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Cheap Melbourne: Tours, talks and more

Free transport, tours and lectures you say? We'll sign up for that

Photograph: Mark Watson, Visions of Victoria

There's no such thing as knowing everything about your city. So whether you're a tourist or you've lived here all your life, you'll want to know about these cheap (and in some cases, free) ways to get around and learn new things in Melbourne. We've also got you covered for cheap eats and free art galleries

Cheap things to do in Melbourne


Tour the city for $10

Get running commentary on the sights as you journey Melbourne on the Visitor Shuttle, running every half hour daily between 9.30am and 4.30pm. You can hop on and off anywhere you please, including the Arts Precinct, Fed Square, Sports Precinct, Chinatown, Lygon Street, Melbourne Museum, Docklands, Southbank and more.

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Go penguin spotting in St Kilda

You can see Little Penguins at St Kilda’s breakwater as twilight falls and the colony of around 100 teeny guys heads home. Volunteers from Earthcare St Kilda may be on hand to answer questions, but even if they’re not, do the right thing and turn off your camera’s flash.

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St Kilda

Take a minute to smell the rhododendrons

Just an hour’s drive from the city and situated in the picturesque Dandenong Ranges are the truly spectacular National Rhododendron Gardens – 40 hectares of botanic bliss. Enjoy the internationally renowned variety of rhododendrons, as well as a whole bunch of camellias, azaleas and daffodils.

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Study at the Melbourne Free University

Trade another week sitting in front of the boob tube for a choice of scintillating lectures held at cafés and bars, all in the form of 45-minute presentations followed by 45-minute discussions. Head to the website and download their How to Start Your Own Free University manual. That’s free, too.

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More thrifty thrills in Melbourne

Cheap things to do in Melbourne

Whether you're a student, a spendthrift, have been sucked dry over Christmas or just wanna stick it to the man, these freebies around town are perfect for you.

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By: Time Out editors