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The best budget-friendly things to do in and around Melbourne

The best budget-friendly things to do in and around Melbourne

Looking for a Melbourne adventure that won't drain your wallet? Get ready to discover the city's best budget-friendly activities, where everything is just a gem waiting to be uncovered. From vibrant markets to artsy laneways, we're about to spill the secrets on how to make the most of Melbourne without spending a fortune.


What’s Melbourne known for?

In the heart of Melbourne, where the laneways are like a canvas exploding with street art, the air smells like a never-ending coffee date, and every corner has a new foodie surprise waiting for you. Melbourne isn't just a place; it's an entire vibe, shaped by its wild mix of food, coffee, and street art, with festivals and sports sprinkled in. You've stumbled upon a city that knows how to live it up.


The best way to explore Melbourne and its surroundings

Thinking about checking out Melbourne and the cool spots nearby? Well, why not make it easy on yourself? Grab a Cheapa Campa – it's not your typical rental, more like your ticket to do whatever you want. Imagine you and your mates, cruising in a campervan, going wherever, whenever. Melbourne and its surroundings have some real hidden gems, and a Cheapa Campa hire is your pass to a laid-back adventure.


Budget-friendly things to do in and around Melbourne

Looking for some wallet-friendly fun in Melbourne? You're in luck! Check out these budget-friendly activities that'll let you make the most of your time without burning a hole in your pocket. Whether you're into city vibes or chilled-out spots nearby, we've got you covered.


1. Royal Botanic Gardens

Strolling through the Royal Botanic Gardens – it's like entering a secret world of tranquillity right in the heart of the city hustle. The vast green space is dotted with colourful flowers, serene lakes, and lush lawns where you can lay down a picnic blanket and just chill. In a nutshell, the Royal Botanic Gardens are your go-to spot for a budget-friendly nature fix, whether you're solo, on a date, or hanging out with the family.

What's awesome about this place? Well, first off, entry won't cost you a cent. Yup, it's a budget-friendly haven where you can escape the urban buzz without digging into your wallet. Whether you're a nature enthusiast snapping pics of exotic plants or just someone looking for a peaceful spot to unwind, the Royal Botanic Gardens has something for everyone.

It's not just about the flora and fauna, though – the gardens often host free events and exhibitions. So, you might stumble upon a cool plant show or a guided tour without spending a dime. Plus, the views! Melbourne's skyline peeking through the greenery is a must-see.


2. National Gallery of Victoria

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is not just a gallery; it's a visual feast for anyone with a soft spot for creativity. The best part? You don't need to flash your wallet at the entrance – it's completely free! From contemporary installations that challenge your perspective to classic artworks that tell stories of different times, the NGV is a melting pot of art. It's like a journey through time and style, all under one roof. And did I mention the impressive architecture that adds another layer to the whole experience?

The NGV isn't just about gazing at paintings on the wall; it's about immersing yourself in a world of creativity. You might stumble upon interactive exhibits, thought-provoking installations, or even catch a free public programme if you time it right. Now, here's the cool part – the NGV often hosts free exhibitions and events. So, not only do you get to soak up the beautiful art inside, but you might also get to see some extra surprises without spending a thing.

Whether you're an art buff looking to dissect brushstrokes or someone who just enjoys the vibe of a creative space, the National Gallery of Victoria is a must-visit.


3. Queen Victoria Market

Strolling into the Queen Victoria Market – it's like stepping into a lively, bustling world of goodness. No entry fees here, just good old-fashioned market vibes. What makes this place special? Well, first off, it's a foodie's paradise. You've got fresh produce that's as colourful as a rainbow, local treats that'll make your taste buds do a happy dance, and a variety that caters to every budget. If you're into trying new flavours without splurging, this is the spot.

But it's not just about the food. The Queen Victoria Market is also a haven for bargain hunters and souvenir seekers. From handmade crafts to unique finds, you can score some pretty cool stuff without burning a hole in your pocket. Whether you're there to fill your bag with fresh produce, grab a quick bite, or just soak up the lively atmosphere, the Queen Victoria Market is a budget-friendly adventure waiting to happen. 

