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Christmas in Melbourne, a Summer Wonderland

As Christmas draws near, Melbourne becomes a magical place for families and children, locals and visitors alike. The store windows light up, the sound of carols fills the air and everyone gets out to celebrate in the true spirit of Christmas.

That spirit is at the heart of a variety of annual happenings in and around this incredible city. Here’s a sneak peek into some of the city’s most popular Christmas events.

The Myer Christmas Windows

Untitled-1For more than half a century, teams of decorators have worked tirelessly to put together the annual display in the Myer windows on Bourke Street. Each year, people crowd the footpaths waiting to see what the latest theme will be.

When Santa arrives, the windows are unveiled and the magic of Christmas officially begins, as people queue in the thousands to marvel at the animated wonderlands behind glass. Each window has a scene from the chosen theme and before the curtains close for another year, an average of one million people will file past to catch a glimpse of these famous and fascinating windows.

Untitled-2Spirit of the Square

Federation Square is an impressive Melbourne landmark and every year people gather there by the thousands for a series of free Christmas family events known as Spirit of the Square. These include live music performances, community choirs, free screenings of popular Christmas films on the square’s Big Screen, family portrait photo opportunities, art installations and lots of activities for the kids.

Christmas Bazaar at the Swedish Church

Held every year in the lush gardens of Toorak House, this very popular bazaar has become a Christmas tradition for many Melburnians. Run by the Swedish Church, it is a festive weekend celebrating all things Scandinavian.

Some 10,000 people a year browse for unusual Christmas gifts amongst stalls selling Scandinavian textiles, glassware and handicrafts. Visitors are also treated to live music performances, including traditional Scandinavian Christmas songs, and tempted by an array of Nordic treats such as Norwegian pancakes and Danish hot dogs. This delightful bazaar is held in the first weekend of December. Entry is by gold coin donatio

Gingerbread Village

Untitled-3If you’re after some sugary fun for Christmas, take the kids to see the Gingerbread Village. Built from scratch by master chefs every year, the village is a whimsical recreation of Melbourne, constructed in minute detail entirely from gingerbread and icing.

It features popular Melbourne landmarks, with new ones added every year. Favourites include the MCG, Luna Park and the Arts Centre. A model train also runs throughout the village. Entry is by gold coin donation, with the proceeds going to charity. The village is open from the 1st to the 24th of December at the Melbourne Town Hall.

Crown’s Christmas Fantastic

Christmas really is fantastic at the Crown Complex in Southbank. Every year their Christmas Fantastic delights visitors to the Crown’s grand Atrium, where a spectacular 3D light and sound show runs every 15 minutes of every day between 10am and midnight.

The show includes live dancers and a visit from Santa. It runs from the end of November to the beginning of January. Entry is free.

Untitled-4Big Day Out For Dogs

Christmas is also a fun time for four-legged Melburnians, thanks to Big Day Out For Dogs, an annual event held on the day before Christmas at the State Dog Centre.

Take your pooch along and enjoy dog training demonstrations, information sessions, a canine Christmas market, photos with Santa and lots of doggy competitions and activities. Entry is free and so are the doggy showbags, so grab your leash and don’t miss it.

Santa’s Magical Kingdom


Every year, Burnley Oval is transformed into Santa’s Magical Kingdom, a Christmas wonderland for kids, families and everyone else. It includes an interactive walkthrough adventure land featuring regular snow falls, a Christmas-themed circus show, and lots of rides and amusements.

The kids can take part in a variety of activities, including gingerbread decorating and Christmas sand art. Santa pays regular visits with Mrs Claus and Rudolph in tow. The kingdom is open from mid-November until Christmas. Tickets sell fast, so book early.

Carols by Candlelight

Christmas Eve at the Myer Music Bowl is a family tradition for many Melburnians. In fact, Carols by Candlelight is such a big event these days that it attracts performances from some of Australia’s biggest names.

Every year, hundreds of families enjoy an evening under the stars with a picnic or something from the variety of food stalls on offer, and listen to great music including all the traditional Christmas carols. You need to get there early to secure a good spot. Tickets can be pricey, but all money raised goes to charity.

Orphans and Exiles Picnic

Orphans and Exiles Picnic is a special event held every Christmas Day in the heart of Melbourne, where people from all walks of life gather for a picnic in Federation Square. Those who would otherwise spend Christmas Day alone can enjoy the company of others in a relaxed family atmosphere, while listening to free entertainment organised by the Salvation Army. It’s BYO hamper, but places are limited so you’ll need to book to secure a spot.

So as another Christmas approaches, remember that there’s something for everyone in the summer wonderland that is Melbourne.

7 Apps Every Business Traveller Needs

Business travel is constantly evolving with new technologies that allow for easier, cheaper, closer to home and more professional use of your time away. Some of the new apps coming out for your smartphone can upgrade your travel experience beyond anything imagined even a few years ago. Here are seven must-have apps for the optimal business traveller.

Untitled-11.   TripIt

This useful app scans your emails for travel bookings and flight confirmation, and then collates all of this information in one place. Available as a free ad-supported app, or available cheaply ad-free, it is fast becoming a ‘must-have’ for regular business travellers.

TripIt Pro is available for $49/year, and as well as offering the same benefits as its cheaper counterpart, it also gives you regular mobile updates on your flight and any upgrades, allows you to specify your seating preferences and enables sharing of your itinerary with family and friends. It also gives you the option to specify whether or not you are willing to pay for extra legroom or even a cabin upgrade.
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Greatest Moments in Melbourne Cup History

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It’s the 7th November and around 4,000 people have gathered at Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse. Four of the initial 21 entrants have been scratched, leaving only 17 at the starting line of the big race.

Before the race starts, one of the horses makes a bolt out of the gate and gets a full lap around the track without a jockey before being led back to the starting point. When the race begins, two horses immediately fall down.

The year is 1861 and these scenes describe the first ever Melbourne Cup. A horse named Archer from New South Wales won on that eventful day, which would set a precedent for action and excitement for many Melbourne Cups to come.
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5 Reasons to Visit Melbourne This Spring

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Over the past several decades, Melbourne has truly become an international and multicultural city, and has deservedly earned its reputation as one of the worlds most liveable cities. As Melbourne is known as the cultural capital of Australia, many suburbs are host to enclaves of ethnic diversity, flavour and colour. People from around the world continually flock to Melbourne, searching for a new taste of Australia or a place to call home. And many of them have not only stayed, but also prospered, which helps to provide the city with its vibrant and diverse pulse of life.

Make sure to check out these fun and entertaining events this spring in Melbourne.

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