Stay safe, check with individual businesses or event organisers for the latest info and follow advice from the Victorian Government before heading out.
Delve beneath the surface, and there’s a world of weirdness to discover in Melbourne. Take a walk on the wild side with these offbeat things to do in the city.
Visit the city's first axe-throwing bar
Melbourne's first - and we'd hazard to say only - axe-throwing bar just opened on Elizabeth Street. From the outside, Maniax looks like a black tunnel into nowhere. Approach the stairs and you're met with a dazzling neon sculpture. Head down and learn how to throw from the pros in a purpose-designed axe arena. Then refuel with pizza, cocktails and craft beer in the separate bar.
See an eerie exhibit in an abandoned ballroom
After years in the dark, the mysterious Flinders Street Station ballroom has finally reopened to visitors. Inside you'll find an epic exhibition by renowned artist Patricia Piccinini. Wander endless rooms filled with eerie creatures, towering installations and hauntingly beautiful displays. Back from 8 November.
Get chased by zombies
Put on your VR headset and pick up your free-roam controller. Then be transported to a virtual world at Zero Latency. Fend off undead swarms in Zombie Survival. Or fight to the death against killer robots in Singularity, lost in the depths of space. Choose your adventure in this huge virtual-reality gaming arena. You’ll be amazed by the ‘reality’ of this immersive experience.
See the future in a secret magic shop
The Nicholas Building's most mystical hidden treasure is definitely Muses Of Mystery. Climb the stairs (or jump in the iconic heritage lifts) to level 2 to find this world of wonders. Peruse unique items like purifying sage, obsidian hearts and even burnable 'hell money'. You can also book for a tarot reading or reiki healing session.
Pay homage to Elvis at the cemetery
The closest the King of Rock and Roll got to Australia was Hawaii. But no matter, Elvis Presley is honoured with a shrine in the Melbourne General Cemetery. It’s believed to be the only authorised Elvis memorial outside the US. Commissioned by Presley’s Victorian fan club, the landscaped grotto was unveiled by rock legend Johnny O’Keefe in 1977.
Shop for scorpions and skulls in Melbourne’s wonder chamber
Wondering what to buy the person who has everything? A framed set of scorpions, perhaps, or a beautiful handmade kaleidoscope. You’ll find them at Wunderkammer. The many cabinets of curiosities in this unique little store are filled with weird and wonderful things. Taxidermy, skulls, fossils and archaic scientific instruments are just the beginning.
Live like a pirate
To get your pirate on, heave ho to the Mission to Seafarers. Get some liquid courage under your belt and sing-along to rousing sea shanties. Join in the chorus or even take the lead on a rousing rendition of ‘Popeye the Sailor Man’. Or be entertained by a pirate cabaret dinner brought to you by Queens of the Damned. Expect a night of swashbuckling burlesque and cut-throat comedy.
Visit a gallery frozen in the 19th century
Multi-award-winning, critically acclaimed and held at an undisclosed East Melbourne location. The Johnston Collection is quite literally a hidden gem. The home’s maze of rooms are filled top to bottom with all that’s gilded and antique. Think chequerboard floors, glittering chandeliers and portraits of ruffle-necked figures. The special house museum hosts exhibitions and events year-round. Like Objects of My Affection, showcasing items from the founder’s amazing collection.
Discover hidden coin booth karaoke
Private karaoke rooms and the odd open mic night are pretty well-known in Melbourne. Mini coin-operated singing booths? Not so common. Enter Kono, a hidden gem lined with disco-lit nooks perfect for solo or small group singing. Regulars can be heard singing along to BUZZ ballads in perfect Korean, but there’s a bumper book of English tunes to pick from, too.
Order cocktails in Berlin
Will it be the glitz and glam of the West? Or the Soviet-styled shadows of the East? The choice is yours at Berlin Bar. Start your cocktail adventure in West Berlin, with its opulent decor and drinking booths. Then enter the darker world of East Berlin, with its agitprop posters and portraits of Uncle Joe. Find the door, ring the bell and fire your imagination. Welcome to Berlin.
Leave reality behind in an escape room
Want weird rather than everyday challenges? Find the clues and solve the puzzles posed by Melbourne’s perplexing escape rooms. Bring a team along to Trapt to journey through the wonderful world of Oz. Dial up the fear factor to explore the paranormal world of Annabelle at Lost in Melbourne. Or use your critical thinking skills to unlock the Odditorium at Escape Hunt.
More unique Melbourne experiences
Large bar and grill that serves up an American southern-style steakhouse menu.
This historic building is home to an eclectic mix of galleries, boutiques and artists.
Melbourne's most instagrammable shops
Our guide to the best looking shops in Melbourne, guaranteed to light up your Instagram feed.
Last updated on Wed 29 Dec 2021
Sign up to What's On weekly
Thanks for signing up!
8 experiences that make you a true Melburnian
Plenty of Melbourne’s attractions are well known. Here's our guide to getting off the beaten track.
Hidden gems to visit in Docklands
From secret wine bars to amazing art galleries, Docklands offers more than meets the eye.
Iconic Melbourne experiences
Waterside views, hidden bars and amazing exhibitions.