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Glowing rainbow lights over a lake in the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Photograph: Supplied

Things to do in Melbourne in June

All the best events in one place – it's your social emergency saviour for fun things to do in Melbourne this June

Adena Maier
Written by
Adena Maier
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Wondering what to do in Melbourne this June? We've got you sorted with this list of free things, art exhibitions, theatre shows, festivals and more. 

Miserable weather? Here's what to do in Melbourne when it rains. Keen to embrace the cold? Check out our comprehensive guide to Victoria's snow season.

Things to do in Melbourne this June

  • Things to do
  • Collingwood

What if we told you that a women-only pop-up strip club is popping up in Melbourne for one night only, and if you’re female-identifying, you’re invited? Well, that’s exactly what we’re telling you. Whether this idea excites or intimidates you, read on.  Strip Her: The Pop Up is a sensual show with a twist. Instead of going to see a strip show as a voyeur, everyone that rocks up to this event will actually become the show instead. Before you worry, there’s absolutely nothing sleazy or sordid about this, and it’s designed with utmost inclusivity at heart, meaning that regardless of your sexual orientation, you’re welcome to come through and get down in a supportive space that’s built on powering up your individual sensuality.  The event has already taken Sydney by a storm, and it's all the brainchild of Caitlin Erica, a stripper, birth doula and teacher. She's dedicated herself to helping women let go of internalised shame and step into their full "divine feminine power" in safe spaces that entirely support them. The night will flow along these exact lines, with participants invited to express their sensuality for nobody except themselves.  This show is a bit of a revolutionary concept, with the stage open to any woman willing to strip down in a free-flowing dance that’s premised on you having as much fun as possible. The event creators seem very keen on labelling this as a ‘safe space’, which we reckon is a green flag for something that obviously has the potential to be pretty

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Parkville

Melbourne Uni’s swish new, blue-hued Union Theatre seats 398 people. It’s a number made quietly devastating by Western Sydney playwright S Shakthidharan’s sprawling family epic Counting and Cracking.  Spanning almost 50 years, four generations and multiple countries – connecting Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka, to Sydney – much of what occurs is informed, one way or another, by the terrifying devastation of Sri Lanka’s Civil War. The fighting was ignited by the Black July riots of 1983, a pogrom that cruelly claimed countless souls. Bob Hawke’s Labor government offered 100 visas to the predominantly Tamil minority fleeing the country-wide wave of violence, or one for every fourth audience member. A pin-drop moment. But there’s much more on offer here than grasping despair.  It’s been five long years since Belvoir St Theatre first presented Counting and Cracking at the Sydney Town Hall during the 2019 Sydney Festival. Having travelled around the world since, snapping up a bunch of awards along the way, it’ll land in New York in September. But first, Melbourne audiences can see this glorious work of love and understanding as part of Rising.  Opening with a flourish of culture-clash comedy, an abundantly effervescent Shiv Palekar’s awkwardly topless Siddhartha is deeply uncomfortable about wading into the Georges River. He’s been ordered to do so by his overbearing yet bountifully loving mum Radha (a fabulously commanding Nadie Kammallaweera) to ceremonially scatter the a

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  • Things to do
  • Pop-up locations
  • Melbourne

It's baaack! After two hugely popular winter seasons, Melbourne's favourite illuminated event is returning in 2024. From June 14 to August 4, take a nighttime stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens and experience luminous pathways, lit-up tree canopies, soothing soundscapes and brand new installations. "We are thrilled to see Lightscape returning for its third year. The Gardens provide an exquisite canvas for us to create a magical world of light, nature and wonder," said David Harland, director and chief executive of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. "In 2024 we have a few surprises up our sleeve as we build on the experience to make it exhilarating for both returning and first-time visitors." For the upcoming season, you can expect a reimagined 2.2km trail accompanied by stunning lakeside reflections, large-scale illuminated sculptures and other wonders, with more than 100,000 tiny lights on display. New in 2024 is 'Submerged', an immersive work where you walk through thousands of suspended lights as the installation changes colour in response to the movement. Also making its Australian debut is 'Lily' by French artistic studio Tilt – it's a series of abstract, three-metre-tall glowing flowers that will captivate people of all ages. Most importantly, you'll also be able to grab a bite to eat and warming drinks at the Welcome Zone or along the trail. They say that Melbourne is at its best in winter and events like Lightscape, where you can rug up and join friends for a m

