Top 5 Open House Melbourne Picks

By Emily Tatti on 26 Jul 2013
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This weekend marks Melbourne’s sixth Open House event, when 111 of the city’s most fascinating historical buildings and modern landmarks are open to the public.  

Last year’s event – the biggest of its kind in Australia – attracted 135,000 visitors, all curious to catch a glimpse inside spaces normally closed off to the community.

Crowds are expected again this year, so to help you put together a plan for the weekend, we’ve picked our top five buildings to visit.

Royal Melbourne Hospital Tunnels and Towers
Grattan Street, Parkville
Open: 10am to 4pm – Saturday and Sunday

Not only do visitors on this tour get to go behind the scenes to see how RMH operates, but they also have the rare opportunity to take a guided tour through the subterranean tunnels underneath the hospital, which once served as Melbourne’s first air raid shelters. Photographers should be particularly keen for this one – you will travel up to the Level 9 helipad, where there is a beautiful, unobstructed view of Melbourne’s skyline, soon to be blocked by the construction of the Cancer Centre.

This is expected to be a very popular tour, so arrive early if you can.

The Hotel Windsor
111 Spring Street, Melbourne
10am to 3pm – Saturday and Sunday

The Hotel Windsor has been a Melbourne icon since its construction in 1883. In its time, the striking five star hotel has hosted famous guests such as Katharine Hepburn, Meryl Streep, Muhammad Ali and Kylie Minogue.

Visitors will be able to explore the hotel’s original staircase and guest lifts, the Grand Ballroom and one of the luxurious Victorian suites. Tickets should be collected from 9:45am each morning in order to secure a tour time. Unfortunately missing out on a ticket will mean missing out on a tour.

Como House and Garden
Cnr Williams Road and Lechlade Avenue, South Yarra
10am to 4pm – Saturday and Sunday

This beautiful Australian Regency house was built in 1847 by one of the country’s wealthiest families, and it is still preserved with their original furniture. Normally open for bookings and special functions only, Open House Melbourne will allow visitors to freely wander the servants’ quarters, the magnificent grounds and the house itself. This could also be a nice break away from the more congested open buildings in the city centre, especially if you have the kids along for the ride.

LEGO Education Centre
Shop 5/439 Docklands Drive, Docklands
11am to 3pm – Saturday and Sunday

A number of fun children’s activities will be happening during the weekend, but the LEGO Education Centre’s Green City Challenge might be the best.  Families will be invited to build their ultimate green city on a 25cm x 25cm LEGO base. The finished designs will be put on display in a central area. Go along and join in on the LEGO fun!

Channel 9 Studios
717 Bourke Street, Docklands
10am to 3pm – Saturday only

Have you always wanted to sit behind Peter Hitchener’s news desk? Not only will you be allowed to do so on this tour, but you’ll enjoy the full news anchor experience – cameras, autocue and lights will all be set up, so you can have your photo taken as if you’re reading the news.

This is the first time the Channel 9 Studios have been included on the itinerary. It’s sure to be a highlight.

Open House Tip: Throughout the weekend, Open House Melbourne will be using the hashtags #Queue and #NoQueue in their Twitter updates to help you plan your itinerary around the crowds. 

Open House Melbourne takes place on July 27 and 28.


About the Author

Emily Tatti is a writer and editor with a Bachelor of Creative Arts and a Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing. She has a strong interest in the arts industry, and has contributed to publications such as Lip Magazine and Kill Your Darlings.

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