Discovering Federation Square of Melbourne on a Rainy Day

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As city districts go, Federation Square or Fed Square is an iconic legend, and rightfully so: stretching for an entire city block and standing right in the heart of the city flanked by noted landmarks all around and embracing the Yarra River, Federation Square has got what it takes to be one of the most beloved attractions of Melbourne.

Melbourne’s favorite meeting spot and the city’s most happening outdoors, Federation Square apparently entertains a whopping number of 10 million visitors annually cutting across a hub of cultural activities like arts, music, concerts and world class events that are a regular occurrence all through the year.

So as someone visiting Melbourne for the first time, what would I have expected when I put Federation Square in my memory list of Melbourne?

People. Yes, I expected people. Lots of them. Since that is what the precinct is primarily known for. But, to my surprise, I saw none!

An eerily empty Fed Square on a rainy day, Melbourne Victoria

Well, a trickle maybe but no where even close to what the Square prides itself on.

It was not the fault of the Square actually. The weather was the chief culprit. The rather ruthless rainy conditions hitting the city ensured most of the people remained indoors since all major events of the Melbourne festival which were supposed to be in full swing at the time, either stood cancelled or shifted to the atriums inside. Thus, all I got was a blank space, filled only with almost vacant grounds and empty steps even on days when the weather was relatively clear which was a rarity.

The otherwise buzzing Fed Square remained quiet in the rains.
But the best thing about this otherwise buzzing place is that, even if you happen to be there on such a quiet rainy day, you can still find plenty of spectacles to appreciate. And you can still take delight while savoring all the charm. Let’s see what all I did, let’s take a photo tour.

1. Catching movies on the big screen:

Screening of Hindi Movie Taare Zameen Par at Fed Square, Melbourne Victoria

Federation Square has an open air theater complete with a large screen set up against a backdrop of Eureka sky deck  in the open grounds with a capacity of more than 15,000 people. As part of the Melbourne Festival, some of these open theater shows were cancelled and some were shifted indoors but I managed to catch up on a few that carried on, like Taare Zameen Par and Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, Hindi movies which formed a part of special Diwali Festival Evening Films from India.

2. Gazing at iconic buildings all around:

No matter which way you turn and which direction your eyes point to, when in Federation Square, you will find an architectural marvel waiting for you. From the precincts, you can see --

Australian Centre for the Moving Image - ACMI -
Celebrates and displays the innovative advancement of the moving image in all forms – film, television and digital culture.
The Flinders Street Station of Melbourne located just opposite.
St. Paul’s Cathedral, a place of prayer and peace.

In addition to all the above, one can also find the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia (home to the world's largest collection of Australian art from the Colonial period right through to contemporary artworks), Eureka Sky Deck, etc. in the Square. It does make for a wonderful vantage point for all the iconic landmarks of the city.

3. Visiting the Melbourne Visitor Centre:

Melbourne Visitor Center  inside the Federation Square, Victoria

The green colored glass cubicle with a yellow i  is the 'Melbourne Visitor Center' situated in the Square. If you are new to the city and find yourself lost, this is the place to go. I went there once and the information and maps I gathered did help me make my mind and put my plans in perspective. With helpful members, guides, timetables and maps, it provides all answers and insights to all our confusions regarding the where’s, how’s and what’s of Melbourne – for free!

4. Getting enchanted by a live event:

An artist entertains at the Fed Square in Melbourne Victoria

This sight is from one of my luckier days when I had reached the Square at just the right time. The weather was cloudy but the rains would start only 10 minutes later when all the assembled people would be walking away for cover. Which simply meant that till then, I along with a few locals enjoyed the play by the artist and his tricks with the magic ball.

Now, cracking a joke, at the grounds of Federation Square.

On regular days, many more colorful and fun events like these are a given.

5. Watching a sunset:

And this was my favorite of the lot. To sit on the steps and witness the city adrift against a backdrop of the fading pale orange yellow skies... a moment magical and divine…

.. of sparkling lights descending from the heavens,

Bidding goodbye to a beautiful day at Federation Square in Melbourne Victoria

... and making their way into my little heart ...

Do catch this sight if you can.

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Other Information and tips for travellers:

- In addition to the outdoor spaces, Fed Square is brilliant with its indoor areas as well. It is home to many cafes and restaurants where people can meet and enjoy a snack, or sip on the city's famed coffee.

- You can rent a bicycle, book tour buses or boat cruises, hire a bike, shop for cool souvenirs or even take part in one of the many activities, all while enjoying multiple events at the place.

- Fed Square has free WiFi and the space is open 24 hrs every day of the year. Note that the galleries, shops and restaurants all have their own opening hours.

