsuit. Stateside, December 21st-March 20th, or Winter, means chillier temperatures and the onset of those cold-weather activities. During that same time period, our friends on the other side of the globe are experiencing the welcomed warmth of summer.
Australia experiences a variety of climates due to its size, but in Melbourne, Australia (home of La Trobe University!) from December 21st-March 20th, residents are experiencing summer weather. Melbourne resident director, Axell shared his favorite summer activities, happenings, and events:
Melbourne summers are notable for occasional days of extreme heat, wonderful sunsets and many, many festivals! Summer in Melbourne is a great time to go outdoors and this city has so much going on. My list for the top five – and free – events to visit in Melbourne this summer are:
1. The Summer Night Market, for the foodies
It’s the best place to meet after work/classes with your mates, some day, or as a weekly Wednesday ritual from November to March. This year you’ll be rocking out to three live music stages and floating around the historic Queen Victoria Market sheds with the cream of Melbourne’s vibrant gastronomy. There is something new to see and try every week: wonderful lechon, Philippines’ favorite delicacy, the best Spanish paella in town, or my favourite, the tender soft-shell crab burgers, in addition to bars, artisan stalls, and quirky entertainers.
2. The Australian Open, for the sports fans
World. Class. Tennis. This year’s Open runs from January 16-29th. This is pure adrenaline-charged entertainment complemented with some of the best dining the city has to offer. All tennis lovers can get courtside to check out the stars of the sport in action, but actually, anybody can go to soak up the summer vibes around the grounds and enjoy all the food, bars and entertainment at the Australian Open Festival at Birrarung Marr. There’s live music available every night to anyone with a Ground Pass or seated ticket and plenty of activities for all the family.
3. Sunset Series, for the dancers
Sunset Series is the perfect celebration of everything we love about summer – chill vibes, warm summer sun, and good mates – getting outside and being active. The event held in Fitzroy Gardens kicks off this Saturday, January 14th featuring live music, dance workshops, food trucks and a family friendly entertainment.
The vibrant program traditionally consists of Saturday evenings focused on local bands and offer a relaxed vibe, while Sunday evenings are dedicated to music and dance with a fun interactive workshop component. This year, the program includes, among others, to Neil Morris, Sista Selekta, Alárìíyá and The CoreTet, and a salsa workshop guided by Orchestra LA 45 and The Latin Dance Company.
4. Melbourne Symphonic Orchestra at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, for the classic music lovers
The Sidney Myer Free Concerts are a classic, and make the perfect soundtrack to summer in the city, at one of Melbourne’s most iconic outdoor venues: The Sidney Myer Music Bowl. There are three magical events happening over February, so get your picnic basket, and a bunch of friends for a free night of colourful music-making under the stars.
The MSO will kick off the season on February 8th, where Australian pianist Jayson Gillham will take centre stage performing melodies of Rachmaninov, and will close on February 15th with La Valse, with acclaimed Japanese conductor, Kazuki Yamada directing proceedings.
5. Australia Day celebrations, for everyone
Australia Day is celebrated annually on January 26th. It is the official National Day of Australia and marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales, and the raising of the Flag of Great Britain at Sydney Cove by Governor Arthur Phillip.
The celebrations start in the morning with The Australia Day Parade, a vibrant and colourful procession with thousands of people lining the streets of Melbourne to enjoy the entertainment and cheer on participants from more than 90 community and cultural groups, in a proud display and celebration of Australia’s culturally diverse community. In the evening, the Harbour Esplanade in Docklands will come alive with roaming artists and entertainment and a sizzling Food Truck Festival that celebrates multicultural perspectives on the great Australian BBQ. This wonderful celebration will conclude with spectacular fireworks launched from the top of Etihad Stadium at 10:15 pm to an all-Australian soundtrack of favourites.
Interested in learning more about spending a stateside Spring term in Melbourne’s Summer? Check out Spring study abroad opportunities here: https://www.apistudyabroad.com/programs/australia/melbourne/