Some of the best things in life are free, and these free date ideas are no exception. While everyone else pays through the nose for cruises on the Yarra or hot air balloon trips, you and your date can enjoy some of the most romantic activities in Melbourne for zilch.
Go on a romantic walk Take a leisurely stroll in one of Melbourne's many romantic locations. Any section of beach, along the Yarra in Southbank and either of the Botanic Gardens are popular walking locations for couples. Getting puffed out is not so romantic, so pick a low-impact walk on flat ground.
Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens are a picturesque destination for a walking date. Photo: Royal Botanic Gardens.
While you're walking near the Yarra, you could...
Put a lock on the bridge Inscribe the initials of you and your Valentine into a cheap lock, attach it to a public location of your choice by the Yarra, and throw the key into the water as a symbol of everlasting love. The footbridge just before Flinders Station is Melbourne's most popular location for love locks.
Go to the NGV What could be more romantic than looking at art at the NGV? Ooh and ahh over paintings and sculptures, or unleash your inner art critic and verbally tear the NGV collection to shreds. Some exhibitions at the NGV do have an entry fee, but there are tens of thousands of works in their collection that can be viewed for free. Best of all, there are way too many displays to be tackled in one visit, so you can split your visit to the NGV into multiple budget dates.
Find Tiepolo's 'The Banquet of Cleopatra' in the 17th to 18th Century European Paintings Gallery at the NGV.
Once you've exhausted yourself at the gallery, you could...
Watch the sunset Head to the beach or to the mountains to drink in the sunset. By mid-February, sunset happens at around 8:30pm. Or, if you're both early risers and fancy getting up before 7am, perhaps watching the sunrise is more your style.
Watch the sunset for a free and romantic date. Photo: Michael Zimmer.
After you watch the sunset at St Kilda beach, you could...
See the penguins at St Kilda Head to St Kilda Pier to see the little penguins come to the shore after sunset. St Kilda's penguin colony may not be as famous as Philip Island's, but you can still spot a few penguins after dark all year round.