Backpackers' cheeky sign sparks epic response from neighbours

German backpackers Cornelius Lechner and Bela Wilkoewitz were in need of some beer and Aussies responded.

Times are tough but the desire to have a cold one is still strong. And for two backpackers trying their best to enjoy the Aussie experience on a tight budget, a little creativity has gone a long way.

German travellers Cornelius Lechner and Bela Wilkoewitz, both 18, arrived in Melbourne last month and were grateful to stay at a family friend's vacant home in the city's inner north. But things quickly turned south when they saw the cost of beer, with the pair deciding the only solution was to ask for donations instead.

"The beer prices are frightening, absolutely horrifying," the mates, who met playing hockey as children, told Yahoo News Australia. "[It was] right out of necessity!"

The cheeky sign can be seen taped against the property fence (left), with a closer image showing two beers inside the cardboard box on the ground (right).
The backpackers' cheeky sign in Melbourne's inner north caught the attention of locals.Source: Yahoo News Australia

The travellers decided to erect a handwritten sign outside of their fence which read, 'Beer donations for thirsty German backpackers — thank u'. They finished it off by drawing a love heart and an arrow which points to the cardboard box taped to the ground — a perfect resting place for a pack of six.

The pair also picked up a 'Beer O'Clock' sign from a local thrift store and hung it up proudly by their front door.

Aussies heed the call for Germans in need of beer

The newcomers' "brilliant" sign promptly caught the attention of locals who seemingly understood all too well the pain of wanting a beer without one at hand. Within hours they received almost a dozen beers, as well as a couple of bottles of wine from generous neighbours, with locals of all ages assisting the men in their hour of need.

"Many people thought the sign was fun and we definitely enjoyed the looks of people walking past," the pair said, mentioning many locals had stopped to have a chuckle or take a picture of the sign. "Australians are just so open minded and kind, it's just refreshing and great as a foreigner."

Cornelius Lechner (left) and Bela Wilkoewitz (right) crouch down beside their sign.
Cornelius Lechner (left) and Bela Wilkoewitz (right) asked neighbours for beer after they were 'horrified' at the price of beer in Australia. Source: Yahoo News Australia

What started as a humble quest for beer has since fostered new connections between neighbours on the street, with the sign promoting a willingness for others to chat and laugh about the 'donation box'. The travellers have also been invited to the next door neighbour's home for Christmas, before they travel up the east coast of the country in the New Year. Until then, the mates will stay put and put their heads together again since the initial donations have began to taper off.

"Sadly, we're experiencing a bit of a drought... we are preparing an overhaul of the sign including some kind of notice that the donations are supposed to be an ongoing thing, because demand isn't dropping any time soon and, therefore, supply is more important than ever."

Do you have a story tip? Email:

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.