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How to visit Melbourne galleries and attractions that have reopened

Itching to get out and enjoy Melbourne again? While a few of the bigger cultural institutions won’t be open until the end of June, these ones are good to go. Here’s how to kick off the fun.

Get on a boat!

Make the most of the autumn sunshine by floating along Melbourne’s waterways. On a Boat are back, with protocols in place for social distancing and heightened hygiene. Skipper a boat or book a private cruise and enjoy a relaxing – and glamorous – afternoon on the water.

GoBoat is also operating again, allowing 5 people on a boat at a time. Boats are sanitised between each floating session, and they’re only sending one group out at a time to ensure no crossover between sailors. The wide-open river is all yours.

A river on a sunny day with a large bridge in the distance

GoBoat is back

SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium

You can splash out on Monday 1 June, when the Melbourne Aquarium welcomes the public back. Grab the family for a trip into town to hang out with your favourite penguins. Get hypnotised by thousands of colourful jellyfish in the new Ocean Invaders exhibit.

To keep you safe, the aquarium has reduced its daily capacity to allow for social distancing. It’s essential that you pre-book your tickets online. Remember to keep your distance in the viewing areas and the cafe. Oh, and card only – no cash. Rest assured, high-frequency touchpoints will be regularly disinfected.

Royal Botanic Gardens

Melbourne’s nature lovers gave a huge sigh of relief when the Royal Botanic Gardens opened its gates last month. These gorgeous historic gardens are one of the city’s favourite spots for a nature stroll, lawn lounging and general meandering. There are no events planned just yet, but you can admire the succulents in Guilfoyle’s Volcano. Or warm up in the tropical glasshouse and say hi to the waterbirds paddling in the gardens’ Central Lake.

Two people walking down a path in a public gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens

Outre Gallery

For contemporary art lovers, Outre will be opening its doors in the first week of June. Forget all your worries in this laid back, colourful showcase of local and international artists. Check out prints from swingin’ artists like Shag, Derek Yaniger and Tim Biskup, as well as captivating ceramics and some far-out art books.

Flinders Lane Gallery

This beautiful gallery at the base of the famous Nicholas Building will be reopening by appointment from 9 June. Flinders Lane Gallery showcases contemporary Australian artists at all stages of their careers. Don’t miss the upcoming Exploration 20 exhibition – the gallery’s annual showcase of emerging and unsigned artists.

No Vacancy Gallery

No Vacancy Gallery showcases a broad range of mediums through curated group shows, solo exhibitions, launches, one off events, and art markets. They’re open now and they serve great coffee, so what are you waiting for?

Running tours

What better way to get outside and exercise than with a laneway running tour? With safety measures in place, your guide will have you jogging through Melbourne’s history and culture hidden between the laneways. In true Melbourne style, these tours finish with a cup of coffee at a laneway cafe.

Street art

Just because you can’t go inside a gallery, doesn’t mean you can’t get your art fix. Maybe now is the time to explore more of Melbourne’s street art on a curated street art walk? Or head off on a solo stroll following the City of Melbourne’s street art walking guide. You can keep a safe social distance as you take in the ever-changing gallery walls of Hosier Lane and beyond.

A sculpture of a man singing into a microphone on a wall covered with street art in a city laneway

ACDC Lane and Duckboard Place

Melbourne Zoo

Will the otters come to the party? Will there be snow leopard cubs? What have those capuchins been up to? Find out for yourself on Monday 1 June when Melbourne Zoo reopens. Pack a picnic lunch and head through the gates into that beloved animal kingdom once more. Like the aquarium, you must pre-book your tickets online before you go. This includes babies and Zoo Members. Melbourne Zoo is limiting numbers so everyone has plenty of space. While you’re keeping distant, it’s probably the closest you’ll ever feel to having the zoo to yourself.

Queen Victoria Market

Everyone’s favourite market has kept its fresh food stalls open throughout the past few months, and we’re all so very grateful. And the good news is that specialty shopping is reopening in Sheds A to F on 12 June. For more updates on new activities at the market, keep an eye on their Facebook page and other social channels.

Reopening on 15 June

  • State Library Victoria – open to limited numbers for free wifi, technology and information services. Book ahead online.

Reopening on 27 June