No doubt about it, Melbourne is truly one of the best cities in the world. Whether you want to world class sporting events, food festivals, art markets, pristine landscapes and beaches, hidden backstreet bars, or world class fine dining, Melbourne is a real winner for lifestyle. In fact, Melbourne has consistently been voted as having the best quality of life of anywhere on the planet. Well, we live here, and of course, we have to agree! And no doubt, so will you, once you see everything that this amazing, Internationally renowned city has to offer.
Melbourne has an extensive public transport network, consisting of trains, buses, and our world famous trams. Most suburbs are serviced by one or more forms of transport, but you may need to experiment to find the fastest way to get to RMIT.
Often times, tram services are slower than trains, as they tend to have more stops, but they’re great for travelling short distances. Public Transport Victoria (PTV) will tell you everything you need to know.
Myki card is now the only payment option for public transport travel in Melbourne. Users are required to purchase a card, which they then top-up as necessary, with both regular debit and ad-hoc payment options available. Users are required to touch their card to a card reader when using public transport. Transit Police Officers patrol the network, and can be very strict, so ensure your card is always topped up!
Depending on your study load, you may be eligible for a transport discount. Check your status on RMIT, and apply if you can.
The Free Tram Zone in Melbourne’s CBD makes it easier to move around the city. All stops within the zone are clearly marked, and tram drivers will make regular announcements when approaching the zone boundaries. Zone boundaries are signed, and free tram zone maps are displayed across the network. If your tram journey is only within the free tram zone, travel is free, so you do not need to touch on with a Myki.
Travelling by car and parking in the CBD can be very difficult and expensive. Use public transport for city journeys where possible.
Brunswick campus offers free parking, but be aware that Sydney Road is highly congested, which may affect travel times.
Bundoora campus has paid parking. Permits are available, or casual parking costs $6 per day.
Several car share schemes operate around Melbourne and the suburbs for those that may only need a car occasionally.
Get fit, spend less and reduce your carbon footprint. Free and secure bike parking is available on campus. Some parking locations have facilities such as showers and changing rooms. For closed facilities, swipe access may need to be granted through RMIT Security.
No bike? No worries. Look out for the Melbourne bike share scheme, Lime, where you can hire bikes cheaply located around the city centre.
Please note: when riding a bike in Victoria, you are required by law to wear a helmet, and you must ride on the road or in a designated bike lane. Riding on footpaths is prohibited. Penalties apply.
The rugged and beautiful Victorian countryside is within easy reach, from the pristine coastlines of the Twelve Apostles and Wilson's Prom, to the hauntingly beautiful mountains of the Alpine region.
RMIT Trips & Tours offers students discounted trips and tours, allowing them to see more of Melbourne for less. Visit top Melbourne tourist spots or get back to nature in country Victoria. Search RMIT Trips, visit rmitlink.rmit.edu.au or connect on Facebook facebook.com/RMITTrips
This section is all about how to score groceries on the cheap! Let's face it... living in Melbourne is expensive. And while we're lucky that we live one of the world's most amazing cities, times can get tough real quick if you're surviving on a shoestring. But fear not, by following our top tips below, you'll be able to live like a King (or Queen!) without breaking the bank.
While they’re definitely convenient in terms of getting everything you need under one roof, sadly, they aren't always the cheapest option. Look out for regular specials - often, your favourite washing powder will be half price every few weeks. If you look for these patterns, and buy in bulk, you can save yourself a bundle.
If you're a night owl, it's a great idea to hunt down food near closing time - often, items near their use by date will be sold off cheap, especially meat and veges. Look out for the orange discount stickers for the best prices. Most supermarkets will have a discount section, too for stuff like dairy and meat (but it's often small & well hidden, so keep your eyes peeled).
Aldi has many stores, and can't be beat for cheap staples, but their product range is limited (but if you love European cheese & chocolate, go wild!). And the bigger the store, the better the price, so if you're in the CBD, avoid 'metro' style stores in favour of the bigger shops (e.g. the huge Woolies in QV basement).
Markets offer great fresh food that is usually well below supermarket prices. In the City, Vic Market is excellent - despite it's tourist fame, it actually has great prices and quality for fresh meat, seafood and fruit & veg. If you're on a budget, avoid the deli hall, as prices are sky high for what's on offer, but if you're feeling flush, treat yourself.
