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Healthy, cheap, fun – 5 Melbourne weekend activities for under $200

4 minute read
young man and woman adventuring through Melbourne and its surrounds

When most of us think ‘Melbourne’, we think fashion, food and footlights; but look further than the cosmopolitan CBD and you’ll find an array of healthy adventures that won’t cost a bomb.

So, put down the cold drip coffee, take off the black turtleneck and finish your wagyu burger (served in a buttermilk brioche bun, duh). We’ve put together five Melbourne activities that will get the blood pumping and the calories burning – and they won’t cost a cent over $200.

1. A swim at Pound Bend, free (but we recommend budgeting for sunscreen and a picnic lunch to take with you)

It’s a bit of a local secret, but Pound Bend in the Warrandyte State Park is one of the most pristine swimming holes in Melbourne. Less than 30kms from the city, this rock pool was formed after Pound Bend tunnel was constructed in the late 1800s to alter the course of the Yarra and generate electricity and mining.

Daredevils can ride the shallow falls and rushing water at the tunnel outlet, while those wanting to chill out can relax in one of the calmer rock pools close by.

2. A visit to the Japanese baths, $30 (per person)

Cats v dogs. Pineapple on pizza. Coriander. Showers v baths – they’re the preferences that divide a nation. But, if you love soaking in a hot tub, we have some good news.

A study by Loughborough University found that taking a hot bath can burn the same amount of calories as a 30-minute walk (around 140 calories to be exact) – and Melbourne is home to a seriously indulgent tub.

Onsen Ma is a traditional Japanese bath house and is a great way to relax. It’s split into two public bathing areas – one for male, one for female and there’s a maximum of eight people at any time. Be warned, if you’re using the public baths, you aren’t allowed to wear swimmers, so you’ll have to strip off.

If the thought of removing your togs is terrifying, don’t stress. You can also hire a private bathing experience – and swimwear is optional.

3. Catch a Tigers game, price varies

Thought you couldn’t get fitter by watching other people play sport? Researchers from Western Sydney University have found that viewing other people exercising can be a workout in itself – increasing your heart rate, respiration, blood flow and sweat release.

You can’t visit Melbourne without catching an AFL game and last year’s grand final winners, the Richmond Tigers, are guaranteed to get the crowds roaring. Make sure you check out the back of Richmond’s home and away Guernsey – nib is one of the club’s key partners!

4. Get on ya’ bike, $3 (for a day pass)

Keen to ride a bicycle à la Freddie Mercury? Melbourne’s Bike Share scheme is a work of genius. For just $3 for a day, you can access one of 600 bikes from 50 stations around the CBD. You simply find a bike nearby, use your ride code to unlock it, ride for as long (or short) as you like, then return the bike to any station nearby.

5. Get a massage, price varies

If you’ve spent the last hour getting lost down the rabbit hole of Melbourne laneways and alleys, it’s probably time to relax with a remedial massage. Although you’ll only be burning minimal calories, the impact on your stress levels will do you a world of good.

Prices vary depending on where you go, but with a little research, you should be able to find a one hour massage for well under your $200 budget. The best bit? nib offers a number of Extras policies that pay back Benefits for remedial massage. You should check with nib before you go to be sure your massage provider is covered by us. If you don’t already have nib health insurance, you can get a quote online in just a few minutes.

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