Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia.
- 1 Hitching out
- 1.1 Northeast towards Sydney via the Hume Highway
- 1.2 East towards Traralgon, Bairnsdale (and Sydney the scenic way) via the Princes Highway
- 1.3 West towards Adelaide
- 1.4 Southwest along the Great Ocean Road
- 1.5 Northwest towards Bendigo, Mildura
- 1.6 Southeast towards Wilson Promontory
- 2 Food, public transport, sleep
- 3 Trashwiki & Nomadwiki
Northeast towards Sydney via the Hume Highway
There is a detailed route description outlining the major service stations along the way on the Hume Highway page.
For a lift to Sydney via the Hume Highway (M31) catch a suburban train to Craigieburn (which is also the last stop on the line of the same name) Walk north down Hothlyn Drive and Walters Street about 10mins, until you get to a nice set of traffic lights with an onramp to the Hume Hwy. Here the cars must slow down for the lights and there is a lane for traffic to pull over.
Similarly just walk east along a road that has an on-ramp onto the freeway, the walk should take a maximum of 15 minutes. Its pretty doable to get to Sydney within the same day as long as you leave Melbourne early enough in the morning. Follow the signs to Seymour (Road 55) and don't get confused with the different numbers on the signs, Seymour should be always right. Alternately, you can catch a 40 minute train from Melbourne Central Station or Southern Cross Station towards Seymour to Wallan. Wallan is just outside Melbourne and from the train station it's a 10 minute walk straight onto the Hume Highway.
If you're headed to Canberra follow the directions above onto the Hume Hwy. Once you have a lift that is taking you to Yass or further it's best to ask the driver if he/she can take you into Murrumbateman (a small town which is a 10-15 minute drive after the exit onto the Barton Hwy (25) off the Hume Hwy). From there all traffic must slow down and (if you're coming from Melbourne) it'll be late in the day when everyone is commuting back to Canberra. Alternatively, there is a large service and truck-stop station just outside of Yass but if it's late in the day most people are commuting back South and it could be awhile (and dark) before you find someone headed into Canberra.
Some hitchhikers claim that it is very possible indeed to stick your thumb out anywhere on Sydney Road and just get lifts towards Sydney from there.
East towards Traralgon, Bairnsdale (and Sydney the scenic way) via the Princes Highway
Take a train to Officer Station (on the Pakenham line), exit the station and walk south down Officer South Road, turn right at the roundabout and walk (or hitch) west down Rix Road about 1km, then turn left and walk south to the end of Stephens Road North. You should find yourself facing the Princes Freeway with a large wall leading away from you to the right. Follow this wall on the freeway side for about 500m and you will come to the BP Service Station (Officer) on the freeway. It is very easy to get a ride east from here by ask drivers filling up with petrol or in the carpark, its not unusual to get a ride within the first few people you ask. The walk from Officer station to the BP service station takes about 30 minutes.
Take a train to the end of the Pakenham line to Pakenham Station, exit the station (theres only one platform) and go north straight up Henry St. Henry St turns left, follow it, then turn right at the first right into King St. Follow that north to the Princes Highway. Cross the highway and follow it to the right for around 100m where there is a dirt area where cars can pull over.
A possibly better (but as of yet unverified) alternative to Option 2 may be to walk south-east down Bald Hill Road from Pakenham Station, turn right at the first roundabout and head south down Koo Wee Rup Road to the Princes Freeway On Ramp. There should be ample room for cars to stop on the side of the road on the on ramp.
It is possible to start hitching closer to the city at on ramps along the Monash Freeway although it might take a few shorter rides to get to the first service station at Officer. Some options are:
- One hitchhiker has successfully got rides at the last traffic lights on Batman Avenue before the start of the Monash Freeway, right near the Rod Laver Arena.
- The Warrigal Road on ramp (walk to it from Holmesglen Station) sees a lot of traffic and there is a small space for cars to stop on the on ramp.
- Take the 901 bus to the Stud Road on ramp. One hitchhiker swears by this spot. There is a lot of east bound traffic here, the traffic doesn't go too fast, there is heaps of visibility, and there is lots of room for cars to pull over. Its easy to get a ride to the BP service station at Officer about 25km from there.
Between Bairnsdale and Eden, there is a long stretch with no bigger towns in between. Be prepared for longer waiting and possibly need to sleep outside. Not the fastest way in order to get to Sydney, but definitely doable, and loads of interesting spots at the coast along the way. For a more direct connection to Sydney, the Hume Highway is better recommended rather than the scenic coast road.
West towards Adelaide
Go to one of the central Train Stations and get a ticket to Ballarat. It is about 10 $ (in 2010). The ticket will let you get on what ever train you need to travel to the Southern Cross Station. From there the train takes you about 120 km out of town. Once in Ballarat your train ticket will also get you on the buses for the day. Cross the road from the station and take the bus 3 Creswick. Ask the driver to drop you at the Freeway on-ramp to Adelaide. This will save you a 5 km walk to the freeway. Walk 200 m down onto the freeway then hitch.
