Father's Day

Top Tips for a Tip-Top Dad’s Day in Melbourne



From sporting types to culture kings and dads with a hipster edge, Melbourne has something to tickle the fancy of fathers from all walks of life. With all of the following and more to choose from, there is no excuse not to make this Father’s Day (3 September 2017) one to remember.

Sporty Dad

As Australia’s sporting capital, Melbourne boasts a plethora of sports for dads to get involved in, whether he’s an active dad or more the spectating type. Australia’s greatest sporting moments are immortalised at the National Sports Museum, and a trip here is sure to ignite Dad’s passion. While he reminisces about ‘that’ sporting moment, kids can put their skills to the test in the interactive gallery, Game On! The museum is housed below the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and with no matches scheduled for Father’s Day, families can take a tour of the iconic venue. Covering otherwise off-limits areas, from the player change rooms to the edge of the hallowed turf, the tour offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the stadium’s inner sanctum.Melbourne Bike Share invites cyclists to make the most of the city’s cycle paths –while practicing for Cadel Evans’ Great Ocean Road Race, set to return in January 2018. After dropping the bikes off near Melbourne Park, tennis-loving fathers can hire a court and have a hit on the very surface that Federer, Djokovic, Murray and the like play on during the Australian Open. Out of town: Phillip Island is the destination for sporty dads as it is full of family-friendly adventure activities. Here, Dad and the kids can surf, fish and zoom around the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit Go Kart Track.

Hipster Dad

Forget breakfast in bed, Hipster Dad would prefer to eat his organic free range eggs at one of Fitzroy or Collingwood’s uber cool cafes. Archie’s All Day Diner and Industry Beans are solid options. Both are near to the Rose Street Market where a gamut of hand-crafted gifts can be found for last-minute sons and daughters. 

Father’s Day is Family Day at Collingwood Children’s Farm where pony rides, tractor rides, guinea pig cuddles and the chance to help milk the cow are all on offer. Hipster dads will feel right at home, sipping a takeaway coffee from The Farm Cafe while the kids make the most of the activities.  

Older kids can join dad for an afternoon or evening performance of The Book of Mormon at the Princess Theatre (on until 4 November 2017). The first musical by South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, this cheeky production has received rave reviews all over the globe. 

Out of town: A country drive to Kyneton makes for a memorable family outing. The main village on Piper Street is oozing with rustic charm and gourmet eateries. Those looking to make a weekend of it can find a house to stay at among the eight luxury Flop House properties dotted around the region.

Culture Kings

The Australian Centre of the Moving Image (ACMI) has Father’s Day sorted for dads with a bent for art and culture. Currently showing Wallace and Gromit & Friends: the Magic of Aardman (until 29 October 2017), the whole family can venture behind the scenes of one of the world’s most-loved animation studios. 

As part of its Family Sundays program, ACMI will host Smart Stories, where families can learn how to generate a choose-your-own adventure narrative, write and animate their own storybook, craft a comic book and take part in an interactive storytelling session. Award-winning children’s author and illustrator Shaun Tan will also give a brief talk on writing and illustrating at 11am.

A 20 minute drive from the city, Heide Museum of Modern Art will enthral culture kings with its contemporary art displayed across three gallery spaces. Dad can take in its current exhibition Call of the Avant-Garde: Constructivism and Australian Art (until 8 October 2017), while the kids take on the Heide Detective challenge. Heide is renowned for its expansive gardens dotted with sculptures, and a stroll through the grounds is a must.

Disney’s Aladdin – the hit musical – is captivating audiences of all ages at Her Majesty’s Theatre (on until 3 December 2017). Touted as ‘The must see show of the year’, cultural dads will dig an evening (or matinee) performance. 

Out of town: Castlemaine is renowned for its eclectic arts scene set amid a history rich in gold. Dad can check out local artists’ studios and see major Australian and international works at the Castlemaine Art Musem before stopping in at The Mill for a coffee or beer.

sand blow sunset

Bored and broke? Here’s 15 fabulous freebies for the summer holidays!

CHRISTMAS can pack a punch when it comes to the purse strings, so we’ve hit the streets and come up with 15 fun freebies in south east Queensland. Trust us, these activities won’t hurt your wallet as you head towards the tail end of the summer holidays.

  1. How well do you really know Brisbane? When it comes to street art, Brisbane has some serious swagger, so book in a free walking tour with the eclectic bunch from Brisbane Greeters. All you need to do is BYO a water bottle, a hat and your selfie stick to record your adventures.
  2. Moreton Bay shines in the summer months, so head to Manly for a Wednesday Afternoon Go Sailing (WAGS) adventure with the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron. There’s no such thing as a free ride though, so come prepared to learn the ropes and hit the decks running as part of the crew.  You must be over 18 to participate.
  3. The Gallery of Modern Art is air-conditioned and gorgeously situated on the Brisbane River but best of all, they run a free children’s art centre… who knows, you might just unearth the next Archibald winner.
  4. Pack a picnic, some snags and your utensils and head to the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, New Farm Park or one of a hundred other choice spots around the state and take advantage of the free council barbecues.  You’ve got to plan this one well in advance to get the choicest spot!
  5. Did somebody say road trip? South east Queensland is blessed with great national parks, bushlands and swimming holes, so hit the road and take the family.  Coomba Falls at Maidenwell, Girraween National Park at Ballandean and Lake Leslie at Warwick are just three of spots you could pick.
  6. Head to Brisbane’s Powerhouse for their knock-off Fridays free comedy sessions.  Just check in first to make sure they’re family friendly.
  7. Slip into farm life at Maleny Dairies. Did you know they run a tour of their farm and factory that’s perfect for kids?  Cue the cuteness.
  8. For the adventurers amongst us, get up with the sparrows and climb to the top of Mount Coolum to catch the sunrise – it’s worth the climb!
  9. It’s free to enter the Yandina Ginger Factory on the Sunshine Coast and to visit their annual Ginger Flower and Food Festival which runs from January 18-20.  Once inside, jump aboard ‘Moreton’ the ginger train for a puff around the gardens.
  10. Head to the fabulous beaches in and along the Noosa Heads Coastal Track and keep your eyes peeled for koalas in the treetops above the trail.
  11. Grab your stand-up paddleboards and take to any of the sheltered waterways in the Great South East.
  12. Go for a Sunday Drive any day of the week – after all you’re on holidays! Wind your way up Mount Tamborine, along the coast at Rainbow Beach (and catch a sunset at Carlo Sand Blow) or take to the hills in theSunshine hinterland.
  13. Queensland’s full of BIG things… plan a road trip and tick a few off your bucket list including these: The Big Cow, Nambour; The Big Hard Rock Guitar, Surfers Paradise; The Big Macadamia Nut, Nambour;  The Big Pelican, Noosaville; The Big Pie, Yatala; and The Big Pyramid, Stanthorpe.
  14. Streets Beach in Southbank Parklands is a popular watering hole in summer… but there are also some pretty cool pockets of parkland on the river that are perfect for relaxing.  Go early to get your pick of the bunch.
  15. Brisbane’s City Hall Tours are free-of-charge — the 120-year-old pipe organ alone is worth a gander!


PHOTO: Carlo Sand Blow at Rainbow Beach by Alan Jensen, courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland.