Things to do in Melbourne this January

Kick-start your new year with a summer to remember. Melbourne January 2023 is packed with events, shows and activities that will set things in the right direction, whether you’re planning a summer holiday in Melbourne, looking for some time out with your partner or just ready for fun on a sunny staycation. 

Events and Shows

Two players playing tennis at the Australian Open in the back courts.
The Australian Open is being played from 16th-29th Jan 2023. Image from Visit Victoria & Emily Godfrey.

January in Melbourne wouldn’t be complete without the world-renowned Australian Open tennis tournament. Held from 16 to 29 January in 2023, the Finals Festival on January 27 also promises just as much spectacle, with singer Vanessa Amorosi, Montaigne and DJ Bertie hitting the stage. Enjoy the music with some of Melbourne’s finest food and beverages.

Other events also promise to keep Melbourne pulsing, with big-ticket shows on the calendar. On 13 and 14 January music legend Elton John brings his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour to AAMI Stadium. Touted as Elton’s final-ever tour, this show is guaranteed to deliver lasting memories. 

Looking for things to do in Melbourne for young adults or with someone special? January is your last chance to see the Olivier and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical HAMILTON, an all-age pleaser and enduring blockbuster that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway. The classic Phantom of the Opera also brings its thrills and hits back to the stage.

Melbourne Exhibitions

landscape image of the National Gallery of victoria with people walking out the front bypassing the water fountain.
The National Gallery of Victoria is a must see place for all of the art lovers. Image from Rebecca Newman.

Melbourne is renowned for its world-class galleries and exhibitions, and this January is alive with art and spectacle. Step into an epic world of colour and sound at THE LUME, where the works of Monet and the French Impressionists come to life in four-storey high projections and soundscapes. 

In January the National Galleries Victoria delivers a host of colourful exhibits, including a showcase of highly original fashion from the creative world of Alexander McQueen. Acclaimed for his virtuosity, the Mind, Mythos, Muse exhibition contains more than 120 garments that span a wealth of ideas and experiences. 

For a multisensory excursion into nature, take a trip to the Melbourne Museum’s immersive Tyama exhibition. With six 360-degree digital environments that use projections, effects and sounds to create the world as seen by Victoria’s nocturnal animals, you’ll be transported to a place beyond human perception. 


Live music concert, with lights shining into the crowd as the band plays on stage
It’s Festival season! Image from Visit Victoria.

Summer is a time of celebration, so where better than some bubbly at Melbourne’s So Frenchy So Chic Festival? Taste the good life as you enjoy a day of fine wine, gourmet food and live French music in a Provençal-style setting. Held on 15 January, this event has attracted bon viveurs since 2012. 

You’ll enjoy other globe-trotting adventures at Melbourne’s Vida: Latin Summer Festival 2023, held between 13-15 January at Kings Domain. Enjoy the vibrant culture of Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela through a celebration of food, music and dance at this festival’s beer gardens and bazaars.

Things to do in Melbourne at night

Melbourne inner city building with people walking across the road
It’s time to see a show! Image from Visit Victoria and Jesse Hisco.

Melbourne shines bright in the summer nights, with a host of things to do. Take some friends to explore the vibrant Summer Night Market at Queen Vic Market on Wednesday nights, where you’ll discover a carnival of street food trucks, festival bars and live music.

The festive atmosphere continues at NGV Friday Nights, which returns for another season in 2023 at the NGV Great Hall and garden in the city centre. This year’s Friday Nights feature live-music and pop-up bars that evoke ‘90s London in honour of eclectic designer Alexander McQueen. 

Melbourne’s outdoor cinemas are another summertime gem. Bring a blanket and evening picnic with your favourite beverage to watch a movie at the The Moonlight Cinema, held in the Royal Botanic Gardens and let some movie magic take you away.

Where to stay?

Whether you want to stay in the heart of town or close to the action in one of Melbourne’s inner suburbs, there are plenty of accommodation options to suit every plan and budget. 

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