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Adena Maier

Adena Maier

Lifestyle Journalist, Time Out Melbourne

Adena Maier is the lifestyle journalist for Time Out Melbourne. She writes content across all sections including Food & Drink, Things to Do, Shopping, City Life, Culture and News and updates the lists of things to do this weekendthis week, and this month in Melbourne. 

Adena grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and moved to Washington, D.C. where she studied and worked in politics. However, her primary passion has always been writing so she moved to Melbourne three years ago to pursue a Master of Journalism at the University of Melbourne and has been working in media for the last year. 

Reach her at adena.maier@timeout.com or connect with her on social. 

Instagram: @adenamio

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Articles (250)

The best cat cafés in Melbourne

The best cat cafés in Melbourne

If you're not familiar with the amazing concept of a cat café, it's basically a magical place where cat lovers can get their feline and caffeine fixes at the same time. There are very few joys in life greater than sipping a hot cuppa while petting a purring furball, so we've rounded up a couple of cafés in Melbourne (and one in Gippsland, if you're keen on a road trip) to help you on your pathway to a purrfect afternoon.  And if you thought it couldn't get any better than that, most of these spots have adopted their fleet of cats from a shelter or operate as shelters themselves. Fall in love with a particular furball? Take them home and let them be your fur-ever friend.  Already have a four-legged feline? Hit up one of Melbourne's cat-friendly cafés, hotels or beaches.

The best winter getaways from Melbourne

The best winter getaways from Melbourne

If you have a tendency to go into hibernation mode when winter rolls around, you're not alone. Melbourne's winters are cold, wet and painfully windy, and leaving your house can be a bit ask. But for the brave among us who are eager to embrace the cold, there are several amazing winter getaways worth bundling up for. Hit the slopes and then soak in mineral-rich hot springs, or hunker down in a cosy cabin fitted out with a roaring fire while sipping whisky and warming yourself up from the inside. Whatever kind of winter getaway you're after, here are our favourite spots for a cool-climate caper.  Looking to embrace the cold closer to home? Here are the best things to do in Melbourne this winter.   Please check with venues directly for opening hours.

How you can participate in National Reconciliation Week

How you can participate in National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week takes place from May 27 to June 3, and it's observed across the country annually as a time to celebrate, reflect and work towards reconciliation in Australia. Established in 1993 as the Week of Prayer for Reconciliation before becoming NRW in 1993, the start and end dates also hold great significance and commemorate important milestones in the journey towards reconciliation. On May 27, 1967, Australians voted to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as part of the population and on the national census, and on June 3, 1992, Eddie Koiko Mabo won a case in the High Court that recognised pre-colonial land ownership by Indigenous Australians.  Dr Peter Lewis is the national president of Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR), and Uncle Richard Frankland is ANTaR's Victorian co-chair, a Gunditjmara man and a celebrated playwright, scriptwriter and musician. Both Dr Lewis and Uncle Richard have decades of experience working in the Indigenous social justice and advocacy space, and we spoke to both of them about what phase of reconciliation Australia is in, how to be an accomplice rather than an ally and the systemic changes they hope to see in the near future. "One of the most beautiful things that I've observed is many non-First Nation peoples stepping across the cultural abyss with a hunger to know," says Uncle Richard. "And they want to know not just about First Nation people but also why weren't they told – why isn't F

Things to do in Melbourne this week

Things to do in Melbourne this week

We hope you're feeling well-rested this week because there are bucketloads of exhibitions, plays, dining experiences and more to pop into your calendar. There's a lot happening, so if you still have a case of the yawns, start off by booking in for this rejuvenating Sleep Retreat package, or plan a trip down to the Peninsula for a relaxing soak in one of the region's blissful thermal waters.  Full of energy and ready to hit the town? Catch the condensed, one-night version of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Princess Theatre; it's half as long, but still chock-full of charm and plot. Looking for a reason to get extra glam? Head to Cutler and Co to try their cosy and smoky autumn grill menu and then pop down to the Arts Centre to see La Traviata (the opera that inspired Moulin Rouge!), starring the inimitable Stacey Alleaume.  For those after an off-the-beaten-track tipple, have a pint at this bar made entirely from cardboard, concoct boozy potions at this magical pop-up in Carlton or head to Chandon for Method Untraditional, a tasting session where you'll get to try their range of unusual and unconventional wines.  Looking for more ways to fill up your calendar? Plan a trip around our gorgeous state with our handy travel guides.

Celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day

According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, nearly four million Australians have a disability. That's almost 20 per cent of our country's population and for context, Melbourne has a population of just over five million. We all have a part to play in ensuring venues, events and the digital sphere are accessible for all, and that's what spurned the advent of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD).  GAAD is celebrated on the third Thursday in May of each year, and its aim is to bring awareness to how someone with a disability may experience web-based content compared to those without a disability. In 2020, WebAIM analysed one million home pages for accessibility and found that 98 per cent of them had at least one accessibility failure in regards to text, images, sounds and structure.  Here at Time Out, we work to make our content more accessible to those with visual or hearing impairments by adding alternative and descriptive text to multimedia, using descriptive URLs and adding warnings on content that may affect photosensitive individuals. We also aim to champion wheelchair-accessible bars and restaurants and inform readers when an event that we've highlighted may pose accessibility issues. It's always a work in progress, and we welcome suggestions for how we can continue to make our content more accessible.  Wondering how you can do your part this GAAD? Find a list of local and digital events like accessibility bootcamps, webinars and learning experiences here, sp

Make your care routine more eco-friendly with these sustainable Aussie products

Make your care routine more eco-friendly with these sustainable Aussie products

We all deserve to enjoy luxe products like lotions, perfumes, makeup and shampoos, but it truly doesn't have to come at the cost of our natural environment. There are heaps of small changes that you can make in your personal care routine that will still leave you feeling pampered while also helping you to lead a more environmentally conscious and sustainable lifestyle.  To make committing to that switch a little bit easier, we've rounded up a bunch of Australian brands that offer high-quality and eco-friendly products. From shampoo and conditioner bars to natural deodorants and perfumes, these are some easy ways to make some eco-friendly changes in your routine. Looking for more ways to lead a more sustainable lifestyle? Here are 40 easy things you can do in Melbourne to make a difference.  

25 things to do for under $25 in Melbourne

25 things to do for under $25 in Melbourne

1. Lord over the city from the Edge at Melbourne Skydeck where you'll step into a transparent cube and get suspended nearly 300 metres above the streets of Melbourne (“I can see my house from here!”). Admission is $14 for adults, $9.50 for children. 2. LOL until your face hurts at Spleen Bar which hosts free live comedy every Monday night. Entry is $10. 3. Catch a free (or very cheap) gig in one of the many music venues of the inner north; we suggest the Tote, the Evelyn, Bar Open or the Night Cat. 4. Eat oysters for $2 a pop with a $15 glass of bubbles at Hemingway's Wine Room every Wednesday from 5pm to 7pm. Bonus: we've rounded up heaps of other tasty and cheap oyster happy hours in the city.  4. Go to town on dumplings by the plateful at Shanghai Street on Little Bourke St, with dollars to spare for beer.  5. Feast on curry and pay whatever you like at Lentil as Anything in the beautiful Abbotsford Convent (be generous: it’s a non-profit going back to vulnerable community members!). 6.  Try your hand at free karaoke at Jankara Karaoke on Russell Street. Instead of your typical karaoke bar where there are private rooms, Jankara opts for an open floor policy. If this sounds nerve-wracking, don't worry: there's plenty of alcohol to help calm your nerves. 7.  Visit the Queen Victoria Night Market and enjoy a balmy summer night of filling your belly with snacks from local food trucks. Entry is free, so you can spend your hard-earned dollars on food instead!  8. Head to the NG

The best cheap eats in Melbourne

The best cheap eats in Melbourne

With so many cheap eats options in Melbourne, it's not hard to eat out without breaking the bank. We've rounded up the best budget feeds for under $20 so that you can save up to go to Melbourne's best restaurants. Trust us, they're worth saving up for. If you're looking for the best thing since sliced bread, here's where to find 20 of the best sandwiches in Melbourne. RECOMMENDED: The best ice cream and gelato in Melbourne.

DJ Topic on predicting hits and making his trademark melancholic dance music

DJ Topic on predicting hits and making his trademark melancholic dance music

DJ Topic may just sound like a cool stage name, but it’s the real surname for Tobias Topic, the German DJ behind viral hits like ‘Your Love (9PM)’, ‘Breaking Me’ and ‘My Heart Goes (La Di Da)’. These three tracks alone have racked up more than 1.5 billion streams on Spotify, and if the first few seconds of them aren’t instantly recognisable to you, you may be living under a rock.  Towards the tail end of his tour of Australia, I caught up with Topic after his final show in Melbourne to chat about the inspiration behind his trademark sound, how his music-making process has changed over the years and whether the seven-year wait for his sophomore album is drawing to a close.  Topic’s music-making career actually began as a hobby; he loved making beats as a teenager growing up in Solingen, a small town in western Germany just outside of Düsseldorf. When he was 21, a popular local YouTuber asked him to make the music for his upcoming album, which would wind up in the top five albums on iTunes at the time. This was the catalyst for Topic launching what would become a decade-long career that has earned accolades like gold, platinum, double platinum, triple platinum and quadruple platinum accreditation. Many things have changed since Topic was a teenager making beats in his bedroom, but funnily enough, his music-making process isn’t one of them. “Back then, we were just making music for fun and always thought that when you got big you’d have to change everything,” says Topic. “But no

The best gift hampers to send in Melbourne

The best gift hampers to send in Melbourne

Is there anything better than getting a little surprise in the mail? Surprise presents are the best presents, and if they come by post, so much the better.  Whether there’s a birthday on the horizon or maybe you’ve noticed a friend has been feeling a little down, one of the below gift packages might be just the pick-me-up they need. Plus, anyone stuck in iso would surely appreciate a box of goodies to make the seven days pass more quickly. And hey, there’s no one saying you can’t send one to yourself, too!  Need something exclusively with cheese? Here are the best cheese deliveries in Melbourne. And we’ve also got you for coffee deliveries, flower deliveries and booze deliveries.

