Tag - melbourne

20 Things You Can Do In Melbourne For Free

by Teena Celis,

Melbourne market, cr-orld-guides.com

Melbourne market, cr-orld-guides.com

What are Melbourne’s freebies? What all can you see and do in Melbourne that won’t cost a pie? Melbourne is a popular Australian destination along with Sydney and Perth, and just as expensive. For the budget-savvy traveler, here are 20 Melbourne freebies to enjoy while feeling rich.

  1. Enjoy Free Park And Dockland Entertainment: Look up the White Hat guide for free entertainment at the Federation Square, Melbourne Parks and the Melbourne Town Hall or Docklands.
  2. Explore The Colonial Past Of Melbourne CBD: Walk through its narrow, European narrow lanes and check out old colonial homes while sipping delicious coffees at the many cafes in this area.
  3. Step Into A Time Gone By: Fitzroy Gardens is a faithful reproduction of everyone’s fantasy world with fairies, dragons, mystery trails and so on. There are even miniature villages to explore.
  4. Run Through The Dancing Fountains: The heat in summer can be stifling, so how about running through the dancing water fountains outside Crown Casino on Yarra River’s south side to cool off?
  5. Watch Friday Night Football: Check the MCG or Docklands Stadium for Friday night football matches during winter. You can watch them for free and enjoy a night out with other fans. Pay only for your burger and chips!
  6. Listen To Friday Night Jazz: Check the White Hat Guide for jazz performances at venues like Bennets Lane or Collingwood. Sometimes there’ll be all night jazz jam sessions with some free food thrown in.
  7. Enjoy Melbourne Markets: Check the White Hat guide for a list of Friday, Sunday and Monday markets in Melbourne. There are food markets, antique goods markets, indigenous art markets and much, much more.
  8. Look up the Post Maters Gallery: You’ll find hidden museums and art galleries based on unusual themes at the Post Master’s Gallery. Be sure to keep an eye out for unusual stuff here.
  9. Explore St. Kilda: Check the White Hat Guide for St. Kilda Sunday free events. Browse wares at the Esplanade Market, eat a lazy breakfast on Acland Street, and enjoy yourself.
  10. Take the ferry to Willy: Take a boat trip to Williamstown and enjoy the rural atmosphere. Look up the White Hat Guide to Williamston for a listing of the farmers and craft markets on Sundays.
  11. Explore Historic Houses: Check out the White Hat Guide and explore various old houses on different Sundays. There’s the Como, Rippon Lea, Black Rock House, La Trobe’s Cottage, the Werribee Mansion and so on.
  12. Check Out Free Community Festivals: Enjoy multicultural, ethnic or community festivals on Sundays – the listing will be in the White Hat Guide. Sometimes free food is thrown in as well.
  13. Ride Around The City For Free: The Melbourne City Circle Tram makes free 30-minute circuits of the city several times a day. You can get off and on any number of times.
  14. See Australia’s Most Important Art Collections: At NGV International, you can enjoy Renaissance, Baroque, Asian and contemporary art, plus sculptures, Egyptian and Roman antiquities.
  15. Explore The History Of Australian Art: At the Ian Potter Centre, view over 20 galleries of photography, fashion, prints and drawings including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.
  16. Explore Movie Evolution: Enjoy art and movie installations and movie evolution from silent movies to digital media on the world’s largest dedicated screen gallery at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.
  17. Hike The Bay Trail: From St Kilda Pier to the Acland Street café, heading past the historic Luna Park and the St Kilda Marina. The hike will take you two hours. You can rent a bike and enjoy this scenic route in 40 minutes.
  18. Explore the Royal Botanic Gardens: It’s amazing that this 35-hectare large collection of extensively landscaped gardens is totally free to explore. Take advantage of the self-guided audio walks and the free guided walks.
  19. Tour The State Library Of Victoria: There are timed one-hour tours of the Cowen Gallery, the Dome Gallery and the domed La Trobe Reading Room that are accompanied by a historical commentary.
  20. Explore The Outdoor Contemporary Art Gallery: Enjoy the creative outputs of Melbourne’s street artists along the Yarra River bank. There are paintings, sculptures and architectural wonders.

Top Places to Visit in Australia

This article gives you the idea of the top 5 places to visit in Australia if you have planned for it in your vacation.

