3 Best Time of the Year to Visit Melbourne For Less

Who does not like or love to travel? Anybody? Well most of us definitely wanted to travel once or forever. But traveling to different places affected us most of the time by a major factor which is money. If we can travel for less its better right? Even myself, I always think of a way to travel in a budget, unless we will get someone to sponsor us to our adventures.

While staying in Melbourne for more than a year and a half, I observed when people commonly visit the city and I think the idea is the same in other parts of the world. Events makes a place not only popular but populous too. Melbourne is always busy and visiting the city any time of the year is not an issue at all because there is always something for everybody. But not all the time, events are equal, because there are events that will ask for our money too, but as I say it, it still depends on our preference as well. Here are some of the major events that visitors like you and me that can take advantage when planning the time to visit Melbourne to have all these free stuff.

1.White Night Melbourne – February

If you are more into cultural thing, love to watch shows, performances, exhibitions, music and dances, White Night Melbourne is for you. As this is a one night free event of the year. But don’t just take it for granted that its free because the shows are really awesome and spectacular that you may wonder how on earth such kind of shows become free because it will amaze you. The event happened in 12 hours straight from 7PM to 7AM non-stop and usually happens one night in February. So, if you planned to visit the city during this event, make sure you are ready for it. But if you have few hours to spare for the night, that still alright and you can still enjoy the event. I suggest to visit their official website here to have a clear idea of the detailed schedule in the future White Night Melbourne event. But my advise is, even you are not for 12 hours celebration, still go out there and see the light shows that happens to most notable buildings around CBD and definitely you will not regret it.

My personal experience in the event was described in the post below.

White Night – A Melbourne’s Dreamy Night

2.Moomba Festival – March

If you are bringing your family or even your friends, Moomba Festival will fit into your plans. The festival is the largest free community festival in Australia. The event composed of parade, crowning of monarchs, fireworks displays, carnivals, river activities, live music and bands. This is actually 3-Days event. It is also a family friendly event because of different rides and games available for the young at heart. There are shows to enjoy like water skiing competition and even the funny birdman rally. It’s a great time to spend outside because definitely everyone will have a great time. Its an event in the city that makes Melbourne alive again not only for one day but for three days. If you will attend the festival, you will most likely just going to spend only for your food and carnival rides, the rest of the stuff like shows are all free. So plan your visit in the city when this event is on, you will not regret as its added bonus to your planned vacation.

Below was my post describing the few hours of experience in the festival.

Melbourne’s Moomba Festival – Australia’s Largest Free Community Festival

3.Open House Melbourne – July

If you love buildings, architectures, history and cultures, or even you just wanted to chill and walk around the city to explore and enjoy it, Open House Melbourne is for you. Its two days event in weekend where notable, famous and even private buildings or houses being open to the public to give the chance the people to learn more about the design of the building and to give a chance to explore what’s inside of it. This event is happening in few specific cities in the world every year. One of the city where this event is happening every year since 2008 is Melbourne in Australia. And the great thing about this event is, it’s totally free.

The Open House Melbourne that I got a chance to enjoy was happened more than 3 years ago, last July 2013. Since Melbourne is one of the city that is really great in commercializing its tourism, I found out the event through ads displayed in street and while frequently visiting the Visitors Centre in Federation Square. I used to visit the center because it gives me a lot of idea where to go while in the city, within Victoria state and even within Australia. After finding out that the city will have its open house event, I got so excited. Why? Because I saw that the event is my chance to explore more about the city.

Before the schedule of the event, I did research and found its official website and learned that there are buildings with limited numbers of visitors, I tried to apply for these buildings but unfortunately I was not chosen. Because of that, the alternative for me is to grab my chance to see other buildings that I can still visit.

Because I was overwhelmed with buildings that open to public, honestly I did not know which building to visit at first, I actually bought the Open House Melbourne booklet, and there are available itineraries that listed as well. Because its only two days in a year, I wish it can be longer than that, I never got a chance visit all the buildings. In this event, I got only Saturday, because I was busy on Sunday. My tip is, if you are going to this kind of event, buy the booklet if possible and the price is very minimal, at that time, the book cost $10 AUD.  And look on the buildings that interest you and try to create your own route if you don’t like following the suggested itineraries in the booklet and enjoy the day. Some buildings are only open in 1 day, so check that one too.

