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5 Free Tours in Melbourne

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by Bianca Gravina-Price (subscribe)
A blogger / photographer who lives in Geelong and holidays often.
Published February 17th 2013
See the best of Melbourne for free
Melbourne is consistently named one of the most expensive cities in the world. However a trip Melbourne need not break the bank. Below are 5 tours that you can take without spending a cent.

Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle Bus

The Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle Bus is a free initiative run by the city council. This hop on, hop off bus takes a one and a half hour round trip of the CBD with commentary from the driver. There are 13 stops including Federation Square, the Melbourne Museum, Lygon Street, the Queen Victoria Markets, Southbank, and the Shrine of Remembrance.

The shuttle bus can be used to get to the locations of other free tours in the Melbourne CBD.

View from the Shrine

Victorian Parliament

Work on the Victorian Parliament building was started in 1856. The ostentatious design of architect Peter Kerr has not yet been fully realised, so technically the building is not really completed. Australia Federal Parliament was held in the building from 1901 until 1928. Six free tours are conducted each day when Parliament is not sitting, which is surprisingly often.

The Royal Exhibition Building

Completed in 1880, the Royal Exhibition Building was the first building in Australia to be granted a place on the World Heritage List. It is the last remaining Great Hall, built as part of the international exhibition movement of the late 19th century. When built the Royal Exhibition Building was the largest building in Australia. Guided tours are held most days at 2pm.

The Botanical Gardens

On the south side of the Yarra River are the Royal Botanical Gardens. An oasis in a city, the gardens stretch over 36 hectares and boasts over 50,000 plants. Free tours of the gardens, starting at the Visitor Centre, are held every morning and afternoon Tuesday to Sunday throughout the year.

The City Circle Tram

A ride on a tram without a ticket is a quintessential Melbourne experience. Most Melburnians treat tram travel like it's free and take the trams without buying a ticket. But if you don't want to risk a run in with an overzealous ticket inspector and a fine jump on the City Circle Tram which actually is free. The restored W-Class trams run both a clockwise and anticlockwise loop every 12 minutes. The full loop takes less than an hour.

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Why? See the best of Melbourne for free
When: Most days
Where: Melbourne CBD
Cost: All of these tours are FREE
Your Comment
Actually the Royal Exhibition Building tour costs $5 :
by Jerome (score: 2|111) 2842 days ago
The City Circle Tram: how dare you say 'Most Melburnians treat tram travel like it's free and take the trams without buying a ticket" on a web page that can be seen all around the world, supposedly promoting Melbourne. It isn't true - just notice when a ticket inspector gets on, those people you have assumed don't have a ticket - they do! Plus, that statement promotes Melbounites as a pack of opportunistic thieves
by pam.n (score: 0|2) 2840 days ago
It would be great if you could add Melbourne Town Hall Tours to your list of Free Tours in Melbourne.
These tours are run Monday to Friday at 11 am and again at 1 pm - takes about 1 hr. 15 min.
Visitors get a chance to see the wonderful Council Chamber, 3 beautiful reception rooms, stand out on the Portico, admire the Auditorium .. as well as getting an overview of early Melbourne history.
Bookings preferred by phoning 9658 9658 (City of Melbourne)
by dlhau (score: 0|2) 2828 days ago
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