Online Melbourne Tours

Many of Melbourne Walks School Tours can be adapted for use by school groups using media such as video, google slides, google maps, PowerPoint
Examples of some of our Online Tours that we have adapted at teachers’ requests include:

Online Maribyrnong River and Valley

Online Runner Squizzy Taylor
Online Geography and Indigenous Landscapes
Online Architecture (1) Art Deco
Melbourne Indigenous Landscapes Tour
Online Change in Communities
Melbourne City Discovery Tour below!
Ask An Historian – Online Class Activity


Our popular real-life Melbourne City Discovery Tour of iconic heritage is now also available online. This online resource explores Melbourne’s iconic architecture, places, and people to learn how the Melbourne community has evolved from traditional owners through settlement, federation, gold rush, war and depression to the modern era.
The resources on this page are subject to copyright. They are available free for viewing by teachers but require prior permission for use for schooling purposes. Please contact Melbourne Walks for a quote.
. VIDEO (above) exploring the key buildings and locations in the city which explain the Melbourne Story.
C. HISTORIC IDENTITIES of Melbourne that students can select to understand the contribution of people to iconic places.

D. GOOGLE MAP enables students to study the locations of 21 places.  They can also use this as a basis for exploring future’ visits to the city.
E. KEY inquiry notes below enabling students to explore a deeper understanding of the contents.


      1. START Federation Square 1901, Swanston and Flinders
      2. Flinders St Station 1914, Swanston and Flinders
      3. St Pauls Cathedral 1857, Swanston & Flinders
      4. Young and Jackson, Swanston & Flinders
      5. Hosier Lane
      6. Nicholas Building 1926, 37 Swanston St
      7. Customs House 1858, 400 Flinders
      8. Banking Chamber 1891, 333 Collins St
      9. Block Arcade 1892, 282 Collins. Can we see front of building instead of from
      10. Manchester Unity 1931, 220 Collins
      11. Royal Arcade 1870, 335 Bourke St
      12. Melbourne GPO 1859, cnr Bourke and Elizabeth
      13. Myer Melbourne 1910, 320 Bourke
      14. Princess Theatre 1888, 170 Spring
      15. Parliament House 1857, Spring Street
      16. Old Treasury Building 1858, 20 Spring
      17. Collins Street Churches, Russell and Collins
      18. St Michaels 1864, 120 Collins
      19. Athenaeum Theatre est. 1839, 188 Collins
      20. Cromwell House 1886, 135 Collins
      21. Melbourne Town Hall 1867, Collins & Swanston
      22. FINISH Federation Square

What was Melbourne’s Indigenous name?  What does the Federation square plaza depict?
1835 Why was one of Melbourne’s first names Batmania? What was the ‘Melbourne Treaty’?
1835 Who was Melbourne’s first European female passenger?  What date is the official Melbourne Foundation Day?
1837 Who laid out the original city grid?  Approximately how many lanes and arcades now exist within the grid?
1851 Why was Flinders Lane and nearby lanes such as Hosier known as the Rag Lane for a century? What is Hosier Lane now famous for?1854 What was the Eureka rebellion about? Where did Melbourne residents voice their protests?
1854 Where did the first steam train line in Australia depart from?1859 What building has long been considered the centre of Melbourne?1857 What building stored Melbourne’s gold after the 1851 gold rush?1862 What was practised in the Collins Street Assembly Hall. What is a suffragette?
1867 What classical building is the home of the Melbourne City government?
1870 What is the oldest Arcade in Australia? Who are Gog and Magog?1888 What is Melbourne’s oldest theatre est 1857?
1891 What street is the golden mile of Melbourne?
1892 From where does Melbourne’s Block Arcade draw its name?1901 What does Federation Square celebrate. Name 2 cultural places on Fed Square?
1901-1927 Where was Australia’s first national parliament housed?  
1906 What was the world’s first feature film? Where was it first shown?
1914 What was Simcha Baevski’s other name?
1915 What famous medicine was synthesized by George and Alfred Nicholas?
1931 What 1931 building was the tallest building in Melbourne for 20 years?
2020 What is the City of Melbourne’s Latin motto?

C. STUDENTS can select from HISTORIC IDENTITIES of Melbourne to pursue an understanding of their contribution to iconic places. 
Task  One: Choose three identities and name places they are connected to in Melbourne.
Task Two: Choose one identity and write 300 words about your contribution to the Melbourne community.

D. OUR GOOGLE MAP enables students to visit 21 places online and learn about them.
Task One:  If you had half an hour to explore historic places of Melbourne, which 3 places would you visit and why?
Task Two: This map can also use this as a basis for designing and exploring future ‘non-virtual’ visits to the city. If you were designing a class trip to seven places, which would you choose and why?

