Melbourne is the capital of the state Victoria and the most populous with 4,4 million inhabitants, and is the second of Australia just after Sydney and double as much as the third Brisbane. It is considered as one of the most expensive cities in the world, but its size makes possible to find cheaper place and good deals. Some rankings claim that Melbourne is the 'most livable city in the world'. Now you can judge by yourself what this is worth...
Majority of the people would agree that Melbourne is the most, and maybe the only 'alternative' city in Australia. There are a lot of graffitis and nice projects going on. It is a well a place where 4 seasons can happen in one day, you leave in the morning with a beautiful sun only covered with a t-shirt, you will have to find a shelter against heavy rain at noon, and the evening will hesitate between autumn and spring.
Because of some serial killer problems a few dozens a years ago, some people say that Melbourne is not a hitchhikable city. Some others will say that it is only due to the current individualization of the Australian society and that people are just more afraid. Anyway it is doable, look on Hitchwiki for all infos!
Melbourne Metro trains can be a bit tough to blackride, but it's totally doable once you figure out how - and really worth your while and definitely more ethical than going along with the company's extortional scheme of making you pay AUS$6 just for a card that then you have to top up with money to be allowed to ride!
In most stations (except central/major stations that have barriers with somebody guarding; find a blind spot to hop over the barrier or wait until the guard is distracted and walk through the wheelchair gates) you can just walk onto the platform and the train - perfect for just going between suburbs. Occasionally there's ticket inspectors on the trains, rather heavy-handed fellows and not especially polite. If you're not Ozzie, however, there's not really any way they can make you pay a fine - except if you live in Australia and give them your real address, but who would do that?! Don't show them proper ID, show them something with your name on it (like a credit card) and then give them a fake address. They might make you ring somebody to confirm that address (they tend to find entries such as "mum" in your phone; they can really be aggressive), but if you set up somebody who knows which fake address to give you'll be golden. Enjoy!
Lentil as Anything offers yummy vegan & vegetarian food at a number of locations around Melbourne (and one place in Sydney). The grub is by donation, so if you're skint you can eat for free. It's really worth supporting the effort though, they have too find a balance between too much and too less donation in order to survive.
China Town is usually cheaper than the rest of the town.
Free wifi shouldn't be too hard to find. Anyone has some spots?
You will have to wake up early, but Melbourne Underground offers a free 2h30-3h walking tour at 10h30am every day. It is on a donation base, and the guides are usually cool and give a nice overlook of the city.
Where to party?
Melbourne has a lot of underground and rooftops bars that you will not find without knowing. Try to ask around you or to look on internet to find nice places. But remember that alcool is expensive in Australia...
- Penguin Island. If you are ready to give a bit of money away, you can see several hundreds of penguins coming out in a few minutes of the sea at nightfall on Phillip Island. Costs probably more than AUS$20.
- The Great Ocean Road offers spectacular views of the seaside that you unfortunately will have to share with the thousands of tourists that come there every year.