We’ve scoured the city (and Instagram) to bring you the most photogenic Christmas spots from projections, light shows and trees to decorations and hidden gems. Even better – it won’t cost a cent to see them.
Federation Square Christmas Tree
The centrepiece of the City of Melbourne’s Christmas Festival Hub at Federation Square is the new 16 metre tree. Visit after 9pm for a dazzling spectacle of multi-coloured lights as well as nightly projections, Beci Orpin’s A Christmas Tale, a festive film screening accompanied by a live choir and the Giant Christmas Bauble. Walk inside this six-metre-high wonder, a perfect spot for a bit of date night strolling or a #melbmoment selfie. Shows until Sunday 25 December.
Christmas Projections at Docklands
While the projections at Federation Square are dazzling the crowds, there is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered at Docklands. Walk along New Quay Promenade and interact with the glowing sculptures, with lights depicting Christmas colours, characters and imagery. Until Tuesday 25 December.
ArtVo at Crown
One of the biggest Instagram hits of Christmas 2017, the ArtVo at Crown is back in 2018, with even more festive scenes to snap a selfie. Created by immersive ‘trick art’ gallery ArtVo, visitors are invited to take a photo in one of twelve Christmas scenarios – and become part of the picture. Runs until 28 December.
Crown Christmas Spectacular
While you’re there make sure you drop past the Crown Christmas Spectacular for the 24-hour, fully-lit Christmas tree and dazzling animatronic light show. See larger-than-life baubles creating a musical compilation of favourite Christmas songs, running daily from 10am to midnight every 30 minutes. Santa will also be in the Atrium every day until Monday 24 December between noon and 6pm. It’s the perfect opportunity for family Christmas photos in a fabulously lit gold throne. Runs until 1 January 2019.
The Melbourne Town Hall
Everyone’s loving the Melbourne Town Hall Christmas makeover. But while the day reveals nutcracker soldiers, perfectly cultivated flower beds, wreaths and a giant bow, it’s nightime where the real action begins.
Christmas Throne in Degraves Street
Be king of the laneways, if only for a moment, and take your seat on the Christmas throne currently in residence on Degraves Street.
The foyer at 333 Collins Street
One of the most elegantly beautiful foyers in the city, just got more spectacular. We wish this tree could stay there forever.
If sunset on the Princes Bridge and the numerous waterside bars and eateries aren’t enough reasons to linger along the Yarra at dusk, here’s another.
QV Market’s Santa throne
Deck the stalls and watch as Christmas comes to life at Queen Victoria Market! You can meet the main man himself on 22 and 23 December but getting the throne all to yourself is just as fun.
Christmas Lights at Light House
Docklands architectural icon, the Light House at 888 Collins St, Docklands displays a light show from dusk to midnight, seven days a week, every day of the year. The facade of the building runs a special Christmas Light Show on the hour – head to Buluk Park for the best viewing spot.
St Collins Lane
Noted for its eye-catching sculptural lightscape that runs the entire length of the second-floor canopy, St Collins Lane is already one of Melbourne’s key Instagram hotspots. Now there’s even more to photograph with stunning decorations now up outside their Collins Street entrance. Stroll inside to browse through treasures from Coach, Debenhams, Maje and Tag Heuer.
Looking for more?
The fir tree facade at Cartier
We’re impressed with their commitment to the Christmas theme. Find Cartier in the Paris end of Collins Street.
This low-key approach Christmas lighting makes one of Melbourne’s most photographed laneways even more photogenic. For more on what to see and do while you’re there, read Melbourne Laneways: a guide to Centre Place.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Costume Exhibition at Emporium
Drop by Emporium Melbourne to gaze at the visually spectacular costume exhibition centered around the movie, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms‘ key characters. Showcasing the work of Academy Award-winning costume designer Jenny Bevan, it includes Clara’s beautiful blue party dress, the ornate Captain Phillip uniform, the extravagant Sugar Plum Fairy gown and the graceful costume for the Ballerina of the Realms.
Christmas at The District, Docklands
Docklands’ shopping and creative precinct, The District, will be filled with the season’s cheer this year. Lots of local primary school kids have got busy and imaginative for the Christmas Tree Exhibition. Plus there’s more entertainment and oodles of treasures to please the eye at The District Makers Market.