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Cheapest courses for a Student Visa in Australia in 2023

Are you looking to study in Australia or is your current visa expiring soon? Save a ton of money with these special offers and pick one of these cheap diploma courses or bachelor degrees for international students in Australia.

Update (June 2024): Here are the cheapest courses in Australia for international students in 2024

What’s changing for international students in 2024?

We have several changes to discuss, among which one of the most significant is the heightened English Language requirement and the introduction of the Genuine Student requirement for Australian Student visa applications. Don’t forget to also double-check the current financial capacity requirement (commonly known as ‘show money’ for Australian Student visas). This blog article is here to give you all the details on when these changes kick in and share other recent developments that have piqued our interest.

TIP: Save hundreds of dollars on the mandatory Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). Compare all eligible providers and purchase the cheapest one here.

Cheapest Student visa courses from Study Anywhere

As all the costs are rising, it now makes more sense than ever to look for affordable courses when you want to study in Australia. You can save thousands of dollars just by enroling in the right college or by choosing a little less popular city. So are you ready to find out what’s the cheapest course for international students in Australia?

TIP: No idea how to apply for the Australian Student visa? Just send us a message and we’ll walk you through the process step-by-step. You can also check our article about how to successfully apply for a Student visa in Australia.

1. Cheapest Student visa courses for international students in Sydney

Cheapest courses for international students in Sydney

We mentioned that tuition fees for international students are usually lower in less popular cities. However, let’s start with Sydney because we know many of you can’t wait to hit the waves at Bondi Beach. The cheapest CRICOS registered courses for international students in Sydney are offered by ELC Career College (formerly SELC). You can choose from courses in Business, Leadership and Management, Project Management, or Marketing and Communication, all for just $1,250 per term ($5,000 / year). Shorter or longer durations are available, and this pricing is valid until the 31st of January 2024.

Update (15th of April 2024): This promotion has now ended; however, ELC continues to offer their courses at a reasonable price of $1,500 per term ($6,000 / year). Contact us to enroll without the $250 enrollment fee. This offer is valid for both onshore and offshore enrollments. Additionally, ELC Career College has been risk-rated as an Evidence Level 1 college, which increases the chances of success for your visa application.

All the cheap Certificate, Diploma, and Advanced Diploma courses at ELC are eligible for a Student visa and we can even combine some of them into a course package for you. That’s handy if you’d like to study in Australia for a bit longer and apply for up to a 4-year Student visa with us.

Update (30th of December 2023): For more convenience, your quarterly instalments can now be split into two ($625 each) if you prefer.

To enrol, just send us a message and we’ll help you both with your enrolment and our migration agent also with your visa application.

Tip: Australian Student visas are typically granted for a duration slightly longer than the actual course period. Find more information in our FAQs.

These are the cheapest diploma courses in Australia for international students right now

A popular college for international students – the Australian College of Business Intelligence (ACBI) has introduced its end-of-the-year promotion. You can now choose several Certificate IV, Diploma, and Advanced Diploma courses in Sydney and study each of them for just $1,200 per term ($4,800 / year).

Update (28th of February 2024): The promotion has ended; however, ACBI still offers very attractive pricing starting from $1,400 per term ($5,600 per year). See details below.

ACBI in Sydney offers some of the cheapest Student visa courses in Australia right now:

  • Certificate III in Entrepreneurship & New Business ($1,400 / term)
  • Certificate IV in Business – Sustainability ($1,500 / term)
  • Diploma of Business – Digital Analytics ($1,600 / term)
  • Diploma of Project Management ($1,400 / term)
  • Diploma of Leadership & Management ($1,600 / term)
  • Advanced Diploma of Leadership & Management ($1,700 / term)
  • Certificate IV in Health Administration ($1,500 / term)
  • Certificate IV in Marketing & Communications ($1,500 / term)
  • Certificate IV in Design ($1,600 / term)
  • Certificate IV in Environmentally Sustainable Management ($1,600 / term)

The second cheapest college for international students in Sydney is…

…Lloyds International College. They’ve unfortunately raised prices, however, you can still study for a reasonable amount and choose from a variety of interesting and flexible courses in Sydney:

  • Certificate II in Workplace Skills (1 year)
  • Certificate III in Business (1 year)
  • Certificate IV in Business (1 year)
  • Diploma of Leadership and Management (1 year)
  • Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management (1.5 years)
  • Certificate IV in Marketing and Communication (1 year)
  • Diploma of Marketing and Communication (1 year)
  • Advanced Diploma of Marketing and Communication (1.5 years)

Update (8th of November 2023): Lloyds International College has revised its prices but is maintaining discounted rates at $1,400 per term ($5,600 per year) for 2024. This pricing will be in effect until December 31, 2023. However, starting from 2024, a $40 material fee per term will be introduced, and the enrolment fee will increase to $250.

2. The absolute cheapest course in Australia for international students

Cheap diploma courses for international students on the Gold Coast

If you’re looking for something even more affordable, consider heading north to the Gold Coast or Brisbane, where Greenwich College offers a pretty good range of courses. Not only will you save on your tuition fees, but the cost of living in Queensland is also more affordable compared to Sydney.

