On my second visit to Melbourne, I got to explore more Melbourne and it’s surrounding areas with my fiancé. My first visit down under, he took me to Lorne, Victoria.
In my 8 days there he filled our schedules with so many activities that I got to experience a whole lot albeit the freezing weather! Who came to Australia right in the middle of winter? Yours, truly of course! Hah!
Here is a list of places that you can check out for free in and around Melbourne.
5 Places to Explore in Melbourne for Free
- Fitzroy Gardens
Located downtown, this is one of the most beautiful ones I have ever seen. The gardens have Victorian era design. Pathways lined with magnificent Elm trees, flowers – which I’m sure will bloom even more beautifully during spring or summer time. Perfectly manicured lawns with benches so people can sit and soak up the beautiful surroundings.
Fitzroy gardens are also one of the oldest one in the city originally set aside as a reserve in 1848. How big is the garden? Huge! At 26 hectares (64 acres) I am envious of Melbournians. One of the reasons why I am in total awe of the gardens is because Jakarta’s lack of nice clean public garden is really disheartening, I love gardens/parks!
Inside the gardens, there are several points of interests to enjoy too from the floral displays in the Spanish mission style Conservatory, Captain Cooks Cottage, a scarred tree, the Fairies Tree and model Tudor village, sculptures and fountains.
I can only imagine how wonderful it is to work downtown and have a beautiful park right next to your office?! If it was me, I’d probably have lunch there every day.
- Hosier Lane Street Art
Not far from Fitzroy Gardens, you can reach Hosier Lane by foot. This small lane is famous for its Urban Art. It attracts tourists from its unique graffiti and arts. When Dan and I were there, a guy was proposing to his girlfriend with their friends videotaping and taking photos and everyone applauded – tourists included – when the girl said yes.
Hosier Lane lies opposite the entrance to the Atrium at Federation Square on Flinders St, a prominent position in the city.
It makes for a great spot to take photos!
- Queen Victoria Market
Located in downtown right in the heart of Melbourne. I find QVM to be truly fascinating. Deemed as the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere, QVM is around 7 hectares (17 acres) big!
The market has just about everything. From delicious delis, organic farm market, to butchers and seafood stalls. The market is also a perfect spot to grab souvenirs at a cheaper price compare to other places.
They also have street performers.
- Federation Square
One of the most famous spots of Melbourne, Federation Square is always packed with people. Located at an intersection between Flinders Street and Swanston Street/St. Kilda Road in Melbourne’s Central Business District. It’s a busy area with traffic, trams and tourists.
There are always some buskers (Australian for street performer) around Federation Square area like this guy below that did his performance on a really cold Melbourne winter day.
- 1,000 Steps Kokoda Walk
Not for the faint of hearts – literally!
Located within the Dandenong Ranges National Park, the 1000 Steps Kokoda Walk is really unique tourist spot at Mt. Dandenong.
This track is beautiful adjacent forest areas, bushlands, and various scenic points. You will get to experienced the physical effort of the Australian soldiers during 1942 during this track.
And yes, the hike includes 1,000 stone steps leading to the popular One Tree Hill on top of the mountain. Make sure you wear hiking shoes or, at least, sneakers as the steps can get slippery.
I was out of breath just from going up the steps in the rain too but I’m happy to say that I completed the challenge from my fiancé who didn’t even tell me we were going to 1,000 Steps. Hah!
So there you go, there are many more free things to do in Melbourne to give you a truly fun experience.
Have you ever been to Melbourne? Any more places you can recommend? Do share.