  • Things to do
  • Food and drink
  • Melbourne

What’s better than gorging yourself on scones, finger sandwiches and Champagne at a regular high tea? Gorging yourself on piles and piles of cheese at the Westin’s un-brie-lievable High Cheese event, of course. Yes, the insanely successful event is back at the Westin's Allegro Restaurant for 2024 and we turophiles couldn't be more thrilled. The idea for High Cheese first crystallised a few years ago when the Westin's executive chef at the time, Michael Greenlaw, teamed up with Anthony Demia from Maker and Monger to bring a series of cheeses together in both sweet and savoury dishes. Years later, the much-loved tradition continues. In 2024, the indulgent menu has been curated in collaboration with renowned cheese masters, brother-sister duo The Studd Siblings. Ellie and Sam Studd, both members of the International Guilde des Fromagers and Certified Cheese Professionals, have joined forces with the Westin's current executive chef, Apoorva Kunte, to curate an enticing three-tiered selection of dairy-licious treats. We're listening... Each creation showcases the finest quality cheese from around the world. On the first tier, treat yourself to cloth-aged cheddar and candied apple scones, complemented by whipped organic butter and quince nectar. The second tier enters savoury territory, featuring six tantalising cheese-centric bites served with all the fruit and lavosh accoutrements: a tart of vine-ripened tomato tartare; Sarakatsani tribe-inspired ewe’s milk Galotyri with Congo p

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  • Things to do
  • Classes and workshops
  • Collingwood

When you hear the words ‘naked fashion show’ what springs to mind? Whatever you're thinking, it’s probably not this.  In what is most probably a first for Melbourne, our city is becoming host to an incredibly wholesome, safe and absolutely not creepy at all female-only nude fashion show. Yes, you’ve read that right. At this fashion show, there will be no clothes. (PSA: Only participating women will be involved, there will be no photograph and outside guests are not allowed.) This revolutionary event has come from a super successful run in Sydney, and it's from the same mind behind Strip Her: The Pop Up, a women’s-only strip show that’s all about making the audience the stars of the show (think a totally safe and sensual space, lingerie, and feminine divine good times). Created by former stripper and birth doula Caitlin Erica, Witness Her is her newest offering, and it’s arguably the wildest.  So, how does it work and what happens?  Before you make any judgements, know that this event isn’t about getting suddenly and jarringly nude with no warning. We’re told that this day will involve an intimate group of everyday women coming together in one safe space, and walking together through a specially tailored three-hour body confidence workshop. You’ll start off with gentle activities geared towards getting everyone relaxed with the situation and one another, which will then lead to a gradual shedding of layers of clothing – as well as emotional baggage. After you’ve shaken off you

  • Theatre
  • Performance art
  • Collingwood

Broad Encounters, the folks behind last year’s large-scale, free-roam production Love Lust Lost and 2019’s A Midnight Visit, have announced another immersive show opening this June. This time around, they’re embracing the immediacy of a smaller-scale space, with their latest show billed as an intimate soirée for small groups. When Night Comes is a multi-sensory theatrical experience that promises to be intoxicating in more ways than one. Set across fantastical yet hedonistic spaces, those who dare to enter will be introduced to a dark, decadent and delicious den where the cocktails are as enticing as the gazes of the cast.  Expect sublime sounds, visions, tastes and feelings – it’s all part of the celestial show. The production is set within a section of Collingwood’s Austral Theatre, one of Melbourne’s original beloved dance halls which first opened in 1921. The building will be demolished soon to make way for apartments, so this could be one of your last chances to take a peek inside Melbourne’s history. Head over to Collingwood from June 11 to catch When Night Comes for a strictly limited season with sessions already selling fast. Tickets are from $63 and available until August 3. Head to the website to book now.  Stay in the loop: sign up for our free Time Out Melbourne newsletter for the best of the city, straight to your inbox.  Feeling theatrical? Check out the best theatre and musicals happening in Melbourne right now.