The following buildings that I had a chance to tour inside of it during the event are the following :

  1. The Melbourne Athenaeum
  2. Melbourne Town Hall and Offices
  3. Council House 2 (CH2)
  4. Queen Victoria Women’s Centre

Do you know other events in Melbourne that will not cost us too much? I welcome feedback.

Notes:

1. Plan to visit Melbourne during the following event ? Please visit their website for more latest updates.

White Night Melbourne official website : whitenightmelbourne.com.au

Moomba Festival official website : moomba.melbourne.vic.gov.au

Open House official website : openhouseworldwide.org
Open House Melbourne official website : openhousemelbourne.org

2. Public Transportation Ticket – Use Myki (Melbourne Ticketing System), please check here for more details.

3. Directions

Using tram

Use tramTracker Apps or even just Google Maps (use directions) and there are tram routes available.

Using train

Visit the official Public Transport Victoria website to be able to use the Journey Planner for the next train schedule.

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Melbourne’s Moomba Festival – Australia’s Largest Free Community Festival

Living in Melbourne for a while helped me to understand what’s the life in the city. Weekends were my best time to explore and experience what Melbourne has to offer, not only for the people who lives in the city but to the people who are just passing by just like me. One thing that I admired in the city was its government and tourism partnership. Why I said a partnership? Because tourism alone will not be able to organize events in the city without support from its government. The city is rich of cultural events and activities that anyone can find what interesting to them. Its tourism never stops making the city so fascinating and alive.

Another event that I had a chance to attend was Moomba Festival. The festival said to be the Australia’s largest free and longest-running community festival held annually in Melbourne to celebrate Labor Day with cultural activities. Like what happened in White Night Melbourne event, I spared at least 1 or 2 hours to immerse myself to the colorful feast. The celebration consistently includes parade, crowning of monarchs, fireworks displays, carnivals, river activities, live music and bands.

It was Saturday again, I get out of my serviced-apartment where I lived and went to the festival to see what’s going on in the fair. When I arrived in the location of celebration, I felt excited. I jumped of at Flinders Street/Federation Square tram stop and walked to Birrarung Marr (a city park between CBD and Yarra River). While walking, I can hear screaming and laughing of people coming from the rides, I can immediately felt that people were enjoying and having a good time. The area does not have only its rides but also surrounded by different food kiosks that will make your tummy full and carnival games to entice you to play.

I stopped my walk as I checked if there’s activity to watch in Yarra River. I waited a minute or two until I saw one doing a water-skiing appeared in the river. With the camera I brought along, I took so many shots to be able to capture a good one.

Water sports – skiing and skating

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After enjoying watching water-skiing, I crossed Swan St Bridge so I can see the other side of the River which is Alexandra Gardens where other rides and carnival games stands. I walked around the place and enjoyed what I saw.

Carnival Games

Rides

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Live Music

Before I go back to my place, I walked back to Federation Square and saw some F1 motor racing cars displayed in booths and being display as a form of advertisement for the upcoming Australian Grand Prix to be happening within the same month that time.

 Notes:

1. Plan to visit Melbourne CBD during Moomba Festival event ?

To attend Moomba Festival, please visit their official website here for the latest updates.

2. Public Transportation Ticket – Use Myki (Melbourne Ticketing System), please check here for more details.

3. Directions

Using tram

Use tramTracker Apps or even just Google Maps (use directions) and there are tram routes available.
Route: 1, 3/3a, 5, 6, 8, 16, 64, 67, 72 –> get off at Stop 13 Flinders Street Station. And cross St Kilda Road towards Federation Square and walk to Birrarung Marr park.

Using train

Visit the official Public Transport Victoria website to be able to use the Journey Planner for the next train schedule.

Ride from any station and get off at Flinders Street Station

From Flinders Street Station, get off either St Kilda Road Exit. And cross St Kilda Road towards Federation Square and walk to Birrarung Marr park.