These are the cheapest courses for a Student visa in Australia in 2024:

  • Certificate IV in Business (40-44 weeks)
  • Diploma of Business – Digital Transformation (48-52 weeks)
  • Diploma Leadership and Management (48-52 weeks)
  • Diploma of Project Management (48-52 weeks)
  • Certificate IV in Marketing and Communication (40-44 weeks)
  • Diploma of Marketing and Communication (48-52 weeks)

You can study any of these courses for just $900 every two months ($4,500 – 5,400 per course) + a $230 one-off enrolment fee. When we combine them into a package for you, you’ll be able to apply for up to a 3-year Student visa in Australia. Send us a message for more information. If you are onshore already, a 50% discount on the first term applies which means your total amount for a one-year course in Brisbane or Gold Coast would be just $4,050. When you enrol onshore with Study Anywhere, you won’t even pay the enrolment fee.

Update (20th of January 2024): Specials at Greenwich College are back and the same promotion is now valid until March 31, 2024.

Update (29th of March 2024): Greenwich College is extending this promotion until the 30th of June 2024 and it now includes courses in Adelaide too.

3. Cheapest diploma courses if you are already in Australia

Cheapest courses in Australia if you are onshore already

Onshore specials are always worth exploring. Are you eligible? Yes, if you are in Australia at the time of your application. Whether you’re transitioning from a Working Holiday (or Work and Holiday) Visa to a Student Visa in Australia or holding another visa, such as a Visitor/Tourist visa, or applying for another Student visa while onshore, you’re eligible. Just ensure to verify whether your visa Grant Letter includes a “No further stay” condition. If not, you’re good to proceed.

Currently, NVR Education in Sydney is offering the most enticing onshore promotion. The cheapest Diploma Courses, Certificate IV, and Advanced Diploma courses at NVR are priced at just $1,400 / every three months ($5,600 per year). Why should you consider this offer?

NVR Education provides an extensive array of courses in Marketing, Business, Leadership and Management, and Human Resource Management. HR courses for international students in Australia are often scarce and typically come at a higher cost. At NVR Education, you can pursue HR Management for 1-4 years.

Sounds interesting? Reach out to us for free assistance with your enrolment and Student visa application, provided by a registered migration agent.

4. Cheapest Bachelor degrees for international students in Australia

Would you like to unlock yourself an opportunity for a 2-year Graduate visa after you complete your studies?

Look no further than AIBI (Australian Institute of Business Intelligence) because they currently discounted their Bachelor of Cyber Security, Bachelor of International Business, and Bachelor of Enterprise Management Systems programs by a whopping 30%. Yup instead of $65,000 for a 3-year program, it will now cost you only $45,500 with instalment plans available.

Update (29th of April 2024): AIBI has extended its promotion for the most affordable Bachelor degrees for international students in Australia. You can enrol for September 2024 intake in both Sydney and Melbourne to qualify for the scholarship. If you are already in Australia, you can enjoy additional savings with a 40% discount.

Contact us and we will get you your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) for as little as $1,000 upfront payment.

Up to 35% scholarship for international students in 2024

If you are interested more in Early Childhood Education, Counselling and Psychotherapy, or Arts Therapy programs, you need to check Ikon Institute of Australia. Enrol with Study Anywhere for any 2024 intake and receive a 25% scholarship for Early Childhood Education Programs, or an even greater 35% discount when enroling in Arts Therapy & Counselling and Psychotherapy Programs. Choose to study in Sydney or Melbourne. The 4-year Bachelor of Early Childhood Education at Ikon now costs only $15,000 per year. While it may still sound like a lot, don’t forget that this degree will give you the opportunity to stay in Australia for 2 years after graduation and also possibly 4 years or longer with the change to the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa.

Check other affordable courses

Update (June 2024): Here are the cheapest courses in Australia for international students in 2024

Still haven’t found your course for a Student visa? Try the Study Anywhere website! We have a dedicated category where you can browse the most affordable courses for international students in Australia.

So that’s it for the cheapest courses for a Student visa in Australia in 2024. All prices in this article are in Australian Dollars (AUD). Please note that when you are applying for an Australian Student visa, you will also need to pay a fee to the Department of Home Affairs and also to get Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

Get your free quote for the whole package here or reach out to us via Messenger to speak with one of our colleagues. You can join students from 60+ countries who study in Australia with Study Anywhere.

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Cheapest courses for international students in Australia

Renew your visa in Australia or score a discounted course fee for the next year. Check out our current special offers and save thousands of dollars on your tuition fees.

Is it worth applying now?

While Australian borders are still yet to be re-opened, many people from abroad are in Australia with nearing visa expiry dates looking for affordable courses to enrol in. One of the reasons may also be that many international students can now work full-time in Australia. We’ve also seen more and more offshore applicants being interested in securing a discounted tuition fee for the next year. Many Australian schools are offering special promotions due to the pandemic, so why not take advantage of it?

Update (June 2024): Here are the cheapest courses in Australia for international students in 2024

Update (February 2022): What’s changing for international students in Australia in 2023? Check the summary of the biggest Student Visa changes here.

Update (November 2022): See the cheapest courses for international students in Australia here.

Update (10th of January 2022): Are you looking for cheap courses for international students in Sydney or in Melbourne? In this article, you can find tips reflecting price changes from January 2022.

Update (20th of December 2021): Australian borders are open again and international students are now allowed to come to Australia. Please check the self-isolation or quarantine requirements for each state here.

TIP: Learn more about how to successfully apply for Australian Student Visa in this article.