    Sydney Australia

Sydney Australia


It is one of the very old cities of Australia. The city was the location of the first European settlement in Australia. The spots in the city are quite enchanting and just attract the tourists towards it. One of the best spots among all those is the Sydney harbour, where you get to visit the famous Sydney opera house and the harbour bridge. The opera house is famous all over the world for its architecture. It consists of a concert hall, two theatres, a studio room and its court also has restaurant, cafe and bar. On the other hand, the bridge is an arch shaped and steel built structure and contains 7 lanes of traffic in addition to a cycle lane, a railway path and footpath.


Melbourne, Australia by night

Melbourne, Australia by night

This city is the second most populated city of Australia and is the largest one in the state of Victoria. The famous spots that one may find here include places like the parliament house, the state library, the Melbourne town hall and many others. All of these building were built around 1850 by the fund of Victoria. Further the city is also famous for its art galleries and there is a Melbourne stencil festival celebrated here every year. Melbourne can also be considered as the business place of Australia where one can find every of the thing he can think of.

3.The grand ocean road

Now is the time to tell something about the place which will give you some of the unforgettable sites to you. This road was built in 1930 in the memory of the fallen soldiers and has some of the magnificent scenes for you. The road is 250 km in length and is extended from the Bellarine peninsula to Warrnambool. If you ever plan to spend some time on the road and think of going on a very long drive, this is the place to come. Well, I guess you would have seen this road in many of the advertisements for cars.

4.The barrier reef

Great Barrier Reef, acfonline.org.au

Great Barrier Reef, acfonline.org.au

Are you thinking of having some of the fun going under water? Well, this is a place totally meant for those persons who love diving. This coral reef is situated off the coast of the Queensland and is the largest coral reef of the world. It possesses more than 900 islands and expands to more than 2,500 kilometres. This reef is the home of many aquatic creatures including whales, dolphins, turtles, sharks and many more.

5.The Fraser island

Do you want to lie on the beaches and enjoy sun bath? This is the place to go if your answer for the question is ‘Yes’. This is the world largest sand island expanding to a area of 122 km. It is a unique place in itself as it is the only place in the world where you will find white sand and the rain forest at one time. The place is known to be the habitat of more than 300 species of birds.

Useful info:


Epic adventures, spectacular sights – amazing Australia has it all!



Whatever kind of adventure you’re looking for, you’ll find it in Australia. Stunning landscapes, a fantastic climate and welcoming people make this a remarkable destination. There’s so much to see and do in this vast country, you’re guaranteed a great time.

Iconic Landmarks

Sydney is without doubt Australia’s must-see city. Tour the iconic Opera House for a taste of culture or discover the town’s history at the famous Rocks. For truly spectacular views, climb across the famous Harbour Bridge, or if you’d rather stay a little closer to the ground, take a ferry or kayak across the river. Darling Harbour bustles with restaurants, cafes and bars, where you can soak up the lively atmosphere of this energetic town. Nearby Bondi and Manly beaches are fantastic if you’ve ever fancied learning to surf or just want to chill out in stunning surroundings. For a truly unforgettable day, drive to the incredible Blue Mountains to admire their outstanding natural beauty.

Fascinating Culture

A vibrant and cosmopolitan city, Melbourne is a busy place with plenty of action. There are a multitude of top-class restaurants and cafes, offering a variety of cuisines. Browse the rambling lanes to find quirky shops, or take a trip up the beautiful Yarra River. Visit St Kilda’s for a relaxing beachside break, or simply take in the stunning scenery from one of the city’s distinctive rooftop bars or cinemas. Melbourne has firmly established itself as a sporting hub, playing host to the Australian Grand Prix and Australian Open tennis tournament. It’s also the birthplace of Aussie Rules Football and home to the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground, home of the Ashes 2013.

Adelaide is renowned for its stunning stone architecture and abundant culture, with plentiful museums and libraries in its spacious colonial-style surrounds. If you’re passionate about food, a visit to Adelaide Central Market is a great opportunity to sample excellent produce by an array of suppliers from all across the region. Get close to nature with a trip to Kangaroo Island, where you can see kangaroos, pelicans, seals, penguins and of course, the amazing koalas. This charming, grand city is truly delightful, with idyllic sprawling gardens and a rich heritage.

Outstanding Natural Beauty

Perth, Australia’s most westerly capital, is famous for its stunning beauty and relaxed, friendly feel. Take a trip up the Swan River to admire the scenery or journey to the Swan Valley, packed with exquisite vineyards and memorable picnic spots. The historic port of Fremantle is a heritage delight, the perfect place to enjoy a sumptuous meal. Visit the famous Zoo or examine the Aboriginal culture in the great Kings Park. There are also plenty of clean, non crowded beaches if you just fancy taking things easy.

