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A sister to the NGV’s St Kilda Road gallery, NGV Australia is all about Australian art. There are more than 800 pieces on show at any one time and the permanent display includes famous contemporary works such as Nest – Patricia Piccinini’s very humanlike pair of motor scooters. You’ll also come face to face with iconic colonial paintings – including Tom Roberts’ Shearing The Rams – and the world’s largest collection of Australian Indigenous art. Federation Square, Melbourne | | 03 8660 2222 | Tue-Sun 10am-5pm | Some exhibitions ticketed | Adult from $15

Since 1962, Monash University has been quietly collecting works by a who’s who of contemporary Australian artists. Now in spacious new digs at Monash Caulfield, art by Howard Arkley, Arthur Boyd and Tracey Moffatt is only a hop, skip or short train ride away. Year-round, MUMA hosts free exhibitions, artist talks and opening events (with nice cheese and biscuits). In the warmer months look out for music, face-painting and BBQs in the courtyard. Building F, Monash University Caulfield Campus | 900 Dandenong Rd, Caulfield East | /muma | 03 9905 4217 | Tue-Fri 10am-5pm | Sat 12-5pm




It’s not just books and brains tucked away inside the University of Melbourne. There’s also an impressive and ever-growing collection of artworks dating back to the 1800s. The university’s Ian Potter Museum of Art offers a glimpse into the collection’s gems, as well as exhibitions by contemporary artists. The entrance is hard to miss – featuring a tangle of classical sculptures bursting out of the wall, not to mention the much-loved Potter Espresso Bar. 800 Swanston St, Carlton | | 03 8344 5148 | Tue-Fri 10am-5pm | Sat-Sun 12-5pm

Australia’s oldest public gallery just turned 150 – but it’s definitely not old-fashioned. Step behind the famous St Kilda Road ‘water wall’ and you’ll find three huge floors of exhibitions – from worldfamous masterpieces to contemporary artworks from the gallery’s permanent collection. Lie down and admire the stained glass ceiling in the Great Hall or browse the NGV Shop – and keep an eye out for free ‘art after dark’ events in winter. 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne | | 03 8620 2222 | Wed-Mon 10am-5pm | Some exhibitions ticketed | Adult from $15



If you feel like looking an Australian legend in the eye, pop in to visit good old Phar Lap at the Melbourne Museum. Once you’ve said hi, you can also check out the famous shorts of AC/DC’s Angus Young, discover the hidden workings of the human body, explore a real forest – and even meet some bugs (who, unlike Melbourne’s favourite horse, are still very much alive). Museum Memberships make entry fees even cheaper. 11 Nicholson St, Carlton | au/melbournemuseum | 13 11 02 | Daily 10am-5pm | Kids free | Adult from $10

A memorable Melbourne landmark, the Old Treasury building at the top of Bourke Street was designed by a 19-year-old architecture prodigy named J.J. Clark. A hundred and fifty years later it’s home to changing exhibitions and a trove of historical treasures. Wander the underground vaults, take a peek at the living quarters of the building’s first tenants and read the last remaining letter penned by Ned Kelly himself! 20 Spring St, Melbourne | | 03 9651 2233 | Sun-Fri 10am-4pm

Cheap Arts Guide  

This little book is a guide to hundreds of free and affordable goings-on in Melbourne – and right around Victoria. Read on for music, comedy...

Cheap Arts Guide  

This little book is a guide to hundreds of free and affordable goings-on in Melbourne – and right around Victoria. Read on for music, comedy...