to the State Library - The
Library is like a large free theme park for the thinking person.
There you will find numbers of major displays, the Stawell Gallery which
has art associated with the growth of Melbourne, the Keith Murdoch Gallery with
changing displays around various topics, a significant chess section
where you can sit down for a game, activity areas for children and, of
- Kit yourself out for wet weather - Buy a Driza Bone oilskin
coat, Akubra hat and R.M. Williams moleskins and elastic sided boots
(known around the world as
Australian Boot) and you'll feel warm and dry in any downpour.
They're not cheap and less expensive styles are available in other
brands but they do increase your options enormously on a rainy day and
they're classy enough to be acceptable in most social circumstances.
- Go to an indoor event - There are indoor events happening
most days in Melbourne. Just go to the
White Hat Calendar of Events in Melbourne and select the appropriate
- Visit Federation Square -
Fed Square, as the locals call it, contains the magnificent
Ian Potter Gallery of Australian
Art, the Australian Centre for the
Moving Image which usually has numbers of displays and film
screenings and the Atrium and
spaces are often playing host to a display, market or performance. In
addition there are numbers of shops, cafes, restaurants and bars in
which to relax.
- Go for a walk in the rain - White Hat considers that
Melbourne's historic buildings look best in the rain. The glisten on the
facades of the buildings highlight details which are difficult or
impossible to see on a dry day. The bluestone paved lanes and alleys
take on an entirely different character in the rain and you need to
drink in the sombre, formal blue-grey atmosphere of bluestone under rain
if you are interested in understanding the soul of Melbourne (as we
outlined in a
previous White Hat Melbourne Newsletter).
- Cook up a storm - You can buy wonderful fresh ingredients in
Melbourne and, if you know your markets, they can be remarkably cheap.
To get you started with shopping you could go to
The White Hat Guide to Food
Stores in Melbourne. Then for recipes you can go to
The White Hat Cookbook. If you live in
Melbourne you can then go home and cook up a storm including some meals
for the rest of the week. If you are a visitor staying in self-contained
apartments or a hostel there will usually be cooking facilities. If you
are staying in a hotel there are still options to get out and cook for
yourself (and maybe others). If you would like more information, contact
|Afternoon Tea at The Windsor
For as long as most people can remember, afternoon tea at The Hotel
Windsor has been a Melbourne institution. A full leisurely afternoon tea
served in the luxurious surrounds of Melbourne's of Melbourne grand old
historic hotel really calls for a lady to wear a hat and gloves. If you
don't have a hat and gloves and the gentleman doesn't have a cane then
White Hat urges you to at least carry yourself with a dignified air.
- Visit the Melbourne Museum - The
Melbourne Museum is a
large museum with with exhibitions related to all manner of things - not
just 'old stuff'. If you you use the
Free City Circle Tram you may still need to walk 200m through the
rain. The Free City
Tourist Bus will leave you with a 50m walk through the rain.
- Enjoy a pub lunch - smoking is now banned in Melbourne pubs.
You may want to avoid those establishments dominated by poker machines
unless you are addicted. Depending on the pub you choose you may be able
to enjoy a leisurely lunch, read a selection of newspapers and magazines
and play some board games in front of an open fire, have a game of pool
or just a chat to old or newly created friends. From time to time White
Hat mentions describes some recommended pubs in our
- Shop 'til you drop - The major shopping centres usually
contain the same outlets that you will find in most malls around
Australia. Thus White Hat suggests you search out some of the more
quirky independent complexes that you can find across Melbourne.
- Rug up and - go to the footy, visit friends, or head off for
a mug of soup or hot chocolate at your nearest cafe.
- Borrow some books, CDs and videos from City Library - joining
is free and open to anyone living in Melbourne or its suburbs.
- Visit an undercover market - Melbourne has half a dozen large
suburban markets that are under cover. In addition there are large
numbers of indoor and undercover markets in Melbourne on most days of
the week. You can find a comprehensive list of markets at
The White Hat
Guide to Markets in Melbourne.
- Go to the club - Most Melburnians belong to a club or two
whether they are to do with restoring hot rods, quilting, sport,
writing, charity, your profession or a whole range of other things, .
Why not head down to the club rooms and get those magazines in order or
fix the draft under the door.If you are a visitor, one of your clubs may
well have reciprocal arrangements with the local version. Otherwise just
try turning up and introducing yourself. You will generally find
Melburnians very welcoming and friendly. You can find more information
at The White Hat Guide to Clubs in
- Make coffee and snacks last all afternoon - many cafes serve
tapas or mezze. With a book and a couple of cups of coffee you can wile
away a rainy afternoon. Some serve cakes as well but White Hat does not
want to be guilty of encouraging you to eat chocolate and cakes all
- Go ice skating - You've already had to dress for the weather
so why not do something that requires warm clothes. More information at
The White Hat Guide to Ice
Skating in Melbourne.
- Learn something new - take a class in Tai Chi or ballroom
dancing or quilting or handy person skills (some hardware stores have
regular classes how to do a whole range of things and some classes also
cater for children).
- Visit a historic house - Melbourne has a number of impressive
historic houses that are open to the public on various days of the week.
Head along and spend a leisurely afternoon imagining yourself wandering
around your stately 19th century home on a rainy day. More details at
The White Hat Guide to Historic
Houses in Melbourne.