Cheapest courses for international students from Study Anywhere

Are you on a tight budget – e.g. when moving from a Working Holiday Visa, but still want to study in Australia and apply for a Student Visa? These are some of the cheapest courses you should consider right now.

TIP: Are you wondering what exactly is the Student Visa application process? We’ve got you covered. Check How to successfully apply for the Australian Student Visa.

1. A course with the lowest upfront fees in Sydney

Cheapest course for international students in Sydney

$250 AUD. That’s how little you’d need to pay upfront if you choose to study at the Australian College of Business Intelligence (ACBI) with us. You can choose any intake you’d like and any course you’d like. You will get your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) for just $250. The college will then charge you quarterly tuition fee instalments depending on the course you choose. The cheapest ones for $1,200 / every three months ($4,800 / year) are:

  • Diploma of Leadership and Management (1 year)
  • Diploma of Business & Digital Analytics Training (1 year)
  • Certificate IV in Environmental Management and Sustainability (1 year)

Update (15th of July 2021): With wintertime in Sydney ACBI discounted its prices even further. The college also fulfilled the request of many students and changed the way how they charge the fees. If you decide to enrol now, your tuition fees will be due every 6 weeks (8 payments per year instead of 4 quarterly instalments). The most affordable courses for international students at ACBI in Sydney now are:

  • Certificate IV in Marketing and Communication (6 months)
  • Diploma of Business & Digital Analytics Training (1 year)
  • Diploma of Leadership and Management (1 year)
  • Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management (1 year)
  • Diploma of Project Management (1 year)
  • Advanced Diploma of Program Management (1 year)
  • Diploma of Enterprise Resource Planning (1 year)

Each of these courses only costs $500 AUD / 6 weeks which is just $4,000 AUD per year.

Morning and evening timetables are available depending on the intake you choose. If that sounds interesting, please send us a message. One of our colleagues will gladly assist you with all the details of your enrolment. When you enrol with Study Anywhere, our registered migration agent will also help you to prepare your Student Visa application for free.

Update (20th of April 2021): ACBI is offering free enrolment and free materials for the Diploma of Business and Diploma Leadership and Management. When you enrol with Study Anywhere now, you will only pay $1,000 for your first term and $1,200 for the following terms. The college is also offering a 10% discount for Certificate IV in Environmental Management and Sustainability course.

Update (2nd of November 2020): There is an additional discount available for:

  • Diploma of Business focused on Digital Marketing and Digital Analytics (1 year)
  • Diploma of Leadership and Management (1 year)

Update (5th of October 2020): The $1,200 / term promotion has ended for most courses and the college increased its prices to $1,300 / every three months ($5,200 / year).

TIP: Save also on your OSHC (Overseas Student Health Cover) when applying for a student visa in Australia. Compare and get the cheapest student insurance on the OSHC Australia page. You can save hundreds of dollars.

2. Cheapest course with a weekend timetable

Cheapest course for international students with a weekend timetable

Are you considering studying in Australia, but you are worried about going back to school, because it may be too time-consuming? How about if you can get your studies done in one day per week? If Saturdays work for you, we’ve got you covered. Your tuition fee will only be $750 / every two months ($4,500 / year).

You can choose a variety of courses at Greenwich Management College in Sydney and Melbourne:

  • Business/Digital Marketing
  • Leadership and Management
  • Project Management
  • Marketing and Communication.

Spending your Saturdays in a classroom may not sound like the best idea, but some students really like it. Especially clients moving from a Working Holiday Visa to a Student Visa often look for a course to study over the weekends so they have more flexibility during the rest of the week.

Sounds like this is for you? Just let us know and we can assist you step-by-step.

3. Cheapest course eligible for a Graduate Visa

Cheapest course for a Graduate Visa in Australia

Would you like to stay in Australia even after you finish your course, but you don’t want to study for an expensive Bachelor’s or Master’s degree?

485 Graduate Visa may be your opportunity to stay for another 18 months 24 months (updated in January 2022) with full-time work rights. Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care is our cheapest pathway towards this visa with the potential for multiple other visa pathways after your Student and Graduate Visa. 4Life College (Australian Learning Group) is the most popular school among our students willing to study Childcare. Enrol with Study Anywhere and you can choose a payment plan of $2,190 / every three months or $795 per month.

Update (12th of October 2021): If you enrol in the January 2022 intake, you will also receive a $500 discount off the enrolment fee (normally $595).

You can study this course at 4Life College (Australian Learning Group) in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth.

Please keep in mind that there are additional requirements when applying for a 485 Graduate Visa but our migration agent can help you and assess your case for free. Contact us for all the details.

4. The absolute cheapest course for international students in Sydney

The last course in our roundup of the cheapest courses for international students in Australia is Travel and Tourism offered by one of our schools in Sydney. If you want to save on your tuition fees as much as possible and the Travel and Tourism industry interests you, let us know. You can study for as low as $4,000 / year ($1,000 / every three months). Various course durations are available and you can apply for up to a 2.5-year Student Visa with this course.

Check other affordable courses

Still haven’t found your course for a Student Visa? Try the Study Anywhere website! We have a dedicated category where you can browse the most affordable courses for international students in Australia.

