Victoria’s coolest winter festivals and events in 2023


RACV Staff

Posted June 27, 2023

Warm up at these cold-weather festivals and activities around the state.

Winter is that magical time of year when everything cold is new again. Whether enjoying the natural beauty of regional Victoria or dusting off the thermals at pop-up events in Melbourne, there’s a little something for everyone at these festivals, events and activities around Melbourne and regional Victoria this winter season. 

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Winter festivals and events on in Melbourne 2023

Winter Glow Up, venues around Melbourne

Whether you're looking to embrace winter with a mulled wine under twinkling lights in your very own igloo, or you want to escape to Europe without the price tag at a Euro-inspired bottomless brunch, local venues are having a Winter Glow Up that will make you forget all about the cold with these Insta-worthy experiences. 

From a circus-themed bottomless brunch at State of Grace, private igloos at The Wharf, Ball Court and The Station Hotels, Greek-island themed bites at Harlow and famed local produce at Yarra Botanica, book a seat at a Winter Glow Up that will have you celebrating the chilly weather. 

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Running for various dates over winter, 2023. 

Winter Night Market, Melbourne CBD

The much-loved night trade at Queen Victoria Market has become a Wednesday winter tradition for many Melburnians, featuring a wonderland of street food, shopping, live music and hot drinks – did someone say mulled wine?

The open-air sheds naturally get chilly, so rug up – and keep an eye out for a spot near the fire pits.

Running until 30 August, 2023.

The Rink at RISING, Melbourne CBD

As part of the city's annual RISING Festival, head to the pop-up ice rink in Birrarung Marr and skate under a sky full of stars.

Enjoy both alocoholic and non alcoholic winter warmers like boozy hot chocolates, crepes and popcorn before finishing off your experience with a mocktail or cocktail at Melbourne IceBar.

Running until 8 July, 2023.

Eynesbury Winter Festival, Eynesbury

Looking for a free winter festival the whole family can enjoy? The Eynesbury Winter Festival features a pop-up ice rink (bookings recommended) as well as kids activities including cookie decorating, animal encouters and circus performers; markets; live entertainment and fireworks to welcome the winter solstice on July 1, 2023. 

Running from 23 June - 9 July, 2023.

QVM Melbourne

Queen Victoria Markets have a delicious array of food and beverage choices during the winter season. Image: Visit Victoria. 


 Firelight Festival, Docklands

The free Firelight Festival is back, featuring a winter wonderland of fiery installations, spectacular light shows, pop-up food trucks, and family-friendly experiences. 

Featuring over 40 fire pits and drum performances, as well as live fire sculptures, glowing light installations and dazzling street performers over three days of celebrations, make a day of it with a stop at ArtVo or the SEALIFE Aquarium and take in all the Docklands have to offer. 

Running from 30 June – 2 July, 2023. 

Grazeland, Spotswood

Winter comes to the west in this festival that will make you feel like you're at the top of a snowy mountain! 

There'll be a 10 metre-tall snowman, neon light and ballon displays, a chair lift to snowy mountain, famous food trucks, face painting, live music and even some falling "snow" to keep the whole family entertained on this snow and food festival extravaganza.  

Running from 23 June - 30 July, 2023. 

Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF), Melbourne 

As one of our premier film festivals during the year, MIFF's 71st edition features local and international films across cinemas and entertainment venues in Melbourne.

The festival also features in-person discussions with filmmakers, a childrens' program, local competitions and premieres of award contenders. The full program launches on July 11, 2023. 

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Running in cinemas from  3 - 20 August, 2023, and online 18 - 27 August, 2023. 

Montsalvat Winterfest, Eltham

The artist colony will be running a one-night spectacular, featuring creative artworks, dance, poetry and music amongst a backdrop of firetwirling, roving artists, performers, food and wine. 

Runs on July 8, 2023.

Lightscape, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne

One of Melbourne's most famed garden attractions will be illumiated by thousands of LEDs amongst an exhibit of light-up installations, sculptures, soundscapes and winter fire garden. 

A range of food and beverage options are available on site at the ticketed event, to be enjoyed as you circle the 2km trail amongst the singing trees. 

Running from 16 June - 6 August, 2023. 

Winter experiences

There are plenty of events and experiences running through winter around Melbourne to keep adults and children entertained in and around the city, including: 


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Winter festivals and events on in regional Victoria 2023

Winter Glow, Adventure Park Geelong 

A light up snowscape featuring art installations, light shows, fire twirling and ice sculpting, don't miss the chance to head on down to Winter Glow in Geelong.