ONE Federation Square 2001, Swanston and Flinders. Welcome to Federation Square where we commence our online discovery tour exploring city places that tell the story of Melbourne’s buildings, history, culture and people. Today Melbourne is a city voted seven times the most liveable city in the world and a mecca for business, art, culture sport and education as well as the fastest growing city in Australia. Some things in our city don’t change. We’ll be walking today across the same Hoddle Street Grid laid out by Robert Hoddle only two years after European settlement as well as its extraordinary system of 200 lanes and arcades created after the gold rush. Federation Square celebrates the 100th anniversary of six British colonies uniting in 1901 to create the new nation of Australia. It is a cultural and gathering place including the ACMI film museum, the National Art Gallery and the Koorie Heritage Trust. Federation Square also celebrates the First or Kulin Nation comprising five tribes including the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung peoples of ‘Nearam’ or Melbourne and their elders past and present. The Plaza is laid with 470,000 thousand tiles from the Kimberley desert depicting an 1864 Aboriginal bark painting of the cosmos reflected in water.
TWO Flinders St Station 1914, Swanston and Flinders – The meeting place. Opposite Federation Square on the southwest corner of the Flinders and Swanston Street intersection is Flinders Street Station the great transport hub and meeting place of Melbourne. In 1854 the first steam train in Australia headed from this corner to Port Melbourne.  Melbournians have been catching up ‘under the clocks’ ever since.
THREE St Pauls Cathedral 1857, Swanston & Flinders. On the northeast corner is that great Gothic revival landmark – St Paul Anglican Cathedral, where Melbourne’s first public Christian service was held in 1835. On 7 December 1854 thousands of protestors gathered outside St Pauls to protest the death of gold miners at the Eureka rebellion at Ballarat under the Southern Cross Flag. Melbournians support of the miners created democracy in Victoria (and the Southern Cross on the Australian flag).
FOUR  Young and Jackson, Swanston & Flinders – Batmania town. On the northwest corner is the famous Young and Jackson Hotel, formerly the site of the house of John Batman who claimed to have signed the Melbourne Treaty with Aboriginal elders, purchasing 500,000 acres of land called for beads, blankets mirrors and axes. Within six years there were 5000 settlers and 1.4 million sheep grazing on the traditional owners’ lands without permission or payment.
FIVE Hosier Lane – Textiles to Street Art. Waterfront warehouses around Flinders lane once held gold rush goods transported by ships and horses. Flinders or the ‘Rag’ Lane’ later contained hundreds of clothing factories. Since 2008 factory lanes like Hosier have become world-famous street galleries.
SIX Nicholas Building 1926, 37 Swanston St, cnr Flinders Lane. The Nicholas Building with its exquisite leadlight arcade was created by brothers Alfred and George Nicholas with income from their synthesis of Aspro in 1915, today of the world’s most-used medicines. Their building is a centre for many creative businesses including arts, crafts and clothes.
SEVEN Customs House 1858, 400 Flinders, Cnr Williams – Immigration . In early Melbourne, ships arrived at Enterprise Wharf on the Yarra River.  Passengers and goods entered the town through Customs House, today the immigration Museum. The official ‘Melbourne Foundation’ Day is 30 August 1935 when John Fawkner’s Enterprize unloaded nine passengers including Melbourne’s first European woman – 18-year-old Mary Gilbert.
EIGHT  Banking Chamber 1891, 333 Collins St –
The Golden Dome. Collins Street was the ‘golden mile’ when ‘Marvellous Melbourne’ was one of the wealthiest cities of the world. Perhaps its most spectacular building is the 1891 Banking Chamber at 333 Collins Street. It was built just in time for disaster – the great crash of the gold rush economy that ruined many citizens.
NINE Block Arcade 1892, 282 Collins –
Marvellous Melbourne. This arcade was the centre of Marvellous Melbourne, that fabulous wealthy metropolis of the Victorian era built on gold and thousands of hopeful immigrants seeking their fortunes. Here the citizens promenaded in their finery around the ‘block’ of Collins, Swanston, Elizabeth and Little Collins streets: courting, gossiping or taking refreshments at the Hopetoun tea house, still serving high tea five generations later.
TEN Manchester Unity 1931, 220 Collins –
The Great Depression. In 1931 the Great Depression was raging with almost a third of Victorian were out of work. Hunger was everywhere when a Friendly Society aimed to build one of the finest buildings in the country – twelve stories in just 12 weeks.  You can believe in your country, your workers and yourself. They built the exquisite art deco MU in 12 weeks. It remained the tallest building in Melbourne for 20 years. No wonder Melbournians love this building!
ELEVEN Royal Arcade 1870, 335 Bourke St – Gold Rush Shopping. The beloved Royal is the oldest arcade in Australia. An arcade, by the way, is a lane with a roof! There are almost 200 lanes and arcades in the 1837 Hoddle Street grid resulting from the massive gold rush migration to ‘Marvellous Melbourne’. The famous robots Gog and Magog have been striking the hours since 1892.
TWELVE  Melbourne GPO 1859, Cnr Bourke and Elizabeth – Communications. The grand Melbourne GPO 1859 was the centre of Melbourne and the distance from which everywhere in Victoria was measured. Its postal, telegraph and phone services connected Melbournians to their suburbs, nation and the world for almost 150 years.
THIRTEEN Myer Melbourne 1910, 320 Bourke – Cathedral of Commerce. In 1898 Simcha Baevski, an impoverished Jewish immigrant arrived in Melbourne from Russia. He changed his name to Sidney Myer and created Australia’s greatest shopping empire. Melbourne families have been visiting the famous Christmas display windows since the 1956 Olympic Games.
FOURTEEN Princess Theatre est. 1857, 170 Spring – Entertainment. Melbourne’s oldest theatre site is the fabulous Second French Empire building in Spring Street.  ‘Federici’ who died playing the devil Mephistopheles in 1888 is Melbourne’s most famous ghost.
FIFTEEN  Parliament House 1857, Spring Street, Cnr Bourke – The People’s House. ‘We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties’. The 1854 Eureka rebellion spurred the creation of a democratic parliament. This house of Victoria’s government sits high on Eastern Hill on a ceremonial meeting ground of the five tribes of the Kulin Nation. From 1901 to 1927, this Parliament housed the first national parliament of the new Australian nation.
SIXTEEN Old Treasury Building 1858, 20 Spring (cnr Collins) – Gold. One of Australia’s finest 19th-century buildings in Australia was designed by a legendary teenager architect – John James Clark. The Old Treasury Building (1857), now a free history museum, contains the bluestone vaults for storing the gold escorted by troopers from the gold mining fields.
SEVENTEEN  Collins Street Churches, Russell and Collins – Holy Hill.       EIGHTEEN St Michaels 1864, 120 Collins. The gold rushes made Melbourne wealthy but respectable reflected in the ‘bible-belt’ of Collins Street churches such as the cluster of the Baptists temple 1861, Scots Church 1874 and Assembly Hall and St Michaels (1864). For a while the Assembly Hall 1915 (156 Collins) was used as the Women’s mock parliament to practise suffragette ideals of parliamentary representation.
NINETEEN Cromwell House 1886, 135 Collins, Cnr Russell – Diamond Jim
. Cromwell House 1886 was the huge private mansion of wealthy Melbourne hospital surgeon ‘Diamond Jim’ Beaney who had the unfortunate reputation of operating in a blood-soaked gown with jewelled hands while inviting an audience to watch.   Beaney medical scholarships are still offered today at Melbourne University.
TWENTY  Athenaeum Theatre est. 1839, 188 Collins – Melbourne’s Cultural DNA.
The Athenaeum is the oldest public institution in Victoria, the venue for the first Melbourne Council and library and since 1839 has hosted arts, science, opera, theatre and cinema. It premiered the first feature film in the world, the Ned Kelly Gang in 1906 and the first Australian ‘talkie’, The Jazz Singer, in 1927.
TWENTY-ONE Melbourne Town Hall 1867, Collins & Swanston – Comedy and Rock and Roll. The classical building is the home city government as well as tens of thousands of civic functions including the Comedy Festival. In 1964, the Beatles appeared on the balcony before 20,000 screaming teenagers. In 1975 the young ACDC band rolled past singing ‘Its along way to the top if you wanna Rock an Roll’.
TWENTY-TWO Return We return to Federation Square where the beginning of our journey began but the Melbourne story continues per the 1842 city motto: Vires Acquirit Eundo – ‘She gathers strength as she goes’. 