Gorgeous Brisbane is the gateway to many of Australia’s most spectacular attractions. The city is a cultural delight, packed with art galleries, museums and theatres. There are plentiful restaurants and busy bars along the lively South Bank. Wander through the lush Botanical Gardens or canoe right through the centre of town down the Brisbane River. Brisbane offers easy access to some utterly unbelievable sights. Enjoy the relaxed vibe and sub-tropical climate of the famous Surfers Paradise. If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, take a four-wheel drive on World-Heritage site Fraser Island, or a sailing trip around the Whitsundays. For the experience of a lifetime, a visit to the Great Barrier Reef is not to be missed.

With such a variety of attractions to see, a trip to Australia will certainly be memorable. Whether it’s good food, exciting activities or breathtaking natural wonders, it has everything you could need for an unforgettable holiday.

Music Festivals in Melbourne: Tips and Tricks

 Music Festivals in Melbourne:cr-vimeo

Music Festivals in Melbourne:cr-vimeo

So I have found myself in the midst of festival season again. This is the time of year that the youth of Australia can recognize instantly; it is akin to the change in the composition of the air on that first summer afternoon. It’s the time of year when the sun is warming, browning and blistering the skin, roasting like the barbeque meat that is already in short supply, a time of pool parties, beer gardens, late night sporting events, beach outings, beach parties, and beach holidays.

The days are longer, they seem to flow more easily and into each other so that months go by like weeks, weeks like days and days like hours, and the air is lightly scented with a combination of sunscreen, tomato plants and insect repellent.

Yet, before you know it you’re hunting for your long johns and wooly beanies amidst the storage and pulling on your overcoat around your shoulders and your heart that holds a sense of mourning for the kind of warmth and lightheartedness you will not see for another 9 months. Here in Melbourne, we all know how fleeting the three months of summer that we are allocated by Mother Nature can be, and so we try our hardest to squeeze into every last beam of sunshine memories to draw on when we are huddled up in our dark office cubicles as April rolls around, and that includes cramming as many festivals as we can into this opportune window of time.

Since the summer of 2008, I have been a regular festival attendee. And since the summer of 2008, I have repeatedly questioned why I put myself through the aching feet, the sunburn, the wash outs, the technical difficulties, the enormous snaking line to get to the feral toilets, the feral toilets, the loud, obnoxious boys and girls who are already down five cans of Smirnoff Double Black at 12:30 in the afternoon and insist on talking all the way through my favourite acts, being stepped on, pushed over, or blocked out, and only being able to see the top of Karen O’s headdress because of my unfortunate size. Why would anyone want to put themselves through that, you ask? Simple. For the love of music.

It would seem that I have some strange deep seeded penchant for inflicting self torture, but hear me out. Although all that I described is usually what comes with going to a music festival, especially if you are a 5 foot 2 redhead with extremely pale skin and a low tolerance for girls who like to climb on their boyfriends shoulders during her favourite songs, there is nothing quite like being surrounded by people with whom you may have nothing in common, except that they share the same love of music as you do.

As soon as that band walks out onto the stage, and you see that they have the same dopey, lovesick, I-am-so-happy-I-am-going-to-cry look on their faces as you do, they become your friends, your comrades, and your closest confidants. As I look out over the sea of plastic coloured Ray-Ban sunglasses, floral print shirts and denim short shorts, bodysuits, wife-beaters and feathered headdresses, I know instantly that these are my people.

Two days ago I attended the Good Vibrations Festival in Flemington, Melbourne, and as I stood there pushed up against my boyfriend and another man wearing a wife beater and a backwards baseball cap and smelling of B.O, watching the lead singer of Friendly Fires gyrating against his microphone like a slightly deranged yet not nearly as effortlessly cool Mick Jagger, I thought of all the things that I loved about the music festival scene.

The dancing, the fashion, the bad fashion, the sunshine, being drunk at 12:30 in the afternoon and not being judged (too much) for it, making best friends in the mosh pit with the other drunk boys and girls, sing-alongs, the band banter, getting messy with my friends and of course, the music. In fact, you can scrap all the rest of the good and the bad because the music is everything. Even if you have had the most supremely awful festival day, there will always be one act, one song, or one moment that will make you think “Damn, it is good to be alive.”

