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Xavier de Maistre
Brandenburg Orchestra
Free garden tour
Government House
Once a month
South Melbourne
Night Market
Thursdays in summer
Parliament House
Open Day
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The White Hat Guide to

20 Things to do in Melbourne on a Thursday


Things to do

20 Things to do in Melbourne on a Thursday

  1. Go to a free lunchtime organ recital at St Michael's Church.
  2. Visit the Fire Services Museum at Eastern Hill.
  3. On summer evenings you might enjoy the St Kilda Open air Cinema.
  4. Enjoy leisurely Thursday night drinks at a watering hole of your choice. Friday night can be hectic and crowded so Thursday night is a bit more civilised.
  5. Visit the Werribee Park Mansion & Zoo. It is a short trip from Melbourne and well worth the journey.
  6. Wander through St Patrick's Cathedral and take advantage of the atmosphere for some quiet contemplation close to the city.
  7. Have a leisurely coffee at a sidewalk cafe and enjoy the passing parade.
  1. On the third Thursday of the month (except January) enjoy a free tour of the wonderful Government House gardens.
  2. Hire a bike and investigate Melbourne's bike paths.
  3. Have a picnic at Studley Park and maybe hire a rowboat at the same time.
  4. Wander through Melbourne's Chinatown and stop for a snack or a meal.
  5. On the last Thursday of the month you may be able to trek up a dark alley and enjoy the screenings provided by the Melbourne Horror Film Society.
  6. Visit the community garden called Sprout and maybe pick up some fresh fruit, vegetables and chutneys.
  7. Of course there is always shopping in the CBD. Start at Bourke Street Mall and see how far you get before the credit card runs out. Thursday and Friday night are late night shopping in Melbourne CBD with many stores open until 7pm and later.
  8. Attend a lecture, seminar or workshop and come away knowing something you didn't know before. For instance, there is usually a free lecture at the Royal Society of Victoria on the second Thursday of the month. You will find some suggestions at The White Hat Guide to Lectures, Seminars & Workshops in Melbourne.
  9. Try tracking down some of White Hat's 7 Monuments of Melbourne.
  10. Spend some time in Australian Centre for the Moving Image at Federation Square. There are always exhibitions and screenings every day of the week.
  11. Visit Errol Street in North Melbourne. A country town within walking distance of the city.
  12. On a balmy evening try dinner in the European atmosphere of Hardware Lane in the city where you will probably have live jazz playing outdoors and a choice of cafes and restaurants.
  13. Head to Melbourne's northern suburbs and explore some of its early history at Westgarthtown. You will probably have the area to yourself.
  14. Search out a market. You can find a comprehensive list of Thursday markets at The White Hat Guide to Thursday Markets in Melbourne
  15. Watch the sun set over the Yarra. We would recommend a glass of wine at one of the cafes in Yarras Edge or on the western end of the ANZ Building. After sunset wander along the river where you may come across some laid-back bands at some of the restaurants or at the Mission for Seamen. If you prefer something more lively head for the restaurants and bars at WTC Wharf.
  16. If you have a baby or two, take them along to the Babes in Arms cinema sessions. At about $10 per adult and bubs under 3 free it is an opportunity to catch up on latest release films.
  17. Take a free tour of Federation Square. No need to book, just turn up at 11am at the Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags in the Swanston Street Forecourt.

Choose a particular Thursday

Some forthcoming events on a Thursday in Melbourne

Parliament House Open Day

Apart from its regular free daily tours, Melbourne's Parliament House has an annual open day. On this day not only are the interior spaces of Parliament House open to the public, the grounds and gardens are also accessible. More details at Parliament House Open Day >>

Our rating - 4 Hats

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Australian Brandenburg Orchestra - Vivaldi’s Venice

Xavier de Maistre -  harp

The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra with Paul Dyer (conductor, harpsichord) and Xavier de Maistre (harp) present Vivaldi’s Venice.

For those who missed Xavier de Maistre's 2018 performances with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, White Hat strongly suggests that you go out of your way to hear him this time around. As one of the most sought-after soloists in the world we expect he will not disappoint in this program  which includes an adaption for harp and orchestra of ‘Winter’ from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

  • Vivaldi Concerto for harp (lute) in D major, RV 93
  • Marcello Concerto for harp (oboe) in D minor, S D935
  • Parish Alvars La Mandoline, Op. 84
  • Pescetti Sonata in C minor
  • Vivaldi L’inverno, Concerto for harp (violin) in F minor, RV 297, Op. 8 No. 4
  • Gregori Concerto Grosso in D major, Op. 2 No. 2 (Australian Premiere)

Melbourne - Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, Melbourne Recital Centre
7pm, 5th & 7th March 2020
5pm, 8th March 2020

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Come From Away

Come From Away is a musical that tells the remarkable true story of thousands of stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland, Canada that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships.