City Discovery School Tours

The City Discovery School Tour takes your Primary, Secondary or International students to the iconic places and landmarks of the Melbourne CBD that depict Melbourne Milestones including lanes and arcades, architecture, heritage, culture, street art, historic personalities and how our city and community and our perception of places evolved over time?
two-hour tours start and finish at Federation Square OR can be adjusted to other locations.
OR OUR ONLINE HISTORY TOUR  is also available.
through the maze of landmarks, lanes, street and buildings that reflect important events and people from traditional owners, settlement, gold rush, war, boom and bust, social movements, immigration, technology and the modern city.
ASSUME an historic identity of an influential Melbourne personality for their journey through time.
EXPERIENCE interactive activities e.g explore buildings,  handle artefacts and examine historic images. Students meet challenges in a fun way that promotes learning and questioning.
OR CHOOSE one of our many alternative CBD excursions 


Our excursion calendar fills up rapidly – book early to avoid disappointment!

Students of all ages respond enthusiastically to this challenging and stimulating journey through the streets, lanes and arcades of the Melbourne CBD:

Just wanted to say thank you so much for a wonderful tour yesterday. The students  (and the adults) enjoyed it so much and found it so interesting. They really loved being a character and that made it so much more real for them.   Annnette Kitson, St Paul’s Primary.
The best tour I had ever experienced was the ‘Real San Francisco Tour’  – UNTIL I did your City Discovery Tour with our Year Eleven students today
.  Aquinas College.
Your tour yesterday was a fantastic opportunity for our students to actually look around Melbourne and learn about its history at the same time. They have all given back excellent feedback about the experience. The students absolutely loved when they heard information about their person that they were given as an identity. We gathered an abundant number of facts that we will collate today during class. We all had a wonderful day and the other two classes are looking forward to Friday.   Laura Mather, Teacher,  Wallarano.
We absolutely loved your walking tour. We watched the video we took yesterday, and I couldn’t believe how strong the students’ recall was – they took in all that you shared with them. Cheers,    Sherrin, Upper Beaconsfield Primary. 

Some of the places we go  to tell important stories of Melbourne’s heritage. Be aware we may vary the route according to age, weather, time of day, group size and learning goals:

1835 – Fed Square/Yarra River: Welcome to country. Impact of settlement on Nearamnew.

1850s to 1930 St Paul’s Cathedral: Church of England, Eureka protests – birth of democracy. Gold rush.

1835 – 1850  Young and Jackson:  John and Eliza Batman, The Melbourne Treaty.

1840-1880’s  Flinders Lane: The great heritage warehouses, shipping lane

1854/1910 Flinders Street Station – the first steam train.

1860’s – Royal Arcade 1869: Gold rush, oldest Australian arcade,  icons of Melbourne

1870s  – Bank of Australasia 1872. Marvellous Melbourne Collins Street. Great crash and depression.

1880s -The GPO building 1886: early communication, retail, changes in technology, retail. First trams 1885.

1880’s – The Coles Book Arcade 1886: , Spiritualism, City of Literature 2008

1890’s – The Block Arcade 1891: Rise and Fall of Marvellous Melbourne, Victoriana. Social life.

1890’s Presgrave Lane. Marvellous Smellboom. Sewage and pollution and factories. The flight to the suburbs

1901 Federation Square: Birth of a nation from six British colonies.

1910  – Myers 1910  Early Commerce, art deco.

1920s – Presgrave Lane. Squizzy Taylor and prohibition. Street art

1920’s –Nicholas Building 1927: Jazz Age. Fashion and textiles. Art Deco. The creative city.Flinders Street Station 1920s

1930’s – Manchester Unity building 1933: The Great Depression  

1950’s – Campbell Subway 1950’s: Olympic Games, The creative city.

1980’s – Centreway Arcade: 1984 architecture and Riddles. Globalisation.

