Time Out Melbourne

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

Tour the city for zilch


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.

Go penguin spotting in St Kilda

St Kilda

Need a penguin fix? Save yourself the two-hour drive to Phillip Island – and the $22. $10 admission price. You can see Little Penguins right 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.

Grab a book on the hop


The Little Library in Melbourne Central lends commuters donated books with no fees or paperwork.

Take a minute to smell the Rhododendrons

Dandenong ranges

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 (just quietly) a whole bunch of camellias, azaleas and daffodils.

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. Last year saw weekly courses ranging from ‘The Naked Brunch: Food, Consumption and Culture’ to ‘Progressive Politics: What’s Left?’ and ‘What if We Looked After Our Own Shit?’. This year’s line-up will include myths, radical economics, art history, and as usual, politics and philosophy – 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.

Updated on 14 Feb 2013.

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