4 Jun 2020
Melbourne is a city with an unbeatable mix of things to see and do. With heaps of unique laneways to scavenger through, a foodie culture to satisfy your cravings, loads of shopping to indulge in some retail therapy and, a national and international sporting calendar to cheer about, there will never be a lack of sightseeing within this lively CBD.
Of course, all the excitement can get expensive so, Discovery Parks – Melbourne Assistant Park Manager, Priscilla, is here to help you save a few pennies. She’s put together her list of FREE activities to do in Melbourne, so you can spend up on coffee stops and shopping bags.
Leave the car behind and save on parking by catching the bus into the city centre. It’s a quick 30-minute ride and you can purchase your full-day public transport fare from Park Reception.
City Circle Tram
Just look for the iconic heritage trams. These trams are also known as Route 35 and ride in a circle around the city. They are a good way to get your bearings for the major attractions and landmarks in central Melbourne. Jump on, do a loop and hop on/off where you like.
National Gallery of Victoria
The NGV is spread across two galleries and they are both a short-walk apart. There are lots of different artworks to look at from Australian art to Asian art to photography to sculptures. The galleries permanent collection is free to view but, they often have special exhibitions which charge a small entry fee.
Melbourne’s laneways are full of artistic graffiti and are a popular spot for tourists. Hosier Lane is one of the most famous and you can stop for a coffee or some tapas at MoVida restaurant on the corner. These laneways are an outdoor version of the National Gallery.
Shrine of Remembrance
The well-kept grounds are lovely to stroll and the gardens have commemorative plaques, water features and sculptures to look at. The internal gallery with artworks and exhibits tell the stories of Victorian wartime. The exhibits change so you’ll learn something new every time you visit. If you do want more history, a guided Shrine Tour is available, you just need to be pre-book and there is a charge for this.
Queen Victoria Market
Food, food, food, fresh food! This indoor/outdoor market has heaps of fresh produce on offer every day. Pick up some quality ingredients for a BBQ in the Camp Kitchen or a cheese platter on your cabin balcony or, you can have a taste test of some goods at certain stalls. The Wednesday night Market has become very popular, not only can you purchase your fresh produce, there is street food, bars and live music to keep you entertained.
State Library Victoria
Not just one for the book worms, there are tours, exhibitions and galleries to look around. But, if you’re looking for some quiet time out, head to the La Trobe Reading Room and select your book from over five million titles! The space is impressive, especially from the viewing balcony above.
Free Walking Tour
Before you leave the State Library, head to the statue of Sir Redmond Barry and you can join a walking tour of Melbourne. The guides leave at 10:30am or 2:30pm every day and take you round the sights or Melbourne or to some of the city’s famous culture spots. These tours last about 3 hours so just make sure you have some comfy shoes on.
Royal Botanical Gardens
The perfect place on a sunny day to wander between the garden beds. Don’t forget to take time out to just sit on the grass and look over the Melbourne skyline or the relaxing pond.
Walk the Riverbank
The Yarra River runs through the city and between Princes Bridge and the Exhibition Centre, there is lots to take in by the water’s edge. Walk by some of Melbourne’s top restaurants, the Crown Casino and high-end shops. If you go at night, you’ll see the Crown Casino fire pillars which send fireballs into the air every hour.
Pink Lake Under Westgate Bridge
You’ll be tickled pink at the sight of this lake under the Westgate Park bridge. On super hot days this lake has a rosy glow. It’s quite an extraordinary natural picture, perfect for an Instagram snap. You’ll just need to time your visit to see it.
RAAF Museum - Point Cook
One for the aviation enthusiasts. This base is a short 25-minute drive up the Princes Freeway and has a big collection of retired air force planes. There are interactive flying displays and, if you’re lucky, you may even be there at the right time to see one of the heritage aircrafts doing acrobatics in the air.
Organ Pipes National Park
Jump in the car to see this one, it’s just half an hour form the park. This landscape was shaped by a volcanic explosion and The Organ Pipes is a rock formation on a cliff face that looks like, organ pipes! This national park is lovely to hike through and you might just see an echidna, platypus or kangaroo. Pack a picnic (from the Queen Victoria Market) and spend the day.
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