When the rain starts pouring down, your plans don’t have to be ruined, the fun just has to move indoors. There is a range of viable options to pass the time when the weather has turned dark that don’t include popcorn, soft drink and a recliner.
As experts in the ‘things to do’ category, we’ve got your rainy day activities covered. From Brisbane to Adelaide and everything in between, we’ve picked our top 8 activities to wash away those rainy day blues.
Image: Lantern Ghost Tours
Where? Gaol Rd, Thebarton SA
Inject a bit of fear into your rainy day with a ghost tour of the old Adelaide Gaol. Over the duration of two hours, you’ll explore the eerie 147-year-old jailhouse while uncovering its deepest darkest stories and secrets.
Back in its heydey, the prison hosted 45 hangings and a burial site, and as a result is now home to more than 12 spirits who haven’t left. Your fearless Lantern Ghost Tours guide will take you through the gaol while telling you some terrifying tales of supernatural phenomena that has taken place in the rooms you are occupying.
For the sceptical few that don’t believe in ghosts or anything to do with the supernatural, prepare to have your mind changed in perhaps one of the spookiest settings possible. Liz from Lantern Ghost Tours knows about the paranormal activity in the gaol first hand and recommends this as a must-do activity for those brave enough rain, hail or shine.
“Keep dry this rainy season as we discover the Old Adelaide Gaol. You’ll be incarcerated in Australia’s longest continuously operating gaol and discover the ghost of Governer Ashton, whose body was dropped through a window.”
Liz, Lantern Ghost Tours
The tour also offers guests the opportunity to make contact with the spirits in the building such as Governor Ashton and Sister Mary MacKillop, with paranormal investigation tools.
If you’re looking to escape the rain with your young family, this isn’t the best option, as kids have to be older than 12 years to attend this tour as the chance of paranormal activity is very high.
Image: The Comic’s Lounge
Where? North Melbourne VIC
If you’re the type of person that retreats to their bed when the weather turns sour, then we’re targeting you with this next entrant. It’s time to get out from under the covers and get ready for a night of laughs with stand-up comedy at The Comic’s Lounge in Melbourne. No ifs, ands, or buts, this is one outing you won’t regret unless you’re in the front row and become the butt of all the jokes for the evening and if that happens, we’re sorry.
Hosting some of the biggest and funniest names on the Australian comedy scene with the odd international act thrown in, you’ll soon forget about the dreaded weather. Previous acts have included Chris Lilley, Josh Thomas, Peter Hellier, Dave Hughes, Tommy Little, Tim Minchin, and Jimeoin, to name a few.
With comedians taking the stage six nights a week and shows lasting for around 2.5 hours, you’ll be able to laugh away the brunt of the evening storm with ease.
Located just 10 minutes from the CBD in North Melbourne, the lounge offers the choice to dine and attend the show or simply just sit back with a drink as the show plays out. Seating up to 400 people, you and a large portion of Melbourne residents will be able to shelter away from the rain together.
Image: Queen Victoria Markets
Where? Melbourne VIC
There’s nothing like some good food to pass the time when the rain is bucketing down, and the Queen Victoria Market offers the best alternative to an outdoor picnic, with an array of artisan food stalls.
One of the best go-to destinations for locals looking to stock their fridge and pantry and visitors looking to pick up a bargain, the Queen Victoria Markets are a definite must-visit attraction in Melbourne year round.
If a drop from the sky derails your plans to visit the markets, then I’m here to correct you with the help of Andrew Cyples from QVM, who believes “an early morning visit to Queen Victoria Market is a great way to start your day in Melbourne,” even if it’s raining.
“Our market tours allow you to sample some of the best Victorian produce whilst being immersed in the history of the 19th-century market. Our market guides will lead you through the historic buildings and heritage-listed sheds whilst introducing you to some of the stallholders who have helped shape the market since 1878.”
Andrew Cyples, Assistant Promotions Manager
As many are aware, the market’s food stalls are all undercover meaning you can spend your rainy day wandering around, looking at the different types of cheeses, cured meats, fresh fish, and snatching up some of the samples of course.
However, if the sheer size of the market and its ample stalls overwhelms you, then I suggest embarking on a food tour. With an organised guide from the markets, you’ll be able to visit some of the best and most popular stalls in the market to learn about their top selling products, taste some of the winners, and purchase some to take home.
The aptly named Hunt & Gather food tour is a heaven-send for food lovers with 2 hours of tasting platters coming your way and a goodie bag to take home, you’ll be leaving the markets with a smile on your face and a tighter waistband.
You’ll be able to browse and taste everything from Australia meat and seafood to delicious local cheeses and handmade chocolates that are almost too pretty to eat (we said almost).
Image: XXXX Brewery
Where? Milton, Brisbane QLD
Pick up your spirits with an ice-cold Milton Mango at the XXXX Brewery. If you’re the type of person who loves nothing more than a cold XXXX stubby on a hot day, then you’re probably also the kind of person who likes it on a cold day.
At the XXXX Brewery and Alehouse, you can enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the Brisbane icon to learn how Queensland’s favourite beer is produced.
Creating that fresh taste we’ve all grown to know and love, XXXX has been brewing their mangoes for more than 130 years and as a result, has a keg-load of history and information to share with you.