Image: Visit Victoria


4. Federation Square

Federation Square is a relaxed spot where locals and out-of-towners mix and mingle. The architecture is pretty iconic, too, giving the whole place a unique vibe. What's cool about Federation Square is that it's not your typical tourist attraction. It's more about soaking up the city's rhythm, enjoying the artsy side of things, and just being in the moment. If you're into live performances or checking out cool art installations, you'll find it here.

So, whether you're looking for a spot to people-watch, enjoy a bit of culture, or just chill out in the heart of Melbourne, Federation Square has your back. It's budget-friendly, laid-back, and a perfect place to soak in the city's vibes. 


5. Explore Melbourne’s laneways

Think of Melbourne's laneways like your secret shortcut to the city's coolest spots. It's not about spending money; it's about soaking in the local vibe without any extra fuss. These laneways are like the city's canvas, covered in street art that's as diverse as Melbourne itself. If you're into artsy corners, Instagram-worthy snaps, or just a stroll through something different, the laneways are your go-to.

As you wander around, you might stumble upon hidden cafes, funky shops, or even catch a live music act if you're lucky. It's the kind of place where the city's personality shines through without asking for a cent. So, if you're up for a low-key adventure that's more about the experience than spending money, Melbourne's laneways are calling your name.


6. Take a drive through the Yarra Valley

Buckle up for a drive through the stunning Yarra Valley – it's like going on a scenic adventure without burning a hole in your pocket. No entry fees, just you, the road, and some breathtaking views! So, if you're up for a leisurely drive in your Cheapa Campa, with postcard-worthy scenery, the Yarra Valley is calling your name.

Cruising along the Yarra River in your Cheapa campervan, you'll find yourself surrounded by rolling hills, vineyards stretching as far as the eye can see, and charming little towns along the way. The best part? It won't cost you anything to enjoy the natural beauty that unfolds with every turn. The Yarra Valley isn't just about the drive; it's a haven for foodies and wine enthusiasts. If you're keen to explore local produce or indulge in a wine-tasting session, there are budget-friendly options aplenty.

Image: Visit Victoria


7. Free guided tours

Melbourne offers a bunch of free guided tours that give you a deeper understanding of the city's history, culture, and hidden gems. Whether you're into architecture, street art, or just want to get to know the city's nooks and crannies, there's a tour for you. Places like the State Library of Victoria and Parliament House offer these tours, and offer a bit more information, to really dive deeper.

Imagine strolling through the city's iconic landmarks with a knowledgeable guide, uncovering stories and secrets you wouldn't find in a guidebook. And, it's all on the house! These tours are a fantastic way to find Melbourne's charm without spending a thing. So, if you're keen to discover the city's treasures through the eyes of a local, these free guided tours are the way to go.


8. Window shopping on Chapel Street

Take a leisurely stroll down Chapel Street – it's like going on a shopping spree without opening your wallet. No need to worry about spending; it's all about soaking in the trendy vibes and checking out the window displays. Chapel Street is Melbourne's style central, lined with funky boutiques, chic shops, and quirky stores. As you wander along the street, you'll find yourself surrounded by the latest fashion trends, unique accessories, and maybe even some one-of-a-kind finds. The beauty of Chapel Street is that you can enjoy the window shopping without the pressure of making a purchase. It's about exploring the local fashion scene, catching glimpses of the latest designs, and just enjoying the laid-back, trendy atmosphere.


9. Explore the trendy suburb of Fitzroy

Immerse yourself in the vibrant street art scene of Fitzroy, Melbourne's hipster haven. Venture through the eclectic streets of Fitzroy, where captivating murals, graffiti masterpieces, and urban artworks adorn every corner. Experience all that Fitzroy has to offer and gain insights into the neighbourhood's evolving artistic landscape. The journey through the heart of Melbourne's alternative culture won't cost you a dime. Fitzroy is Melbourne's artistic heart, boasting colourful street art, eclectic shops, and a laid-back, bohemian atmosphere. As you explore the streets, you'll discover unique boutiques, indie galleries, and cafes that are as quirky as they come.

