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November 1, 2021

Return of the NGV: Cultural Places to Visit in Melbourne Post-Lockdown

Every day we’re getting more access to the Melbourne we love as COVID restrictions ease: here are our recommendations for the top places to feature in your next day out.

First came the picnics, then came the restaurants, and now, museums and galleries are slowly opening back up across Melbourne. Although many of these places offered virtual experiences over lockdown, there’s nothing quite like walking among the artworks and artefacts, so here’s a list of some of our favourite cultural spaces and what they’re offering now we can visit them in person.

National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)

As Melbourne’s premiere institution for exploring Australian and international art, the NGV has been sorely missed by local culture lovers. Fortunately, the NGV is set to reopen both the NGV International on St Kilda Road and the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square this Wednesday November 3.

The NGV has several exciting exhibitions, all of which will be available until the early months of 2022. At the NGV International, Camille Henrot: Is Today Tomorrow is the first major survey of the contemporary artist’s work in Australia, featuring humorous and interactive pieces that reference online second-hand marketplaces, psychoanalysis, and social media to ‘question what it means to be at once a private individual and a global subject’. Meanwhile, at the Ian Potter Centre, Big Weather draws on a wide variety of works by contemporary Indigenous artists to highlight the ‘sophisticated appreciation of weather systems that exists within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural knowledge’, unpacking First Nations perspectives on ideas like the creation of the landscape and responses to climate change.

The NGV will also continue to offer many online events for those unable to make the visit in person, including a virtual talk on a newly acquired artwork by Casper-favourite artist, Joy Hester, this Wednesday.

Check out their website here.


Pt. Leo Estate

Tucked away on the Westernport-side of the Mornington Peninsula, Pt. Leo Estate has all the makings of a sophisticated day out. The 50-acre vineyard curves across landscape, producing perfect glasses of Pinot Noir and Shiraz to enjoy while overlooking the Bay and Philip Island. What makes Pt. Leo Estate super unique though is the expansive Sculpture Park, featuring some 60 works by Australian and international artists including Jaume Plensa, KAWS, and Deborah Halpern. Take a stroll across the property among the tall figures and geometric shapes.

Pt. Leo Estate features two grand dining experiences – the Pt. Leo Restaurant, which reopened in late October, and Laura, which will return from this Friday November 5. Places are limited, so be sure to book ahead to secure your reservation.

Check out their website here.

Museums Victoria

Whether you’re intrigued by history, science, or culture, the amazing venues of Museums Victoria – including Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, and IMAX Melbourne – have opened their doors for us once again. Play around with the interactive installations, be fascinated by new knowledge, and spend quality time sharing the wonder with family and friends.

Melbourne Museum’s current star exhibition is Treasures of the Natural World, featuring ‘some of the world’s biggest, rarest, oldest, and most fascinating treasures’ on loan from the London Natural History Museum. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get up close and personal with natural artefacts renown across the world, like a 200-million-year-old Ichthyosaurus fossil.

Museums Victoria venues are currently offering pre-booked, 90-minute tickets for each of their venues to ensure everyone has a chance to visit safely.

Check out their website here.

 

Whether you want to fully immerse yourself in new ideas or enjoy some leisurely time among interesting culture, we hope your new time out of the house restores your spirit and reignites your curiosity.

If you’re looking for a scrumptious lunch or delicious dinner to accompany your culture trips, check out our list of the 10 Best Restaurants in Melbourne that have returned after lockdown. And for those of you in New South Wales (or elsewhere, but looking forward to travel), check out our similar list of suggestions for places to visit in Sydney.

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