As March ushers in a hint of coolness with autumn breezes and lower temperatures, Melbourne, the cultural heartbeat of Australia, comes alive with a tapestry of must-attend events. Spanning fashion, food, comedy, sports, and agriculture, there's plenty to fill your calendars with as the city prepares for some of its biggest international showcases of the year.

In this curated guide, we invite you to revel in Melbourne's 'March Madness' across seven fabulous events throughout the city. Read on to discover what’s on in Melbourne in March 2024.

Table of Contents

March Event

When and Where

Melbourne Fashion Festival

24th February–9th March 2024 at venues across Melbourne

Moomba Festival

7th–11th March 2024 at venues across Melbourne

St Patrick’s Day

17th March 2024 at venues across Melbourne

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival

15th–24th March 2024 at venues across Melbourne

Formula 1 Grand Prix

21st–24th March 2024, Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit

International Flower & Garden Show

20th–24th March 2024, Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens

International Comedy Festival

27th March–21st April 2024 at venues across Melbourne

Ease into the Easter Long Weekend

When: 29th March–1st April 2024

The biggest long weekend of the year so far is almost here, and we’re excited to hop into all the delicious and captivating events that Melbourne has planned.

Start your mini-escape by checking into a blissfully relaxing room here at Dorsett Melbourne. Located in the heart of the city and close to the beautiful Docklands, our hotel is the picture-perfect and family-friendly escape you’ve been craving since January.

Enjoy a dip in the indoor pool, relax in the sauna and steam room, and drop into Jin Bar for a cocktail before heading into a dazzling night out in the city. You’ll be in the perfect position to explore the city, with plenty of things to do in Melbourne right at your fingertips.

Take your pick from an abundance of delicious restaurants and cafés for a special Easter lunch, and don’t forget the dozens of chocolatiers around town for those much-needed sweet goodies. There’s so much to fill your itinerary with for a long weekend getaway, you might just need to book some annual leave to stay a little longer and enjoy it all.

But you don’t have to wait until the end of March to visit Melbourne and start the fun. Check out what’s on in Melbourne during March below!

1. Melbourne Fashion Festival

When: 24th February–9th March 2024

Where: Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton, and various venues across Melbourne

Designer and model at the Melbourne Fashion Festival

Credit: Melbourne Fashion Festival

If you've ever flown to Melbourne during late February or early March and found the airports and planes packed with people all seemingly flocking to the city with you, then it's probably because of one thing: the Melbourne Fashion Festival.

But don't get put off by crowds – the festival spans venues across the entire city with glorious celebrations of design, arts, culture, and bold ideas. This year, the non-profit is focused on amplifying unique voices and championing the quintessentially quirky side of Melbourne while shining well-deserved spotlights on emerging designers, marginalised artists, and local as well as global talents.

Secure a spot at the internationally renowned Premium Runways at the Royal Exhibition Building, which is a convenient 12-minute drive or 19-minute tram journey from Dorsett Melbourne.

Alternatively, get lost in the dozens of pop-up shops, talks, performances, workshops, or screenings scattered around the city – there's sure to be something for every palate. Check out the full 2024 program here.

2. Moomba Festival

When: 7th–11th March 2024

Where: Venues across Melbourne

Celebrate the vibrant spirit of Melbourne at the renowned Moomba Festival, an annual extravaganza that graces the city during the Labour Day long weekend in March. This iconic and expansive community festival, recognised as the longest-running and largest of its kind, beckons locals and visitors alike to partake in cherished traditions and revel in the festivities.

Derived from an Aboriginal word meaning 'let's get together and have fun,' Moomba perfectly encapsulates the essence of this event. Immerse yourself in the jubilation that defines Melbourne as you witness the grandeur of the Moomba Monarchs leading the traditional Monday street parade, the whimsical Birdman Rally set against the scenic Yarra River, the lively carnival unfolding in Alexandra Gardens, and the nightly spectacle of fireworks lighting up the city skyline.

Best of all, every event is free, allowing everyone to partake in the festivities that unfold throughout this lively long weekend.

3. Melbourne Food & Wine Festival

When: 15th–24th March 2024

Where: Venues across Melbourne

Glasses of wine and pizza

Credit: Melbourne Food & Wine Festival

Foodies unite! Whether you're a Melburnian or an out-of-towner, you've likely heard of the esteemed Melbourne Food & Wine Festival. Marking its rightful place as one of the premier Melbourne events in March, this gastronomic extravaganza is a celebration of the city's (and wider region's) rich and diverse food culture, drawing food enthusiasts from near and far.

