Are looking to park your car in Melbourne and maybe to even sleep in your car for free? Awesome! We help you to spare the insanely expensive parking costs in Melbourne.
Free Parking Spots in Melbourne
Parking areas in Melbourne are really expensive. Unless, of course, you risk a parking ticket and don’t pay it. Melbourne parking spots are not as backpacker-friendly as the parking areas in Sydney: While you will find public toilets, they are usually without showers.
Be aware that St. Kilda is about 30 minutes South of Melbourne CBD, in case you decide to rest your wheels here. This neighborhood is very popular among backpackers with a vivid nightlife and many hostels.
A call to all of us: Please make sure not to bother any residents. Don’t disturb them so other backpackers can benefit of the parking spot as well. Check the road signs for parking restrictions as well. Please let us know if something needs to be updated.
Parking area at the Palais Theatre
Many backpackers travelling by car meet at the big parking area at the Palais Theatre during the day. This is one of our favorite spots, however, it is not free to park here. Nevertheless, on one corner of the car park, many backpacker vans gather especially during day. This goes that far, that parking rangers don’t even bother about them and in our experience didn’t even fine them.
Please keep that in mind, if you decide to leave your car here. Only do so, if you are brave enough or are not planning to pay a possible fine. If you park your car here, do so in the corner (as shown in the map below) together with other backpackers.
Docklands (Johnson Street) – close to CBD
This place is super close to the Melbourne city center. Walk 20 minutes and you reach the CBD. Johnson street is located in the Docklands, so you won’t bother any residents here. You can park your car here for free during the weekend as well as during weekdays.
You can also check out nearby streets in the Docklands to spend the nights. For example near the Library at the Dock.
Alma Park (at Alma Road)
Alma Park is a very nice spot to park and sleep in your car in St. Kilda. Park your car near the park (in front of the gym). From here it’s only a short walk to the St. Kilda beach. In the park you can find public toilets as well.
Wilson Reserve Park (Outer Cres)
Wilson Reserve Park is located South of St. Kilda in Brighton. It is a wealthier neighbourhood and you are not far from Brighton beach, which is famous for their colorful beach huts.
St. Kilda Botanical Gardens
Please note: Our readers informed us, that this place is not recommended for overnight stays anymore! However, if you look for a free parking spot during the day, than the Botanical Gardens are just right for you. There are signs informing travelers that it is not allowed to stay overnight there.
The Botanical Gardens in St. Kilda are a great place to stay overnight in your car, if you want to spend your time in St. Kilda.
From here you are close to a number of hostels as well as showers, which you can find on the St. Kilda beach. Find a nice spot for your car around the park. In the park you also find public toilets.
A reader informed us about Mornington Peninsula. Travellers from another state can park there at the Dromana Beach and Marta Beach/Mills Beach. The area and the beaches are very similar to St. Kilda – even with nice beach huts.
It might be a good option for you to enjoy the Melbourne area without spending the whole time in the city or if you come to visit an event. By car it’s about 1 hour to downtown Melbourne or you can go by train.