1990s – Degraves Street and Centre Lane – 1990’s urban renaissance in the lanes

2008 –  Union Lane: The New City; the rise of Street Art 2008

2010 – City Square:  Multiculturalism, Melbourne’s Sister Cities, immigration

2017  –  260 Collins Street. St Collins, Melbourne’s newest lanes

Flinders Street Station 1920sOUR WALKING AREA: The Melbourne  City Discovery Tour walking area from Federation Square to Bourke Street Mall and return (below):









See six historic films 1910-1940s: See Amazing  Melbourne in 1910  Also:
Living Melbourne 1910
    1920s Melbourne     Victoria Police 1920s     1930s Cable Trams    1940s Melbourne

OTHER Features indigenous and other resources including our own book The Melbourne Dreaming

 Marvellous Melbourne Resources
Features photographs and video clips about artefacts featured in the Melbourne Story exhibition at the Melbourne Museum.
East Melbourne Historical Society. This site contains pictures from early settlement days in Melbourne.

Timeline of significant dates and events in Melbourne 1835 – 2000 Key dates from settlement to today. A brief overview of Melbourne and photographs of Melbourne today and in the past.

Also our Resources page for Apps, themes, further reading etc.


10 coles coles images 1. 1B 1C 1E degraves hole subway 4 5D 6A Clarence Woodhouse 1852-1931 1D A3 COLOUR CORROBOREE Eureka_stockade_battle A3 COL 10 EUREKA A3 bw FLOODS



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Amazing Melbourne Lanes & Arcades Tour

EXPLORE Melbourne’s vibrant and fascinating maze of lanes and arcades which have propelled Melbourne into a  local and international attraction voted seven times the most livable city in the world. Our tours can be personalised to your interests  including choice of time and dates.
WE blend themes including street art, architecture, shops & cafes, hidden places, gold rush, Melbourne characters and lanes history. And great stories! If you have a special interest area just let us know!
OUR places show the Melbourne Story from Indigenous to settlement to goldrush to Marvellous Melbourne to multiculturalism to the rise of the most Liveable City.
FREE!! maps, chocolate, welcome to country, historic souvenirs. Perfect for groups, children and families.

Our 2.5 hour tours can start from Federation Square opposite Flinders Station.

‘What a wonderful way this was to explore the inner secrets of Melbourne….stories, the personalities,  architecture, artworks came to life. Mark
“Thanks everyone for a terrific day yesterday exploring the interesting but often overlooked side of Melbourne.  Thanks so much to our terrific guide whose enthusiasm and passion for Melbourne shone through in all of his stories and giveaways shared with the team!” The Haigs Chocolate Team .
Thank you for our Team walking tour on Wednesday. People from the group could not speak highly enough of you and the tour content.  They all thoroughly enjoyed it and learnt a lot about our city including the locals!  Michelle.


More about Melbourne’s Lanes
Every lane we choose tells an important story about Melbourne today and past. Robert Hoddle designed Melbourne’s street map in 1836 but refused to include lanes – he saw them as detrimental to the respectable establishment.  Melbourne’s little laneways evolved to create access to buildings during subsequent population explosions such as the gold rush.  Some 
were later roofed as arcades to provide refuge from the weather and crowds and to provide more space for shops. The lanes therefore symbolically and practically are the ‘People’s Melbourne’.  

In the late 1990s the lanes became the key strategy for Melbourne’s successful reincarnation as the ‘most liveable’ city in the world. The approx  200 lanes are rated by the city according to their heritage values. It can be a life-long journey exploring all of Melbourne’s  ever-changing lanes .

View six historic films 1910-1940s e.g the amazingMelbourne in 1910  Also: Living Melbourne 1910    1920s Melbourne     Victoria Police 1920s     1930s Cable Trams    1940s Melbourne

Video: Melbourne Laneways by Eleni Arbus of Creative Spaces, Melbourne Council.


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Melbourne Crime Tour

                                  MURDER!   MYSTERY!   MAYHEM!
EXPLORE  a range of infamous, mysterious and even bizarre crimes connected to the Melbourne CBD.

INVESTIGATE unsolved murders and cold cases? Millions of dollars in rewards remain uncollected.

LEARN about the role of forensic science and evidence gathering in solving crimes.
OUR TOURS  are highly interactive including images, news articles, readings,  We provide souvenirs including chocolate and certificates.
WHERE WE GO:  Historic Melbourne venues,  famous buildings, lanes and arcades,  quirky places – a great way to explore Melbourne!

WHEN: Day or evening by arrangement.  Tours are 2.5 hours or as requested (school tours are two hours). Tours start from Federation Square and finish Bourke Street near Parliament. We go to significant locations, consider the evidence, and ask the questions.


See also our ST KILDA Murder, Mystery and Crime Tour 

‘Thank you for your tour last night. Everyone loved it, and really appreciated the souvenirs, especially the ‘criminal’ chocolate frogs! The range of stories and activities was great’.   Haigs Chocolate staff group.
‘I really enjoyed the walk and have been on it twice. My friend raved about it to her friends in Perth.  Thanks for engaging our teenagers as well, your walk came out on top.’  Win.
“Fascinating variety of strange events, places and happenings. We had 15  secondary students engrossed by it all including the activities and readings etc.”  Lisa, teacher

The guide was great and knowledgeable yet engaging. I have been living in the city for three years but didn’t know it had so many layers. It was well worth the time and one should do this walk at least once during their time in Melbourne.” 
Mia, Events Manager

WHY CRIME? Crime can provide valuable insights into Melbourne’s history, the justice system, and forensics. Awareness may assist victims of crime and their families who have yet to achieve justice. 200 rewards in Victoria since 1963 remain unclaimed.  To provide information anonymously to Crime Stoppers, ring toll-free number 1800 333 000. 


MOLLY DEAN – UNSOLVED.  Why has this 1930 murder been the subject of four books? 
DEATH AT ST PAUL’S – UNSOLVED:   St Patrick’s  Cathedral  7 March 1997.  Did guilt or blame kill Gordon Smith? Who committed two murders in broad daylight in country town?
MANHUNT HOSIER LANE  How did citizens capture an accused killer ‘living in plain sight’  19 August 2019?
GUN IN THE YARRA 2014 – UNSOLVED. What links 3 murders and 3 armed robberies ($6m) and 1 missing gun in the Yarra River 2014. $3m reward.
NAB BANK, COLLINS ST, 1954 – UNSOLVED. A young bank clerk inexplicably fell 9 floors to her death. Accident? Suicide? Murder? Did a three-times serial killer go undected?