Don’t forget to also check our newer blog article about the cheapest courses in Australia for international students in 2024

All prices in this article are in Australian Dollars (AUD). Please note that when you are applying for an Australian Student Visa, you will also need to pay a fee to the Department of Home Affairs and also to get Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

Get your free quote for the whole package here or reach out to us via Messenger to speak with one of our colleagues. You can join students from 60+ countries who study in Australia with Study Anywhere.

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The article and pics by Paola Bianchi  

 

It’s becoming a strong trend to choose a minimalist, sustainable and ethical approach when consuming, dressing and choosing a look. The idea behind this is to buy less, recycle more, less waste. Be more conscious about what we consume and wear. Avoid buying compulsively from fast brands and getting garments from sustainable brands.

Definitely, Australia is on top of this sustainable wave.

Although some ethical brands have higher prices, due to focusing on quality and fair-trade commerce, you do not need to spend lots of bucks to achieve this approach. Recycling is part of the scene and the Op shops and vintage markets are key.

Op shops are ‘opportunity shops’ that sells repaired and in good-condition used clothes. Fortunately, Australia has lots of shops and markets where to get this!

Some of the favourites in Melbourne are:

The Conscious Closet

Located in the CBD, this shop is serious about fashion and helping others. You will not only find cool vintage and designer clothes for women but a chance to support other women. The Conscious Closet describes itself as a charity recycled women’s fashion store, that supports Fitted For Work. This is an organisation that assist women experiencing disadvantage into work.

1 consious closet

 

Fitzroy Market

Every 3rd Saturday of every month in Fitzroy, this outdoor market opens at Fitzroy Primary School, on the corner of Napier St and Chapel St. Popular within students and young families looking to reduce heartless consumption. You will find second hand, vintage, pre-loved and items. Check it out here.

2 fitzroy market

 

The Brotherhood of St Laurence Op Shops

This organisation, that works to prevent and alleviate poverty across Australia, has 18 Op shops around the city. Probably the most popular store is located in the CBD. Hidden in the ground floor of the Royal Arcade, the Brotherhood City Basement is just opposite to Meyers and H&M on Bourke Street.

3 Brotherhood

A Plus Market

In the neighbourhood of Coburg, there is an indoor market that offers plus size fashion, featuring pre-loved and unique designs. A unique market that not always is included in global brand’s sizes. Not many dates available, but the reviews are excellent. Check it out here.

4 Plus Size

 

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The article is written by Paola Bianchi  Cover pic by Kieren Andrews

Is general knowledge that Eureka Tower is the tallest building, that the tram network is one of the largest one in the world, and that the city is full of alleys with ever-changing graffiti. We have seen these images all over the web. All these are real facts. But there is some information about this city that you might get wrong.

It is not the most liveable city in the world

Melbourne has been chosen several years in a row as the most liveable city in the world. But not anymore! According to the Economist Intelligence Unit rankings, Vienna is now the top number one in 2018. Melbourne got the second spot and Sydney got the fifth. Not because something is not going forward for Melburnians, but It seems that the Austrian city is doing even better.

pic 1Pic by Johan Mouchet

It is not ideal for night owls

Big cities are known for having stores open 24hs per seven days. So even if you get hungry at 3am, there is somewhere to go for a quick bite. However, in Melbourne is rare to find shops open that late. Shops shut down relatively early. As a general rule, cafes close by 4pm or 5pm, restaurants by 10pm or 11pm, retail stores at 6pm except on certain days like Friday.

pic 2Pic by Kevin laminto 

Not many people live in the city

It’s said that Melbourne is home for around 4.5 million people. But as stats show, the residential population is over 148,000 (as of 2016) in the City of Melbourne. This area counts the CBD and some inner suburbs like Parkville and Southbank. That means that the grand majority lives in The Greater Melbourne. Another interesting fact is that almost 1 million walk in the city on an average weekday.

pic 3Pic by  Akshay Chauhan

Hot wheatear doesn’t last long

When thinking about Australia, we usually imagine ourselves on a hot day sunbathing in white sandy beaches, spotting kangaroos in the wild and, let’s be honest, looking after our back while swimming because of sharks. That’s not the case at all about Melbourne. You might find wild fauna but the sunny hot days just last for the summer season which is December, January and February. The rest of the year tends to be cold, rainy and windy. Take a look at these averages temperatures:

Season Average maximum Average minimum
Summer (December to February): warm to hot 25°C (77°F) 14°C (57°F)
Autumn (March to May): mild 20°C (68°F) 11°C (52°F)
Winter (June to August): cool to brisk 14°C (57°F) 7°C (45°F)
Spring (September to November): cool to mild 20°C (68°F) 10°C (50°F)

 

Closest best surf spot is not Torquay

The west coast of Port Philip Bay is famous for its surfing. Mainly, Torquay beach is a favourite for all levels, and Bells beach is popular for the Rip Curl Competitions, both close to the Great Ocean Road. But if you head to the East coast of the bay and to the open sea you will find lots of fantastic surf spots like Flinders beach, The Pines, Honey Suckles, Serial and Gunnamatta Beach. The Gunnamatta Beach it’s known for having good waves and stable surf conditions throughout the year.

pic 4Pic by Alex Wigan 

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The article is written by Paola Bianchi  Cover pic by @rhindaxu

You decided to stay in Melbourne for a while. Diversity, culture, music, food, opportunities. Great decision. Now, you have to decide where to live.

