Winter winds up in Melbourne in August in an enjoyable fashion, as the whole city generally gets caught up in sports fever whilst the AFL (Aussie Rules Football) Premiership and championship take place in the birthplace of the sport.
Melbourne in August at a Glance: Public Holidays: None Season: Winter Average Temperatures: 14.9 – 6.6 degrees Celsius
Much like July, temperatures remain chilly and it's advisable to bring warm clothing for those days where you'll need to “rug up”. August can also be wet, although the changes in climate over recent years have made the weather extremely unpredictable, with “multiple seasons” often occurring during the course of a single day. Regardless, this season is one of the best times to visit Melbourne if you can tolerate colder weather due to the lack of crowds and absence of any school holidays; in addition, the ski and snow season is still in full swing until the end of August for those looking to participate in winter sports. The nearby fields of Mt Buller are still bustling at this time, and making a trip there is still a worthwhile addition to any Melbourne holiday.
Meanwhile in Melbourne city itself, the August environment makes for a pretty and pleasant atmosphere that, while cold, tends to look very beautiful on overcast or foggy days that help add an extra touch of dewy charm to the many lovely displays of greenery that can be found throughout; the various parks and gardens of Melbourne remain at their floral best during winter. Some of the most popular attractions to visit and things to do in and around Melbourne in August include:
Take the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne to Adelaide
For an extremely scenic experience that will let you stay in the comfortable heating of your car or tour bus, the drive from Melbourne to Adelaide along the route that includes the Great Ocean Road is a must-do in the winter months, with August being as good a month as any to make the journey. Before embarking on the trip, bear in mind that it is likely to take a good 3 days in order to make the most of the many sights and landmarks that the route has to offer along the way rather than just solid driving.
Expect to encounter numerous highlights throughout the course of the trip including not only the incredibly scenic and rugged coastline but natural and geological formations such as the Twelve Apostles, the Grampians National Park (a great stop for hiking!) and the chance to encounter the rare White Western Grey Kangaroo at Bordertown.
Tours that are available include meals, 2 night's worth of accommodation, all national park fees and informative commentary provided by an expert guide which will ensure you don't miss out on a thing along the way. Depending on the activities you are planning along the way, it may be a good idea to bring sturdy walking shoes for hiking, a well-insulated waterproof jacket and pants to protect yourself from the sometimes-cold August elements.
If you're looking for a dose of Aussie colonial history, Sovereign Hill in Victoria's Ballarat is an easily reachable destination from Melbourne that takes the shape of an internationally-renowned heritage park. A living, “outdoor museum”, Sovereign Hill aims to recreate the settings and atmosphere of the 1850's Gold Rush period, being not only entertaining but also educational and informative, making it a great destination to take the kids.
With more than enough attractions to fill a whole day, including such era-staples as panning for gold, sampling the traditionally-crafted produce of old-time bakeries, sweet shops, tea rooms and blacksmiths, Sovereign Hill provides a substantial amount of entertainment that makes for a refreshing change from all the run-of-the-mill attractions that can be found elsewhere.
It's easy to become immersed in the settings as enthusiastic and friendly actors that are dressed in authentic period-accurate attire roam the streets and work in the shops which contribute to the lively atmosphere and realism of the township. They'll gladly pose for photographs with visitors, and put on a series of impromptu shows throughout the day that are very entertaining to watch, as well as a number of scheduled demonstrations and displays at regular intervals; a timetable of which is provided with your map you will receive upon entry.
Enjoy the last month of the ski season at Mt Buller
As August winds up, the conditions of the ski fields at Mt Buller are still typically reliable for both beginners and the advanced alike. As the closest ski resort to Melbourne, Mt Buller is reachable in around a 3 hour drive from the city centre, making day trips possible but longer trips are advised if you want to get the most out of the conditions on offer. In addition to natural falls, snowmaking equipment is installed at the resort which helps ensure there is an abundance of reliable, skiable snow until later on in the ski season.
With comprehensive ski hire services, a regular ski patrol, ski school and some of the best terrain in Australia for both skiers and snowboarders, Mt Buller ranks as a world-class ski resort. While it can get crowded in peak season, the resort aims to deal with this by having 25 lifts and the ability to move around 40,000 skiers per hour to help keep lines moving. Plenty of accommodation is also available at the facility of varying kinds that aim to cater to different budgets.
These are just a few of the most popular activities to participate in in Melbourne in August - for a full catalogue of even more things to do in Melbourne throughout the different months of the year, be sure to check out our main region page!