33 JEWELLERY HEISTS 2016-17  Who was receiving the goods? Is there a connection to the Apex Gang? Why are police raiding bank vaults in Bourke Street? Who owns an unexplained $3m in gold?
UNDERBELLY EXECUTIONS 2004 – UNSOLVED:  Did a corrupt detective meet a hitman in a Collins Street bar to arrange the 27th and 28th victims of Melbourne’s gangland war?  Was Carl Willam’s death connected? Is lawyer X involved?
$6M REWARD 2017 TYNONG MURDERS – UNSOLVED $6m reqward announced for a six-times serial killer.
MISSING – UNSOLVED! 38,000 people go missing each year in Australia. How are street artists in 2019 helping to find missing persons like Bung (2011)? $1m reward.
‘COWARDS PUNCH’ LAW 2017– UNSOLVED: Who killed Shannon McCormack at QBH nightclub in 2007? Two more deaths in 2017 outside venues including ACDC lane. Sixty one-punch assaults remain unsolved.
TERROR AT FLINDERS ST STATION.   Five terror incidents 2017-18 using cars as weapons.  Are these copycat crimes? Why the homeless heroes?

WEEPING WOMAN– UNSOLVED:   4 August 1986: Who stole Australia’s most valuable painting?
ST PATRICKS DAY MASSACRE – UNSOLVED  17 March 1978: Who executed three jewelers in Victoria’s most violent crime?
HIJACK 2016. Why did graffiti artists capture and terrify a train on Boxing Day?
PAJAMA GIRL 1933– UNSOLVED: Did the murderer of the Pyjama Girl escape justice?
HOW are Melbourne  commuters protecting each other on public transport in 2018?’
THE NEON VANDALS– UNSOLVED:  Who stole six tons of neon from the Herald Sun sky-sign 2001?
FIRST AND LAST MAN  LAST MAN HANGED – UNSOLVED?:  – Ronald Ryan was hanged for murder 3 Feb 1966. But did he do it?
TUNNERMINERWAIT was the first man hanged 20 January 1842? Was he a terrorist or a freedom fighter?
BATMAN ‘TREATY’  6 June 1835:  Is Melbourne’s first piece of paper also its bloodiest? Is it a forgery? And why does Batman receive Indigenous support in 2018.
GUN ALLEY MURDER– UNSOLVED:  30 December 1921: Who murdered Alma Tirschke? Why does the ghost still walk? Can you solve a crime after ninety years?
HOSTAGE SIEGE, Meyers Place, Australia Day 1978.  What ended the shotgun siege? What was Mark ‘Chopper’ Read’s connection?
THE NED KELLY CURSE 1889: Did a curse kill Redmond Barry?
BODY in the Sugar Bag 29 March 1937– UNSOLVED : Who owned the four severed body parts?
FITZROY VENDETTA– UNSOLVED: : Who killed Squizzy Taylor  and Snowy Cutmore 27 October 1927 ?
ARM in a Shark Case  17 April 1935– UNSOLVED: :  Who lost a tattooed arm  in a shark?
CASE OF THE WALKING Corpse – How do you spoil the perfect crime?
PARLIAMENT SNIPERS 1860: Is the Parliament designed to shoot protesters?
THE MACE and the Madam– UNSOLVED: :  9 October 1891: Where is the parliamentary mace? ($50,000 reward).
MISSING TEENAGER– UNSOLVED: – 2 February 1992: Is missing Prue Bird linked to the Russell Street bombing? ($500,000 reward).
TIN FENCE– UNSOLVED:   Assassin  11 December 1979: Who assassinated Ray ‘Chuckles’ Bennet in the Magistrates Court?
GREAT BOOKIE Robbery  21 April 1976– UNSOLVED: : Who committed Australia’s greatest armed robbery?
CHOCOLATE FROGS: What is the connection to social justice?
RMIT HANGINGS 20 January 1842: Were Tunnerminerwait and Maulboyheenner terrorists or freedom fighters?

The Burke and Wills ‘Tragedy’  20 August 1860/ 21 April 1861: Was the choice of Burke as an expedition leader a tragedy or a conspiracy?
Where is Larry La Trobe 1992?: Who stole Pamela Irving’s dog?
The Great Continence Mystery  1904: How did the women of the 19th century hold on?
The Melbourne Club and John O’Hara Bourke 1860: Did seven men die because of a gentlemen’s agreement?
GRAFFITI Vandal  27 April 2010: Who destroyed Banksy’s Little Diver? What happened to the parachuting rats?
The ‘Brown Out’ Strangler May 1842: Did a woman die because of a cautious sergeant?
The Theatre Ghost Mystery 3 March 1888: Is there a Ghost at the Princess theatre? Do ghosts exist?
Lola Montez and John O’Hara Bourke 1860: Did seven men die because of the Spider Dance?
The Chinatown Riot 13 February 1904: What caused the riot?
The Apokolopti Bombing  1 December 1928: Were the wharfies framed?
Ten Years of Bombs  1960-1970: Who ran a terror campaign in Australia against Yugoslavia and were they protected by spooks?
The Sealed Room Case 1960: Who murdered Sam Borg and nailed the door shut – from the inside?
Haunting of the State Library 2005: Why is the State Library the most haunted building in Melbourne?
The Ned Kelly Curse 11 November/23 November 1880: Redmond Barry died 12 days after Kelly. Did Ned Kelly kill Redmond Barry with a curse?

And more….

