Melbourne is a stunning city and I’ve been lucky enough to go there twice so here’s my tried and tested tips on ways to make the most of it without going for broke.
Hopping on a tram makes for a super easy way to get around the city.
Make the most of the free tram zone that covers the city centre and means you can hop on and off at all the major sites.
Or take the more touristy but eye catching City Circle tram. Once again totally free with stops near sights including Old Melbourne Gaol, Flinders Street Station and the Melbourne Aquarium plus the shopping delights of Bourke Street Mall, the Block Arcade on Collins Street and Queen Victoria Markets which I love. And don’t miss the Laneways which are packed with quirky cafes, shops and some amazing street art. You can easily spend a day here just enjoying getting lost!
Venturing beyond the ‘free’ tram zone? You’ll need a Myki card which costs $6 and pre-load it just like you would an Oyster card.
Espresso & St Kilda
Having done the backpacking thing once before, this time round I went for Espresso Apartments and found a great place just round the corner from buzzy Acland Street Village in St. Kilda
Once you’ve done the city, St. Kilda is a must and this laid back beach suburb is also home to the Esplanade Market every Sunday from 10am.
One popular trip out of Melbourne is to Phillip Island to see the Fairy Penguin parade at sunset. You can see the little penguins swimming to the shore and making their way up the beach to their nests but it can be a long and expensive day trip and pretty busy.
So I’d suggest heading for the St Kilda breakwater at sunset where you can watch the penguins swim home to their nests in the rocks for free.
Pop in to Ramsay Street
If you’re a Neighbours fan make sure you head out of the city to visit the real life ‘Ramsay Street’.
The guys at Bunyip Tours organise a great tour and if you book a weekend trip you’ll not only get to see the real life Ramsay Street, aka ‘Pin Oak Court’ but also get a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the exterior sets at the Nunawading Studios complete with backstage gossip, (especially if you get Gerry as your guide!), and photo opportunities outside the Lassiters complex, Harold’s Café and Fitzgerald Motors. It’s an amazing trip but will set you back $85 while the ‘Street Tour’ is $59.
But for a budget trip jump on public transport and see the street for yourself. Pin Oak Court is in the Melbourne suburb of Vermont South so you can catch the train from Flinders Street Station to Glen Waverley, jump on a bus to the top of Weedon Drive and third of the left is Pin Oak Court.