What makes Fitzroy stand out is its community feel – it's not just a suburb; it's a hub of creativity and individuality. You can spend hours simply strolling through the streets, admiring street art masterpieces, and maybe stumbling upon a hidden gem or two. Whether you're into vintage shopping, grabbing a coffee at a hipster cafe, or simply soaking in the artsy ambience, Fitzroy has something for everyone. It's the kind of place where the streets are alive with character, and the best part is, you can enjoy it all without spending.


10. Relax at St Kilda Beach

Escape the urban hustle and bustle by spending a day at St Kilda Beach. Just a short drive from the city centre, this iconic beach offers golden sands, stunning sunsets, and a lively atmosphere. Take a stroll along the promenade, dip your toes in the ocean, and snap a photo with the iconic Luna Park in the background.

First things first, hop into your Cheapa Campa and hit the road from the city. The drive to St Kilda Beach is like a mini-road trip, taking you through Melbourne's streets and suburbs. Enjoy the short 20 minute journey as you make your way to the coastal vibes of St Kilda.

Now, when it comes to parking your Cheapa Campa, you're in luck. St Kilda offers various parking options, and if you're looking for budget-friendly choices, keep an eye out for street parking or public car parks. Fitzroy Street and the surrounding areas often have spots where you can park without breaking the bank. Once you've parked your campervan, you're just a short walk away from the golden sands of St Kilda Beach. It's the perfect spot to unwind, catch some rays, or take a leisurely stroll along the iconic pier. 


Budget-friendly campgrounds and holiday parks in Melbourne

If you're on the lookout for budget-friendly places to park your Cheapa Campa and kick back under the stars, Melbourne's got you covered. Here are our top picks.


Big4 Melbourne Holiday Park

Let's dive into one of Melbourne's budget-friendly campgrounds – the BIG4 Melbourne Holiday Park. It's like your home away from home, where you can park your Cheapa Campa and unwind without blowing your budget. Think of this place as a mini oasis on the outskirts of Melbourne – you've got BBQ areas, a swimming pool to cool off, and even a jumping pillow for the young (or young at heart). It's not just a place to park your campervan; it's a destination in itself. And let's talk location – it's conveniently situated for both city explorations and adventures in the surrounding areas.


Crystal Brook Tourist Park 

Crystal Brook is all about that comfy camping life. Whether you're into powered sites for your campervan or cosy cabins, they've got you sorted – and it won't cost an arm and a leg. Think green surroundings, a cool kitchen to whip up some grub, and a playground for any little travellers tagging along. It's not just a parking spot; it's like joining a mini camping community. And the location? It's spot-on for your Melbourne adventures and beyond. Plus, with prices that won't make you wince, you've got more dough to splash on the good stuff in Melbourne.


BIG4 Yarra Valley Park Lane Holiday Park

Park Lane offers a mix of powered sites and comfy cabins, making it a solid choice for a chill night. Imagine beautiful surroundings, a communal kitchen to do your cooking, and a pool for a refreshing dip. More than just a parking spot, it's a place to unwind and swap travel tales with like-minded travellers. Plus, it's strategically placed for your Yarra Valley adventures. So, if you're keen on a relaxed night in the Yarra Valley with your Cheapa Campa, BIG4 Park Lane Holiday Park is the ticket.

Image: Visit Victoria


Ready to explore Melbourne and its surroundings?

Melbourne has shown us that you can have an epic holiday without blowing your budget. From the artsy laneways to the scenic Yarra Valley, this city knows how to dish out the good times without asking for too much in return.

As you plan your Melbourne adventure, remember to keep it easygoing, just like the vibe of this city. So, whether you're exploring the Royal Botanic Gardens, checking out the local art scene, or relaxing at St Kilda Beach, do it at your own pace.

If you've got a Cheapa Campa by your side, you've got the freedom to hit the road, explore the outskirts, and park up at some fantastic campgrounds without fuss. Ready to see what Melbourne has to offer? Book your Cheapa Campa today.

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