Plus, with activities like mini-golf, action rides, marshmallows over the fire and yummy hot chocolates, finish the evening down at the RACV Torquay Resort for an unforgettable winter weekend. 

Running from 23 June - 9 July, and 13 - 16 July, 2023.

Phillip Island Whale Festival, Phillip Island

Have a whale of a time watching the majestic creatures glide through the ocean at the Phillip Island Whale Festival.

As well as heading on a whale watching cruise, take the opportunity to walk or drive along the whale discovery trail, or head to The Festival Hub for activities, info, music and entertainment before resting your head at the RACV Inverloch Resort. 

Running from 30 June - 2 July, 2023.

Borealis on the Lake, Daylesford

In a rare opportunity to try and witness the Northern Lights, Borealis on the Lake is a lightscape show over Lake Daylesford, set just 25 minutes from the RACV Goldfields Resort.

Blending technology and art to create colourful light beams across the lake set to a soundtrack by French musician Guillaume Desbois, take in the splendour of Daylesford while enjoying this mesmerising winter wonder. 

Running from 20 - 22 July, 2023. 

Winter Glow Adventure Park

There's plenty of fun to be had at Winter Glow. Image: Adventure Park Geelong. 


East Gippsland Winter Festival, East Gippsland

A month-long program of pop-up events, light, music, art, culture and winter feasts showing off this scenic region, there's plenty to see and do at the East Gippsland Winter Festival. 

Including over 100 events such as tours, workshops, tastings, art installations and classes, markets, and activities, from the FOOD VAN FEST and Glowtastic Disco to Sourdough Bread workshops and neon art installations there's plenty to see at the event running from Gippsland Lakes to the High Country.

 Running until 9 July, 2023. 

WinterWild, Apollo Bay 

Known colloquially as 'the dark heart of the Otway Coast', WinterWild  is a celebration of music, nature, performance, food, art, and fire in Apollo Bay along the Great Ocean Road. 

The program usually includes a variety of live music, comedy, tours, and its famed dynamic, mystical bonfire event, The Dogwatch.

Make a stay of it with a weekend at the RACV Torquay Resort. 

Running from 25 - 27 August, 2023.

Winter Weekends, Port Fairy

This beautiful small town where the river meets the sea is the backdrop for a wholesome festival of food, wine, art, stories, music, and culture in the winter.

Running for 16 years by a volunteer committee celebrating the community spirit and environment, Winter Weekends features stages and stalls, walks and talks, tours and workshops, as well as a wealth of activities to let you enjoy the area's natural beauty and charm just west of Warrnambool. 

Running from 23 - 25 June and 7 - 9 July, 2023.

Ballarat Winter Festival, Ballarat

Ballarat really turns on the charm in winter. There’s a whole program of events for the family, including a pop-up ice-skating rink, a Knights of Fire Festival event at Kryal Castle, local dining specials, and a children’s show featuring jousting knights and a winter Snow Queen. 

 For a truly wonderous winter experience, head to the Winter Wonderlights at the historic Sovereign Hill just 25 minutes from the RACV Goldfields Resort. It’s a full Christmas in July experience, complete with a dazzling light show, theatre and delicious treats.

Running from 24 June - 16 July, 2023.

Royal Botanical Gardens Lightscape

The Royal Botanical Gardens turn magical at night during the winter exhibit, Lightscape. Image: Visit Victoria. 


Taste Sorrento, Mornington Peninsula

Enjoy a month of food and beverage events across the Peninsula region featuring winter delights at Taste Sorrento.

Make a stay out of it with a night at the RACV Cape Schanck Resort, and experience the area's best gourmet food, wine and cheese pairings, piritis, craft beers, and local produce as you take in the surrounds of the Mornington Peninsula. 

Running from 1 - 30 June, 2023.

Snowfest Gippsland, Warragul

Southeast Victoria will be offering up snow play for all ages during this one-day extravaganza. 

Featuring live entertainment, marshmallow toasting, meet-and-greets with huskies and snowboarders, snow play and food and drink on site, Snowfest in Warragul will conclude with a fabulous fireworks display above the winter's night sky. 

Runs on July 14, 2023.

NIGHTIDE - A Solstice Gathering, Geelong-Bellarine

A new event celebrated on the Queenscliff Foreshore, visitors will be treated to a free fire and ice themed event to commemorate the winter solstice. 

NIGHTIDE will feature a lantern parade, fireworks, bonfires, live music, ice baths, and a range of food and drink offerings, before you can keep the party going with a night at the RACV Torquay Resort. 

Runs on 24 June, 2023. 

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