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Understanding the what, why and when of hay fever is key, so here's the low-down

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What To Do in Melbourne According to the Pollen Count – Hay Fever Friendly Activities

Melbourne is hands down one of the best cities in the world, with countless events and things to do. However, it’s also known for its bad hay fever season. Melbourne’s hay fever season runs from 1 October to 31 December and nearly one in five individuals experience its effects – from a runny nose, watery itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing and fatigue. Thankfully, checking the pollen forecast (LINK TO POLLEN PAL) and planning ahead can help prevent and manage any allergy symptoms while allowing you to enjoy all that Melbourne has to offer. Here are some of our top things to do based on the pollen count.

Extreme pollen levels

Proceed with caution – the outdoors is not your friend today. On average, a Melbourne season has eight extreme pollen days per season. If the pollen level is extreme, take an antihistamine or two, hold your Kleenex Allergy Comfort tissues tight, and limit your time outside. If you do dare to venture out, protect yourself with sunglasses (to prevent pollen in your eyes) and a mask (to stop allergens entering your airways) – upon returning home shower and wash your hair and clothes to remove any allergens.

Visit a museum or gallery
There’s a museum for everyone in Melbourne – journey back in time at the Melbourne Museum, see the latest exhibition at the NGV, learn about Melbourne’s rich history of immigration at the Immigration Museum or see the story of the moving image at ACMI.

Go shopping at an indoor shopping centre
Head to one of Melbourne’s indoor shopping centres such as Chadstone, Highpoint or Fountain Gate (the largest in Victoria).

Enjoy Melbourne’s best food at home
Not feeling up to leaving the house? Order takeaway from one of the countless restaurants in Melbourne – from innovative Sri Lankan from Indu to perfect Italian pizza from DOC, Melbourne’s takeaway food scene won’t let you down.

High pollen levels

A high pollen count day is likely to cause some allergy symptoms. On average, there are 12 high pollen count days in Melbourne each year. On these days, it’s safest to avoid high-intensity outdoor exercise and take allergy precautions when heading outside.

Take a trip to the beach
There are less allergens near the ocean as the sea breeze blows pollen away. Pop down to St Kilda for a walk on the St Kilda Pier, take in the view at Half Moon Bay in Black Rock or see Brighton’s Bathing Boxes at Brighton Beach.

Indoor exercise
From indoor rock climbing at Hardrock Climbing to trampolining at BOUNCE or even beginner’s circus class at The Circus Spot, there’s an indoor sport for all abilities.

Go to the theatre
Sing along to a musical in the CBD at Her Majesty’s Theatre or Regent Theatre or see the next big thing at The Malthouse in Southbank or La Mama HQ in Carlton.

Moderate pollen levels

On a moderate pollen count day, you may experience no hay fever symptoms at all (particularly if you are primarily sensitive to grass), or you may experience mild symptoms. You should be able to comfortably head outside with a couple of antihistamines and a pocket pack of tissues in your bag just in case.

Dine outdoors
Melbourne offers a range of fantastic outdoor dining – grab a drink and dinner on a rooftop at Bombabar in the CBD or Naked For Satan in Fitzroy, enjoy the beer garden at Howler in Brunswick or dine on the Yarra at Ponyfish Island.

Go for a walk
Take in city views on the Capital City Trail, stroll along the Maribynong River or explore the botanical gardens while you walk The Tan.

Head to a festival
Melbourne has no shortage of fabulous festivals – catch a wonderfully wacky performance at Melbourne Fringe Festival (October), tap your toes to jazz at Melbourne International Jazz Festival (Oct) or dance the night away at Melbourne Music Week (Dec).

Low pollen levels

The pollen level is low – you’re free baby! Melbourne is your oyster. Run around Albert Park Lake, scream your lungs out at the footy or picnic in the Botanical Gardens. A low pollen count day is unlikely to bring allergies, so make to most of it and explore all that Melbourne has to offer.

Explore the outdoors
Conquer the 1000 stairs at the
Kokoda Track Memorial Walk in the Dandenong Ranges, climb the You Yangs or hike through Werribee Gorge.

Have a picnic
Make the most of the low pollen count with a picnic in the lush Edinburgh Gardens, the historic Abbostford Convent grounds or the world-famous Melbourne Botanical Gardens.

Catch some sport
Cheer for your team at an AFL match, see Australia play test cricket at the MCG, experience the rush of the Spring Carnival and Melbourne Cup or watch international tennis sensations at the Australian Open.

If you are unsure of the pollen count, check the pollen forecast on Pollen Pal before heading out. Melbourne is full of wonderful things to do and places to explore, no matter what the pollen count holds – don’t let itchy eyes stop you from taking in the views.

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