It’s that moment when the band plays the starting riff of your favourite song, and the lead singer comes out with those all important first lines that you have clung to for comfort and hope in darker times, that moment that sends shivers down your spine and brings tears to your eyes, that fills up your chest with emotion so effortlessly your heart seems buoyant and everything else is obliterated in the light of that one moment of musical clarity. That is what I go to festivals for.

So if you are new to the country and want to embrace some of the local youth culture, or just new to the festival scene and considering of joining the ranks of the festival goer, or if you have dreamed of being alive in the time of Woodstock but have to settle for Groovin’ the Moo, here are some tips and some of my favourite music festivals to get you started.

Have a Plan

Although Music Festivals are great value in terms of the amount of acts you get to see, if the line up is particularly awesome, you’re going to have clashes. This is unavoidable, and as crushing as it can be trying to choose between seeing Faithless and Phoenix (something we had to painstakingly grapple with at Good Vibes) there are ways to optimize the music component in your festival experience.

Festival websites release their timetables a couple of weeks before the actual event, so its best to download a copy and work out with your friends which acts you want to see and when you have to be at what stages. And don’t be afraid to break off from your group if there’s a band you really want to see; they know it isn’t personal, and you will always make new friends ready to share their beer and their love of Metallica with you in the mosh pit.


Take it! You may look like a pasty dweeb, but too many times have I suffered with blistering skin and a terrible t shirt tan. Sometimes the first aid tents will supply you with some, but I would recommend taking your own, or at least putting some on before you leave. You can use zinc to make it fun, but you run the risk of having “I Love Penis” being burnt into your back for all eternity.


Now this sounds lame and un-hardcore, but in this instance I am strictly referring to multiple day festivals, such as Falls Festival in Lorne and the Pyramid Rock Festival down at Phillip Island, which both run over New Year’s. These festivals all require you to camp on site (unless you have accommodation nearby, but you don’t get the gritty, dirty, truly wonderful festival experience if you’re “off campus”), and although you may think that you will be able rock and roll all night and party every day, you will burn out without sleep.

Unfortunately you can’t choose your neighbors, and more often than not there will always be one group who stay up drinking till sunrise, pumping their own music out of the car stereo ; if this happens you will either want to join them, or go all Texas Chainsaw on them. My advice is to put down the chainsaw, and put in some earplugs; they will also block out any of the late night DJ acts, and stop you from getting arrested. But if you take them because the music is too loud, well then, unless you have a medically prescribed hearing condition,  that is pretty lame.

Don’t Get Caught Out

With drink prices astronomically inflated at the festival bars, people tend to try and sneak in their own stashes of alcohol, which is sadly always against festival policy. I wouldn’t recommend it – from my experience it’s not worth the stress and the penalties are pretty harsh; in the old days the cops would just take it off you, but now days if you get caught with drugs or alcohol on you, you will be denied entry, especially at Falls Festival and Pyramid Rock.

But if you do decide to give it a try, be a bit more creative than the vodka in the water bottle trick; after decades of overuse by countless groups of 18 year girls, they’re wise to that.

Music Festivals in general are gritty, dirty, messy, smelly, yet I always look back on them as some of the best times of my life. So, what are you waiting for? Do it for the love of music!

Against the Grain: Vintage Shopping in Melbourne

Vintage Shopping in Melbourne-cr-queensofvintage.com

Vintage Shopping in Melbourne-cr-queensofvintage.com

There is been a lot of debate amongst alternative circles as to which is better shopping, op shops or vintage stores. The problem with this argument, however, is that it is like comparing apples to oranges; they are both completely different operations, and so both have their benefits and pitfalls.

The Difference between Vintage and Op Shopping

Opportunity shops or “Op Shops” as they have affectionately been renamed are very much a hunter-gatherer set-up, in which people donate all their old clothes that they no longer wear so that people who are less fortunate may benefit from either directly by purchase or through the sale of the clothes through organizations such as the Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul. This means that choices for size, style, and color are slim to none, but the prices are generally a lot lower than a vintage shop. However, if you exercise patience and persistence, you will more often than not come away with a one of a kind vintage skirt, dress, or pair of pumps from 1972 for next to nothing, and nothing beats that triumphant feeling of finding a perfect piece of vintage clothing in the 99 cent bin at your local Vinnies. They’re also a great place to shop for a Halloween costume.