A quick explanation before choosing the location. In Australia, neighbourhoods are called suburbs and they represent urban areas close to the main city centre. This differs from other countries where suburbs mean the opposite. Victorian suburbs are under the management of a Municipality (Council). They are called ‘City of x’. To give an example; t the City of Melbourne municipality has 15 suburbs. There are at least 30 Councils and more than 300 suburbs. Check the full list.

How to choose where to live in? Which suburb would suit you better? Actually, the correct question is; in which neighbourhood would you fit better? Each of Melbourne’s suburbs has its own personality, mood and charisma.

I do not intend to make an exhaustive list here. Let’s just talk about some of the most popular ones near the CBD.

 

RICHMOND

Close to CBD, with difficult parking but excellent public connections to… everywhere. Residents are varied, from cool tattoo appearance to professional looking. Everyone is welcome. Plenty of cool bars and cafes, and the Vietnamese food rule. This friendly and hip suburb is hard to beat.

2 RichmondPic by Josh Calabrese

 

CARLTON

Pasta and gelato. This suburb holds the Italian precinct, the Melbourne Museum, the University of Melbourne, beautifully restored Victorian buildings, green gardens, and one of the best tram networks.

3 CarltonPic by @thethinblackframe

 

FITZROY

Bohemian, hipster and funky. A suburb that offers what is Melbourne known of. Bookshops, art galleries and boutique stores. Beards, barber shops, and where greatest baristas want to work. Pubs, remarkable cafés and trendy restaurants. Vintage biking is the way to move.
4 FitzroyPic by @louissamal

Note that Collingwood and Abbotsford are adjacent neighbourhoods with similar vibes. They have cheaper accommodation but not many good public transport connections.

 

BRUNSWICK & NORTHCOTE

Even though they are much far away from the business district centre, these suburbs are becoming the next cool place to live in. Alike Fitzroy, but less crowded and with a peaceful residential looking. Think of houses with garden, trees in the streets and organic stores. Unpretentious. Relax vibes and far cheaper accommodation options.

5 Northcote

Pic by Tom Rumble

DOCKLANDS

A suburb that has high expectations for its future. On the west side of the city, right on Victoria harbour, features an enormous development with shops, restaurants, a mall and the famous wheel of fortune. One of the newest suburbs in Melbourne. Its name comes from being a swamp that served as a dock in the previous century. Think of tall modern buildings and clean spaces. Certainly not cheap as it pretends to attract high-income professionals.

6 Docklands

Pic by  Oskars Sylwan 

 

SOUTH MELBOURNE

Historic buildings, Victorian houses, old-fashioned pubs and top-notch cafes scattered over the narrow streets. Hip and cool. This suburb has history and has an excellent public transport network. The South Melbourne market is one of the most well-known markets of the city, with gourmet options.

Note that closer suburbs like Port Melbourne and Southbank are also in high demand. Port Melbourne is a renovated suburb, a similar and smaller version of South Melbourne but with ocean views. Southbank, on the other hand, lacks the Victorian charm and character of others suburbs because of its tallest contemporary buildings. But this might be the urban style that you are looking for. Great location, though. Close to the Botanical Gardens, museums and the river.

7 South MelbPic  by Manki Kim

 

SOUTH YARRA & PRAHRAN

Posh and chic. High-end fashion labels, upscale restaurants, cocktail lounges and nightclubs. It can get crowded but never boring. The large Prahran Market is a popular option for local groceries.

ST KILDA

Beach vibes, spectacular sunsets and penguins in the pier. Busy in summer, chilled in winter. Gardens, festivals, the long Esplanade, markets and diverse eateries. Supposedly, named after a vessel with the insignia ‘Lady of St Kilda’, this bayside suburb embrace diversity to its fullest. Once known as the red district, now is slowly being gentrified. Great public transport options.

Close by, Elwood suburb enjoys same green spaces and beach views without the tourist and noise that St Kilda has during the high season. Bad tram network though. Peaceful and gorgeous neighbourhood.

8 St kildaPic by HealthyMond 

Which one do you like better? Do your research and pick the best.

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The article and the pictures by Rebecca Todesco

If you’re planning day trips around Victoria, then stop what you’re doing and immediately put Phillip Island at the top of your list. I’m talking about koalas, kangaroos, beaches and penguins all in one day!

Phillip Island is an Australian island that is a few hours’ drive southeasts of Melbourne. The island itself is less than 100 square kilometres so it is very easy to get from place to place once you’ve crossed onto the island. The island is extremely popular with tourists, especially in the warmer months and on the weekend. I would strongly advise making your visit on a weekday.

There are plenty of hotels and hostels on the island (or just across, on the mainland) if you decide to make your trip an overnight one. But if you leave early and have some people to share the driving with then it’s possible to do it all in one day.

Start your day with a visit to the Phillip Island Wildlife Park. This park is home to more than 100 species of Australian animals and is spread over a whopping 60 acres. You can see an array of famous Australian animals including dingoes, wombats, echidnas and bats.

The reptile house will bring you up close and personal with some of Australia’s scalier residents and you’ll be grateful for the wire that separates you from the birds of prey in the bird section. There’s even a raised platform that you can walk on which will allow you to get on the eye level of the koalas.

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For a small fee upon entry to the park, you can purchase a small bag of feed which you can use at my favourite area of the park: the free-range section. You’ll find yourself completely surrounded by kangaroos and wallabies with no fences to separate you. You can pat and feed them and it’s the perfect opportunity for you to get that snapshot for your Facebook.