- Stay in bed and read a good book - If you want learn more
about Melbourne try the books we recommend at
The White Hat Guide to Books about
- Write a poem - When is the last time you wrote a poem? It
doesn't have to be very good. Nobody else need ever see it. The act of
writing a poem is one of the things that helps differentiate humans from
animals and reminds us that we are an individual person rather than just
a mindless cog in a consumer society. And what better time to get
inspiration for a poem than gazing out the window on a rainy day. In
Wales, a seven year old named Gwyneth Lewis decided to write her first
poem to pass the time on a rainy day and she went on to be appointed
Wales's first National Poet.
|Ride a tram - You can ride the City Circle
Tram for free, but once you've done a complete circuit you probably
don't want to go around a second time. On the other hand you could
choose a particular tram and ride it to the end of the route and
back. On the weekends, if you
buy the right ticket, this will cost you next to nothing. and
for visitors it can be a good way to get a flavour of Melbourne
suburban living. You could for instance try the route 109 which runs
through Collins Street in the city. If you are on a tight budget you
could break your journey at either Victoria Street Richmond or the
Box Hill terminus and enjoy a cheap warming Asian meal. If you have
a little more to spend you could enjoy a meal at one of the
restaurants overlooking the bay at the
Station Pier terminus.
© Colonial Tramcar Restaurant
|Have a meal on the tramcar restaurant -
Enjoy a leisurely meal in a heated tramcar restaurant while looking
through the windows at the poor mugs out there walking around in the
rain. Be warned that the wine (included in the price) keeps on
coming so you're sure to feel nice and warm when you return to base.
- Visit the Old Melbourne Gaol - After you've immersed
yourselves in the day to day lives of the inmates, emerging into the
rain and freedom will seem a wonderful thing. Details at
The White Hat Guide to Old Melbourne
- Visit the aquarium - and spend some time creatures who don't
mind getting wet. More information at
The White Hat Guide to Melbourne
- Enjoy a lengthy lunch at a fine restaurant - You don't need
to feel guilty that you should be getting outside and doing things.
- Hire a video - Hire a video and go back home or to your hotel
and snuggle up. White Hat would recommend Singing in the Rain.
- Take a free tour of Parliament
House or Melbourne Town Hall
- tours are available on selected days. For details see
The White Hat Guide to Free Tours in
- Put out a bucket - In these days of water restrictions, we
need to collect as much rainwater as we can. Better still, put out a
toddlers' wading pool. If you have no use for the water, your neighbours
are sure to.
- Build or invent something - Australians are an inventive lot
and a surprising number of inventions were got started because of a
rainy day. For some inspiration you could try looking at
The White Hat
Guide to Australian Inventions.
- Explore a city building - Many people don't venture past the
ground floor of many city buildings but they can be a treasure trove of
artist's studios, quirky shops and galleries. You could start by
exploring the Nicholas Building
and then maybe making your way to
- Go and have a drink with Chloe at Young and Jacksons - A
Melbourne tradition. More details at
The White Hat Guide to Young & Jackson's Hotel.
- Ring your mother
- Go swimming at an indoor pool - Many larger suburbs have
indoor heated pools and it can be quite a cosy environment. Most have
cafes and some have saunas and gym equipment.
- Visit the Arts Centre - At the
Arts Centre, apart from the
International Gallery, you can
take backstage tours of the theatres and concert halls, eat at one of
the cafes or restaurants, browse through the
smaller galleries and
bookshop or attend a concert,
- Go and see a film - The film might be lousy but at least the
cinema will be warm and dry.
- Play a game or two of chess - White Hat can recommend chess
for tuning up the brain cells. If you have nobody to play with then head
into the chess section of the State
- Volunteer - contact your local service group or neighbourhood
house and find out if there are any tasks they would like some help
- Find out about different and strange stuff - Melbourne has a
range of museums covering an astonishing range of interests. If you
consult The White Hat Guide
to Museums in Melbourne you are sure to find a place to visit where
you will come away knowing things you didn't know before.
- Make a list - If you are stuck at home on a rainy day then
why not help your fellow citizens by putting your own list on the
internet of 50 things to do. That's what we did.
- Visit a gallery - Melbourne has numbers of fine galleries
such as you can find at The White
Hat Guide to Galleries in Melbourne, and there is nothing like
coming off a cold wet street into a warm gallery to encourage a person
to take extra time in examining and thinking about the art. Many of
these galleries have cafes and sometimes bookshops attached, so there is
no need to venture out in a hurry.
- Play some sport - find a friend and have a game of squash.
Get some mates together and play some indoor cricket. You can play
badminton, basketball, table tennis and whole range of sports indoors. A
good starting point is the Melbourne Aquatic Centre in Albert Park who
have a whole range of sporting spaces for hire.
- Go to Scienceworks - this a science museum with an emphasis
on how stuff works. Its not just for kids. More information at
The White Hat Guide to
- Go for a day trip - The
Dandenong Ranges can
be particularly impressive in the rain and it has plenty of places to
stop for a warming snack or meal.
- Learn an instrument - your local music store will sell
instruments ranging from just a few dollars (such as a harmonica or
ocarina) through to high end classical instruments. You can get started
by obtaining a teach-yourself manual or video, or you can enrol for some
classes. A rainy day is an ideal time to start. You may find further
inspiration at The
White Hat Guide to Instruments.
- Seek out one of Melbourne's hidden gems - most weeks in our
free newsletter we make mention of a
hidden gem of Melbourne. A rainy
day can be a good time to explore one of these. You could start by
visiting the Athenaeum Library
(visitors are welcome) and burying yourself in a book while soaking up
the unique surroundings.
- Take a tour of a sporting venue - Most days there are tours
available of the MCG and Docklands Stadium and you will be out of the
rain the whole time. More details at The
White Hat Guide to Selected Tours of Melbourne.
- Clean your sandshoes
- Spend a romantic afternoon with a special someone gazing at the
rain - You will find some suggestions at
The White Hat Guide to Romantic
and if none of those appeal, White Hat recommends you:
- Wait half an hour - in Melbourne the weather is sure to
What's on in Melbourne