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Axe throwing at Maniax
Photographer: Supplied/Maniax

How to let off steam in Melbourne

Smash, shoot, bounce and roll your way towards a happier, less stressed you

Nicola Dowse
Written by
Nicola Dowse

Life can be pretty hard. Between the daily commute, the impregnable housing market and that weird hairy mole on your back (which you should probably get checked out, BTW), there are a lot of things to cause consternation. Let’s be honest, sometimes yoga and chamomile tea just doesn’t cut it for stress relief. You need to let loose the old-fashioned way – by smashing, whacking, shooting and throwing yourself into a good mood.

Need to chill TF out? Here are the best peaceful places in Melbourne.

Ways to let off steam in Melbourne

  • Things to do
  • Sports
  • Collingwood

Vent all your anger safely at the Break Room, a venue that openly encourages you to destroy objects. Suit up, grab a baseball bat and head into the rooms, where you can throw, bash, smash and break plates and glassware. You can even bring your own items to smash if you’ve always wanted to destroy a certain something (the most popular items to smash in such rooms worldwide are printers, just so you know). Everything from the safety gear to the disposal of the destroyed objects is taken care of, so all you need to do is wear closed-toe shoes and get smashing. 

  • Things to do
  • Abbotsford

After winning hearts in Sydney, Maniax opened in Abbotsford in 2018 and the CBD in 2021 to the delight of all those who want to have fun or blow off some steam, Viking-style.  The concept is pretty simple. Pick up an axe, aim carefully, and lob it at a target. Maniax recommend that you book in groups for a two-hour session, where you'll receive a one-on-one coaching session and then be taken through a series of tournaments to find out who is deadliest with a raw steel axe. 

  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies
  • Reservoir

Arrow tag is all the fun of shooting people with a bow and arrow with none of the bloodshed. The sport is a little like dodgeball, but instead of throwing balls at the opposing team, you’ll be shooting them with a bow and arrow. Don’t worry, the arrows are specially made so they stick, rather than stab, your opponents. Head to Archery Attack in Reservoir to start living out all your Katniss Everdeen/Legolas fantasies.

Zero Latency
  • Things to do
  • North Melbourne

Zero Latency specialises in multiplayer, free roam (meaning no pesky wires) VR games, where up to eight players work together to explore alien worlds, investigate strange disturbances on spaceships and – yes, Walking Dead fans – battle hordes of the undead. The entire experience takes place across 400sqm of flat, empty warehouse space, upon which gamers tread with headsets, backpacks and weapons. Gameplay is astonishingly immersive, so much so that overwhelmed players have been known to quit mid-game (the staff appear to take this as a compliment).

  • Things to do
  • Weird & Wonderful

Roller derby is a contact sport that combines speedy wheels, agility and hilariously punny derby names (think Beyonslay, Assault and Pepper and Hermione Danger). It’s played by two teams who skate counterclockwise around a track trying to pass each other, get in each other’s way and knock each other out of bounds. Yes, you will fall over, get hit and end up with bruises but also have a lot of fun. Try it for yourself at South Sea Roller Derby, Northside Rollers, Westside Derby Dollz, and East Vic Roller Derby.

  • Sport and fitness
  • Essendon Fields

Bounce is a springy land of pure joy. You'll find the Essendon location inside an impressive heritage-listed hangar where you can unwind with regular trampolines, dodgeball courts, basketball hoops and giant airbags, but in addition, the Essendon location is the first to get the one and only Super Tramp. Yep: this five-metre monster is the biggest in Australia, meaning that if you've ever dreamed of going to the moon, this might be the closest you'll ever get. 

Tick these off your bucket list

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