Theme : Amusement Park Rides – Moomba Festival Carnival Rides

Theme (Post#4) : Amusement Park Rides – Moomba Festival Carnival Rides

In any event such as celebration, feast, fair or festival, it is no doubt that carnival rides completes the setup. It is always makes the event colorful and alive. Here are some snapshots that I had while walking around in Alexandra Gardens in Melbourne during Moomba Festival. These photos are part of Moomba Festival Collection last March 2014.

 

Still Expression : Yarra River – Water Skiing

Still Expression (Post#6) : Yarra River – Water Skiing

One of the activities to enjoy during Moomba Festival is watching Water Skiing sports events held along Yarra River. Here anyone can see people who are really good at this kind of sports and then be amazed how they great about it. These photos are part of Moomba Festival Collection last March 2014.

Transportation : Australia – F1 Motor Race Cars

Transportation (Post#4) : Australia – F1 Motor Race Car

During Moomba Festival, I got a chance to glimpse some of the F1 race car displayed as it advertise the upcoming Australian Grand Prix at that time which happens annually in Albert Park in Melbourne. These photos are part of Moomba Festival Collection last March 2014.

Colors : Looking for a Basketball Court ?

Colors (Post#6) : Looking for a Basketball Court ?

Here is one of the snapshot I had while walking around Alexandra Gardens in Melbourne during Moomba Festival. This is one of the games that I can play in-game zone which commonly found in malls in my country, one way to practice how to play basketball, right? This photo is part of Moomba Festival Collection last March 2014.

In The Middle Of Somewhere : Flinders Street

In The Middle Of Somewhere (Post#7) : Flinders Street

Walking along Flinders Street that night was a challenge but I still able to grab my chance to take a snapshot of that moment which is full of people, one of the day that I had seen the city full of human beings. Photo is part of White Night Melbourne Photo Collection last February 2014.

White Night – A Melbourne’s Dreamy Night

White Night is a native event from Paris and was adapted by Melbourne last 2013. I was already in Melbourne when the first event happened in the city but at that time I was still new in the city I was not fully aware of the event. When I returned to Melbourne for my 3rd work assignment last February 2014, I saw ads and commercials in the streets about White Night and I wanted to attend the event.

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At Princess Bridge in St Kilda Road near Flinders Street Station

White Night is a combination of cultural activities which not only limits in music, dance, exhibitions, performance creativeness but also showcases light shows and other interactive activities. But as I see it, one of the main feature and exciting part of the event is the spectacular light shows which held in different, famous and historical buildings within the city.

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Flinders Street Station

When I arrived in Melbourne CBD, I was surprised as I never expected too many people in the streets. There were almost no free space to move around. I started to walk from Flinders Street corner Russell Street, then I tried to reach Federation Square and Flinders Street Station so I can had a grasp about Swanston Street look like. And to be honest, I don’t know how I will be able to walk in Swanston Street because of jam pack of people. When I saw the crowd it was a discovery for me that the event make people go out and just have fun for the night. I understand why people went crazy of going out in the event, one of the reason was it only happens one night for the entire year.

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Flinders Street

I was aware that the event was straight 12 hours where different events are happening and the whole schedule were published in White Night Melbourne website. Even though the event has its full of activities, I only have an hour or two stay to witness the celebration. One of the things that I enjoyed that night was the light shows along Flinders Street where I watched the shows from famous Flinders Street Station up to the corner of Russell Street. I was amazed and stunned because the buildings transformed into a white sheet used by cinema where films were played. Vivid and colorful lights made the building so amazing and I wondered how the lights made such a great show.

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Notes:

1. Plan to visit Melbourne CBD during White Night event ?

To attend White Night Melbourne event, please visit their official website here for the latest updates.

2. Public Transportation Ticket – Use Myki (Melbourne Ticketing System), please check here for more details.

3. Directions

Using tram

Use tramTracker Apps or even just Google Maps (use directions) and there are tram routes available

Using train

Visit the official Public Transport Victoria website to be able to use the Journey Planner for the next train schedule.

Ride from any station and get off at Flinders Street Station

From Flinders Street Station, get off either St Kilda Road Exit or Flinders Street Exit.

In The Middle of Somewhere : Princess Bridge (St Kilda Road)

In The Middle of Somewhere (Post#6) : At Princess Bridge (St Kilda Road)

The snapshot above captured while I was trying to pass Princess Bridge where I was having difficulty to move around as almost no space for mobility. Photo is part of White Night Melbourne Photo Collection last February 2014.

