I'm a freelance writer and primary school teacher living in SE Melbourne. I love finding adventures for myself, my husband and our four kids to enjoy. Come along! Heart my articles, subscribe to the fun, follow along on www.facebook.com/WNMelbourne
Published October 12th 2014
Don't let the cost of parking keep you from the stunning CBD
Ugh: Parking. The cost of parking in the CBD can take the wind out of your sails quicker than a dirty AFL tackle. I've been for shopping, theatre, and meals in the CBD that I spent less money on than the parking near the venue. Well, you are going to call me your new best friend when you discover my secrets to parking in the CBD. Okay, so they are not-so-secret, and kind of widely advertised, but I am still surprised at how few people know, so here you go Melbourne: Secure-a-Spot Online Booking for parking.
A bit of planning ahead, and a few simple, one-time-registration steps, and you're on your way to the cheapest (sometimes free) parking in Melbourne CBD (currently 19 locations) and beyond (Ivanhoe, Moonee Ponds, and St Kilda Road).
Book in advance (as little as one hour ahead), choose your location, entry, and exit time, and receive an entry code by email. For all Secure-a-Spot bookings, you have a 15-minute grace period prior to the entry time of your Secure-a-Spot reservation period. If you exit the car park outside of your reservation period, you may incur fees in addition to your Secure-a-Spot booking fee. When you book early bird, evening, or weekend, you will have more flexible entry and exit conditions. You may only park at the nominated location.
If you haven't booked ahead, or even for a nice change of scenery, Harbour Town at Docklands offers parking at two large undercover car parks, open 24 hours, seven days a week, at a rate that is more affordable than the core (if you haven't booked ahead), albeit a little out of the CBD. Rates at time of publication are $3 for the first hour, $7 for up to four hours, and a flat rate $10 exceeding four hours. Entry to both car parks is off Footscray Rd, or Docklands Drive. Catch the city circle tram around the city (free) and you have yourself a fun and cost-efficient way to spend the whole day in Melbourne.
Note that parking signs override the information displayed on parking meters and ticket machines. Some attempts at offering helpful information can be found on this City of Melbourne website.
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GoSecure is a smartphone app by Secure Parking that helps you find the cheapest and closest car parks to your destination while you're on the go. GoSecure provides you with all the details you need for each car park, including car park rates, operating hours, and the services that are available at the car park. All you need to do is enter your destination, the date and time of day you want to park, and the Deal Finder will provide you with a choice of the cheapest or closest parking. At over 70 Secure Parking car parks you book your parking with Secure-a-Spot, you'll guarantee a spot in the car park and save money on the normal parking rate.
Don't let the cost of parking keep you from spending time in the amazing Melbourne CBD. Guarantee your spot with Secure-a-Spt, and you're good to go, with more pocket money to spend at a great cafe, restaurant, or other CBD fun.
Great topic - the cost and availability of parking. And great that you're sharing ways of finding cheaper, or even free, parking. It looks like (unless I'm mistaken) that the "Secure a Spot" site is linked to a single car park operator.
A great app I've found for iPhone and Android, which is free, and is independent covering all car park operators as well as shopping centers etc. is simply called "Car Parking Info" - all of Australia and more.