If you’re brave enough you can even feed the emus but be warned: they’re big and they run fast!

After getting your fill of petting kangaroos and running from emus, head over to the western tip of the island to The Nobbies Centre. The headland cliffs are covered with a network of boardwalks which you can walk on, enjoying spectacular views of The Nobbies and Seal Rock.

At certain times of the year, if you’re lucky you can see some of the little penguins hiding in under the boardwalks or in their little burrows along the cliff’s edge.

If you choose to, there are boat tours that’ll take you offshore and closer to Seal Rocks for the chance to catch a glimpse of some seals. The Nobbies Centre boasts a gift shop chock-full of cute souvenirs as well as a café where you can sit and enjoy a coffee or snack in front of the floor to ceiling windows, overlooking the cliffs.

As the last activity of the day, head to the famous Penguin Parade. Phillip Island boasts the largest little penguin colony in all of Victoria. Decades worth of research effort has gone into the conservation of these little penguins at Phillip Island, making it one of the longest continuous seabird studies in the world.

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The research centre has plenty of information and exhibits about the little penguins, as well as a gift shop with an abundance of adorable penguin souvenirs. Visitors can learn all about what the penguins do at sea as well as why they make their way inland every night.

Just before sunset visitors make their way to Summerland Beach and fill the tiers of seating overlooking the water. Once the sun begins to set, keep your eyes peeled: that’s when the penguins make their way out of the water, up the beach and back to their burrows. You’ll be able to follow their journey from a safe distance as you make your way back up to the visitor centre.

If you get any time between activities head to the small town of Cowes. Like any quintessential beach town, the main strip of Cowes is crammed with fish and chips shops and coastal clothing and furniture stores. Spend some time having a wander or grab a serving of fish and chips and eat it on the beach.

(These are only a few of the activities available on Phillip Island. There is also a chocolate factory, Grand Prix circuit visitor centre and plenty of other wildlife parks)

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The article is written by Rebecca Todesco

For those of you studying in Melbourne, there’s plenty in the city to keep you occupied. But if you’re looking to leave the skyscrapers behind and escape to the coast for the weekend then here’s a couple of places you should consider.

Sorrento 

The limestone buildings that line the main street are a hat tip to Sorrento’s history. Sorrento beach offers white sand and shallow water, perfect for the littlies to get their feet wet and have a paddle.

Sorrento’s main road is lined with enough boutiques, restaurants and cafes to keep you entertained for the day. Be sure to make a stop at Just Fine Food and sample their famous vanilla slice. If vanilla isn’t really your taste, then there are plenty of other scrumptious desserts for you to try.

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Rye
Rye really comes alive during the summer holiday seasons. Rye beach offers a large stretch of fine, white sand and shallow water. The Rye pier is a popular nighttime fishing location. Even if you’re not much of a fisherman (or woman), hanging around the pier and watching other peoples’ fishing success is a lovely way to pass the time.

The main strip of Rye, running parallel to the beach, is home to shops, restaurants and ice cream and gelato stores. Speaking of gelato: an after-dinner trip to Vulcano Gelato is an absolute must! You can find it by following the line of people waiting their turn to be served. Don’t be put off by the line though: it is well worth the wait!

The annual summer Rye carnival happens in the beach car park and is usually around in the months of December and January. There is no better way to spend an evening than walking along the pier – gelato in hand – watching the carnival lights reflect off the water.

Arthurs Seat

The Arthurs Seat State Park rises above the Mornington Peninsula and provides fantastic views of the surrounding area. There are plenty of hiking and walking tracks through the park for the more adventurous to lose themselves on.

A popular spot is the Arthurs Seat Summit, where visitors can stop and enjoy a picnic or barbeque while being treated to spectacular views.

The Arthurs Seat Eagle is the perfect opportunity for braver souls to get their adrenaline pumping. This attraction is a state of the art gondola ride that flies you over the forest to the highest point of the peninsula. The ride takes about 14 minutes (one way).

Carnival

Mornington

There is plenty to see in Mornington. You can visit Victoria’s oldest courthouse and adjacent lockup or even take the steam train ride on the Mornington Railway.

The main street of Mornington boasts a large number of boutiques and shops to peruse and find the perfect beachy souvenir to take home. If, after a long morning of shopping, you want to give your weary feet a rest, there are plenty of fantastic places to satisfy your hunger pangs.

The Mornington Main Street Market is on every Wednesday. Stalls line the street, selling an array of items from handcrafted soaps to locally grown produce, homemade cakes to handmade jewellery and everything in between. The market has been up and running for over thirty years, making it the state’s longest running street market.

Hot Spring

Peninsula Hot Springs
The Peninsula Hot Springs is a hidden sanctuary tucked away on the peninsula. You can almost feel your stress and worries disappear as soon as you don the fluffy white robe and begin your bathing experience. I would recommend setting aside an entire day at the springs because once you’re there, the hours seem to fly.

The Peninsula Springs water carries a range of minerals including calcium, magnesium and potassium. The temperature of the pools ranges between 37 and 43 degrees Celsius and the water runs untouched from the source directly to the pools.

The springs have two facilities: the Bath House and the Spa Dreaming Centre.

The Bath House offers more than 20 bathing experiences, including a Turkish steam room, plunge pool, reflexology walk and a sauna. Be sure to make the journey to the very highest pool and you’ll be treated to 360-degree views of the surrounding area.