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Twilight : 196 Flinders Street

Twilight (Post#5) : 196 Flinders Street

The building is a business establishment where Australian School Management, Careers Australia and Swinburne University of Technology can be found. Outside the building it looks like a church because of its exterior design. During White Night event, the building transform its looks. Photo is part of White Night Melbourne Photo Collection last February 2014.

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Colors : Forum Melbourne

Colors (Post#5) : Forum Melbourne

White Night event makes a building different from it used to be for one night per year. Forum Melbourne is one of the known theatre and live music in the city. Its Moorish Revival exterior design came alive to another dimension will not immediately recognize that it’s really a building because of the vivid and colorful lightnings used to match the image and the building as if you are just watching a 3D virtual effects in the dark. Photo is part of White Night Melbourne Photo Collection last February 2014.

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Twilight : Federation Square

Twilight (Post#4) : Federation Square

Anyone who had been in Melbourne definitely knows this famous meeting place in the city – Federation Square. Because of its strategic location and creative design of the building, it become known to everyone as this is the usual meeting place not only for cultural and other scheduled activities in the city but also a meeting place for free walking tours and for anyone who just wanted to meet and chill. I regret that during Open House Melbourne event, I was never selected to see what’s inside the building. I had been inside for just few minutes for peeking but nothing more elaborate than that. I was able to capture this one during dinner with friends around this area. Photo captured last October 2014.

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Interior : The Dome (333 Collins Street, Melbourne)

Interior (Post#8) : The Dome (333 Collins Street, Melbourne)

I took these photo after joining my team in a lunch where I had a chance to pass the walkway at The Dome. I can’t stop my admiration and I took photos while walking and I was glad it’s still clear. Snapshots are part of my Random Photo Collection of Melbourne.

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Discovery : Manchester Unity Building

Discovery (Post#11) : Manchester Unity Building

The building was built during Depression and the tallest building in Melbourne in 1932. First building in Victoria state to have escalators and featured the largest diesel generator of its time in Australia to power three high-speed lift. It was also one of the first Victorian buildings with automatic cooling and rubbish and postal chutes on every floor.

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People : Who Wants to Sit with Us?

People (Post #1) : Who Wants to Sit with Us?

Walking in Melbourne was really entertaining. Everyone will find something interesting and others will witness cool musicians and artists along the streets. During Open House Melbourne event, I got my curiosity when some people flock at one point and I checked it out. Below is the snapshot that I got. How amazing these people act as if they have chairs on their butt? This photo is part of my Open House Melbourne Collection 2013.

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Life In The Metro : At The Block Arcade

Life In The Metro (Post#5) : At The Block Arcade

Because of its interior design, I can understand why people loves to stroll inside this arcade. I myself can’t stop to be amaze when I was walking here. I had previous post of the arcade where can be found >>> here <<< where photos captured at night from one of my walking adventure in the city . This photo was part of The Block Arcade Photo Collection July 2013 during Open House Melbourne event.

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Queen Victoria Women’s Centre – Vestige of Old Hospital But Now A Women’s Pride

Another more than century old and historical building that I had a chance to tour during Open House Melbourne event last July 2013 was Queen Victoria Women’s Centre. It was built in 1848 as Melbourne Hospital and undergone different era (different names) which become part of the colorful history.

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Here’s a bit history of the building.

Former “The Melbourne Hospital”

When it was opened in 1848, the building become older than the Victoria state since Victoria just separated from New South Wales in 1851. Even though started on its humble beginnings, the hospital grew and become the famous The Royal Melbourne Hospital.

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Old The Royal Melbourne Hospital
Photo courtesy of The Royal Melbourne Hospital Organization

Former “The Royal Melbourne Hospital” (1912-1944)

Melbourne Hospital has been rebuilt due to demands are growing tremendously as the city of Melbourne became populous. After it was rebuilt, the building changed its name to The Royal Melbourne Hospital. At that time, the hospital occupied the entire city block bound by Swanston, Lonsdale, Russell and Little Lonsdale Streets which shows how the hospital is really huge shown from photo above.

