Image courtesy of Melbourne Aquarium
As much as I don’t mind the odd hike in the rain, it’s not something I generally subject my wife and kids to. In Melbourne’s rainy winter, we tend to stay at home and do a lot of indoor things, but then we miss the adventure and the physical activity.
The answer is to find adventurous things we can do indoors, and Melbourne offers quite a few choices. They might not be as light on the budget as going for a hike, but if you don’t mind spending some coin there’s so much fun to be had.
Skate or ride the indoor skate park at RampFest (Braybrook)
Image courtesy of RampFest
RampFest looks to be Melbourne’s best indoor skate park, featuring 1000 square metres of plywood surfaced floating floor park features. There’s a mini-ramp, box jump and spox, a bowl, quarter pipes and hips, and foam pits and resi landings for trying out new tricks.
There’s something here for every level of experience, and for the less experienced there’s coaching available. They even do birthday parties.
Ice Skating at O’Brien Group Arena (Docklands)
Image courtesy of O’Brien Group Arena
Whether you want to learn to ice skate or you know what you’re doing and just feel like gliding around for a couple of hours, O’Brien Group Arena at Docklands is the coolest place in Melbourne (pun absolutely and shamelessly intended).
They offer free beginners lessons or full on nine to ten-week skate school programs, not to mention a full range of gear for hire including skate aids for the kids (or the less coordinated adults – like me).
If you don’t want to make a day of it at Docklands (this can be an expensive exercise), you can grab a snack and a coffee at the Igloo Café.
Scuba diving with sharks at Melbourne Aquarium (CBD)
Melbourne Aquarium is an excellent place to check out all kinds of amazing sea life, and well worth the visit even if that’s as far as you want to take it.
If you’re an adventure lover, though, it’s hard to stop there since they offer the opportunity to scuba dive with sharks. I watched Lori (my wife) do this back in 2013 and she had the time of her life, swimming among the stingrays, grey nurse sharks, potato sharks, whaler sharks and swordfish.
Putting aside the fact that you’ll be diving in a public tank with aquarium visitors watching you, it’s a rare up-close experience with some incredibly awesome creatures that’s is most definitely unparalleled in Melbourne.
Do more than just bounce at Melbourne’s many trampoline centres
Image courtesy of Bounce
Trampoline centres have become a popular attraction in recent years and that’s no surprise. They’re super fun. Even the ones that just offer trampolines can make for an excellent family day out, but many of them offer so much more.
There are so many options all around Melbourne that I’m obviously not across them all, but here are a few great examples.
- RushHQ in Rowville has a high ropes obstacle course, rock climbing and bouldering, inflatables and a vertical wall run challenge.
- Latitude in Heidelberg has a kid’s play centre, a high ropes course, and indoor climbing.
- Bounce has Victorian locations in Blackburn North, Essendon Fields, and Glen Iris. Depending which Bounce location you choose, you’ll be able to try out the X-Park adventure challenge course, a giant airbag, the Cliff Jump, a vertical wall challenge.
If you’re only looking for somewhere to bounce around, a simple Google search will most likely turn up somewhere relatively close to home for all kinds of trampolining fun.
Indoor Rock Climbing of all kinds at venues all over town
Image courtesy of Cliffhanger
My favourite way to (kind of) emulate the outdoor adventure experience is indoor rock climbing. Apart from being an incredible full body workout, it helps me keep my fear of heights (that seems to be permanently creeping its way back) at bay.
The best indoor rock climbing venue I’ve found in Melbourne is Cliffhanger in Altona, which is home to the highest climbing wall in the southern hemisphere. For somewhere closer to the city (well, in the city to be exact), Hard Rock is a great option too, especially since it offers automatic belay walls for the less hardcore climbers who would rather go it alone (or parents who don’t want to spend their whole visit belaying for the kids).
Another climbing gym with automatic belay is Clip ‘n Climb in Richmond and Moorabbin, but this place is a bit different. Clip ‘n Climb is accessible for all ages and abilities, offering more than 35 colourful climbing challenges that look nothing like traditional climbing walls. I wrote about my first visit in 2017 but we’ve been there many times since.
Stargaze at Melbourne Planetarium (ScienceWorks)
Image courtesy of Melbourne Planetarium
For something a little more relaxing that’ll satisfy some of your outdoor adventure cravings, why not check out Melbourne Planetarium?
With its 16-metre domed ceiling, video projection system and 7.1 surround sound, you’ll be able to look at the stars from the comfort of your reclining seat. Their educational shows are educational and you’ll see so much more than just the night sky.
So long as you don’t mind spending some money, there are active adventures to be had all over town. If you’re budget conscious like us, it’s worth keeping an eye on sites like Groupon and plan our indoor adventures around what’s on sale.
Whichever option you end up choosing, there’s certainly no excuse to stay at home or in your hotel room when it’s raining. Or to be restricted to bars, restaurants, museums and cinemas.
Got any other ideas for adventurous things to do indoors in Melbourne? Or any questions, comments, updates or corrections? Let us know by commenting below.
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