If you’ve got a bit of extra money to splurge, then head to the Spa Dreaming Centre for massages and beauty treatments.

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The article is written by Paola Bianchi  Title pic by Smith & daughters

 

Did you ever wonder where a plant-based lover would eat if given a chance to eat in the best spots in Melbourne for just one day?

Choosing where to eat in Melbourne can be exciting and painful at the same time. This city has gained the irrevocable reputation of foodie-obsession for a reason. The more amazing eateries options you have, the more confused you get. It is overwhelming. Needless to say, who has so much time and budget to try them all?

To help in this delicious endeavour, here is where to eat if you have just one day in the city:

For BREAKFAST head south to Elwood: Combi

2 Combi

A superfood- focused café offering organic treats and coffee, raw food, colourful smoothies in a small venue. Food and drinks presentation is ready for an Instagram post. I would recommend avoiding peak times if possible because seats are extremely limited. That said, is a vibrant and cosy place.

Top pick: Mango shack with Sweet sprouted bread or ice coffee deluxe with Dragon fruit bowl.

 

For LUNCH, take a walk through the Esplanade and go to St Kilda: Sister of Soul

A vegetarian café and restaurant with a menu that will make you fall in love with food, without overpricing! Such a delicate combination of flavours. The menu has a strong mixed influence from Asia to India. Huge windows, chic decoration and friendly service. Overall, great location. No booking accepted but you won’t need to wait too long because the place has lots of seats.

Top pick: Massaman curry or the Jack Black burger.

3 Sister of Soul

 

For DINNER head to Fitzroy North: Moroccan Soup Bar

Small restaurant that just opens for dinner. Good luck trying to get a spot to seat as they are always full, but that’s because their food is absolutely like eating in heaven. There is no written menu, but a verbal menu. The waitress will explain about the two banquet options you can choose from. Then the food will start coming in steps. Each one will blow your mind. Non-complicated delicious food. Finish with some special tea.

Top pick: eat everything!

4 Morrocan

 

For DESSERT stay around and proceed to: Smith & daughters

A vegan eatery that ticks all the trendy’s boxes. Seasonal menu, attractive visual atmosphere and women directing the orchestra. You can book, and please do so. The cocktails are to die for and better if accompanied with a Milanese Schnitzel. Nop, it’s not chicken!

Top pick: The Tiramisu. How on earth can this be vegan?

5 Smith

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The article is written by Bernadette Sanfilippo

Though it goes without saying, almost all international travellers are familiar with, or have at least heard of, Australia’s east coast capitals, a list typically reduced to Sydney, Melbourne and (to some extent) Brisbane. Mention anywhere else in the country and, more often than not, at least in my experience, you’ll receive a relatively blank expression! Cities like Sydney and Melbourne have done an excellent job at securing themselves prime positioning on the world stage, particularly over the last two decades and, while this is wonderful, it has unfortunately made the rest of the country appear almost redundant in the process. As a result, many are completely unacquainted with the west coast of Australia and have little to nothing to compare our major capitals against.

I was born in Sydney, raised in Perth and moved to Melbourne more than a year ago, so I can certainly draw a number of comparisons between the two coasts. Here are amongst my most significant findings thus far:

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1. THE POPULATION

Obviously the bigger and better cities become, the more people want to live in them. As a result, they become overpopulated and Sydney and Melbourne are certainly busier and more bustling than they have ever been before. The wonderful offset to this is that the people who reside there are more exposed and far more desensitised to contrasting cultures, influences and experiences. Perth, by comparison, has a relatively low population count and a much lower rate of immigration, so the level of exposure there is much lower. However, the less people you place in a city, the less pace and congestion you receive and, generally speaking, Perth is a much slower, far more relaxed city to reside in. Perth is typically recommended as a great place to either retire or raise a young family in.

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2. THE JOBS

There are stacks upon stacks of job opportunities in Sydney and Melbourne, particularly now that dozens upon dozens of companies are based there. In fact, it was my primary reason for relocating. There’s only one factor I didn’t take into consideration…there’s a lot of people living in Melbourne and, unfortunately, this means there’s a lot more people to compete against each time you hand in an application. Prior to moving, I had worked for several national retail brands, so I truly (truly!) believed that getting a job would be a cinch! In reality, I spent my first 4 months in Melbourne unemployed. In Western Australia it’s far less competitive and far easier to score work, particularly with a little experience on the resume. The biggest downside is that applications move very slowly in Perth and it can take several weeks just to score an interview. Unfortunately (major generalisation alert!), it’s a city with no real sense of urgency!

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3. THE WEATHER

Weather has been a bit of a battle for me since I moved to Victoria, simply because it differs so greatly to the climate in Western Australia. In order to understand Australia’s varying weather conditions, it is important to understand how Australia sits geographically. Capitals like Melbourne, Canberra and Hobart are closest to Antarctica, so they experience incredibly cold, icy cool winters and relatively mild summers. Brisbane sits much higher on the east coast, closer to Asia, and thus tends to endure very tropical weather patterns year-round. The middle region of Australia is comprised primarily of desert and dry arid land, so seasons in the neighbouring capitals, these primarily being Perth, Adelaide and Darwin, are riddled with much higher annual temperatures.

