how to travel Melbourne with only 1000 SGD or less – budget breakdown, plane ticket, accommodation

This is Part 1 of 5 series of my budget Melbourne trip for 2 pax in Spring (End October). Please note this is not a backpacker’s trip recommendation, but is more well-suited for family-based trips, couples, groups who look for a little more comfort and is okay with spending a little bit more (but not a lot more).

  1. how to travel Melbourne with only 1000 SGD or less – budget breakdown, plane ticket, accommodation <part 1>
  2. how to travel Melbourne with only 1000 SGD or less – transport, insurance, visa, SIM card <part 2>
  3. how to travel Melbourne with only 1000 SGD or less – day 1, 2 and 3 itinerary <part 3>
  4. how to travel Melbourne with only 1000 SGD or less – day 4, 5 and 6 itinerary <part 4>
  5. how to travel Melbourne with only 1000 SGD or less – food, drink and activity, suggestions, notes, what we missed out on <part 5>

We visited Melbourne for 5 full days (22 PM – 27 AM October) and spent $1000 SGD per pax in total, including plane tickets, accommodation, transport, food and everything else all-in.

Breakdown of expenses (per pax)

  • Plane tickets (return) – S$304.31
  • Accommodation (5 nights) – S$238.37
  • Transport – S$98.72
  • Insurance – S$20.53
  • Visa – 18 AUD
  • SIM card (2 GB) – $5
  • Food, entertainment, shopping – $315.07 for 5 days ($63.04 per day)

Plane tickets

We got our plane tickets during Scoot’s promotion. We managed to get a good time slot on Tuesday (depart SGD at 1.20pm) and Sunday (return SGD at 6.45pm).


We stayed at the following places:

All Nations Hostel Melbourne ($26.05/pax)Melbourne CBD

We stayed in the twin room (with 2 bunk beds) which is more expensive than the share dorms (for 8 / 10 pax). There can be further cost savings here but we prioritised our privacy over the price.

Location is convenient, just about 5-10 minutes walk down from Southern Cross Station and the shared bathroom is clean enough with warm water available and toiletries and towel given to you as well. Bed was comfortable enough. Room was also clean. The hostel looks youthful in design and also has free pancakes for breakfast daily for about 2 hours in the morning. Free wifi is also available.

Some things to note is that as it is near Southern Cross Station it is prone to some noise when the trains pass by. But they do provide earplugs for free at the reception. Another thing is that there’s a need to climb 2-3 flights of stairs to get to your room, which may not be convenient for those with heavy luggages or travel with families.

Verdict: I’d come back and stay again, in tolerable seasons like summer, early autumn, and late spring (as the bathroom is shared, and there’s no heating) outside of the rooms.

Motel Marengo ($50.85/pax) – Apollo Bay

This was my favourite place to stay during our trip. The bed was huge with good heating. There were free board games available to rent as well. The toilet was very clean, the whole place was very clean. Apollo Bay is also a super chill place to be in. The place we rented was actually suitable for 4 pax as there was a double bed and 2 single beds. So we could have shaved off half the cost to $25.43 per pax!

Verdict: If I ever do Great Ocean Road trip again I’d definitely consider this place again!

Summers Rest Units Apartment ($53.35/pax) – Port Campbell

We had a difficult time finding affordable accommodation for under $50/pax/night in Port Campbell, largely because it’s a very touristy spot due to 12 Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge. We managed to find a place here close to our budget. But design wise it was rather quaint, and there were flies everywhere! It was ok for 1 night’s stay, but probably not longer than that. Facilities wise it’s good, there’s a number of plates, cups like motel marengo. And a hot water kettle as well. Again the place we rented was actually suitable for 4 pax as there was a double bed and 2 single bunk beds. So we could have shaved off half the cost again!

Verdict: I might choose this place again if there were no better options in terms of cost and quality. I might pick someplace a little more expensive next time.

Brady Hotels Jones Lane ($54.06/pax) – Melbourne CBD

I am most impressed by this one. It’s obviously a brand new building and the facilities, room and everything was very clean. Apart from some glitches in the check in process at the counter due to possibly coding issues, the whole process was great. I’d definitely come back to stay again. Location was also very convenient, right in the heart of Melbourne CBD with lots of food, and very near Chinatown as well, which has a spread of relatively affordable food. The design of the place was really great. There’s also a free gym (basically filled with treadmills, stationary bikes).

Verdict: Would definitely stay here again!

Joker (2019) – Movie Review *Spoilers Alert*

Life is full of funhouse mirrors, and more so for those with mental illnesses. The labyrinths of the mind are hard to detect, full of fallacies and assumptions. We trust ourselves, but can we? What is real, and what is not? What is really happening, what is the objective truth, and what is contorted truth – the story you tell yourself?

Joker is a 2 hours and 2 minutes long film that records the transition of a working class man with a dream of becoming a comedian; the reality is simply that he is working at an agency as a clown-for-hire – our first foray into the workings of reality vs mind that is emphasised throughout the movie. His progression into Joker is marked from handing of a gun from his co-worker, triggering the first turning point – committing the triple murders on the subway. Straight after he stumbles his way back to his apartment block, where he forces open his neighbour’s door and made sexual advances towards her. She appears to resist at first then relent completely, shutting her door behind her. A series of events occur, and the relationship between the two develops and blossoms — until the point when she finds him in his living room, appearing completely shocked and afraid — the movie reveals that the relationship did not exist at all, and they were in fact simply acquaintances who met each other in the lift.

At this point the narrative cracks open and leads the viewer to mull over which parts of the story is real and which is not. Apart from this highly obvious reveal, the rest of the movie keeps quiet on the delusions.

The movie progresses with the murders striking a deep divisive line between the Haves and Have Nots. The victims of the triple murders were revealed to be professionally successful men. Havoc reigns on the streets. He gets onto a talkshow host’s show and proceeds to shoot him dead while on live tv. He is arrested but a hospital van crashes the police car he is in; he is lifted out and placed atop the car in an act similar to reverence. Batman’s parents are killed by someone else in a clown mask. The movie jumps all the way to a meeting with a psychiatrist in a white sterile environment, likely a hospital asylum setting. He is handcuffed. You wonder – which was real, which was not? Was most of the movie simply all his delusions?

In all, this was an intense journey from mildly “crazy” man to full-on deranged madness. Yet, under the evolution of this man lies the same persona, a man struggling to free himself from the labyrinths of his mind, full of anguish despite the new sense of euphoria and heightened sense of self.

And remember, the movie mentions that at some point, he was supposedly put off his meds, so he could be hallucinating. Yet, he could be in a bipolar state and in which case may have almost definitely allowed him to commit those murders. How do we know? In Joker 2, perhaps.