Victoria’s capital is well known for its culture, quirks, festivals, food and fantastic coffee. It’s also been named as the world’s most livable city an impressive four years in a row.
All this makes Melbourne the perfect place to park up your campervan or rental car and head out to explore this amazing city. If you are a first time visitor travelling through Melbourne on a budget, then don’t be fooled into thinking you’ll be stuck for things to do.
Here is the essential backpacker guide to the best free things to do in Melbourne:
1. Free gigs galore
If there is one thing that Melbournians love (apart from coffee, great food and sport), it’s live music.
Melbourne is the live music capital of Australia and as a result, there are a number of places across the city to catch live gigs.
Cherry Bar on Flinders Lane, in the heart of the city is a renowned rock bar and offers free gigs during the week. Or if you are out by the beach try the Esplanade Hotel (or The Espy), an iconic Melbourne venue in St. Kilda’s.
Check out the Beat website for the most up-to-date free gigs across the city.
2. Free events by The City of Melbourne
Melbourne is home to some great festivals and events, many of which are free.
With events scheduled every month of the year, you can rest assured that there will be something happening in the city when you arrive.
From art and music to markets and films, there is something for everyone. Check out what’s coming up on the City of Melbourne website for more information on free events and festivals in the city.
3. Take a free ride on the City Circle Tram
A stay in Melbourne isn’t complete without a trip on the iconic city circle tram.
Look out for the burgundy and gold colored tram that circles the CBD and allows you to hop on to travel around the city in style. This tram is free, and with audio commentary identifying key landmarks, it’s ideal for getting to know the city when you first arrive.
4. Get out on the open road
If you are interested in heading out of the city, then the world famous Great Ocean Road is a must-see for all travellers.
Admittedly, this isn’t totally free as you will need pay for petrol, but if you have rented a car or hired a campervan from Melbourne then the Twelve Apostles is a sight not to be missed.
These iconic golden cliffs and crumbling pillars on Victoria’s coastline make for an excellent place to catch the sunrise or sunset – all of which of course won’t cost you a dollar.
5. Get lost in the lanes
Melbourne is famous for it’s winding alleyways, hidden galleries and secret shops. One of the best ways to explore these lanes is to, well, explore and just get lost.
Head to the Visitor Information centre in Federation square and pick up a free map.
6. Walk and Explore
Rain, hail or shine, “I’m Free Walking Tours in Melbourne” allows you to explore the city with a knowledgeable local – sharing the history, stories and secrets of the city. The tour passes by Federation Square, the Yarra River, Chinatown and more.
This three-hour tour is free and runs twice a day, so check out the website for the meeting point and look for guides wearing green t-shirts!
7. Visit the Queen Vic (Market)
The Queen Victoria Market is an iconic building in Melbourne, standing for over 130 years and is regularly listed as one of the cities top attractions.
It’s a great place to spend a couple of hours strolling around, experience local produce and soaking up the atmosphere.
How about you? Share your best free things to do in Melbourne, or tell us what you’re most excited about visiting.
11 People Dead in Mount Everest Climb; Australian Man Found Alive
11 people died in this spring’s Mount Everest Climb
Eleven people have died in less than two weeks after poor weather cut the climbing window short, leaving mountaineers waiting in long queues to the summit, risking exhaustion and running out of oxygen.
At least four of the deaths have been blamed on overcrowding with teams sometimes waiting for hours in the “death zone” where the cold is bitter, the air dangerously thin and the terrain treacherous.
Australian Man Found Alive
One man, who was attempting to climb Mount Everest without the aid of O2, was rescued after he was stranded unconscious on Mount Everest. He has been identified as Gilian Lee.
Few details have emerged since news first broke of the miraculous rescue, which involved a yak and a team of Tibetan alpine specialists who were on the mountain doing repair work.
The Australian climber who fell into unconsciousness while attempting to summit Mount Everest was coughing “continuously” and encouraged to turn back, according to his sherpa guide and a fellow climber.
Canberra public servant Gilian Lee’s fourth attempt to scale the world’s tallest mountain nearly ended in disaster as he had to be rescued high up on the northern slopes.
Tibetan climbers found Mr Lee unconscious at an altitude of 7,500 meters last Wednesday.
The ABC understands Mr Lee, who is recovering in Kathmandu’s Grande hospital, was attempting to reach the summit without oxygen tanks.
He is now in intensive care and barely able to talk.