Melbourne's best cheap hotels for those on a budget

Melbourne's best cheap hotels for those on a budget

You don't have to spend a ton of money to enjoy a good night's sleep. Melbourne has plenty of gorgeous, luxury hotels, but there are also hidden gems in every corner of the city where you can rest your head for less than $150 a night. From under-the-radar heritage hotels in the centre of the city and effortlessly hip pads on the fringes of town, Melbourne's budget hotels prove that you don't have to drop 500 bucks a night to enjoy a night to remember.  For an even more affordable night in the city, share a room with friends and try to book at least a few weeks in advance. And don't be afraid to trade space for location – you're only sleeping, after all. Feel like splurging? Book a stay at one of Melbourne's best luxury hotels, and plan a dinner at one of our city's finest restaurants. 

Hot springs you can soak in near Melbourne

Hot springs you can soak in near Melbourne

What could be more luxe and relaxing than soaking in blissful hot water? Whether you’re looking for a chilled-out day trip or a weekend away with friends, these hot and mineral spring havens are easily accessible from Melbourne. As well as the mineral spring resorts in Daylesford and the ultra-popular hot springs on the Mornington Peninsula, there are a smattering of hidden oases waiting to be explored across Victoria. Take a look at these great escapes and plan your next soak. Can't make it to the Mornington Peninsula? Here are some of the best spas and bath houses in and around Melbourne.

Listings and reviews (412)

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar

After a much-anticipated five-year wait, Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar has finally released his fifth studio album, Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers. Luckily for Australians, Lamar's tour is taking him Down Under with shows across Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Lamar rose to mainstream fame in 2012 with his record good kid, m.A.A.d city, and he went on to win a Pulitzer Prize for Music for his 2017 album DAMN. This new 18-track double album has already cemented itself as his most vulnerable work to date, consciously exploring themes like infidelity, cancel culture and both childhood and generational trauma.  Initially, Lamar was slated to do one headline tour in each Australian city, but in response to demand, an additional date has been added to both Melbourne and Sydney. The tour will kick off on December 1 in Perth before heading to Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on December 4 and 5 and Sydney's Qudos Bank Arena on December 8 and 9.  Tickets are on sale now through the Live Nation website – but be quick, as all presale tickets have already been exhausted.  Need your live music fix now? Here are the best gigs happening in Melbourne this month.

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar

After a much-anticipated five-year wait, Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar has finally released his fifth studio album, Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers. Luckily for Australians, Lamar's tour is taking him Down Under with shows across Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Lamar rose to mainstream fame in 2012 with his record good kid, m.A.A.d city, and he went on to win a Pulitzer Prize for Music for his 2017 album DAMN. This new 18-track double album has already cemented itself as his most vulnerable work to date, consciously exploring themes like infidelity, cancel culture and both childhood and generational trauma.  Initially, Lamar was slated to do one headline tour in each Australian city, but in response to demand, an additional date has been added to both Melbourne and Sydney. The tour will kick off on December 1 in Perth before heading to Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on December 4 and 5 and Sydney's Qudos Bank Arena on December 8 and 9.  Tickets are on sale now through the Live Nation website – but be quick, as all presale tickets have already been exhausted. 

Glow Winter Arts Festival

Glow Winter Arts Festival

Since its inception nearly a decade ago, the annual Glow Winter Arts Festival has brought loads of after-dark fun to Stonnington. From June 3 to 19, two of the precinct's most lush parks will be glowing up with a dazzling program of immersive light, colour and art. This year, the festival's theme is metamorphosis and the festival has a series of newly commissioned outdoor illuminations exploring the concept.  From June 3 to 12, head to Prahran Square to explore an installation that transforms the park's urban forest into a living breathing organism through the use of lighting tubes and a soundscape that combines more than 150 recordings of human and animal breaths.  From June 16 to 19, Central Park Gardens in Malvern East will be lit up by five dreamy illuminations by different artists. Explore an interactive sound and light installation made of inflatable arches, or visit the park's fountain that's engulfed by a thousand glittering flowers that trail to a giant illuminated blossom.  The lights come on at 6pm each night, and the festival is completely free to attend. And because it wouldn't be a winter festival without hot chocolates and delicious wintery feeds, there will be a variety of food trucks on-site each night.  By nature of the event being outdoors and in low light, some areas may be difficult to access for those with low mobility or using a wheelchair. Find details on accessibility here. Keen to hit the road for a cosy vacation? Here are the best winter getaways fr

