Our Guide to a Ball of a Weekend

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The countdown’s on to the 2023 Be Wise Ball on Saturday, June 24.

If you’re thinking of coming, then check out our guide to the City, where to go for coffee and catch a bite. 

You may even end up making a weekend of it, which is why we’ll be regularly updating this as we get closer to the event.  

If you’ve got your own suggestions, then we’d love to hear about them on Facebook and Instagram.

Getting there:

First things first. If you’re venturing into the city just for the Ball, be aware that no parking is available at Melbourne Town Hall itself.

Parking facilities are nearby however. The nearest is Flinders Gate Wilson Parking while other options include:

  • Wilson Parking – Scots Church at 181 Little Collins Street
  • Wilson Parking – 189 Flinders Lane
  • Wilson Parking – 385 Bourke St

Common drop-off and pick-up points for taxis and rideshare cars meanwhile are along the Collins Street wide of the Hall.

Flinders Street train station is only a five-minute walk away.   

Where to stay

Finding the right accommodation is a highly personal thing, but there’s variety of hotels catering to different budgets all within an easy walk.

Where to do brekkie 

If it’s coffee you need the morning after the Ball, you’re in the right place.

Melbourne CBD is renowned for its laneways, cafes and dining options  – and exploring them is half the fun.

From Degraves Street to the cobblestoned Hardware Lane, Block Arcade with its elegant arched ceilings, Flinders Lane and Centre Place, there’s no shortage of trendy eateries, hidden bars, restaurants.

Here’s five of our favourites: 

The Hardware Societe is a cosy French-inspired cafe that serves some of the best breakfast dishes in Melbourne. Their menu features a range of sweet and savoury options, including their famous baked eggs and croque madame.

Address: 10 Katherine Place

Manchester Press: If you’re a fan of bagels, then Manchester Press is the place for you. This cafe serves them with a range of toppings, including smoked salmon, avocado, and cream cheese. They also have great coffee.

Address: 8 Rankins Lane

Higher Ground: A spacious and trendy cafe that serves breakfast dishes with a Middle Eastern twist. Their menu features a range of vegetarian and gluten-free options, and their coffee is exceptional.

Address: 650 Little Bourke Street 

Krimper Cafe: Krimper Cafe is located in one of Melbourne’s oldest laneways in a space evoking an early industrial era warehouse. The cafe gets its name from the famed furniture designer Schulim Krimper, largely active until the late 1950s.

Address: 20 Guildford Lane 

The Grain Store  A throwback to the days when many buildings in the area were used as holding stores for shipments (and often grain), The Grain Store is a stylish cafe with a focus on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. Their menu features a range of healthy options and brunch is served all day.

Address: 517 Flinders Lane 

Explore the city   

Take a guided walking tour of the CBD over a couple of hours and you’re almost certain to discover a different side to the city.

An amazing array of operators offer some fascinating insights into the area’s rich history, food culture, people, local businesses, architecture and arts scene.

According to Hidden Secrets Tours, “Melbourne’s laneways and alleyways are legendary, but just when you think you’ve seen them all, a few more pop up.”

One attraction that’s definitely not hidden though is the ever-popular Melbourne Skydeck at Riverside Quay, Southbank – a staple “must do” for the tourists and locals alike.

If you’ve been meaning to venture up to the 297-metre high observation deck, complete with its transparent glass cube, this may be the perfect opportunity.

Meanwhile, with Melbourne’s arts and music festival Rising returning in 2023, The Atrium of Federation Square will be a lair to some giant reimagined deep-sea creatures, dangling from above. Created by Australian artists Tin & Ed, these otherworldly installations will be well worth a look.

One of the highlights in town on Ball weekend will the ice rink at Birrarung Marr. It promises to be visually spectacular with a blanket of glowing spheres, fairy lights and more.

The essentials

The Be Wise Ball is on Saturday, June 24, 2023. Doors open at 7pm and the evening finishes at midnight. Tickets  are $185 and include a three-course meal as well as beer, wine and soft drinks. Keep up to date on all things Ball-related on Facebook and Instagram.

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