“He loved to climb mountains and he wanted to summit Everest,” said Tashi Sherpa, part-owner of the expedition company Mr Lee paid to climb the peak.
“He had a big dream to do this but the thing is he did not want to use oxygen.”
The day before he was rescued, Mr Lee posted on Twitter that he’d had a “rough night” at Camp One, a waypoint on the path to the top of the mountain located at an elevation of about 6000 meters, due to a persistent chest infection.
Mr Lee was rescued by Yak
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has refused to provide any other details about his dramatic survival story, citing privacy reasons.
“Every day of delay is a nightmare,” Mr Lee wrote.
And he spoke about the particular challenges of trying to prepare for an Everest ascent without using oxygen cylinders. Mr Lee said that without being able to climb higher than Camp One, he was unsure about acclimatising to the low oxygen levels further up the mountain.
“The science for acclimatisation for non-O2 [oxygen cylinder climbing] is not as well known. Does one really need to hit high high? Last year a higher point worked OK. It’s all out of my hands…horrible feeling,” Mr Lee concluded.
Climbing without oxygen appeared important for Mr Lee. When a friend queried his decision on Facebook, Mr Lee said that if he were climbing with oxygen “I might as well chop 50% of the mountain height off.”
Gillian Lee had summitted mountains before without O2
He said he had summitted another extremely high peak, Manaslu, which is the eighth highest mountain in the world and also in Nepal, without oxygen tanks.
A day earlier, Mr Lee had been more optimistic, writing that his “support and sherpa team are looking strong and committed.”
In a post on his blog, he described climbing Everest as “unfinished business” because of a failed attempt that he blamed on “being horrendously let down by the expedition company”, which he called an inexperienced, Indian-run company.
“I have put a lot of pressure onto myself. I am running out of $$ to keep chasing this dream,” Mr Lee wrote. “I will never take supplemental O2, as it is just not me. It is like asking Alex Hannold to use a rope in his monumental solo climb up El Capitan. Defeats the purpose of being there in the first place in my opinion. This will be the last throw of the dice.”
10 surprising things you can get home delivered in Australia
Forget ordering in your weekly ramen, falafel salad, gourmet burger or even ice cream – there’s even more to online food delivery then meets the eye. Didn’t know you could get cake mix delivered to your door, or cheese and crackers, or even a protein smoothie? You do now.
Having analysed its 7500 restaurants across Australia, online food delivery platform Menulog has curated 10 things you never knew you could get home delivered. App at the ready.
Bull frog legs
You don’t have to be French, or in a fancy restaurant to experience frog legs. Try them a myriad of different ways – with chilli and ginger sauce, in soup, stir fried, or sizzling at Mama’s Oriental in Northbridge, Perth. Just think of them as more nutritious chicken wings.
Green tea crepe cake and green tea chocolate truffles
Forget drinking green tea, this year it’s all about green tea as an ingredient in food. We can’t get enough of green tea desserts and this crepe cake is where the party’s at. Try it for yourself at Yummy Puff Café in in Melbourne’s South Yarra. Or if you fancy green tea chocolate try Meiji’s in Collingwood’s famous Meltykiss Green Tea chocolates truffles. They will literally melt in your mouth, and you’ll have to get them now, as they’re only available during the winter months!
Whether your intentions are worthy or it’s a mild case of procrasti-baking, you can have a cake mix delivered to you. Whip up lemon cake or a chocolate cake with mix from Grocery Butler located in both Sydney and Melbourne.
Cheese and crackers
Cheese-lovers? Have the cheese board but no cheese? There’s brie, cheddar and crackers, even the quince paste and dips practically on standby. And of course the obligatory accompanying wine too. Northmead’s Fine Food in Sydney will have all this delivered to your door.
Deep fried Mars Bar
Invented in Scotland, a deep-fried Mars bar is an ordinary Mars bar normally fried in a type of batter commonly used for deep-frying fish and sausages. The Red Emperor Seafood in Brisbane will deliver this guilty treat to your front door, as well as Princess @ Elsternwick in Melbourne, and Harry & The Boys in Carramar, Perth.
Rocky road pizza
That’s right. Read that line again. Marshmallow, coconut, cranberries and almond on a hazelnut chocolate base WITH ICE CREAM. Say no more, just add to cart. Try Porta Via or Firechief in Melbourne for your fix, or OMG Pizza and Pasta Bar in Merrylands, Sydney.