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Entire Block has been occupied

Former “The Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital” (1944-1987)

When The Royal Melbourne Hospital move to another site, the building was occupied by The Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital wherein based in history, the work pioneered were more on women’s and children’s health.

Current “Queen Victoria Women’s Centre” (1986 – present)

The only building left which supposed to be for demolition is Queen Victoria Women’s Centre. The rest of the building has refurbished and become commercial space. The building still standing today because women in Victoria fight and claim the site. And with that I got a chance to see this building that main goal is all for women like me.

The Building Tour

I was walking along Lonsdale Street to see if I can still discover another building before I end my Saturday. And there I found Queen Victoria Women’s Centre. It attracted me as I thought that its another historical building based on its exterior design. I crossed the road and went inside the building.

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Queen Victoria Women’s Centre

I decided to visit the building as I know that I had more than an hour left before the event be over for the day. During the open house event, the building’s ground floor, rooftop and 4th level with balcony had been open to the public.

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At the hallway, I found exhibits in both sides to enjoy. Then, I went straight to the rooftop as I followed other visitors. It still kind of refreshing to be in a rooftop of the building again even though I had been in Council House 2 rooftop, though QVWC (Queen Victoria Women’s Centre) has just 4 floors and not so high, visitors and myself still enjoyed the scenery. At the rooftop I saw the dome of State Library of Victoria not far from the building,  some view of the city from the top and the two cupolas of the building.

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State Library of Victoria Dome

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Cupolas closely visible at the rooftop

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Street View

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At the Rooftop

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4th Level of QVWC – The Original Ward

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Model of the building

After touring the building, I ended my day with lots of learning and discovery. This is one of the reasons I love Melbourne, the city has rich history through its building. The event helped me understand how the city developed to the way it is now.

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Queen Victoria Women’s Centre

Notes:

1. Plan to visit Queen Victoria Women’s Centre ?
Address : 210 Lonsdale St, Melbourne, Australia

Ground Floor with Exhibits are open to public during opening hours 9:00am – 5:00pm / Mon – Fri

If you really wanted to see other parts of the building for free, the right opportunity is during Open House Melbourne which happens in one weekend of July every year, to check if the building is participating in Open House Melbourne event please check here.

2. Public Transportation Ticket – Use Myki (Melbourne Ticketing System), please check here for more details.

3. Directions

Using tram

Use tramTracker Apps or even just Google Maps (use directions) and there are tram routes available
Route: 1, 3/3a, 5, 6, 8, 16, 64, 67, 72 –> get off at Stop 10 Bourke Street Mall/Bourke Street or Stop 8 Melbourne Central Station Route

Using train

Visit the official Public Transport Victoria website to be able to use the Journey Planner for the next train schedule.

Ride from any station and get off at Flinders Street Station or Melbourne Central Station

From Flinders Street Station, get off at St Kilda Road Exit and continue walking along Swanston Street and turned right at Lonsdale Street, walk few more meters and the building can be found.

From Melbourne Central Station, get off at Swantons Street Exit and continue walking along Swanston Street and turned left at Lonsdale Street, walk few more meters and the building can be found.

Chromatic Outlook – Queen Victoria Women’s Centre – Exhibition Space

Chromatic Outlook (Post#32) – Queen Victoria Women’s Centre – Exhibition Space

One of the thing that I discovered in this building is it offers space at a low-cost for women and women’s organization to exhibit and sell their work which is really an admirable objective. The snapshot is part of Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Photo Collection last July 2013.

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Structure : Queen Victoria Women’s Centre

Structure (Post#10) : Queen Victoria Women’s Centre

The building itself survive over a century and has been part of colourful history of Melbourne Hospital now The Royal Melbourne Hospital and Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital. Supposed to be for demolition but because of women’s organization, this historical building still survive. The snapshot is part of Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Photo Collection last July 2013.

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Chromatic Outlook : Queen Victoria Women’s Centre – Original Hospital Ward

Chromatic Outlook (Post#31) : Queen Victoria Women’s Centre – Original Hospital Ward

During Open House Melbourne event, part of the building that were open to public is the original hospital ward (Victoria Room) and balcony on level 4. Victoria Room still have its large heritage windows, currently being used for events, lectures and performances. Here are some snapshots in the ward. The snapshots are part of Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Photo Collection last July 2013.

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