You can do even better, price-wise, if you choose suburban markets - Dandenong, Footscray and Preston all offer excellent choices for very low prices.
For all markets, there are bonus bargains to be had if you go at closing time, as stallholders don't want to save goods for tomorrow that they can sell today. And for meat and fish, speak to the stallholder: if you can cope with cheaper cuts (chicken feet make a delicious stock), you can find incredibly low priced protein options. For fruit & veg, keeping it seasonal gets you the freshest produce for the freshest prices.
If you do your research, and you have the time to shop around, there are a number of so-called 'Community Grocers' that could save you an absolute fortune on fresh produce.
Operating in socially disadvantaged areas, and providing a huge range of culturally diverse food options, prices are often up to 60% cheaper than supermarkets, and significantly less than markets. It pays to find out where your local community grocer is, especially when money is tight. With locations in Fitzroy, Carlton, Heidelberg and Packenham, Community Grocer has the city covered.
If you missed breakfast, or can't afford lunch, RUSU operates FREE food events on campus each and every week. Whether it's a healthy breakfast of fruit and a muffin, or a yummy lunchtime sausage or vegeburger, we have you covered. If you arrive early, you'll avoid the queues, but whenever you come, we'll do our best to give you a solid meal.
Note: Covid restrictions have limited some of our events. Check social media to stay up to date.
If you're on campus, and struggling to afford something to eat, RUSU operates a Food Bank cupboard system, with snacks and other easy to prepare food available. You can help yourself to food from our cupboard, but bear in mind it's a short term fix. We encourage you to take only what you need, and leave the rest, so that everyone can benefit if they are in need.
Please note that the RUSU food banks are not designed to be a permanent option - if you need longer term food aid, speak to one of our Compass volunteers, who will be able to put you in touch with more relevant community food resources (see page 26 for all the amazing services that RUSU Compass offers).
Have most of what you need for dinner tonight, but want some free, fresh herbs and veges to spice up your palette and improve your nutrition? RUSU comes to the rescue again, with our edible gardens. Situated on the City (Alumni Courtyard) and Bundoora campuses, you are free to help yourself to anything you need to improve your dinner. With a wide range of options, from kale, to chilli, to fresh herbs and spring onions, you are guaranteed to enjoy seasonal and mega-fresh food, completely free.
We encourage you to take only what you need, and leave the rest to continue to grow, so that the gardens are accessible to all. Many suburbs also now feature accessible community gardens, so check closer to home if you need more fresh, free food in your life (churches and municipal parks are great options).
Look out for RUSU’s very own cookbook! We focus on fresh, healthy food, and help you to make wise choices on a very low grocery budget. Available from RUSU front counters, and best of all, it’s free!
If there are two things Melbourne does well it’s design and markets. Put them together and you have solid gold! From skincare to silverware - support local designers and makers, and pick up something unique. Days and times vary throughout the year, so best to check the websites to plan your visit…
60 Rose Street, Fitzroy. Every weekend.
The Square, Docklands. Last Sunday of the month.
75 Rose Street Fitzroy. Every Saturday.
The Esplanade, St. Kilda. Every Sunday.
Heide Museum of Modern Art - Sculpture Park, 7 Templestowe Rd, Bulleen. Once a month.
Federation Square, Car Park. Various times.
Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton. Various times.
Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton. Various times.
Believe it or not, you can be kind to the Earth without making life difficult. Here’s five hot tips for a cooler planet.
While individual action is ultra important, the best thing you can do for our planet is speak up and start campaigning for a greener future. Head to the next #ClimateStrike, start volunteering with a climate organisation, or join the environment groups on campus. Activism is also a fantastic way to meet like-minded people and make new friends, while fighting for a greener world!
We all know that caffeine and H20 are essential, but it’s time to cut ties with single use cups and bottles. The disposable coffee cups you use today will exist in landfill until 2050. And as for plastic bottles? They won’t break down for approximately 450 years! Check out KeepCup, Frank Green and JOCO for sustainable coffee cups (…or if you’re on a budget, old glass jars with a lid can work just as nicely).