Want an antioxidant-rich, superfood-filled breakfast but don’t want to drop your coin on all those ingredients at the health food store? You don’t have to. Just order the complete dish instead. Try Fresh Stop in Sydney’s Mascot for their Acai Brazilian bowl blended with banana and topped with toasted muesli and fruit salad, or Traffik Food in Windsor, for Melbourne’s classic acai bowl.
In the middle of a workout and realise you don’t have any protein left at home for your post-workout smoothie? Look no further than The Grazery’s banana protein smoothie blended with dates, almond butter, cocoa powder, almond milk, maple syrup and raw vegan protein powder in Melbourne, which will be delivered to you within 30 mins of your workout. Lil Manhattan in Neutral Bay, Sydney, also delivers protein shakes straight to you, or the gym.
So it’s actually a healthy juice … but just for a second, you thought it was something else. It’s a unique blend of beetroot, celery, carrot and ginger – not as scary as it sounds right? Try Relish Foods in Sydney’s Leichardt for your juice fix.
Australia’s most iconic street food, the Chiko Roll is a favourite at festivals and shows. Now, the fun doesn’t have to stop when you’re at home. Try Warradale Brick Oven Pizza and Snack Bar in Adelaide for your Chiko hit, or Tezas Gourmet Cafe at Wetherill Park, Sydney.
Exploring Perth in 7 Days by Campervan
The perfect vehicle for a road trip in Australia is a campervan, for many different reasons.
Campervan rental in Perth offers you the chance to travel at your own pace, with your home comforts, such as comfortable beds and fully equipped kitchens, always being with you. Perth is the fourth most populous city in Australia and is home to an incredible amount of stunning locations that would be wasted if you were routed to one stationary type of accommodation.
Campervan rental in Perth provides a cost-effective and convenient way to explore Western Australia’s capital, however there is literally so much to do and see here that it can be tough to know where to begin.
Perth is the location of many world-class wineries, spectacular forests and a simply stunning coastline, which offer an unrivalled view of the sun setting over the Indian Ocean. Abundant sunshine and mild weather make campervan rental one of the most relaxing and enjoyable experiences you could have.
The 7 day plan – See the best spots in Perth by campervan
Follow our guide over 7 days of your trip to immerse yourself in the diversity of the country’s southwest corner. Along the way you will be mesmerised by a vast range of wildlife and aquatic life, discover incomparable beaches and experience the most wonderful and historical parts of Western Australia.
Journey begins: Perth
Journey ends: Perth
Distance: 1102 km approx.
Duration: Recommended 7 days
Day 1 – Perth & Fremantle
Fremantle is a city rich with history and alive with modern culture. It’s a lively port city, which sits where the Swan River meets the Indian Ocean, just 30 minutes southwest of Perth. It has something to offer tourists of all ages, nationalities and with all wants and desires. Fremantle locals love a celebration and so there’s sure to be some kind of festival, exhibition or fantastic music in store for you. It’s the celebratory community spirit that provides a wonderfully laid back atmosphere in this beautiful coastal city. Once the sun sets, there’s a lively and vibrant nightlife, which includes clubs, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, dancing venues and late night markets.
Day 2 – Perth to Margaret River
Located approximately 2 ½ hours from Perth, this is one of the most bio diverse areas in the world. A stunning backdrop of forest and ocean surrounds the awesome surf, world-class wineries, pristine beaches and beautiful nature trails. You can go whale watching, explore ancient caves and see first-hand some of the rarest and most exotic plant species along the way – 80% of which aren’t found anywhere else in the world.
Day 3 – Rest Day
Day 4 – Pemberton
Nestled in a breath-takingvalley, which is surrounded by Gloucester National Park and spectacular Karri Forests, is the township of Pemberton. Clear crystal streams that are ideal for swimming, fishing or canoeing are also in close proximity to an abundance of restaurants, wineries and cafes where fresh, homegrown gourmet food can be enjoyed.
Day 5 – Rest Day
Day 6 – Albany
Albany is dubbed the Heart of the Great Southern and this isn’t without reason. It’s home to the very first European settlement and so has an incredible maritime history which is displayed in local museums, monuments and galleries. It’s the oldest town on the Western coast where shopping, dining, sightseeing and relaxing can all be enjoyed. There’s a fantastic opportunity to partake in dolphin and whale spotting from the coastal cliffs and you’re just 409 km from Perth – making the return trip for day 7 easy going.
Day 7 – Return.
So there you have it! You don’t have to follow our plan to the letter but it’s a great place to start. With campervan rental in Perth you can go anywhere you choose!