$100,000 REWARD for information leading to arrest over the death of Shannon McCormack a victim of a coward-punch homicide at the Queensbridge Hotel 2007.
The Werribee Murders Case 1836: Who killed Franks and Hindes?
The Aboriginal Massacre 1836: Did Melbourne settlers massacre the Wathaurung tribe in revenge for Charles Frank’s murder?
The Children of the Dead  1854/5/9: Who left their dead children outside the Old Melbourne Cemetery (Queen Victoria Market) and why?


Cold Case Filesof Victoria Database

Missing mace

 280 unsolved murders inVictoria since the 1940s

Unsolved crimes

Unsolved murders

Over 50 rewards have been posted in the past decade totalling over $14M


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Melbourne Street Art and Graffiti Tour

EXPLORE Melbourne’s famous street art and graffiti in the city’s labyrinth of lanes. Don’t miss one of the most radical urban art movements in the world. See also our SCHOOL TOURS
VIEW  stencils, paintings, paste-ups,  3D structures,  installations and mosaics by some of the world’s best artists and crews..
IDENTIFY local, interstate and international artists;
DISCOVER the architecture behind the paint –  the history of lanes, buildings, venues and 150 year-old walls.
LEARN the difference between street artists, street writers, graffiti  taggers and how the ‘permit lane’ system work

EXPERIENCE the social culture of the back lanes where Melbournians celebrate their artists, cafes, music and coffee.
MAPS are provided street art locations so that you can return with friends and family.
PUT UP  and keep a piece of  creative street art in the tradition of street artist Slinkachu

WHERE? Tours are 2.5 hours (2 hours for schools). We normally start from Federation Square



The Street Art Walking Tour guided by Melbourne Walks was a fabulous event. We highly recommend it for people visiting Melbourne but also to locals who haven’t yet seen the amazing works that enliven the back lanes of our city. We had a wonderful guide who introduced us to works by local and international artists, and to parts of the city I never knew existed. The art was breath-taking and I couldn’t help but wonder how the artists had managed to paint such brilliant works while at times scaling walls high above the lane way below. We had stories of the history of different buildings and lanes, and of rivalries  among the artists. We were a group of conference participants and it was a great way for us to get to know each other and have some fun away from the conference. Definitely something memorable to do in Melbourne whether in a group or on your own! And great value!” Paula Keogh, RMIT University.
Thank you for leading the Lyceum Club ‘Ramblers’ on your Street Art walk and for 

your most interesting commentary.   It  was very obvious that all of the  ladies were totally over-awed with what you showed  them.   You have given them much to talk about. Lyceum Club
Just to say thanks for the terrific tour on Monday.  I am sure everyone really enjoyed it as we discovered Melbourne street artists and learned their history. Members, Professional  Tour Guides Association of Australia.

See our Youtube film below with Pear Tongue performing:

Forms of Melbourne street art seen on our tour includ

Stencils: Transferring images to a surface with spray or roll-on paint using a paper or cut-outs.
Paint: Most artists or writers use paint as their medium using hand held spray cans.
Sticker or paste-ups: Creating an image or political or other message using homemade stickers and posters.
Mosaic: Using smaller parts or pieces, to creat a larger piece of art.
3D: Three dimensional pieces or objects adhered to walls.
Installations: Using objects and events to create a wide variety of art sculptures and art objects including neon signage, events and video projections onto surfaces.
Typographies:  Historic signage, posters, advertisements, neon from the past all tell a story.

The Lanes. The art is stunning but so is the spectacular setting in the lanes which have serviced the city since the Gold Rush. Industrial brick, bluestone and old infrastructure such as iron winches abound in what was once the manufacturing heart of Victoria producing textiles, furniture and manufactured goods. Other lanes were once the locations of bagnios, opium dens, impoverished communities and Chinese immigrants. We tell their stories as we go.

What is street art?      Street Art and Graffiti are controversial and democratic forms of public art. This public art is labelled ‘Street Art’ when permitted by authorities. Without permits, this art is often labelled as graffiti or tagging yet many graffiti works are highly important creative and political pieces.  Many artists consider illegal graffiti as a radical endeavour which challenges the status quo and the concept of art as a collectable trophy. Yet others view Graffiti, particularly  ‘tagging’, as vandalism. We explore how this creative tension plays out as we walk the streets.
Artists have played an essential role since the  1990s in bringing Melbourne back to life. The City has used street art permits  since 2007 to support fantastic and imaginative colour and design by artists on unused or obscure walls with the consent of property owners. Annual public art commissions in the laneways have also encouraged a wide range of artistic experimentation.  In 2005 street artists from across Australia illustrated Hosier Lane for the film Ghost Rider. In November 2013, 100 artists, assisted by six cranes and curator Dean Sunshine, were invited to totally repaint Hosier and Rutledge Lanes for the huge ‘Melbourne Now’ exhibition 
See article

Today’s street art is  part of a long tradition of Melbourne counter-cultures in Street Art Tourthe footsteps of movements like the early Bohemians, the Heidelberg School, Angry Penguins, Dadaists and the 1960s Drift.  Even the contemporary Indigenous art movement has radical elements.


Books on Street Art
‘Everfresh: Blackbook. The Studio and the Street 2004-2010’. Miegunyah Press.S;
‘Stencil Graffiti Capital, Melbourne’; J.Smallman and N.Nyman;
‘Street/Studio’ by Alison Young, Ghostpatrol, Miso  and Timba Smits;
‘Kings Way- The Beginnings of Australian Graffiti:Melbourne 1983-93’.
Land of Sunshine. A Snapshot of Melbourne Street Art 2010-2012 by Dean Sunshine
Street Art Now, Melbourne, Australia and Beyond, 2010-2014 by Dean Sunshine
Street Art Now, 2012-14 by Dean Sunshine

Hosier Lane November 14 2013 – Blacked out and repainted!