The Queen Victoria Night Market

The Queen Victoria Night Market

It's always sad when the Queen Victoria Summer Night Market comes to an end, but the silver lining is that it means the Winter Night Market is on the horizon. This year, it'll kick off on June 1 and run every Wednesday until August 31. While being outside on cold winter nights doesn't sound particularly appealing, it's made all the better when you can warm yourself up from the inside out with cosy eats and hot beverages. This year, more than 35 of Melbourne's best street food traders, including returning favourites and Market first-timers, will be serving up delicious winter menus. Expect decadent burnt Basque and Biscoff cheesecakes from M&G Caiafa, all manner of tacos from the Happy Mexican, roasted local chestnuts from the Apple Corner, falafel platters from the Black Sheep, wood-fired pizza from 400 Gradi and pasta tossed in cheese wheels from That's Amore Cheese. All of these belly-warmers will pair well with warm beverages like hot gin toddies, warmed spiced cider and mulled wine by the likes of ReWine, Coldstream Brewery and Antagonist Spirits.  As always, you can expect roving performers and a rotating line-up of homegrown talent playing live music on the market's main stage. Before you settle in beside one of the many roaring open fires, be sure to explore the dozens of stalls selling locally-sourced and handmade products including jewellery, art, skincare, books and homewares.  If you've watched American holiday movies and dreamed of enjoying a white Christmas, you'

Heritage Harvest Weekend

Heritage Harvest Weekend

Aside from vibrant red, orange and yellow leaves and finally getting to break out your scarves and flannels, the best thing about autumn is harvest season. And to celebrate this year's vibrant harvest of all manner of squash, apples and potatoes, Ballarat's open-air museum Sovereign Hill will transform into a two-day food festival on May 28 and 29.  During the gold rush, diggers from across the world arrived in Australia and brought with them age-old techniques for growing and preserving seasonal food. Festival attendees will get a firsthand look at some of these practices, including fermenting, drying, salting, curing pickling and distilling through events like pop-up stalls, events, demonstrations, masterclasses, workshops and hands-on activities. Learn how to forage for weeds, start your own backyard bee colony, craft folk herbal medicine or churn butter, or get a taste of life as a digger with a gold-panning session, gold pouring session or blacksmithing demonstration. Fine regional producers like Kilderkin Distillery and Mrs Baker's Still House will be pouring delicious drops at the Botanical Bar, and for little ones, there's a hay maze, animal farm, plant workshop and more. Admission tickets start from $39 for an adult, $20 for a child and $99 for a family of four.  To browse the full event program and book tickets through the Sovereign Hill website. Keen to explore more of the glittering Goldfields city? Check out our guide to a perfect weekend in Ballarat.

The Bridgerton Themed Ball

The Bridgerton Themed Ball

Dear reader, I hope you've been practising your waltz, because the social event of the season has just been announced. For one day only, the folks behind the Wizardry High Tea are bringing you an unofficial Bridgerton-themed ball. The ton is thrilled.  If you're among the millions who've become obsessed with the scandalous period drama, then be sure to save the date for Saturday, September 3, when the ball will be popping up in Sydney’s cavernously majestic Town Hall. Don your fanciest ball gown or three-piece suit and eat, drink and be merry while dancing to classics played live by a string quartet.  Tickets start at $209, and you can book in for either the afternoon session running from noon to 4pm, or the evening session running from 7pm to 11pm. To learn all the sauciest details, and book in to Sydney’s social event of the season, head over to their event page and lock in yourself, along with your fellow aristocrats for a night to remember.  Looking for more things to do? Check out all the wild and wonderful happenings that are going on in Sydney this weekend.

Ibby Akbar

Ibby Akbar

After cultivating a cult following on YouTube and social media to the tune of 200,000 followers and more than 50 million views, comedian Ibby Akbar embarked on a ten-city tour this year for his debut show, I Am. He sold out every single one of his shows, and now he's already set to return to his hometown of Melbourne for an encore performance – but this time, it's to raise money for a cause that's dear to his heart.  Akbar, whose comedy typically revolves around topics like growing up in Melbourne in an ethnic family and dealing with toxic relationships, will be taking over the Palais Theatre stage for just one night on May 26. All proceeds from the night will be donated to the MoyaMoya Charity, a foundation that raises awareness and funding for the rare and progressive chronic blood vessel disorder that his four-year-old sister suffers from. Tickets start at $35 and are available through Akbar's website.  Want to laugh out loud on the reg? Here are some of Melbourne's best recurring comedy nights.

Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq

Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq

Who says arcades are just for kids? After landing in the District Docklands in 2018, Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq has become a Melbourne mainstay for adults trying to relive their childhood. The first thing you'll notice when you step inside is that it's like entering a neon-hued vaudevillian dream that's highly reminiscent of a PG version of Blade Runner.  The entire complex is decked out with nostalgia-inducing ways to entertain yourself, from arcade games and bumper cars to theme park rides and an interactive XD motion theatre. Challenge your mates to a round of Mario Kart or hit the road for real (sort of) with a turn on the Dodgem Cars. There are dozens of arcade games to try out, as well as bowling and, most recently, a virtual reality and laser tag arena.  If you're looking to enter into a bit of friendly competition, blow off your steam in a spooky abandoned carnival-themed arena. Veiled by darkness, players can run around or hide behind rides and clown faces as they point, aim and shoot to earn points and bragging rights. That's fun enough as it is, but if you're looking to take things up a notch, you can hang up your laser tag equipment and jump into the Zero Latency Virtual Reality dome around the corner.  Pop on your VR headset, pick up the controller and decide which world you want to enter; are you keen to fight a swarm of zombies, destroy killer robots or perhaps explore a gravity-less world? Whatever you fancy, there's bound to be a world or character for e

White Night

White Night

Since 2013, White Night has been lighting up the streets of Melbourne for a 12-hour art party, featuring spectacular projections of art, mind-bending installations and unexpected immersive experiences. It went into hibernation for the last few years, but it's returning this year to light up three regional cities: Geelong, Bendigo and, for the first time, Shepparton.  The festivities will be spread out over the year, with the first White Night hitting Shepparton on Saturday, June 25. Located just a two-hour drive north of Melbourne, Shepparton's inaugural White Night is already expected to attract 30,000 visitors. Rug up for a cold June night and prepare to venture into immersive installations exploring the region's landscape, culture and history. The festival will move on to Bendigo on Saturday, September 3 before wrapping up in Geelong on Saturday, October 8.  The full program of events has yet to be announced, so watch this space for updates or visit the White Night website. Looking to fill your calendar? Check out our round-up of the best things happening in our city this week.

Grapevine Gathering

Grapevine Gathering

Round up your partners in wine and prepare to cheers to the grape times because Grapevine Gathering is returning to the picturesque Rochford Wines this October. Sip on some of the finest wine from the Yarra Valley region while enjoying a line-up that's chock-full of homegrown and international talents. This festival is brought to you by the team behind beloved fests like Pitch Music and Arts, Beyond the Valley, For the Love and more, and as you would expect, it has an insane line-up. This year, boogie to the likes of the Kooks, Peking Duk, Ball Park Music, Gus Dapperton, Jack River, the Veronicas, Confidence Man, Alice Skye, Nyxen and Becca Hatch.  The festival has also recruited viral TikTok celebrities the Inspired Unemployed to host, perform changeover DJ sets and lead the crowd in various other shenanigans. The duo gave DJing a crack on a segment of The Bachelorette, and while their dancing was more on point than their DJing, hopefully by October they'll have mastered the craft.  The chardonnay, shiraz, merlot, beers and ciders will be flowing, so to help line your stomach there will also be wood-fired pizzas, gourmet burgers and slow-cooked and smoked treats on offer. You can register for pre-sale tickets until 3pm on Wednesday, May 25 and general public tickets go on sale from noon on Thursday, May 26.  Need to get your live music fix? These are the best gigs to see this month.

Mövenpick Hotel Melbourne

Mövenpick Hotel Melbourne

Australia’s second-ever Mövenpick Hotel has landed in the Melbourne CBD, and it comes with heaps of perks that will ensure your stay is chock full of delights from start to finish. It’s conveniently located just across the street from Southern Cross Station, making it the perfect stay for those keen on exploring the city and beyond.  The main entryway is through the foyer of the striking 78-storey Premier Tower development, and the friendly staff will be at the ready to assist you with check-in. The concierge area opens up into a grand room featuring heaps of seating and a cafe serving the famed Mövenpick signature ice cream.  The lobby is also where guests can partake in the daily chocolate happy hour from 3.30pm to 4.30pm. Indulge in complimentary treats like chocolate petit fours, churros and mini ice cream cones and sandwiches. For serious chocolate lovers, you can elevate your experience with the purchase of a signature Mövenpick ice cream chocolate parfait. It’s loaded with macarons, wafers, saved bits of chocolate and chocolate whipped cream all atop a few scoops of ice cream.  The hotel hallways and each room are dotted with works from local photographers like Steve Scalone and Sean Mcdonald, giving the space a vibrant and artsy feel. There's an understated elegance about the decor, with marbled black and white floors and countertops accentuated by vibrant pops of turquoise, orange and purple via throw pillows and couches. For those planning a staycation, be sure to