Explore a myriad of culinary experiences, from exquisite wine tastings to innovative chef collaborations. We recommend you visit the website to browse the full and jam-packed program, but here's a taste of what's on the menu from the 15th to the 24th of March:

There’s a good mix of free and ticketed events throughout the festival, but the latter are selling fast, so get in quick to book your spots.

4. St Patrick's Day

When: 16th–17th March 2024

Where: Venues across Melbourne

Embrace the lively festivities of St Patrick's Day in Melbourne, a day that promises an abundance of merriment and cheer. Melbourne boasts a plethora of charming Irish establishments, with over twenty Irish hotels nestled in the heart of the city alone.

The 17th of March sees the entire city cloaked in shades of green, courtesy of numerous venues hosting St Patrick's Day-themed events. Our exploration of the city's cobbled streets has unveiled a range of delightful celebrations, including refined dining experiences, festive restaurants, and lively parties:

From spuds to Guinness, the city will be alive with the infectious spirit of St Paddy’s Day. Immerse yourself in the joy of going green during this jolliest of Melbourne events in March!

5. Formula 1 Grand Prix

When: 21st–24th March 2024

Where: Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit

Rev your engines and gear up for an exhilarating experience as the Formula 1 Grand Prix takes Melbourne by storm. Considered one of the premier events in the city, this high-octane racing spectacle captivates motorsport enthusiasts from around the globe.

Each year, the Formula 1 Grand Prix transforms Melbourne into a haven for speed, precision, and adrenaline. The iconic Albert Park Circuit becomes the stage for intense racing, where world-class drivers push their limits to secure victory.

Beyond the thrilling races, the Grand Prix weekend is a celebration of automotive prowess, featuring dazzling displays of cutting-edge technology and a myriad of entertainment options for fans of all ages. Whether you're a seasoned racing aficionado or a casual spectator, the F1 promises an unforgettable experience that revs up the heart and leaves an indelible mark on Melbourne's event calendar.

6. International Flower & Garden Show

When: 20th–24th March 2024

Where: Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens

Bike with flowers art installation on yellow background

Credit: Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show

Prepare to be enchanted by the beauty of exotic flowers and dazzling plant life as the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show graces the city in March. This five-day competition extravaganza unfolds against the backdrop of the opulent Royal Exhibition Building and the picturesque Carlton Gardens, providing a captivating experience for attendees.

Showcasing the finest talents in landscaping and floral design from Australia and beyond, the event promises a sensory feast that celebrates the artistry of outdoor living. There's plenty on the program this year, with some must-visit features including:

  • The Landscape Design Show Gardens, a crowd-favourite and headlining event for 2024.

  • The Balcony Gardens Competition, with gorgeous displays set up along the Exhibition Building.

  • The Wedding Floral Showcase, featuring local designers and florists (and a lot of excited brides-to-be).

  • The Gallery Precinct, a retail and flower shop pop-up in the upper levels of the Royal Exhibition Building.

  • Gardens by Twilight, a one-night-only event under the stars with sparkling wine, gourmet bites, floral displays, design workshops, and entertainment like LED hoop artists and fire artists.

7. International Comedy Festival

When: 27th March–21st April 2024

Where: Venues across Melbourne

Up for a laugh? If you’re planning a trip to Melbourne soon, you’re in luck, because all the world’s a stage (or all of Melbourne, at least) when the International Comedy Festival raises its curtains!

Ranked among the top three largest comedy festivals globally, alongside Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Montreal's Just for Laughs Festival, this annual event transforms the city each autumn. It's the epitome of March Madness that blends seamlessly into an Easter extravaganza, and we know you won't want to miss what's on the bill this year:

From stand-up comedy, cabaret, and theatre, to street performances, film, and visual arts, the 2024 program is bursting with laugh-out-loud spectacles. There are also kids’ shows and family-friendly events to attend, like the award-winning 101 Ways to Annoy Your Parents and Other Really Old People – check out the full program for more information.

Hotel room in Melbourne

Book Your Melbourne March Escape

Join us at Dorsett Melbourne for a month of fun, entertainment, delicious cuisine, and lots of laughter. Browse our rooms to discover your haven in the heart of the city, the perfect home base to experience the joy of March Madness in Melbourne.

After all the excitement, we think you might need a little R&R. Check out our guide to the most relaxing things to do in Melbourne.