Vintage stores, on the other hand, are a lot more selective in what they sell; they essentially take out all the leg work of finding the diamonds in the rough, but this goes hand in hand with a higher price tag. These stores are generally a lot more expensive, and they tend to mix in the old clothes with the new collections, so some of the clothes don’t have that sense of history (or the musty smell). They do, however, have gorgeous pieces, and are a lot more effortless way to shop.

Vintage Shopping In Melbourne

Over the years I have shopped at both Vintage Stores and Op Shops, and I cannot choose which ones I like the best. So I’ve put together my five favourite stores in Melbourne that I feel as a group encompasses the benefits of both.

Thread Den

“The best way to save money and avoid fashion pitfalls is to find your own style. It’s not about following the latest trends; it’s about knowing what suits you.” Thread Den

This is an excellent mantra for those who feel lost in a whirlwind of fast-paced, disposable fashion where they just cannot find their own niche. Thread Den is unique in that not only does it showcase a number of high quality vintage garments, shoes, and accessories at reasonable prices, it also encourages you to think about altering and making your own clothes. The store is equipped with its own sewing lounge that is open for public use, as well as classes for adults and children in sewing, altering, and dress making run by designers and industry professionals in a relaxed and sociable environment.

Location: 422 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

Kids In Berlin

This is one of my favorite stores for a number of reasons, one being the large collection of Independent Australian designers that they stock, and two because everything is just so much fun. The collections of jewelry and accessories are my favorite aspect of this store, ranging from pop out wooden earrings to plastic broaches and rings that do away with pretentiousness and are instead all about having fun and indulging in a sense of quirk and color. Although their stock is not strictly classified as classic vintage, a lot of the stocked items are based from vintage pop culture designs from the eighties, nineties etc.

Location: 472 Victoria Street , Fitzroy

Meet Me at Mike’s

Now this is not only a clothing store, but more an emporium of eccentric arts and crafts. From vintage dresses to quirky jewelry and accessories, unique toys and a collection of eclectic knick-knacks that are bound to evoke feelings of nostalgia in even the most hardnosed shoppers, Meet Me at Mike’s feels a lot more like being in your Nanna’s sewing room than a Brunswick street store. Started by crafting superstar Pip Lincoln, this is one of my favorite stores because as soon as I step foot inside I get this feeling of being surrounded by the warmth radiating from each object that has been created with such love and care. They also have two books published on how to make a lot of their creations yourself, which can be bought at the store or online.

Location: 63 Brunswick St, Fitzroy

Lost and Found

If Meet Me at Mike’s is your grandmother’s sewing room, then Lost and Found is defiantly her attic!

Lost and Found is set up like an indoor market and sells almost anything that once belonged to someone else: dresses, blouses, coats, scarves, footwear, furniture, bicycles, toys, cameras, jewelry — the list goes on. This eclectic collection of vintage treasures borderlines more on the side of the op shop, but there is a sense of charm that just drips from the walls of the four-story warehouse of Marry Poppins bag like proportions that you don’t get anywhere else; everything is lit in the warm, honey colored hues of nostalgia.

Location: 12 Smith Street, Collingwood


Retrostar is all about the clothing … and the cowboy boots. This is a great place because it has clothes for guys and girls, and in all styles from long 1950s day dresses to tartan mini skirts from the 80s to 90s punk scene, flannel shirts, dress shirts, and rows and rows of cowboy boots in every color you probably didn’t even know cowboy boots came in (my favorite find so far is a bright red vinyl pair). They also have a huge collection of band t-shirts for a wide range of rock, punk, and metal bands, both vintage and recent. The prices can be a little high for some of the older garments, but you can always find something to fall in love with. They also have major warehouse sales every year, so be sure to join their Facebook page to receive the updates.

Location: First Floor, Nicholas Building, 37 Swanston Street (Cnr Flinders Lane)

If you are new to Melbourne, and a little shy or wary of secretive nature of these stores, don’t fret! I used to be too, but once I plucked up the courage to step foot inside one, I found the people tending them to be incredibly nice, helpful and very interesting.  Don’t let the fact that you have to go down an alley way or up a flight of stairs put you off; its a totally different shopping experience than shopping at Myer on Bourke Street, but one I think you will really enjoy.

So before you throw up your hands in despair at not being able to find anything to wear, take the fashion blinkers off your eyes and venture out of your local shopping center and into the streets of inner city Melbourne; you have no idea how many treasures are waiting for you.