Ballarat Heritage Festival

Ballarat Heritage Festival

If you love playing dress-up and have wondered what life was like back in the golden era of the Victorian Goldfields region, then dust off your tweed jacket and drive up for the Ballarat Heritage Festival. The nine-day festival takes place from May 21 to 29 and features a program jam-packed with historic experiences like tweed rides and steam train shuttles, as well as delicious food and drink experiences.  We hope you've been oiling your facial hair because the annual beard and moustache competition is making a triumphant return. Got a perfectly styled moustache, or a beard enough to get accidentally zipped up into your pants? Submit your photo then head to Hop Temple on May 28 for live entertainment, craft beer and delicious food as you await the results. Over both weekends of the festival, a selection of some of the region's finest makers will gather for the Craft Lab to share their heritage trades, traditional practices, lost skills and cultural rituals. You'll get an opportunity to try first-hand the practices of crafts like weaving, knife making, silverwork and more, and you can listen in on talk and panel discussions with passionate makers. New to the festival this year is the Food Edit, a collection of delicious local food and drink experiences with a heritage twist. The specially curated events range from vintage wine dinners, baking workshops, explorations of goldfields food and more. And it wouldn't be a heritage festival without a tribute to historical steam shut

News (33)

From next month, horse-drawn carriages will be banned from the CBD

From next month, horse-drawn carriages will be banned from the CBD

In 2017, a ban on street trading permits for horse-drawn vehicles came into effect, and now the Andrews government has announced a total ban on horse-drawn carriages in the CBD. From June, the off-limits area will encompass the Hoddle Grid and the CBD, between Spencer to Spring streets and Flinders to La Trobe Streets.  In a press conference with reporters, transport minister Ben Carroll stated that the ban is a result of the safety risk posed by horse-drawn carriages to pedestrians, motorists and commuters traversing the city. Animal rights activists and groups like RSPCA Victoria have long been calling for a ban on carriage horses out of concern for horse welfare and animal cruelty. According to Carroll, there are only four operators left in the CBD, and the government plans to assist them in the transition. While punters will no longer be able to ride carriages in and through the CBD, horse-drawn carriages will still be allowed to operate on the city's outskirts, including park precincts like the Royal Botanic Gardens. ICYMI: Moroccan Soup Bar is closing its doors after 24 years.

Early voting starts today, and here's what you need to know

Early voting starts today, and here's what you need to know

Prime minister Scott Morrison has called for the federal election to take place on May 21 this year. According to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), eligible voters should cast their ballots in person on that day if they can do so. However, if your circumstances prevent in-person voting, you can participate in early voting from May 9.  To participate in early voting, you must be: Travelling Seriously ill or due to give birth (or caring for an individual who is) In fear of your safety In prison or otherwise detained A silent elector Located 8km from a polling centre Outside of your enrolled electorate Unable to leave your workplace to vote Otherwise unable to reach a ballot box If one or more of the above criteria apply to you and preclude you from voting on May 21, you can submit a postal vote by registering here or head to an early polling centre. More than 500 polling centres will be open for early voting, and you can find your nearest one using the AEC's website.  Planning to vote on election day? Check out this handy map for finding the nearest place to snag a democracy sausage afterwards.

Early voting starts today, and here's what you need to know

Early voting starts today, and here's what you need to know

Prime minister Scott Morrison has called for the federal election to take place on May 21 this year. According to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), eligible voters should cast their ballots in person on that day if they can do so. However, if your circumstances prevent in-person voting, you can participate in early voting from May 9.  To participate in early voting, you must be: Travelling Seriously ill or due to give birth (or caring for an individual who is) In fear of your safety In prison or otherwise detained A silent elector Located 8km from a polling centre Outside of your enrolled electorate Unable to leave your workplace to vote Otherwise unable to reach a ballot box If one or more of the above criteria apply to you and preclude you from voting on May 21, you can submit a postal vote by registering here or head to an early polling centre. More than 500 polling centres will be open for early voting, and you can find your nearest one using the AEC's website.  Planning to vote on election day? Check out this handy map for finding the nearest place to snag a democracy sausage afterwards.

Victoria just got 41 new and upgraded campsites

Victoria just got 41 new and upgraded campsites

Last winter, the Victorian government announced that it was investigating hundreds of riverfront sites across the state to be turned into new campgrounds. That time has finally come, with the government unveiling 13 new and 28 upgraded campgrounds spread across some of Victoria's most picturesque regions.  New sites include Flat Spur Campground at Mt Buller, Stockman's Campground in Big River State forest and Thomson Bridge Campground in Gippsland. Great Otway National Park also has three new campsites, and there are seven new hike-in campgrounds along the Grampians Peaks Trail. Several campgrounds that were damaged or destroyed by bushfires and storms, including in Wombat State Forest, near Corryong and along the Werribee River, have been repaired and reopened.  This initiative comes as part of a $105.6 million investment in getting more Victorians out into nature by the Andrews Labor government. Along with developing campsites, the funding is also going towards improving walking trails and visitor facilities across the state.  Find out more about these new and improved campsites through the Victorian government's website. Bookings are not required for most state forest campgrounds, and you can book a national park campsite through the Parks Victoria website.  Hate roughing it? Keep your creature comforts at these glamping sites across Melbourne and Victoria.  

