Right in the heart of Melbourne’s famed cultural precinct sits Australia’s largest performing arts venue – Arts Centre Melbourne. For over three decades this has been the Victorian capital’s leading venue for world-class theatre, dance, music and more. In the main building there are three separate theatres – the State, which boasts one of the world’s largest stages and regularly hosts performances by Opera Australia and the Australian Ballet, the Playhouse and the more intimate Fairfax Studio.
Right next door on the banks of the Yarra River you’ll find Hamer Hall, resplendent following its major rebuilding program and home to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, while also hosting a variety of musical, spoken word and even cinematic experiences.
Across St Kilda Road in the Kings Domain Garden you’ll find the popular outdoor venue, Sidney Myer Music Bowl, offering concerts and other al fresco entertainment in the summer months.
Arts Centre Melbourne also boasts a significant visual art collection with works from artists like Arthur Boyd, John Olsen and Roger Kemp on display in the foyers. Plus there are free exhibitions throughout the year, with Political Acts: Pioneers of Performance Art in Southeast Asia running from 11 February to 26 September in 2017.
Why not try a guided tour of the venue? These depart at 11am daily and reveal the fascinating stories and secrets of this extensive venue, including the three theatre spaces and five floors underground.
Outside the Centre, local artisans fill the lawn from 10am to 4pm every Sunday showcasing locally produced arts and crafts and freshly made delicacies in the Sunday Market.
Those on a budget should consider the tixatsix initiative and line up at the box office before 6pm every night for the chance to purchase one of 20 $30 tickets to a performance.
Food and beverage
A range of options is available, including the Barre, which is a great spot for a pre-show share plate and glass of sparkling, full meal or after show nightcap. In the heart of the Centre there is also Café Vic for delicious cakes and coffee, or seated dining for lunch and dinner. And when a seat in the sunshine seems the most enticing option, don’t forget Centro on the forecourt.
At Hamer Hall choose from the newly opened Bombini Buzz, Fatto, Teatro or Sake.
100 St Kilda Road Melbourne 3004
Tel: 1300 182 183
Image © DWV Photography