Public Holidays: None Season: Autumn Average Temperatures: 16.7 - 8.6 degrees Celsius
Once the month of May in Melbourne rolls around, a fairly dramatic drop in temperature can be noticed within such a short amount of time from April. The monthly average maximum during the day drops almost 4 whole degrees celsius, with minimums likewise falling from 13.2 to an average of just over 10 degrees, making them slightly chilly but still very bearable.
While Autumn is still carrying on, the changes in scenery continue as the winter months rapidly begin their approach, and May, and while the days are still fairly warm, you can pretty much rule out participating in any watersports-based activities as the water temperature will most likely be too cold to be comfortable by May. On the bright side, with its huge array of restaurants, attractions and cultural exhibits, there are still plenty of things to do in Melbourne in May in the city itself – plus, as one of the true “sports capitals” of the world, if you have even a passing interest in sports and sports history, Melbourne is definitely the place to take advantage of it.
As the weather can be so unpredictable during May, it's a good idea to have a variety of indoor and outdoor options open for any one day so that you can change your travel plans accordingly; fortunately Melbourne is very diverse and has something for everyone with quality art galleries, an endless array of shops and markets, many and varied dining options, a vibrant nightlife and much more – and this is just inside the city. If you're willing to travel further then your options expand accordingly, as it's quite easy to make a side trip to one of the region's national parks to take in the rugged beauty of this Victorian area. Some of our recommended most popular things to do in Melbourne in May include:
Take a tour of the MCG – While Melbourne is home to some of Australia's most famed and widely-renowned sporting venues and arenas, none of them can top the city's ultimate sporting icon – the Melbourne Cricket Ground (or MCG). Don't let the stadium's name confuse you; while it has been host to many top-level cricket matches over the years, it is far from solely a cricketing venue – the Commonwealth and Olympic Games, World Cup and countless AFL (Aussie Rules Football) Grand Finals have all been held within this historic sporting venue. Reflective of the proud sporting culture of the city at large, the MCG is a huge venue that still manages to retain a feeling of friendly intimacy, with an unmatched atmosphere from the huge crowds attending that can only be truly appreciated by paying a visit there yourself.
Numerous tours are available that allow those with an interest to go behind the scenes of the facility, sit in the coach's boxes, visit the change rooms and media centres and much more for a quintessential MCG and sporting experience. Also contained within the stadium is the National Spots Museum which contains some of the most priceless pieces of historical sporting memorabilia in all of Australia. The MCG isn't strictly for sporting enthusiasts however; the sheer level of significance that the stadium has in Aussie culture makes it have an impact on non-sports-fans as well.
Visit Werribee Open Range Zoo – While the word “unique” is thrown around fairly freely when describing zoos and animal parks, Werribee Open Range Zoo in Melbourne can truly support this claim as a venue that sets itself apart from most others in the rest of Australia due to its distinctive layout style. Based around the concept of emulating an authentic African savannah without having to travel the several thousand kilometres that it would actually require, Werribee Zoo is situated over a vast area of 225 hectares worth of open savannah just 30 minutes from the Melbourne CBD.
The zoo takes special care to create realistic displays and strives to provide a huge variety of safari-style animals on show. While there is the option for visitors to walk about the zoo on foot, the highlight that many people praise is the special safari tour (the cost of which is included in the price of admission) which takes you on a ride through the various habitats of rhinos, zebras, giraffes, hippos, antelopes and more. Werribee is a great place to visit in May due to its consistent quality, wide spaces and reasonable price of entry.
The National Art Gallery of Victoria - A perfect destination for those colder or rainy days in Melbourne in May, the National Art Galley of Victoria provides a much-needed dose of culture for those visiting the city and is easily accessible from most accommodation facilities due to its central location in the middle of Melbourne's CBD. The oldest art gallery in the country, this pristine and beautiful testament to human creativity is one of the pride and joys of Melbourne, and is filled with fantastic exhibitions and visually impressive art displays all-year-round. Its series of modern, well-lit galleries ensures every piece of artwork and sculpture is illuminated to the best possible effect, whilst the displays themselves are wide and varied which ensures that there is continually something on display for all fans of not only art, but culture in general as well.
The gallery's physical building itself is a veritable work of art, with a slick and modern presentation that accurately reflects its contents inside, and a stunning stained-glass ceiling which adorns the top of its main room while adding an extra layer of artistry to what is already a very worthwhile Melbourne attraction. Regardless of if you visit in May or another month of the year, there is always something interesting happening at the Gallery – plus most of the exhibitions are free, making for a great place to visit as a backup plan if the cold or rain disrupts your existing plans for the day.
These are just a few of the most popular things to do in Melbourne in May – for a full catalogue of even more activities, attractions and tours to participate in, be sure to check out our main region page for more information!