Abbotsford Convent

Top choice in Fitzroy, Collingwood & Abbotsford

This former convent, dating back to 1863, is a rambling collection of ecclesiastical architecture that's home to a thriving arts community of galleries, studios and cafes – including Convent Bakery and vegetarian Lentil as Anything – spread over nearly 7 hectares of riverside land. Tours of the complex run at 2pm on Sunday, or download the Abbotsford Convent app for a self-guided walking tour in which Wurundjeri elders, musicians and artists have created soundscapes that tell the story of the traditional owners.

There's a farmers market every fourth Saturday of the month, a book market on the first Saturday of the month, c3 Contemporary Art Space, kids' programs and a number of other arts and cultural festivals and events.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Fitzroy, Collingwood & Abbotsford attractions

1. Collingwood Children's Farm

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The inner city melts away at this rustic riverside retreat that’s much beloved, and not just by children. There are frolicking farm animals that kids can…

2. Collingwood Farmers Market

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This monthly farmers market, held right by the river, has everything from organic wild mushrooms and roses to freshly baked sourdough and tempting cheese…

3. Yarra Bend Park


Escape the city without leaving town in this large area of native bushland flanking the river, about 5km northeast of the city centre. It's an area…

4. Carlton Brewhouse

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Foster’s beer-brewing empire runs 1½-hour tours of its Abbotsford operations, where you’ll encounter enormous 30m-wide vats of beer and a superfast…

5. Gertrude Glasshouse

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Satellite of the Gertrude Contemporary gallery in Preston, this architecturally designed, versatile project space gives artists undertaking the gallery's…

6. Keith Haring Mural

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Anyone with an interest in street art will want to check out this Keith Haring mural, painted by the late New York artist on his visit in 1984. It adorns…

7. Backwoods Gallery

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Set up in 2010 by a team of Melbourne street artists, Backwoods Gallery promotes and exhibits works by mostly Australian artists – with a focus on urban…

8. James Makin Gallery

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Set in an inspiring converted warehouse in the backstreets of Collingwood, the James Makin Gallery showcases innovative contemporary works by a largely…