My mind gently wanders back to the times I found myself in places like Mainz (Germany), London (England) and Pistoia (Italy) for the holidays. The magic and lights of a Northern Hemisphere Christmas never seizes to astound me, but this year I’m preparing to celebrate at home yet again in Melbourne, Australia – during summer!
Melbourne has truly come through with the decorations this year. From the row of pink Christmas crackers lining the harbour at Docklands, to the iconic Nutcrackers standing proud at Melbourne Town Hall in front of the highly-entertaining singing reindeers and the traditional Myer Christmas windows pulling in the crowds, there is no shortage of fun to be had no matter your age.
Something new that I discovered this year was the immaculate building at 333 Collins Street. Stepping in from the street you immediately feel like you’ve gone back in time when this used to be the banking hall of the former Commercial Bank of Australia. Built between 1891-93, during the holidays there’s a sparkling tree in the centre and decorations to rival New York City or London. I highly recommend a visit there if you’re visiting Melbourne or perhaps you’re a local like me and have never heard of this place before. It’s magical!
Federation Square is Melbourne’s favourite meeting spot and every year its famous 16-metre tall Christmas tree stands front and centre, looking extra impressive as night falls. The Evan Walker Bridge is back with its golden star and this year the Southbank area is filled with attractions for children big and small including a festive playground, illuminated dance floor and poetic flowers in motion. Pop in to the The Block Arcade and see the most photographed cake window display in Australia at Hopetoun Tea Rooms and don’t forget to visit Melbourne’s famous laneways like Degraves St to see it sparkling at night. You’ll also find building projections on The Forum and the Town Hall creating a really cool vibe in the evening.
Of course there’s so much more to see and do in Melbourne! I would also suggest a visit to Crown Casino and a walk along the Yarra River towards Birrarung Marr for the Christmas Carnival. The atmosphere of a summer Christmas is different but still electric as long as you’re willing to seek out the places that inspire you. Wishing you all a wonderful festive season, wherever in the world you may be!