This wonderful new musical written by Tony® and Grammy nominees Irene Sankoff and David Hein, and helmed by this year’s Tony® winning Best Director, Christopher Ashley with musical staging by Tony® nominee Kelly Devine. Newsweek cheers, “it takes you to a place you never want to leave!”

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Free Government House garden tour

Government House garden

Garden lovers can enjoy a free tour of the Government House gardens. Tours start at 11am and are free but bookings are essential.

The gardens feature magnificent lawns, specimen trees surrounded by large beds of trees and shrubs, and the Peace and Prosperity Kitchen Garden. The gardens also feature ceremonial trees planted by members of the Royal Family and previous Governors.

The tour goes for about one hour and you will need a general level of fitness. There are some steps, small hills and uneven surfaces.

While each tour caters for up to 30 people, there are no group bookings available.
Bookings close at 12 noon the day before the tour, or when the tour is full. Bookings can be made online through the official website

Wear casual clothes with sensible footwear. Bring photo ID (passport, drivers licence, student ID etc.,). Check in at the Government House Gatehouse 15 minutes before the tour starts.
Entry will involve passing through a security checkpoint and bag inspection.

You are encouraged to take public transport: Flinders Street Station is a 15 to 20-minute walk to Government House Take the St Kilda Rd/Coventry St tram - routes 3/3a, 5, 6,16, 64, 67 and 72 - and get off at the Grant Street - Police Memorial stop.

Parking is not available at the House. If you drive, there is metered parking on Linlithgow and Birdwood avenues.

Tours can be cancelled in extreme weather or for operational reasons.

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Red cross

To the best of White Hat’s knowledge, this event or location is currently cancelled, postponed or suspended due to COVID-19 precautions. If in doubt check with the organiser or institution involved. White Hat will constantly monitor events and venues in an attempt to update listings when conditions change.

Based on an original new story by J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a new play by Jack Thorne. It is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage.

The critically acclaimed play has won 24 major theatre awards in the UK and is the most-awarded production in the history of Britain’s prestigious Olivier Awards, winning a record-breaking nine awards including Best New Play and Best Director. The play opened on Broadway in April 2018 to rave reviews and won 6 Tony Awards including Best Play, 6 Outer Critics Circle Awards, 5 Drama Desk Awards and many more.

  Wed Thur Fri Sat
2pm Part One     Part One
7.30pm Part Two Part One Part Two Part Two

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Selected attractions open on certain Thursdays in Melbourne

Duldig Studio museum + sculpture garden

The Duldig StudioAn artists' house museum - the former home and artists' studio of sculptor Karl Duldig (1902-1986) and his wife - artist and inventor Slawa Duldig née Horowitz (c1902-1975). Both artists fled the Nazis and ended up making a significant contribution to Australian life. You can read more about their remarkable background and the studio at Duldig Studio >>

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Grainger Museum

Green tick

To the best of White Hat’s knowledge, this event or location is operating as usual despite COVID-19 precautions. However, due to rapidly changing conditions, always double check with the organiser or institution before making a special trip.

Grainger Museum

Built by arguably Australia's finest musician, Percy Grainger, to house his collection of music-related instruments, scores and other items associated with his life and career. more info > >

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Australian National Aviation Museum
A collection of aeroplanes and displays relating to Australia's aviation history. The museum is at Moorabbin Airport. more info > >
Bundoora Homestead
Bundoora Homestead is a wonderful Queen Anne style Federation mansion operating as a historic house, art gallery and licensed café. Free admission.More info >>
Free Tour of Melbourne Town Hall
A free tour of the historic Melbourne Town Hall. Numbers are limited so bookings are essential and required one day in advance. More information >>
Heide Museum of Modern Art
Hellenic Museum
Situated in the historic Former Royal Mint buildung, this small but important museum is Australia' foremost centre of Hellenic history, ciuture and the arts as well as documenting Greek migation and contributions to Australia. More information >>
Ian Potter Museum of Art

The Ian Potter Museum of Art at Melbourne University is a short tram ride from the city and a short walk from Lygon Street Carlton. Entry is free but from time to time there are special exhibitions in part of the gallery which may entail an entry charge. Exhibited works are chosen from teh art clocction of the Unversity of Melbourne - the largest university art collection in Australia. More info >>

Jewish Museum of Australia
Preserving and exhibiting Jewish heritage, arts, customs and religious ritual in all its diversity. It includes the significant contrbutions of Jewish people to Australian life. more info > >
Melbourne Fire Services Museum
Australia's largest collection of fire brigade memorabilia housed in a historic fire station. More info >>
National Gallery of Victoria - Australian Collection
National Gallery of Victoria - International Collection
Old Treasury Building
One of Australia's finest Victorian era buildings. It is open to teh public on Wednesdays and Sundays and features fine displays related to Melbourne history. More info >>