Melbourne Zoo elephant

WHEN I say thrifty, I’m talking about Thrifty Car Rental, which set us up with the Black Beast during our family holiday to Melbourne last week. They gave us a roomy Ford Falcon XR6 (it was meant to be a Hyundai i45, but I’m starting to get over that), a GPS (which was introduced to some rather colourful language from The Bloke in The Shed), a fuel card (yet we didn’t even use half a tank!) and they took care of my tolls (when asked what tollways we used we just shrugged our shoulders. There are no tollways in Tasmania. In Tassie, we’ll pay you to use our roads).

As part of this post, I thought I’d show you where the Black Beast took us to inspire you on your next Melbourne visit. Digital Parents Conference, anyone?

You’d think this post would start with a lovely family photo of us standing around the Black Beast, right? Well, unfortunately the Beast was a tad camera shy. Or, quite possibly, we forgot to actually take a photo in all the excitement. Instead, here’s a photo I stole from Ford.

Ford Falcon XR6

And now, here’s what I know about what to do with kids in Melbourne:


Medina Executive South Yarra

At the Melbourne airport we picked up the Black Beast from the Thrify Car Rental desk, completely fitted out with blue child car seats, in what was a no-fuss experience and headed straight for… shopping. We’ve taken in most DFOs and shopping precincts and the relatively new South Wharf DFO has been among the best. In the afternoon we princesses spent some downtime in our perfectly located hotel, Medina Executive South Yarra. The Bloke in The Shed took to the hotel gym. Our two-bedroom unit was incredibly roomy and Ella was chuffed at her BIG bed. We were surprised by how close it was to everything we needed access to, including the Royal Botanic Gardens. We had a picnic dinner with the Claire family, with so much space in the gardens it’s hard not to find a secluded spot for yourself.


Melbourne Museum

While the Kids Business Bloggers Brunch was only a few blocks from our hotel, the GPS went into a tizz when it tried to take us down a few closed streets. Thankfully, with the temperature reaching 34 degrees, the Black Beast’s air con prevented us from going into a tizz. Once I finally arrived at my Prahran destination, The Bloke in the Shed and the two princesses headed to the air-conditioned Melbourne Museum. While hubby said the children’s area was good, Princess Ella (4) was apparently more interested in the general section. In the afternoon, the Beast lured us to Prahran Market where I fell in love. And I’m not talking about the fact we saw Russell Gilbert. The array of food – and the quality – was too much temptation. It’s not the sort of thing you’d spend a lot of time at, especially with kids, but if you’ve got the ability to cook in your hotel it’s well worth it. That night we dined at a café on Toorak Rd.


Melbourne Zoo Lion

We detoured via St Kilda (yay GPS!) to pick up my brother and then headed straight to the Melbourne Zoo. You can read the full review about how much we enjoyed ourselves. That night we over indulged on the yummy delights we’d picked up at the Prahran Market.


pink Qantaslink plane Dash 8

Our flight left at 8.30am, so we preprogrammed the airport into the GPS the night before. At the airport carpark, Ella turned to me and said: “Can we take our car home with us, Mum?’’.  Sure, why not. I’ll pack it in with our luggage (which had already reached its limit after the Bloggers Brunch goodies). As we headed out of the terminal to board our Qantaslink flight, it felt like all the spoils of our holiday were now behind us. Then we were presented with the above Dash 8. Yes, a pink one. Ella, again, thought the airport had turned it on especially for her. We’re not about to ruin her fun.

What would you recommend we do next time we visit Melbourne?

Linking up Shae from Yay for Home’s Things I Know. Make sure you click to learn what others’ know.


DISCLOSURE: We received a car, GPS and fuel card from Thrifty Car Rental. We received a two-bedroom room at Medina Executive South Yarra at a media rate. All opinions expressed are my own.

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30 Responses to A thrifty way to travel – our Melbourne holiday with kids

  1. Grace says:

    Wow ! Sounds like an awesome time, Kellie ! Can’t wait to take the twinlets to Melbourne Zoo 🙂
    Grace recently posted..Things I Know – The Twice As Nice EditionMy Profile

  2. Nee says:

    Looks like you had fun. Melbourne Zoo definitely on the agenda for my next visit. (I’d be irked about missing out on the i45 too!)
    Nee recently posted..Things I know: Opting outMy Profile

    • Kel says:

      Hehe!! We saw one of the i45s inside the airport and it looked pretty amazing. Mind you, the Ford had a super large boot, which we desperately needed with all the bags we had. So it probably worked out well for us in the end! 🙂

  3. Ai Sakura says:

    Wow great ideas for things to do in Melbourne! My family will be there next year for a trip so looking forward to going to the zoo and Prahran Market 🙂
    Ai Sakura recently posted..Things I Know: Saturday Morning RoutineMy Profile

    • Kel says:

      I can’t speak highly enough of the zoo and Prahran Market. They really were the highlights for us. Well, Prahran Market for me, anyway. Although, I have to say, Ella was pretty keen on the market too. Her eyes were nearly bigger than her belly looking at all the goodies! 🙂

  4. kirri says:

    I can’t get past the ‘sorry for the lack of photos..we’re on ANOTHER holiday’. Sheesh Kellie, way to rub it in 🙂
    kirri recently posted..The things I know – Sometimes lying keeps us safeMy Profile

