Dear Danielle, my name is Ashlea and I have just been accepted to The Intern Group’s program in Australia. I am so excited to intern abroad in a place that’s been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember! From what I’ve heard though, Australia is quite expensive. Do you have any tips to enjoy Melbourne on a budget?
Hi Ashlea, congrats on your acceptance to The Intern Group’s program in Australia! You’re going to have an amazing time interning in one of the coolest metropolitan cities in the world. I’m also so excited for your endless outdoor adventure opportunities. While Australia can definitely be expensive, there are tons of free or inexpensive ways for you to enjoy Melbourne on a budget. Hopefully this list will help you enjoy Australia without blowing your budget.
1. Buy your groceries at Queen Victoria Market
Going out to eat can be expensive, but luckily Melbourne has an extensive market where you can buy all of your groceries on a budget. Not only is it less expensive than eating out, but it’s also healthier too. You’d be surprised at how much money you will save by bringing your lunch to your internship rather than going out.
2. Find “pay what you feel” eateries around town
You’re probably thinking — “what do you mean by ‘pay as you feel?’” but it’s really as literal as it sounds. You pay what you feel the meal was worth! There are a few hidden gems in Melbourne including Lentils as Anything, a vegetarian option, with a menu that excludes prices. The money you pay for your meal actually goes to help some local charities as well, so it’s a great way to give back. You can find these restaurants in neighborhoods like St. Klida, Abbotsford, and Footscray.
3. Take advantage of free or inexpensive transportation
Whether it’s riding the tram in free zones, or paying $2 to rent a bike for the day, Melbourne is pretty easy to navigate inexpensively. The free tram runs its routes through the city center, where you’ll likely want to hang out in your free time. If you choose to ditch public transit for a bike, it’s also a great way to see new parts of the city you otherwise wouldn’t get the chance to.
4. Go to free museums
Melbourne is home to museums for people of all interests, including art, history, and science, among many other topics. For a full list of the museums, see here.
5. Enjoy free festivals
Whether it’s film, food, music, or art, there’s usually a festival to attend on weekends in Melbourne. To start planning your weekends now, check out the City of Melbourne’s official website for a line up of festivals.
6. Go on a free self-guided graffiti tour
What better way to experience the city than to tour its art district by foot? Melbourne is an artist’s dream. Explore Hosier Lane, Caledonian Lane, ACDC Lane & Duckboard Place, Cocker Alley, Rutledge Lane, or Union Lane for some inspiration. Don’t forget your camera.
7. Go outside
From an abundance of parks, to botanical gardens, Melbourne is filled with lots of public spaces while also being only a short drive away from the beach. Aussies love Alexandra Gardens, Batman Park, Birrarung Marr, and Fitzroy Gardens in particular.
Now that you know how to enjoy Melbourne on a budget, learn more about how to boost your career with an internship in Australia.
Photos from The Intern Group Australia Instagram