Welcome to the Melbourne Arts Precinct

The Melbourne Arts Precinct is alive for The Weekend–here’s just a slice of what’s on offer in this vibrant precinct.

Start at Federation Square with a look Behind the Scenes, making your way through the hidden network of tunnels and labyrinth maze underneath the Square. Continue within Federation Square with a visit ACMI Media Preservation Lab for a tour and screening to learn about the techniques used for the preservation of for a range of analogue and digital time-based media and complex software-based games and artefacts.

While at ACMI, check out the premiere of a new episode of Modern Melbourne (in ACMI Cinema) a series which documents our most important architects and designers. This episode focuses on the work of Maggie Edmond AM, followed by a Q&A.

Still within Fed Square, visit the Koorie Heritage Trust in the Birrarung Building for a guided tour of this important, culturally significant space.

Grab something to eat at the big communal tables of Big Esso by Mabu Mabu, then head to the Fed Square river front for a walking tour to Get to Know the Greenline Project, which aims to transform four kilometres of the northern bank of the Yarra River – Birrarung.

On the other side of the bridge, meet at Inge King’s iconic Forward Surge sculpture to learn about the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation with a walking tour of the largest cultural infrastructure project in Australia’s history and learn about what’s ahead, including the new 18,000-square-metre urban garden, significant upgrades to Arts Centre Melbourne and the new contemporary art and design gallery, The Fox: NGV Contemporary.

Go behind the scenes at the home of Melbourne Theatre Company at Southbank Theatre, and make your way to Melbourne Recital Centre to explore the acoustics of the striking Elisabeth Murdoch Hall. Take a look at the nearby Dodds Street Linear Park, a remarkable space which is taking shape between Grant Street and Southbank Boulevard.

Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) will be open with tours and conversations encompassing the iconic architecture of the building and also the current exhibition, Future Remains: The 2024 Macfarlane Commissions.

Wander through Buxton Contemporary and view a striking new group exhibition The Same Crowd Never Gathers Twice.

Shaping Remembrance: Exploring Alternative Visions for the Shrine invites you to consider how art and architecture can shape remembrance. Ninety years since the official opening of Melbourne’s grand Shrine of Remembrance, hear from architecture experts and tour the building.

At the Royal Botanic Gardens, wander through Plant Craft Cottage. Built in 1851 and set within a beautiful cottage garden, the cottage is the oldest building in a public space in Victoria. Take a break at Jardin Tan for lunch and a cocktail, or The Terrace café for delicious brunch and lunch options. If you have the kids with you let them run around on the grass of the Gardens before you move on to your next mission.

They’ll also love checking out Play! in the City, a self-guided tour of some of the City of Melbourne’s most innovative and engaging playgrounds and spaces.

To further explore Melbourne’s arts precinct, Lovell Chen invites you to RE/DISCOVER the area from a different perspective.

Meanders up and down natural and created undulations… from a secluded grass terrace at the Arts Centre Melbourne granting unencumbered 180 degree views to the bunkered performers’ entrance of a burrowed concert hall; from gazing out, eye-level with Rod Laver Arena’s retractable roof to edging carefully by the surface of the Birrarung (Yarra River).

There are 6 points at which to pause during the walk, all offering less-familiar views of the city and the institutions feeding its cultural life.

Estimated time to complete the circuit 1.5-2 hours.

Pick up a copy of the tour at the Open House Melbourne Info Hub (located in front of the Town Hall) or download your copy today.

Download Stroll on the South Side

Melbourne Arts Precinct Program

To keep up to date on the Melbourne Arts Precinct transformation and what’s happening in Fed Square, explore here–have a great Weekend!

A room with a table in the center with computers and film reels on it. The back wall is filled with shelves filled with film reels , screens and other equipment there are desks with tech equipment and screens along the side walls. 2 people in lab coats are in working in the space.
Open Access, Building Tour
ACMI Media Preservation Lab tour and screening

Saturday 27 July, Sunday 28 July

An orange coloured sculpture is positioned on top of a foam mattress. The objects are on a grey floor.
Open Access, Talk/Presentation, Exhibition
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA)

Saturday 27 July, Sunday 28 July

Black and white image of a tall city building with trees and a human figure performing trapeze in the foreground.
Exhibition, Open Access
Buxton Contemporary: The Same Crowd Never Gathers Twice

Saturday 27 July, Sunday 28 July

Image of Federation Square with people walking through the public square and Melbourne city buildings in the background.
Building Tour, Site Tour
Fed Square: Behind the Scenes tour

Saturday 27 July, Sunday 28 July

Greenline Master Plan Artist Impression
Walking Tour
Get to Know the Greenline Project

Saturday 27 July, Sunday 28 July

Architectural space with two people sitting on a modernist red settee underneath a silvery diagonal structure.  The carpet is organically shaped and red, and the floor is concrete.
Building Tour, Exhibition
Koorie Heritage Trust

Saturday 27 July

Concept render of the future Melbourne Arts Precinct public realm with Arts Centre Melbourne and NGV International behind.
Walking Tour
Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation Tour

Saturday 27 July, Sunday 28 July

Empty seats inside the auditorium of the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall with a view of the stage, the entire venue is wood
Open Access, Building Tour, Talk/Presentation
Melbourne Recital Centre

Saturday 27 July

(1) Image of woman on left wearing teal blouse, and man wearing glasses and green shirt. The pair are leaning over a table looking at imagery in a book, with bookshelves in the background.
Open House Melbourne Event, Film
Modern Melbourne Premiere: Maggie Edmond

Sunday 28 July

Close up of the cast-iron lace at the entrance of the building.
Open Access, Exhibition
Plant Craft Cottage in the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne

Saturday 27 July, Sunday 28 July

Raised timber treehouses are connected by bridges that are encased in rope netting. The treehouse playground is raised atop a series of dark green columns, with walkways circulating the space below. There are large mature trees in the background.
Self Guided Tour
Play! in the City

The Shrine of Remembrance at sunset. This image is collaged with different designs of what the Shrine could have been. The image on the top right features a tall monument light up in the dark. The bottom right is a large winged statue with a rectangular building behind it. The top left design is a large monument with a round amphitheatre in front of it. The design on the bottom left is a curved monument with arches.
Open Access, Building Tour, Exhibition, Live Performance
Shaping Remembrance: Exploring Alternative Visions for the Shrine

Sunday 28 July

An original design render for Southbank Theatre from 2008
Open Access, Building Tour
Southbank Theatre

Saturday 27 July, Sunday 28 July