You can book a hotel room with a private hot tub and cinema in Melbourne

You can book a hotel room with a private hot tub and cinema in Melbourne

The idea of watching a movie outdoors sounds nice at first, but nights in Melbourne can get pretty darn cold. Instead of shivering in a park, level up your al fresco film experience by booking in for this staycation package that offers a private hot tub and outdoor movie screen.  The Melbourne Marriott Hotel's 'Hot Tub Under the Stars' package starts at $349 per night and includes a one-night stay in a room with a queen bed and a gorgeous first-level courtyard. The courtyard houses a private hot tub, a cinema-quality screen and projector and comfy outdoor seating if you get too pruney from your soak. Scroll through an iPad loaded with heaps of movies and choose from romantic musicals like A Star Is Born and Grease, or opt for something along the lines of The Avengers. You'll also receive a bottle of Champagne on ice and a snack platter with cheeses and fruits to nibble on.  And the best part? You can enjoy a deep, long sleep after letting your muscles relax in the spa because you don't have to check out from your room until noon. Hit snooze as much as you want before heading downstairs to enjoy a buffet breakfast.  Rather get out of the city? These are our favourite weekend getaways.

Pack your bags for this spectacular light and art festival in Alice Springs

Pack your bags for this spectacular light and art festival in Alice Springs

People usually visit Australia’s red centre for one of two reasons: to marvel at a place of extraordinary natural beauty, or to connect with the Indigenous cultures that have persisted for tens of thousands of years. But when you arrive in Alice Springs, it becomes immediately clear that these two aims aren’t so easily separated. This place is home to the world’s oldest living culture, and their stories, lives and legacies have been shaped by the country. And you can’t really understand that country without understanding some of those stories. That’s part of the purpose of Parrtjima, an annual festival of Aboriginal art and culture that lights up Alice Springs Desert Park with art installations and large-scale projections. This year, the festival will be illuminating the ancient canvas of the Macdonnell Ranges from April 8 to 17. Photograph: Supplied This year, the theme is 'Sky Country', and many of the installations will explore and acknowledge Australia's first scientists and astronomers and their relationship with the sky and universe.  Visit signature installations like 'Water Tree', a twinkling piece designed to replicate the natural phenomenon of budgerigars flocking together, and 'Night Sky' a 15-metre-high installation housing 1,200 illuminated orbs to look like a blanket of stars. Explore the full suite of projections and installations while listening to a live soundtrack provided by a line-up including Dan Sultan, King Stingray, Barkaa, Black Rock Band and Jimbla

Melbourne is getting a new outdoor live music and performing arts precinct

Melbourne is getting a new outdoor live music and performing arts precinct

In March, the City of Yarra will become home to Reunion Park, Melbourne's newest pop-up outdoor live music and performance venue. The space is brought to you by Velodrome Events, which was behind the launch of the Coburg Velodrome, and Untitled Group, the independent music group behind music festivals like Beyond the Valley and Pitch Music and Arts Festival.  You can look forward to flying circus performances, comedy shows, food and drink events, music festivals and gigs. Several well-known artists have already been booked in to perform within the first month of opening, including King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, DJ Seinfeld, Spacey Jane and Benee. The venue will also be host to two music festivals: Uncaged Festival on March 12 and Full Tilt Festival on March 26. "We feel blessed to have the opportunity to bring together such an eclectic program of performing artists, and play a part in helping return confidence in our industry," says Chris Mitchell, the director of Velodrome Events. "Despite all odds, the show must go on."  You can explore the full line-up on the Reunion Park website.  Looking for cool gigs to go to? Check out our curated list of the best gigs happening in Melbourne this month. 

Take part in the ARSC's annual Feast for Freedom

Take part in the ARSC's annual Feast for Freedom

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre's (ASRC) Feast for Freedom is back from Friday, March 25 to Sunday, March 27 this year.  The Feast gives you the chance to cook a cuisine you mightn’t have experimented with before, and the excuse to host your loved ones for a meal all in the name of raising funds for asylum seekers.  Recipes for the Feast are generously gifted by refugees and local chefs. This year's Feast will feature recipes by Mahshid, an Iranian cooking instructor from Persia and Manel, a Malaysia-Indian chef employed full-time with ASRC catering. Some of the dishes that you can look forward to cooking include black pepper okra, Persian jewelled rice, green falafel and a spiced red lentil dish called misir wat.  You can register to host a feast via the website. The ARSC will email you a personal fundraising page and send you a hosting kit that includes all of the recipes and the stories of the chefs behind them. All that's left to do is plan your dishes, invite your guests and host your Feast for Freedom.  While the official Feast weekend is from March 25 to 27, you can host on an alternative date if those dates don't work for you as long as it's before April 30 – the final day for donations. Remember that raising as much as $282 can help fund the weekly food, housing and healthcare needs of someone seeking asylum. Find out more via the Feast for Freedom website. Learn how to make your own cheese and pasta at these masterclasses by That's Amore Cheese. 

