The Best Of Melbourne Online

Wednesday April 8th, 2020

Here’s how to stay connected to Melbourne from the couch. Featuring culture, art, food, animals and more.

Check out What’s On Melbourne’s extended list of everything virtual Melbourne has to offer.

Put a KAWS companion in your house with the NGV

If you didn’t make it to the KAWS exhibition at NGV International, never fear. Enjoy this limited edition virtual KAWS installation in your living room. Download the Acute Art app and take a KAWS companion with you, wherever you are. Isolation got a little less lonely.

Live stream the Zoo’s cutest residents

Penguins, giraffes, baby snow leopards. No matter where you are right now, you can get constant cuteness from Melbourne Zoo’s Animal House. Work-from-home hack: switch on the TV, play the stream in the background and you’ve got yourself a whole new cast of colleagues.

The neck and head of a giraffe visible over a fence

Um sorry can we take that again, I wasn’t ready. What do you mean it’s a video? It’s LIVE? I need a better agent.

Learn life skills with the virtual laneway crew

Learn how to crochet, ferment veggies, manage your finances and more with Laneway Learning‘s online classes. For $9 you can learn how to make Macramé Wall Hangers. Or sketch your iso buddy with Perfect Portraits for Absolute Newbs.

Live fish TV at Sea Life Aquarium

Watch the gentoo and king penguins play in their icy home and tune in for feeding time. Download penguin activities to keep the kids entertained. Live stream clam as the mesmerizing jellyfish pulse through the Ocean Invaders exhibit. Or sign up for the virtual VIP tour under the sea. Check in for future live streaming to catch shark feeding time, tropical fish or turtle cam.

Melbourne Museum at home

If the kids are going around the bend, go behind the scenes at one of Melbourne’s most important cultural institutions. Explore a growing list of virtual tours, from Phar Lap to forest secrets. Get nostalgic about the city with the Marvellous Melbourne exhibition. Or challenge your mates to find the weirdest thing in the museum’s item collection. Our pick is this fancy crepe toilet paper from the 1940s. See other wonders from the Museum at Home collection.

Three rolls of retro toilet paper on a white background

Times are tough, but we still wouldn’t use this ancient TP. Pic thanks to the Museums Victoria Collections.

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra free concerts

Bach at home for a while? The MSO invites music lovers to keep the music going with a special online premiere concert series every Thursday evening. No crowds, plenty of chords. Keep an eye on the MSO’s website and YouTube channel for more concert updates.

Virtually redecorate with Flinders Lane Gallery

Sick of your walls? Virtually revamp with Flinders Lane Gallery. Just snap a pic of your wall in need and email Choose a piece to try, or leave it to the experts. Don’t forget the wall measurements and any styles, colours or influences. Then sit back and wait for pics of your art-filled dream home to hit your inbox.

A night the opera

Tune in every Wednesday night for never-before-seen Virtual Victorian Opera from the archives. Plus premiere performances and interviews from artists in isolation.

At home Thai cooking class

If your weekly uber eats is teetering into daily territory, you need BangPop. This fresh and funky Thai food haven is going digital and hosting a 2-hour chef-led cooking class. Master Pad Thai and  papaya salad in a single streaming sesh. Ingredients are delivered to your door before the class, so you don’t even need to brave the supermarket.

Melbourne Recital Centre free concerts

Not to be outdone, the MRC are taking over Friday and Saturday nights with their Sound and Vision series. Stay in and see the likes of the Flinders Quartet performing Mendelssohn; ELISION performing If the Gods came down to earth…; and Gabrieli Consort performing Purcell’s King Arthur. Your cultural development is now super convenient.

Get geeky with Games Laboratory

If you’re not quite ready to lower yourself to Tik Tok for entertainment, dip your toe in the waters of Youth Culture and try out Twitch. Games Laboratory usually hosts IRL gaming events (think Magic the Gathering and D&D), but for now the team is entertaining fans online. Stream away your lunch hour with Games Lab on Twitch: play chess, paint mini figurines and more. Who knows, you might come out on the other side of isolation with a niche new hobby.

A table with different toys and board game pieces on it

Join the streaming fun with Games Lab on Twitch

Virtual vinyasa with Little Mandarin

You might not be climbing the iconic stairs of the Nicholas Building any time soon, but you can still visit some of its tenants online. Little Mandarin, known for tranquil aerial yoga, is now offering a (grounded) schedule of live-stream classes. They are easy to book and join from home so you can work your way to wellness.

Online music lessons

Not an at-home gym kinda person? Try The Music Gym instead. Each 30-minute session is centred around your needs, leaving you with a music workout that’ll have you flexing your new skills in no time.

ACMI’s free Virtual Melbourne Cinémathèque

Take a break from bingeing old Breaking Bad (or the Gilmore Girls, no judgment here) with Virtual Melbourne Cinémathèque. This weekly free film club will screen movies chosen by the learned minds behind ACMI and the Melbourne Cinémathèque Committee. Check ACMI’s social accounts every Tuesday for the announcement of that week’s title, and download Metastream to watch along with mates. There’s never been a better time to become a film snob.

DIY taco kits from Hello Jose can be delivered to your door

Lockdown Getdown

Heaps of live music gigs and acts have been cancelled recently, as a quick glance at I Lost My Gig can attest. Lockdown Getdown is encouraging you to support musicians big and small from your own home, and it’s so easy to do you’re probably already doing it! Stream your fave artists as much as possible, upgrade to a paid streaming service (if you can) or create a lockdowngetdown playlist to share far and wide. Every play counts, so it’s time to score your life like it’s a brand new blockbuster hit (where the main character stays inside all day).