Useful websites and articles

Paint Wars – Street Artists versus Graffitti Writers 
is a website based out of Melbourne that showcases thousands of street and traditional stencil art from around the world. It provides tools to make your own stencil art on-line.
Arty Graffarti
is an important graffiti/street art blog based in Melbourne. Subscribe!

Dean Sunshine’s I/v re repainting Hosier Lane Nov 2013  Subscribe!
Melbourne Graffiti, Stencilling & Tagging

Street Art Galleries  (Subscribe on their websites to receive their free newsletters by email!)
Until Never – Hosier Lane for emerging underground artist
Blender Studios
 Street Art Gallery, 101-110 Franklin Street
Everfresh Studio
 Street Art Gallery, 101-110 Franklin Street
Backwoods Gallery
Street Art Gallery, 25 Easey Street, Collingwood

List of Art Galleries in Melbourne CBD

How to make a wheatpaste poster

How to make a stencil

how to make a sticker

Melbourne Link

Melbourne Link Stencil Graffiti Capital: Melbourne (Hardcover)

Melbourne Link melbourne graffiti – flickr

Melbourne Link Writing is on the wall. It’s moronic

Melbourne Link stumble upon Melbourne Taggers

Melbourne Link Have your say – Is graffiti really so bad? The Age

Melbourne Link Let us spray – councils to commission graffiti artists – The Age

Melbourne Link Art Crimes: Theses on the Tag

Melbourne Link Drawing a line on art

Melbourne Link Graffiti terminology – Wikipedia

Melbourne Link Gallery – Melbourne Stencilling, Grafitti and Tagging

Melbourne Link




These photos were taken on 5 March, 2015 during one of the regular Street Art and Graffiti Tours conducted by

These photos were taken on 5 March, 2015 during one of the regular Street Art and Graffiti Tours conducted by

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See Prices & Bookings

Sustainable Architecture Tour

THE SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURE TOUR explores Melbourne’s goal to be a  sustainable ‘carbon neutral’ precinct within two years (2020). Is that possible and how? Our walking tour visits leading buildings and places demonstrating sustainable architecture, design and planning. Locations we visit depending on accessibility on the day and may include the Federation Square carbon neutral precinct, Hosier (social sustainability), Birrarung Marr precinct, BHP Billington or St Collins, Degraves recycling precinct,  Council House Two, Green Lanes, Hero Apartments, St Collins and other contemporary and historic locations. modern buildings. Tours are normally 2.5 hours commencing from Federation Square.

Key architectural and design strategies (see below) in Melbourne include biophilic design, biomimicrybiodiversity, retrofitting (Millenium 1200), tree cover, green facades and roofs, rain gardens, nature in the city strategy, rooftop, beehives, recycling and waste disposal, litter traps, alternative transport, Green Star/NABERS ratings, water harvesting, wildlife protection, urban and cultural ecosystems, renewable energy, funding, research and cyber data.  How do we find large-scale solutions to the increasing urban populations and the new megacities? 



Overall brilliant!   RMIT University Industrial Design  School

In 2018 there were 145,000 residents in the City of Melbourne plus 900,000 more people visiting weekly.  This urban population will double over the next 20 years. Greater Melbourne will be Australia’s largest city with 8 million  people by 2055. Pressure is increasing on the environment, buildings, open space, businesses, transport and people. All species in our urban ecosystem will be impacted by climate change,  storm and flood events,  extreme dry periods, rising seas and heat.
Sustaining healthy and liveable spaces in Australia’s fastest growing city (and indeed the planet) is the defining challenge of our time. We need to use smarter architecture and design technologies, save waste, use greener energy, improve social equality, cool our city with plants , walk and cycle, protect our wildlife and stop pollution.  To reduce, re-use and recycle. Most of all we must all of us we must plan and educate ourselves together:  schools, communities, homes, business and governments – we cannot do it alone.
Sustainability means being in balance – balancing  today’s consumption and waste with tomorrow’s needs.  Sustainability also aims for a society with respect for nature, human rights, economic justice and a culture of peace. To survive we need new and ‘greener’ models oenvironmental management, social responsibility and economic practice. Our Government accepts that our climate is heating up due partly to greenhouse gases from burning carbon-based fossil fuels such as coal and oil. This is why Melbourne City has strategies (below) to stop the increase in carbon dioxide  emissions into the atmosphere (net zero emissions)  by 2020.

Nature in the City. Ten year strategy to connect people to nature, improve urban ecosystems and biodiversity of Melbourne including plants, soil, insects, birds (239 species), mammals and frogs. Managing issues such as air pollution removal, carbon storage, urban cooling, healthy soil, stormwater control, wind abatement, water filtration, nutrient recycling.
Carbon neutral Fed Square  VIDEO
Urban ecology or ecosystem strategy:  Study and management of the interactions between all living creatures and their physical city environment including blue (river), grey (built) and green (parks) networks.
Caring for Country:
 Utilise   land management and cultural practices of traditional owners.
Urban Forest Strategy. Doubling the tree cover in the City of Melbourne by 2040 to reduce inner city heat temperature, improve water use and adapt to climate change. There are currently 77.000 trees. 
1200 Buildings Program: Foster the environmental retrofit of two thirds of the  commercial stock to improve water and energy efficiency 38% to eliminate  383,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year.  VIDEO
Watermark Strategy. Improve water recycling and stormwater purity,  reduce mains water consumption 40%, increase water capture from alternative sources. Melbourne Walks is a member of the Yarra Riverkeepers Association.
Zero Net emissions by 2020:  Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent, reduce household and commercial waste, reduce energy use from non-renewables 50%, increase renewable green energy use to 45% of demand. Create a voluntary carbon trading precinct. Invest in carbon sequestration.  VIDEO
 Create our own Wind Farm!! With 14 partners – universities, business, local govts. Reduce 96,000 tons of greenhouse.  VIDEO
Waste and Recycling Strategy. Degraves Street, Kirks Lane, Lacey Lane, Stevensons Rows of solar panels on a flat rooftop, Melbourne CBD in the backgroundLa.  VIDEO
Degraves Street Recycling facility. 392 tons diverted from landfill.

