Top 10 things to do in Melbourne on a student budget (Issue 23, 2011)

12 Apostles

12 ApostlesIt can sometimes be tough living on a student budget, but luckily Melbourne is a city full of free and cheap activities that will excite and entertain.

We have compiled a list of the top 10 cheap activities in Melbourne. So when you’re not busy studying, you can entertain yourself while not breaking the bank.

  • Federation Square – Situated in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, there is always something happening at Fed Square. From markets to free gigs or street shows, Fed Square has an array of free and cheap entertainment. 
  • Queen Victoria Market – Queen Vic Market is Victoria’s premier open-air market. It’s a thriving place, pulsating with life. The Suzuki Night Market is also run on the same spot, and there is always entertainment and fun activities at both.
  • Southgate – Southgate borders the edge of the Yarra River in Melbourne’s inner south. At Southgate you can enjoy free WiFi, beautiful views and an exciting environment. You can grab a bite to eat at one of the many cafes, window shop, or simply go for a long walk along the river. There are always street performances going on, so keep a look out! 
  • Great Ocean Road – Victoria’s spectacular and famous coastline is one of our most breathtaking tourist attractions. Take a drive down the coast and view famous landmarks like the 12 Apostles. 
  • La Trobe Wildlife Sanctuary – The La Trobe Wildlife Sanctuary is home to some of Australia’s most unique and interesting flora and fauna. Located on the La Trobe Melbourne campus, there are many tours and experiences you can take part in at this wonderful place. La Trobe students are offered discounted prices. 
  • Dandenong Ranges – Set in fairytale-like forest and ferns, The Dandenongs are a haven of hidden delights for nature-lovers, outdoor adventurers, art enthusiasts, foodies and those seeking rest and rejuvenation. There are beautiful public gardens or you can take a ride on Australia’s favourite steam train – Puffing Billy
  • Docklands – From art to sports and culture, Docklands offers a colourful variety of events and attractions. You can go ice-skating at The Icehouse, or enjoy the free gardens, public art and galleries, architectural innovation and design or simply relax by the water.  
  • National Gallery of Victoria – The NGV is Victoria’s oldest public art gallery that you can enjoy for free! You can take a tour, or download the mobile app and find out what you want to know on your own. Regular exhibitions are also run throughout the year. 
  • Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne – The picturesque setting of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne extends over 36 hectares and displays more than 50 000 plants. Diverse plant collections, year-round events, unique tours and a reputation as one of the world’s finest gardens has made it one of Melbourne’s most popular tourist attractions. 
  • Sidney Myer Music Bowl – Set is parklands and only a short walk from the city, the Music Bowl is a large grassy amphitheatre and stage where you can enjoy many free shows including, music by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, a ballet, opera or pop and rock bands! Some events are ticketed so please check their website for more information.

La Trobe University’s main campus is situated in Bundoora, only 14 kilometres from Melbourne’s city centre. For more information about studying here, visit