Cheap Melbourne Getaways for Students on a Budget

June 30, 2016
By Robelen Bajar

Had enough of seeing the Eiffel Tower as you scroll through your Instagram feed? Need a holiday but Mum and Dad haven’t leant you the family credit card?

We understand that extensive European getaways don’t fit everyone’s budget, even though escaping the hustle and bustle of Melbourne is essential for your sanity.

Below we’ve put together some low budget holiday spots in Victoria, perfect for you to get away and let your hair down without breaking the bank.


1. DIY Bush Doof (Great Otways National Park)

Best For: Getting outside your comfort zone

What’s the Vibe: Stretching from Torquay through to Princetown and up through the Otways hinterland towards Colac, this magnificent National Park is a great camping getaway spot. Bundle up your nearest and dearest, borrow a car for the weekend, raid the family fridge and you’ll be set for a weekend full of cheap thrills.

Where to Eat: Picnic spots are everywhere and if you’re looking to impress a certain someone there are plenty of waterfalls to work in your favour. Top picks include Blanket Leaf, Distillery Creek, Moggs Creek, Melba Gully, Triplet Falls and Blanket Bay.

Where to Stay: Hidden near the township of Forrest, this gem of a campsiteis both free and situated on the edge of beautiful Lake Elizabeth. Here you’ll find no cars to ruin the silence and plenty of sneaky spots for your King’s Cup session.

Bonus: Keep an eye out for the lake’s elusive platypus!


2. Free As A Bird (Phillip Island)

Best For: Satisfying your love of both nature and food.

What’s the Vibe: If the cuteness of St. Kilda’s furry residents (penguins, not backpacking bogans) just isn’t cutting it for you anymore, perhaps a trip down to Phillip Island is just what you need. Mixing together the crowd-pleasers of wine, wildlife and water activities, you’ll be sure to leave Phillip Island with a full belly and back account.

Where to Eat: If you’re vibing the nautical theme, you definitely can’t go past a classic fish and chips from one of the many stores around the island. We hear the Tides of Rhyll and The San Remo Fisherman’s Co-operative are pretty top-notch choices. If you’re after a bit more entertainment than watching birds and waves, head to the Rusty Water Brewery to be serenaded by their live music over a few drinks.

Where to Stay: If your budget can’t accommodate one of the many hotels or Airbnb abodes in Phillip Island, don’t stress! The local YHA is conveniently close to public transport, modestly priced and beautifully modern. With its rooftop deck, free wifi and multiple kitchens you’ll be sure to think ‘giant sleepover in a nice room’ rather than ‘ew, cooties from snoring strangers’. Prices start from just $27 too — what’s not to love?

Bonus: Not a nature lover? There are oodles of spas to check out while your friends go whale watching.


3. Fake It Until You Make It (Yarra Valley)

Best For: Rivalling Euro Snaps with Food Snaps on Instagram

What’s the Vibe: Have Gossip Girl reruns and dreaming of when you can afford the finer things been getting you through the first semester? Now you can live like a true Upper-East sider for a day by gorging on handcrafted wine, beer, cheese and chocolate. With tours starting at around the $60 mark per person there’s never been a better time to round up the gang, get dressed up and turn your lecture daydreams into a reality.

Where to Eat: Chances are if you’re going on a tour, most places will be decided for you. However, if you do have any sort of input on stops for the day or any sort of affinity with a non-vegan lifestyle, you can’t miss Yarra Valley Dairy. Their cosy cottage cafe is the perfect place to escape the winter chill with a cheeky vino as well as make all your Euro friends jealous with platter snaps.

Where to Stay: If you somehow lose the bus and find yourself stuck in the Yarra Valley for the night, don’t start walking home just yet. Along with a tonne of boutique lodges that’ll destroy your credit rating, there are also a handful of modestly priced Airbnb options. A quick search on your favourite site will show a handful of places under the $150 mark.

Bonus: Did we mention the chocolate?