Things are Heating Up in Melbourne

With the Winter Solstice now passed, and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology now releasing warnings of a cold snap coming for most of New South Wales and Victoria; the clever thing to do would be to hole-up and hibernate with some of your favourite, Australian wines.

However, for those seeking outdoor adventures, Melbourne’s going to be heating up this weekend - despite the cold snap – for The Docklands Firelight Festival.

Featuring roving fire-breathers, dancers and drummers, The Docklands Firelight Festival is a perfect solution to the Winter Blues; and here are our hot tips to help you make the most of it!

Cruise the Yarra on a Show Boat


Imagine slowly making your way down the Yarra River, with a fantastic view of the Docklands to your left (or, perhaps ‘port side’ once you start sailing) and a glass of Australian wine in-hand; as you drift along in the warmth of this stunning boat.

While you’ll still want to make sure that you stroll the Docklands and soak in the action, just imagine the site of fire twirlers bouncing off of the icy waters of the Yarra River – perfection.

The Fireworks Dancers

The Fireworks Dancers starred in the opening ceremonies for both the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne; and if you’re lucky enough to spot them, then you’ll understand why. 

As Australia’s longest-running fire-dancing troupe, they know precisely how to wow an audience. They’re listed as roving performers on the set times, so you’ll have to brave the cold to enjoy their special breed of cutting edge fire artistry.

Renzo’s Bar

If you need a little respite from perusing the waterside bars and stalls at Firelight Festival, then pop into Renzo’s Bar on the waterfront.

With traditional, hand-made pasta; ample servings; great views of the river and the festival;  and a wine list that stretches from The Barossa Valley, all the way to Piedmont; Renzo’s is the perfect place to warm up, and fill up before heading back out into the festival.

Make a Lantern for the Lantern Procession

Each night of the festival, hundreds of festival-goers bring their hand-made lanterns to the foreshore, and march together down to the harbour, creating a mystical landscape of flickering flames. This workshop is a great way to join in the fun, especially for anyone with kids (or – for those who are kids at heart).

The Effigy

Each night during Firelight Festival, the evening culminates in a spectacular effigy being set alight in the middle of Victoria Harbour.

This year, the featured artist is Christian Patton, who has been creating spectacular works for Australian festivals for many years under the alias “General Zod.”

Patton has created three sculptures for the three nights of Firelight Festival, and this will be your only chance to ever see them in the flesh.



Roberta Marchesini