“While we all love the sunshine state, it can get a bit rainy sometimes, something we’ve learned the hard way through the 1974 and 2011 floods. Fortunately, this gives you the perfect opportunity to learn about beer, how it’s made, and the history of XXXX.”
Shannen Crapper, Venue Manager
Shannen Crapper from XXXX Brewery knows about Brisbane’s fluctuating weather and has seen the brewery take in thirsty customers year round, rain, hail or shine.
Located in the Brisbane suburb of Milton, the brewery’s neon red XXXX sign acts as a shining beacon of safety when the weather takes a turn for the nasty, and it’s not hard to see why.
The drink of choice for many Queenslanders, and Australians, from all walks of life, learning about this popular beer will make it all the more enjoyable the next time you crack open a tinnie in the backyard when the weather clears up.
The 90-minute tour is suitable for adults and kids alike, however, the tasting session at the end of the tour is reserved solely for the adults. Tours operate six days a week from Monday to Saturday at 11 am in the Alehouse.
3. WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo
Image: WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo
Where? Darling Harbour, Sydney NSW
Yes, a cliche, but for good reason. WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo on Darling Harbour in Sydney is a must-visit animal attraction that appeals to all ages. Completely indoors, the zoo is a popular choice all day every day but is an increasingly popular attraction when the rain begins to fall.
WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo General Manager, Mark Connolly, explained the zoo’s appeal no matter the elements. “What makes WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo so unique is not only its CBD location but also its ability to operate all year round, rain, hail or shine.”
“Through undercover walk-through areas and viewing windows, guests are able to take shelter from the elements and not let it ruin their Australian animal experience. The majority of our exhibits are weather-proof for both guests and our animals.”
Mark Connolly, General Manager
Looks are deceiving with this gem, as the size of the zoo is a lot bigger than it appears and it is home to an astonishingly large variety of animals. From the Aussie favourites including kangaroos, wallabies, koalas and wombats to intimidating crocodiles, snakes, and spiders, you’ll be able to see them all here.
There are plenty of things to keep you occupied throughout the day including a variety of keeper talks, demonstrations and feeding sessions. Learn about the resident Tasmanian Devils, wombats, koalas, cassowaries, kangaroos, and crocodiles at various times throughout the day from 10:30 am until 3:30 pm.
As the zoo often attracts large crowds throughout the day, especially when it’s raining, there is a way to explore the zoo before it opens to the public.
The Koala Breakfast lets you explore the grounds with a guided tour to see and learn about all of the animals before enjoying a hot breakfast next to the koalas. You’ll then have free time to wander around the zoo on your own without the pushing crowds.
Suggested Post: WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo Koala Breakfast Review
2. SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast Seal Swim
Where? Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast QLD
Image: SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast
Avoid getting wet outside and opt for getting wet inside with the ever-popular seal swim at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast. Known as the dogs of the water, these playful seals will bring the light back into a gloomy day on the Sunshine Coast.
The seal swim takes place every day at 1 pm and lasts for 15 minutes. In that time you’ll get to swim with, touch, shake hands, and feed these playful animals. To commemorate this awesome activity, you’ll be photographed next to the seals.
“SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast is an all-weather visitor attraction located in the heart of Mooloolaba and now has more creatures to see and things to do than ever before.”
Kristina Neal, Marketing Manager
Kristina Neal from SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast explained that the sea swim lets you “learn about these beautiful creatures and get closer than ever before!”
As one of the most popular activities at the aquarium, spots fill up fast so if you happen to miss out on a spot the next time the rain rolls into town don’t worry, as the aquarium is a great attraction to visit on its own.
Home to thousands of different marine animals spread out over 11 unique aquatic zones, this is a great rainy day adventure for the whole family to enjoy. “With 14 fun talks and animal feeds, including the family favourite seal presentation, there’s plenty for everyone to enjoy,” says Krissi.
The aquarium is located just metres from the water in Mooloolaba and acts as the perfect addition to any Sunshine Coast based holiday. Open 364 days a year from 9 am until 5 pm, you can visit the aquarium to escape the rain, heat, or cold.
Where? Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast QLD
Dry off from the cold, miserable, wet with the help of 250 kilometres an hour wind at iFLY on the Gold Coast. The indoor skydiving phenomenon has swept through Australia and landed in the beautiful Surfers Paradise.
The perfect rainy day activity, you can experience the thrill of skydiving without the hazard of jumping out of a plane or the annoyance of your jump being cancelled due to bad weather. A stimulating experience, the whole family can enjoy the thrill of flying weightless up and down the wind tunnel.
First-time flyers and children are both welcome to jump into the wind tunnel, with beginner lessons available to teach the basics and instructors helping kids as young as 3 years of age enjoy the thrill of iFLY.
There are multiple packages available to ensure you have the best experience possible at iFLY. The Intro pack will teach you the basics over two flights, the High pack will let you experience two high-flying flights, Plus will double the fun with a total of four flights, Fast Track gives you 10 flights flown as 5 double sessions, and the Family and Friends package gives you 10 flights to share with your nearest and dearest.
This is a great way to combine adventure and excitement on a day when the weather puts a downer on a beautiful Gold Coast day.
If you’re looking for more things to fill your rainy day itineraries, check out our full list of experiences around Australia.