Fast Trivia

The buildings and open spaces at Federation Square rests on a huge concrete deck built over the railway yard.  In spite of that, the design of the deck means no noise or vibration from the railway disturbs the space or the buildings in Federation Square.

For more information, please visit

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Previous stories from Melbourne:

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  1. Still looking beautiful despite the rain, what gorgeous photos.

  2. What a beautiful place! I couldn't get the movie name from the picture, thanks for the name in your narration. Lovely pictures.

  3. Hi Arti dear,

    Such a beautiful place and a lot of things to quench the excitement. Reading description below each photo is so much interesting :D
    And your clicks give me a feeling,'right here I am!' . Love to be here:)

    My best wishes to you!

  4. Thanks for the virtual tour of Australia, Arti. I am loving these posts as I have never been to Australia and it is interesting to know more about the places there.

  5. wow, despite being drenched in rain, you were still able to get a lot of beautiful shots, the drenched buildings actually made the colors deeper and more vibrant.

  6. Hi Arti,

    Thanks for sharing some more wonderful highlights to see around Melbourne. Never quite the same if the weather is rainy and probably keeps a lot of people away.
    Hope you have a lovely weekend

  7. Arti, nice images! I like visiting places during rainy season. Here in Phuket now we've seen many rainy, peaceful days, with less folks around, and more nature ;) Thanks!

  8. I must say that I don't like going sightseeing when it's raining. The reason being, my camera's way too sensitive so I can't take any pictures. I like the fact that no matter which way I turn and which direction my eyes point to, when in Federation Square, I would find an architectural marvel waiting for me - that's the main reason I would go there even if it was a heavy rain..

  9. Wow! Rain has just added to its beauty! You must have had a great time :D Lovely post Arti :)

  10. I love rains..loved ur post !

  11. Great list of things to do, Arti!
    Wanna try them out :)
    Amazing pics, as usual!

  12. Nice pictures. I feel so jealous seeing no littering on the street. When will our country be as clean.

  13. It feels awesome to do nothing but watching people in a busy street in a foreign place right? Felt the same watching those beautiful captures by you :) If anyone is about to go to Melbourne, I w ill surely direct them to your blog :)

    TC! Keep smiling :)

    The Arts & Me

  14. Melbourne is so beautiful...lovely pics arti

  15. Lovely photos dear...and rain has added some additional beauty to it ..( I'm a rain lover ) ...and as always've included useful information for the your readers.. :-)

  16. The rain adds a lovely sheen to these shots.

  17. an interesting aand informative article.

  18. Beautiful narration ! I love these opens squares and places and serve as a hub for so many different cultural things.

  19. Great clear shots and the narration superb. Felt like i was there along with you in the rain and you were showing me those places. Thanx a ton Arti. Enjoyed every bit of it and will keep this post of urs as a copy if and when i visit Melbourne. Will remember to watch the sunset and feel the lights descend from the heavens and settle inside my heart too. :)

  20. Daer Arti, this post is like a mini-trip! Have never been to Melbourne - thanks for taking me ;) And have a super start to your week!

  21. Wow, nice photos. Rainy day anywhere is beautiful.

  22. I loved my visit to Melbourne. Thank you for the memories.

  23. you know your posts on melbourne are making me more and more jealous and angry as I missed the chance to visit the city when i was there.. bad decision very bad decision ..

    beautiful pics


  24. I love reading your blog Arti... I read your all Melbourne post and loved it...

  25. Oh Arti - Im ready to board that Melbourne plane now! Love your writings and how you take us along from highlight to highlight .... Great pictures as usual, and your presentation is awesome dear:-)

  26. I can close my eyes, and refer your travelogue whenever I go to Melbourne. So much of insights and information packed with gorgeous photos. Great post as usual Arti.

  27. Oh my god, I was at Melbourne last year, what wonderful memories you bring back to me! Great post, I might add exploring the little lanes in Russell street.. nice little restaurants with live music and outdoor seating... and ofcourse the gorgeous walk along the promenade.

  28. Wonderful post, thoroughly enjoying your Melbourne series..

  29. Cloudy sky have made the photos more beautiful. Your clicks are breathtaking. Loved them all, sunset photos are brighter, thanks to clouds for vanishing before sunset. The concept of visitor center is so good. The architecture is so beautifully designed in combination with empty roads on the rainy day - just look incredible.

  30. Wonderful buildings and awesome architecture..Nice pics Arti :)

  31. Interesting. I remember my stay in Sydney and the Australian culture. They are fabulous people. Street artists are the norm there and they are brilliant at what they do...


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