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  • Things to do
  • Fairs and festivals
  • Docklands

Melburnians, we know it’s getting chilly. But we’re not the type of city to give up on going out just because the weather is less than ideal. Aside from the inconvenient truth that we’d never get anything done if we didn’t venture out into the cold, Melbourne is heating up with a reason to hit the streets this winter. Firelight Festival is returning to Docklands this winter from Friday, June 28 to Sunday, June 30. The surrounding streets of Victoria Harbour will be set alight, literally, with fiery installations from 5pm on each of the three nights. Expect flames in all forms, with blazing sculptures, jets and performances.  The free festival is a celebration of winter with a focus on family, community, food, music, fire and light. There’ll be vibrant cultural displays like Afro-Colombian dancing, roving performers to delight the little ones, warming foods and plentiful fire installations.  Firelight Labyrinth will be the main attraction this year, transforming the subterranean space underneath Marvel Stadium into a maze of light and sound. The new attraction, designed by international creative lighting specialists Mandylights, will make its world debut right here in Melbourne. It features a whopping 144,000 lights.  There’ll be plenty of food to satisfy the appetite you’ll work up exploring the promenades. Hearty, warming treats including Japanese curries, Filipino barbeque, hot doughnuts and s’mores will all be on offer, alongside mulled wine for the grown-ups.  To find ou

  • Things to do
  • Fairs and festivals
  • Bendigo

While Melbourne has plenty of illuminated events across the city this chilly season, regional Victoria is also lighting up with glowing sights and cosy winter festivals. Bendigo is one of the many regional cities with an illuminated offering this winter, with a huge, immersive sound and light event taking over the town centre during the school holidays. Located in Rosalind Park, Electric Wonderland will feature thousands of fairy lights, lasers, interactive pathways and much more, making for a magical winter evening. Plus, there'll be musical stepping-stones, a luminous giant mushroom garden and a 40-metre-tall replica of Bendigo’s Sacred Heart Cathedral, completely covered in lights. To find out more and buy tickets, head to the website.  A pop-up ice rink perfect for family fun will also open up next to the glittering wonderland, offering even more winter frivolity. The Stars on Ice rink will be open for the entire school holidays. Learn more and book on the website.  Looking for more glowing experiences? Here is where you can find magical winter lights in regional Victoria

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  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Melbourne

Sunset Boulevard’s Norma Desmond is a magnificently complex creation. Originally depicted by Gloria Swanson in Billy Wilder’s magnetic 1950 movie, she’s the star of countless silent movies, a living legend accruing thousands of adoring fans during her heyday. But the talkies took over Hollywood, and her light was cruelly dimmed, sending her retreating to her decaying hilltop mansion with loyal butler Max Von Mayerling (Erich von Stroheim). While Norma cuts a tragic figure in her middle ages as the story begins, she can still command a room. “I am big. It’s the movies that got small,” she acidly enunciates at down-on-his-luck movie writer Joe Gillis (William Holden in the movie) when he unexpectedly shows up at her door. Spying a way back to the spotlight through his words, she sets him to work on her chaotic Salome screenplay, abusing her money as power over him. As a noir-tinged chamber piece, Sunset Boulevard hangs on this increasingly twisted relationship, dancing between dark and the light as moments of hope are dashed to doom. It’s just the stuff The Phantom of the Opera maestro Andrew Lloyd Webber thrives on, eventually securing the story after a tortuously long ‘will they, won’t they’ that thwarted both Swanson and Stephen Sondheim. Webber’s soaring musical adaptation – with Phantom-like stirrings over a book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton – returns to Australian stages, care of Opera Australia, almost thirty years after Debra Byrne and Hugh Jackman ta

  • Things to do
  • Belgrave

Choo choo! The Train of Lights is back on the tracks for 2024 and ready to captivate passengers with a magical winter journey through the Dandenong Ranges. Australia’s favourite steam train Puffing Billy will be your conductor for this two-and-a-half-hour round trip that illuminates the natural beauty of the region with thousands of dazzling lights. Departing from Lakeside Station, you’ll be immersed in a spectacle of neon colours as acclaimed lighting specialists Resolution X (White Night, Melbourne Fashion Festival) brighten up the countryside with sparkles, rainbows and hypnotic patterns. The historic train will also be adorned with stunning visual effects, which will light up the trees, tracks and passing towns along the way.  Puffing Billy will chug along the historic narrow-gauge track to Gembrook Station where guests will disembark for a 55-minute stopover. Here, you can warm up by the crackling open firepits with hot chocolate and live acoustic music, and enjoy a sausage sizzle by the Rotary Club of Emerald and District. Make your night even more magical by pre-ordering a Puffing Billy picnic box and blanket including a chef’s selection of cheese, dips, meats, crackers and marinated vegetables.  This enchanting winter journey is only on for three weeks from June 28 to July 12 and seats are limited. Tickets go on sale on May 23, and you can stay updated via the website. Love a good light show? Here's everything glowing and illuminated this month.

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