4. THE SIZE

Ready for a mind-boggler? Here it is: States like Victoria and New South Wales are comparably amongst the smallest Australian states geographically, yet they are the biggest in relation to sprawl. Essentially what this means is that, while they don’t occupy as much landmass as neighbouring states, they utilise the land they do occupy to the greatest possible extent. This often results in more regular, lengthier commutes. Geographically speaking, Western Australia is the nation’s largest state, occupying approximately one-third of Australia’s total landmass however, the current population of Western Australia is a mere 2.5 million, against a national population count of nearly 25 million. This effectively means that most of the state’s land is uninhabited, making what is inhabited relatively small geographically and thus quicker and easier to get around. Weird huh?

 

 

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The article is written by Paola Bianchi

Do you understand this is a MUST see when visiting Victoria, right?

Let me be honest with you. One or two days may cover the main spots of the Great Ocean Road. However, you can easily spend a week or more here. If you have the time, please do so. There is plenty to explore and enjoy.

Being said that, if you just have a weekend to spend, make the most of it. This is what I and some friends did in 48hs exploring the Great Ocean Road oceanic route.

Wake up early, hire a car if you do not have one already, grab a coffee to go and put the radio on. From Melbourne city, head west via M1 freeway towards Geelong.

DAY 1

First stop: Torquay Surf Beach

Just about 100km from our starting point, Torquay is a seaside town famous for its surfing options, especially for beginners and intermediate levels. If keen on sports, give surf a try. There are several rental options in the area.

2 torquay beach

If watching others get smashed on the water is your preference, the best spot to do so is the green grass hill in front of Torquay Surf Beach. Which was what we did while half of the pack went for a swim. You will get awesome views without any danger as it is far away from the sea. I totally recommend to bring sunglasses (even if it is cloudy as the light is full on here), spread a beach towel and enjoy a picnic. Nearby is a great kiosk that sells cheap hamburgers!

 

Second Stop: Anglesea Golf Club

Don’t get confused, playing golf is not part of the tour… Although kangaroos are! It happened that around this golf there are lots of wild kangaroos living around. This makes this place unique because of the proximity to this huge population (around 210-270). The eastern grey kangaroos hanging out on the golf course are highly habituated to humans, and a tour is provided if you are keen on jumping on a golf trolley for 20 minutes.

4 kangaroosImage source from Anglesea golf club facebook page 

Don’t worry about the tags and collars that several kangaroos have. This doesn’t hurt them. They even have names! Tagging them is part of the studies that Zoologists from the University of Melbourne have been conducting since 2005 for population surveys, movements, birth control and parasites.

5 kangaroo soloImage source by Tom Walter

Third Stop: Kennett River

Nearby this river there is popular café called Kafe Koala, just in the entrance of the ‘Koala walk’. This is a short walk full of Eucalyptus Trees, the preferred ones of the little creatures. It is super easy to spot them sleeping and hugging brunches. It was no joke when someone told us that the koalas were ALWAYS there, like waiting for you to go and say hi.

6 koala in treeImage source from Jade Craven

 

Fourth stop: Twelve Apostles

This is why we came for! Make sure you get there before the sunset! It is the BEST.

Take a look:

7 apostlesPic by Pao Bianchi

Try to get there early to reserve your spot. It can get crowded!

8 apostlesPic by Pao Bianchi
Getting the best photo is a goal we all have but remind yourself that it’s not worth risking your life or damaging the environment to get it, like these guys:

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Fifth Stop: Port Campbell

Because of its proximity to the 12 Apostles, is a great place to stay overnight. This lovely little town has grown so much and offers great food and accommodation. We rented a house in Airbnb and woke up to this peaceful beauty:

12 peacePic by Pao Bianchi
Plus, it has a gorgeous bay where you can have your breaky and shot some cute pics.

Looking down over the beach at the little seaside town of Port Campbell.

Looking down over the beach at the little seaside town of Port Campbell.

Pic by Shiny Things

During the morning hours, there is also a beautiful light on the incredible Twelve Apostles. That was our Airbnb’s host recommendation. Unfortunately, was too late when he told us but it is indeed a great excuse to come back!

Bonus: another great location to spend the night is Bimbi Park. ‘Bimbi’ means ‘a place of many birds’ in the local Aboriginal language. This place is located in the forest of Otway Park surrounded by Koalas! You can rent a cabin or a camping site and enjoy nature. More info here.

DAY 2

Take it easy now. You did lots of km the day before, and you still need to go back while enjoying the trip.
If you sleep as good as we did and had breaky in front of the bay getting fresh air, you most likely have the energy to continue exploring.

You may go up north to visit other natural rock forms like The Arch or London Bridge. But that means more driving hours to go back. So, you can choose to spend some quality time in nature without deviating too much.

Next Stop: Great Otway National Park

Such a magical place! Lakes, waterfall, forest.

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Pic by Pao Bianchi

Trekking, camping, fishing and even swimming. SO MANY OPTIONS. All the details here
We would need another week to explore, right? Absolutely recommended! As we had just a couple more hours to enjoy, we decided to visit the historic Cape Otway Lightstation.
15 ligthhousePic by Pao Bianchi

Yeap! You can climb to the top!
This place has a rich history that you can discover while walking around the huge campus that surrounds the lighthouse. It is told that, during the 19th century, Cape Otway was the first land to be seen by migrants travelling to Australia by ship. Isn’t that curious? Today migrants see the airport first.

 

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