Melbourne is clean, walkable and has a lot of green areas where you will easily find locals jogging and enjoying some fresh air. The city offers many free attractions and services.
We enjoyed our free visit to the Botanical Garden and to the National Gallery of Victoria (there is only a fee to pay if you want to see the temporary exhibition). Wi-fi is usually not included in your hotel stay, but you can enjoy free wi-fi in the library. A couple of tram lines are also free of charge; the main one that touches many points of interest is the City Circle Tram.
In my opinion, the city lacks in aesthetics. There's no iconic building or skyline, but there are plenty of places to hang out between libraries, cafes, and restaurants. We liked strolling around Fitzroy. It’s an interesting neighborhood with a bit of a hippie style and a cool vibe.
From Melbourne, we took a day trip to the Twelve Apostles.
Renting a car is expensive in Australia ($70-$100 per day). If you choose to drop it in a different location from pick-up, it can get even more expensive because you have to pay for the distance between the two locations. We chose Redspot because it had good reviews. Make sure you take some time to choose the option with the best value.
The Twelve Apostles were a touristy spot, but are still well worth your time. Don’t expect to see twelve, some have eroded. New apostles are forming, though, and the landscape is constantly changing.
How to Get to the 12 Apostels:
It takes three hours via the M1 going south. Connect to the A1 then C163 – C164 to Port Campbell. Proceed to the east along the coast on the B100 (Great Ocean Road).
Points of Interest Along the Way:
- Loch Ard Gorge
- The Razorback
On the way back from the Twelve Apostles, if you want to take the Great Ocean Road, it will take double the amount of time it took on the way there. The fastest way is reconnecting to the A1. We got lost and ended up on the C155-C159, a road in the middle of Great Otway National Park surrounded by the wild lush landscape with ferns, eucalyptus, and gullies. We were the only car on the road and after all the tourists it was nice to get away. I recommend this detour if you like exploring natural scenery off the beaten path. Then you can connect to the Great Ocean Road again via the C119. The return trip took six hours. Make sure you have plenty of gas.