Bear in mind that if you choose this option you will basically travel over a hundred kilometers out of Melbourne and spend at least 2 hours on public transport.
Take a train from Southern Cross in direction Ballarat and get off at Rockbank. Rockbank is in Myki zone 2, so it'll cost you around $6.50. If you yet haven't got a Myki card, they won't let you board the train without and no paper tickets are available. So be aware of another $6 for the card. The trip takes about 30 minutes, but the train goes only about every 2 hours, so check the timetable on metlinkmelbourne.com.au beforehand.
Once in Rockbank, walk into the village eastwards into Westcott Parade and turn left at the roundabout or into Elizabeth street. Walk along the highway until you see a bus stop. This place is a good hitchhiking spot where cars can stop easily. However, if you don't mind walking for another 1-2 km, there will be a Service Station further down the road (you are able to see the big McD's sign from the bus stop). There it'll be easier getting a ride by talking to the people.
You can basically just take any lift you get offered, as you can stand virtually anywhere on the highway to Adelaide. Keep in mind that people who go all the way to Adelaide are more likely to leave Melbourne early, since the whole trip takes 6-8 hours.
If you get a ride going to Ballarat it's a good idea to get dropped off at the BP gas station around 5 km before Ballarat.
Southwest along the Great Ocean Road
The original option
30 minutes+ of walking
To get to the Great Ocean Road take a train to Geelong (ca. 8A$ as of January 2013). Go right out of the station and onto the main highway. There's no awesome hitchhiking spots anywhere near, but cars can be stopped in different spots along the road. If you walk about 2 km (or more...) down the road, you will find a really good spot just before the bridge. From anywhere else between Torquay and Apollo Bay, rides are extremely easy to pick up.
The easy option
20 minutes of walking
Take the V-Line train towards Warnambool and get off at Marshall (2 stops after Geelong but costs you the same price). Bear in mind that the Warnambool line doesn't run as often as the Geelong line so check the timetable. As you get off the train bear left and walk for about 200 meters until you get to Marshalltown Road. Turn left again and follow the road until you get to Turquay Road/ Surfcoast Highway. If you turn left and walk down the road for a hundred meter or so you'll find a busstop where cars can pull over easily.
The suburban option
15 minutes of walking and most of that is walking through a nice little park.
Get on the train towards Werribee (Zone 1+2) and go all the way to Werribee. As you get out of the station you'll be on Comden Drive. Turn right (i.e. opposite direction from Woolsworth) and walk down down the road for about 200 meters until you see a footbridge over a river on your right hand side. Cross the bridge and follow the trail for about 10 minutes and you'll get to the main intersection. Just after the intersection there is a big area for cars to pull over.
Catch the Craigeburn bound train to Essendon and from there get on bus 483 towards Sunbury. Just bear in mind that the 483 bus leaves every 80 minutes on weekdays so make sure to click the link below to see the timetable by clicking here.
If you get a nice busdriver you might be able to convince him to drop you off at the BP gasstation/Macdonalds rest area in between the stops Calder Park and Duncans lane. If he doesn't want to then get dropped off the stop called --> Duncans lane/Calders Freeway. From there you can either choose to walk back to BP/McD's as that's a really good place to find long lifts (15 minute walk) or hitch directly from the busstop (beware of cops).
Southeast towards Wilson Promontory
Catch the train to Cranbourne and get out at the last stop. There, walk 15 minutes on the Gippsland Highway to the M420 just after the intersection with the C047
You can start to hitchick there. I had to wait 15 minutes for my first lift and I took 7 lifts to reach the Wilson promontory national park (each time waiting less than 15 minutes) Cross Korumburra, Leongatha, and Foster. In Foster, cross the city walking (it not a really big town) and follow the signs "Wilson Promontory". and you can start again C445 or wak until the C446 which goes to the park.
Food, public transport, sleep
Food Not Bombs Melbourne cooks and serves vegan lunch and dinner on Mondays, and Dinner on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Regional Victorian V/Line trains have conductors that check myki cards and paper tickets on the train, and because of this blackriding is not so easy. However, there is a way to take vline trains with a full fare myki for $7. If you want to take a train to just say Traralgon for example, which normally costs about $20 offpeak and $30 peak full fare, just buy a new myki card and put $1 credit on it, touch on and jump on the train. When the conductor scans your myki card on the train, they don't care how much credit is on the card, they are just checking that the balance is not zero or negative, and that you have touched on. As long as there is some credit on the card there should be no problem. If the conductor comments on your low credit, just tell them you were running late for the train and didn't have time to top it up and that you will top it up when you get to your destination. When you do arrive, if there are security watching people touch off, just touch off as normal which will make the balance go to about -$13 if you traveled during offpeak period, or -$23 for peak, and then just throw the card away.
Just make sure the station you want to get off at is a station you can travel to with myki. The solid purple line on this V/Line Map is where you can go with a myki card.
It is possible to find hidden bush places to wild camp in Studley Park, and along Merri Creek or Yarra River. Be aware camping in these areas is probably not permitted by the council, but travelers and homeless do sometimes camp in those areas.