Day 20: Finding some Christmas quiet time

As the days roll on towards Christmas, it’s wonderful to feel the excitement and anticipation building. But sometimes it’s good to take time out to rest and recharge. So here are a few of our favourite places in Melbourne to unwind, relax and take a deep breath – in no particular order.

Fitzroy Gardens
There’s something so special about this lucious patch of green just a short walk from central Melbourne. The sprawling lawns and mature trees offer ample places to de-stress. Go to Fitzroy Gardens. You won’t regret it.

The Grey Street Fountain at Fitzroy Gardens

Grey Street Fountain, Fitzroy Gardens

The Tudor Village at Fitzroy Gardens

Tudor Village, Fitzroy Gardens

The Fairies Tree at Fitzroy Gardens

The Fairies Tree, Fitzroy Gardens

St Paul’s Cathedral
You couldn’t get more central than St Paul’s Cathedral. While Melbourne’s busiest intersection buzzes with pedestrians, trams, bikes and commuters from Flinders Street Station, St Paul’s offers an unparalleled quiet, cool sanctuary.

St Pauls Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral

333 Collins Street
The Baroque interior of the dome foyer at 333 Collins Street is like no other in Melbourne. Step off the street into a quiet, beautifully-lit space and soak up the elegant Christmas atmosphere.

333 Collins Street

The foyer at 333 Collins Street

The Old Stock Exchange
The Gothic-Revival architecture of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group building (376-390 Collins Street) is mightily impressive from the outside, but not everyone knows about the beautiful, serene annex inside. This ornate, former stock exchange is ringed with benches, and a nearby banking museum offers an informative historical perspective for those who want more.

The Old Stock Exchange

The Old Stock Exchange

Flagstaff Gardens
At the west end of central Melbourne, this undulating park (steeped in Melbourne history), has a lovely, lazy feel. Find a tree at Flagstaff Gardens, put your back to it and breathe in the fresh air.

Flagstaff_Gardens

Flagstaff Gardens

Royal Botanic Gardens
What’s not to love about the Botanical Gardens? It’s huge, so there’s no chance you’ll feel crowded, and it’s diverse, so that means there’s a shady/sunny/sheltered/cosy spot to suit everyone. By the way, the Royal Botanic Gardens is hosting a free Christmas Day Harp Concert if you feel like taking in some gentle music on the big day.

A black swan on Ornamental Lake at the Royal Botanic Gardens, photograph by Janusz Molinski

Ornamental Lake, Royal Botanic Gardens. Photo: Janusz Molinski

Mingary – The Quiet Place
Whatever your religious or spiritual beliefs, this spot in the city welcomes anyone seeking a little simple piece and quiet. Inside, the tranquil lighting and non-denominational decor is sure to help you recharge your Christmas batteries. Mingary – The Quiet Place is attached to St Michael’s Church, at 120 Collins Street.

Entry to Mingary - The Quiet Place, at St Michael's Church, Collins Street

Entry to Mingary – The Quiet Place, at St Michael’s Church, Collins Street

There you have it – we hope you feel suitably relaxed! Maybe you have a quiet place you like to go to? Let us know. And for more updates on what’s hapening in the lead-up to Christmas in Melbourne, be sure to follow the 30 Days of Christmas blog.