Did you know that fashion is second only to oil as the world’s largest polluter!? The industry is responsible for millions of tonnes of waste, CO2 emissions and worker exploitation. The good news is that it’s so easy to avoid. Skip your next Melbourne Central shopping spree and hit up an op shop instead – you’ll find unique pieces that won’t harm the planet. You can also save coin by mending your own clothes, or by hosting clothes swaps with your friends!
Eating sustainably doesn’t have to break the bank. Nearly a quarter of all greenhouse gases come from animal agriculture, so cutting down on your meat consumption is a great way to start. Cooking large meals at home to bring for lunch also saves you having to buy plastic-wrapped snacks at uni.
Want to go a step further than recycling? Start composting! When your banana peels and other food scraps end up in landfill, they actually produce greenhouse gases (because they can’t break down properly) and contribute to global warming. Composting stops this from happening – and instead allows food waste to break down into a rich soil, which recycles essential nutrients back into the earth.
Not going to lie, coffee is what gets many of us through our studies. It’s an instant wake-up, a soothing rest break, and a helpful friend when you need to pull an all-nighter. It’s also about as Melbourne as it gets! Coffee pumps through the veins of our fair city. It’s at the heart of our culture. Spend a morning trawling through the city, and see if you can find your favourite cup!
Located in Carlton a short walk from RMIT, Melbourne Museum is one of the largest museum collections in Australia, and a fun and educational experience for all ages. A student card gets you free entry to all Museums Victoria locations including Melbourne Museum, Immigration Museum and Scienceworks.
If you’d like to acquaint yourself with the city, one of the best and most affordable ways of doing this is with a walking tour. I’m Free Walking Tours depart from the State Library at 10:30 and 2:30 every day, taking you on a 2-3 hour walk through the city’s highlights.
NGV's two galleries (one on Southbank, the other in Fed Square) are home to resident exhibitions and an exciting roster of feature exhibitions. NGV International particularly comes to life mid-year with its series of NGV Winter Masterpieces.
Melbourne is home to several renowned sports stadiums, and features many world-class sporting events. The Australian Open (tennis), Grand Prix (motor sports), AFL and WAFL Grand Finals (football), Boxing Day Test (Cricket) and the Melbourne Cup (horse racing) to name but a few. If there's a sport you love, you'll find it somewhere in the city!
The annual Comedy Festival runs for three weeks from the end of March and features an impressive lineup of local and international comedy talent. Many venues and bars throughout Melbourne host different shows every evening.
Australia’s largest film festival. Running for two weeks of August, it provides a fantastic arena for independent and international films that otherwise couldn’t be found in a cinema. While the 2019 lineup is still in the works, you can visit the MIFF website to look at past festivals and stay up to date.
NGV Southbank hosts a weekly late-night live music event known as NGV Friday Nights. Your ticket includes not only the live music act, but late-night access to the current NGV International feature exhibit. Be sure to check out the bars, dining options and garden DJs.
Melbourne isn’t really known for beaches - but there are a few gems that are accessible from the city. Every so often when the sun comes out, it’s time to hit the beach. Here are our top faves…
We’ve all seen the cute colourful bathing boxes. They are an institution - ready made for a Melbourne inspired Instagram post. Once you’ve done sunbathing, there are great cafes and restaurants close by. Brighton is a 15 minute walk from Middle Brighton Station.
So… it’s not the best-looking beach, but it’s all about the vibe and the impressive sunsets. This beach has atmosphere if that’s what you’re after - plenty of people, bars, restaurants and stuff going on. It has the added bonus of being the closest to the city and easiest to get to. Take tram 16 or Tram 3 from Flinders Street Station.
Just down from St Kilda Beach is Elwood Beach - this is cleaner and calmer beach. Bit more chill and the perfect place to relax and stroll along the beach. Elwood is a 25 minute walk from Elsternwick Station.
A beautiful secluded spot (don’t tell too many people about it) is the perfect place to chill. The ‘half-moon’ shape helps protect the beach from the weather making it perfect for swimming in calm waters. Half Moon is a 30 minute walk from Sandringham Station.
Heading out west is this beautiful beach, very close to the station. Take a walk out on the pier to get an amazing uninterrupted view of the Melbourne city skyline. Williamstown Beach is a 5 minute walk from Williamstown Beach Station.