Australian Open to cap crowds at 50 per cent capacity

Australian Open to cap crowds at 50 per cent capacity

In order to ensure the health and safety of those attending the Australian Open at Melbourne Park, the Victorian government has capped ticket sales at 50 per cent capacity.  This cap will only apply to sessions that have not already sold at that level, and tickets will not be cancelled or changed for any events that have already exceeded this new capacity limit.  Additionally, a ventilation assessment will be completed for the venue, after which HEPA filters will be installed in spaces that require it for improved ventilation. In line with Victoria’s existing statewide requirements, face masks will continue to be mandatory for all patrons except when eating or drinking.  According to a media release, these mitigation strategies are designed to assist in limiting the spread of Covid-19 as Victoria continues to see a rise in hospitalisations and cases.  “These updates to arrangements for the Australian Open will mean that fans, players and the workforce can look forward to a terrific Covid-safe event in Australia’s event capital,” says Jaala Pulford, the acting minister for tourism, sport and major events. ICYMI: Victorian Minister for Health Martin Foley announces the reintroduction of several health restrictions. 

Melbourne city council unveils full plan for the four-kilometre Greenline initiative

Melbourne city council unveils full plan for the four-kilometre Greenline initiative

Earlier this year, the Melbourne city council announced a proposal to pursue a city-shaping Greenline project to transform the north bank of the Yarra River into a green, ‘High Line’-style development. After consulting with the local community, the council has now released a full vision for this plan for councillors to consider at a committee meeting on December 7.  The main aim of the project is to deliver an uninterrupted journey from Birrarung Marr to the Bolte Bridge and to develop a green area that can serve as a premier destination for workers, tourists and residents to enjoy. The plan is set to inject more than $1 billion in economic activity into the area and create up to 1,000 jobs over the life of the project.  “Just as Southbank and Federation Square energised Melbourne at the turn of the century, Greenline will usher in a new era for our city at a time we need it most,” says lord mayor Sally Capp, who adds that she expects the project to reignite the CBD.  The Greenline, which the Melbourne city council describes as being "distinctly Melbourne" in a press release, will involve significant upgrades along the river. These upgrades include expanding the promenade along the Birrarung Marr precinct; improving connections from Swanston Street to the river and to Flinders Street Station; upgrading the historic Banana Alley vaults and the lower promenade in the Yarro Yarro precinct; and a continuous riverside link to Docklands.  On top of these upgrades and expansions, th

Get your hands on this new peachy gin by Four Pillars Gin

Get your hands on this new peachy gin by Four Pillars Gin

It’s G&T season, and we reckon this new peachy offering by Four Pillars is going to be the new favourite at summer picnics and rooftop bars. Made in collaboration with Zoë Foster Blake’s cult skincare brand Go-To, the 'My New Go-To Gin' features flavours of peach, lemon myrtle, ruby grapefruit and pink peppercorns.  It’s the perfect base for everything from a classic G&T to a bubbly bellini or tart peach bramble. And after a night of quaffing several peachy cocktails, it’s imperative that you schedule in a bit of self-care. Each bottle comes with a free Transformazing face mask by Go-TO to help you revive your dehydrated and hungover skin.  Quantities are limited, so if you’re keen on peachy beverages this summer, head to the Four Pillars website to place an order while supplies last. The ‘My New Go-To Gin’ retails at $85 for a 700mL bottle.  Looking to stock up that liquor cabinet? Check out this new plant-infused gin by Anthers Distillery and the Royal Botanic Gardens. 

Beloved Melbourne club New Guernica is reopening in a new location

Beloved Melbourne club New Guernica is reopening in a new location

Over the course of twelve years, New Guernica established itself as one of Melbourne’s leading nightclubs. You’d be hard-pressed to find a local who hasn’t spent a fun and messy night there, and when it announced it was closing its doors due to the impact of multiple lockdowns, many were understandably devastated.  Luckily, that closure was only temporary and New Guernica has announced its triumphant return to a new venue in Collingwood. Located in a heritage building on the corner of Smith Street and Gertrude Street, the club will reopen on November 25.  The building, which has previously housed venues including Foresters Beer and Music Hall, the Last Laugh Comedy Club and A Bar Called Berry’s, has been renovated to recreate the club’s famous atmosphere. It now features soaring 7-metre ceilings, a balcony high above the dance floor and a world-class lighting and sound system.  The brass-topped bar has been repainted in a deep shade of ultramarine and is accented by orange lighting, and a giant golden clamshell that dates back to the 1920s presides over the cavernous space. Some elements have been brought over from the original location, including the well-known disco ball.  “In this new space, we all saw an opportunity to evolve New Guernica. From the scale of the space to the sound, lighting and vibe, we’ve levelled up on all counts,” says co-owner Kyle Bush.  Get ready for a weekly rave on Thursday nights complete with drink specials, Friday parties run by organisers like