    • Kel says:

      LOL! Ah, yes, sorry about that, Kirri. It’s been a full-on two weeks of activities these holidays. We nearly need another holiday to get over it all!
      The post is all fixed up now. We’re home and finally faced with a big pile of washing. If that’s not a reality check, I don’t know what is! 😉

  5. nellbe says:

    You certainly packed alot in the short time you had. Maybe next time head over the Westgate and check out Scienceworks, great for the kids. (and parents too!) Sounds like lots of fun 🙂 Pity I didn’t see you 🙁
    nellbe recently posted..Things I Know about my ToddlerMy Profile

    • Kel says:

      I like the sound of that, Nellbe. We enjoyed Scienceworks in Sydney, but didn’t realise there was one in Melbourne. Will definitely put it on the agenda for next time. Thanks for the tip!
      I’m still kicking myself I didn’t hunt you down at the Bloggers Brunch! 🙁

  6. Marita says:

    The Melbourne Zoo is wonderful.

    My girls and I really enjoy the Immigration Museum, it is fun to explore and on school holidays has great fun stuff for kids to do.
    Marita recently posted..Sometimes people believe in different thingsMy Profile

  7. Melbourne Zoo is fantastic isn’t it! I just love how they have action messages through out the zoo. I’d work there if I could!

    Yep, I’d love thrifty to give me a Ford, no wait, a HOLDEN, to drive around at Digital Parents. Wanna come on a shopping spree with Kirri and Me?
    penny @ Wildlife Fun 4 Kids recently posted..Unleash your Grandparents — Let them go Wild!My Profile

    • Kel says:

      Wouldn’t it be so great to work there, Penny? It’s one of those jobs where you’d bounce out of bed every morning to get to work (I imagine!). Although, cleaning up all the poo wouldn’t be fun! LOL!
      And I’m there on the shopping spree! Count me in! 😉

  8. Caz says:

    It sounds to me like you know how to get the best out of a trip!! Very nicely done. look forward to seeing you again in March :O)
    Caz recently posted..REVIEW: Crust Gourmet Pizza ~ a night in for Mummy.My Profile

  9. Jayne says:

    What an awesome break for you all, Kellie! I’ve not been to Melbourne with the girls before, so couldn’t recommend any child-friendly places. I’d love to go back with them one day though. Love the city.
    Jayne recently posted..Things I Know – Green ThumbMy Profile

    • Kel says:

      It is a great city, Jayne, for sure. We tend to go at least once a year, mainly because my brother lives there now. It’s funny, but everytime a family member goes over to visit him, we drag him along to the Zoo. He always surprises himself by discovering something new each time! Your girls would love it. 🙂

  10. Lisa Wood says:

    Hi Kel,

    How cool that you got to use a black beast from thirfty in Melbourne!! The only thing that I reckon would be a great idea, is catching the free city tram, that takes you around Melbourne, and also walking up China Street at night time – such an amazing sight to see 🙂

    Love your photos!
    PS- I always forget to take photos of the really important things!
    Lisa Wood recently posted..My Family Is My LifeMy Profile

    • Kel says:

      The free city tram is fabulous, Lisa. We actually did that last time we went, back in May. I think that was the highlight for Ella!
      I haven’t done China Town in a long time though and definitely not with the girls. Might have to schedule that one in for next time too. Thanks Lisa. 🙂

  11. Louisa says:

    Scienceworks is totally amazing and Bliss LOVES the Museum and agrees with Ella about the general area while Bear gets most unhappy when it’s time to leave. Next time you come I vote we take a daytrip together out to the moutains and enjoy a stroll around the incredible Geppetto’s workshop and lunch in Sassafras – either that or a trip out to the Yarra and lunch at the Dairy farm.

  12. Daisy says:

    Oh what a wonderful little holiday you had! I love that you turned the Bloggers Brunch into a family holiday! You clever chicken!
    Daisy recently posted..Random Things I KnowMy Profile

    • Kel says:

      Hehe!! Got to make the most of these things, Daisy! 😉
      It really came down to the fact there were cheap flights out of Devonport (our home city), so we jumped at the chance to all go away together! Glad we did too! 🙂

  13. Trish says:

    I like the sound of the Medina apartment. Glad you enjoyed your trip to Melb.
    Trish recently posted..I’ve always loved – My Little Drummer boy Whoa – who hasn’t recorded My little Drummer boys ?My Profile

    • Kel says:

      Thanks Trish. Yes, Medina is one of my favourite chains in Melbourne now. I think the main appeal for me is how family friendly they are! The South Yarra spot was fabulous. It was our first time staying out that way and we’ll definitely stay there again. x

  14. katepickle says:

    Oooh sounds like you were well treated when you came to visit and you hit some great destinations!
    We LOVE the zoos… next time you could trek out to Heilsville to see the Aussie animals or go over the bridge to Werribee Open Range Zoo… both are awesome!
    katepickle recently posted..Things I Know about Murphy’s LawMy Profile

    • Kel says:

      Thanks Kate. We’ve heard so many good things about Werribee Open Range Zoo. It’s definitely a place I want to take the girls too. I actually have it on my list of things to do! 🙂

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