Biophilic design: The new  $9 billion underground metro.
Green Lanes.  Turning your small neighbourhood green.

Sustainable Gardens : and urban food productioto maximise the health of the city, ourselves and the planet.
Melbourne Rooftop Project: Gardens, solar and cool roofs mapping. In June 2017 there were 78 roofs vegetation, 755 roofs solar panels, 322 roofs solar hot water systems. Rooftops could potentially carry 236 hectares (heavy) and 328 hectares (light) of garden ie almost  1400 acres!!!
Bike share: 600 bikes, 51 stations, $3 per day.
Melbourne Bicycle Plan. Increase to 10% of traffic by 2030. There 51 bike share stations with 600 bikes. However, 3400 commuter bikes stolen in five years. RMIT Building 80 secure bike room. VIDEO
Melbourne Walking Plan. Walking  safely creates a vibrant city, increase well being, economies and reduces fossil fuels. Increase to 30% of all trips.
Walking connectivity/knowledge economy Increase walking connectivity 10% = $21billion  per annum.
Green Star and NABERS ratings  VIDEO   Building use 40% of the worlds energy. NABERS measures their efficiency. One star is poor. Six stars is market leader.
E-waste locations. Reduce the 1000,000 tons  waste TV, PCs and phone per year.
Alternative housing models – the Nightingale Model Sustainable social  cheaper housing e.g The Commons
Female Lights. Gender quality and ‘unconscious bias’.  More education of girls reduces populations and greenhouse gases.


How to be a citizen forester in Melbourne

Getting started with sustainability in schools

Get resourced by Sustainability Victoria

Make your school a Greenhub with help from Greening Victoria

Green Money:  Earn rewards by changing home, work, school

Suscribe free to The Fifth Estate

Science Data and Sustainability

Rooftop Project Maps – solar, green, gardens
How to count people on-line in CBD
How to count green and cool rooftops in CBD and solar panels.
How to see and study every tree in the City centre
Email any of City of Melbourne’s 60,000 trees


Indigenous Landscapes Tour

DISCOVER  how European settlement impacted on Indigenous people and landscapes including waterways, fauna, flora, and the effects today on modern Melbourne.
important Melbourne or Nerm sites that have supported the economic and cultural life of  Indigenous peoples, settlers, and contemporary Melbournians.
EXPERIENCE traditional tools, medicine and foods described in  Black Emu and The Greatest Estate on Earth e.g how skin, ochre, shell, stone, bark, grass, wood, bone and fire were used by indigenous people for food, tools, shelter and medicine as well as by later European settlers, explorers and modern Melbournians.
LEARN about the Batman Treaty,  the Indigenous Seasons waterways system, territories.

RECEIVE our free history book pdf written by ourselves in partnership with the Boonwurrung Foundation and the City of Port Phillip.
ur guides are not usually Indigenous, we come from the Reconciliation perspective of how contemporary Australians can learn from our landscapes and their use by Indigenous cultures from pre-history to modern times to the carbon-neutral future.

SEE  –  BOOKINGS AND PRICES  –   FOR INDIVIDUALS, ADULT GROUPS, BUSINESSES AND SCHOOLS (Schools may attract an additional surcharge for bushtucker materials).

”People thought the local route you chose for our walk was fantastic. The content was informative, educative, enjoyable and so interesting. We will repeat it next year.   
City Port Phillip Reconciliation Action Group.
‘We thoroughly enjoyed the walk by the Yarra River in the CBD. The students all completed such detailed reflections and summaries from your information shared. Thanks for making it so interactive, real, and relevant to the lives of the Year 9 students! Caulfield Grammar

‘We all thought it was excellent: interesting, informative, and very hands-on. The students certainly learned a lot and enjoyed themselves’.
 Athol Primary
‘The knowledge that students get from this tour prepares them so well for SAC’s and the end of year exam…for Unit 3 – Outdoor and Environmental Studies, this tour is a must!!   Bendigo Catholic College.


‘We acknowledge the traditional Aboriginal custodians of Melbourne and pay our respects to them, their culture, and their Elders past, present, and future.’

MELBOURNE CITY CENTRE:  Our city tours usually start from Federation Square and explore Birramung Marr and the Yarra River and its surroundings.

SUBURBSWe have also run Indigenous landscape tours in many of Melbourne’s suburbs including Merri Creek, Black Rock,  Bulleen, Fitzroy, Clifton Hill,  Kananook Creek, Footscray,  Queens Park (Ascot Vale), Albert Park, Port Melbourne, Elwood, Gardenvale Creek, Gasworks Park, Carlton Gardens, Hawthorn, Richmond, Alphington and others.

LOCAL TO YOU:  Alternatively we can also deliver Indigenous landscape tours near your local business, school, park,  library, beach, community centre etc.  

Meyer Eidelson, the founder of Melbourne Walks, is the author of the award-winning Melbourne Dreaming. A Guide to Important Places Past and Present’  Aboriginal Studies Press, 2015 and also  Yalukit Willam, The  River People of Port Phillip
See also the App of  our book Melbourne Dreaming
Android App
Itunes App

Site at  Ricketts Point and Black Rock
Indigenous Plant Use. A booklet on the medicinal, nutritional and
technological use of indigenous plants, Zena Cumpston, Melbourne University 2020
Melbourne Dreaming. A Guide to Important Places Past and Present, 2014, Meyer Eidelson, Aboriginal Studies Press.
Yalukit Willam. The River People of Port Phillip, 2014,  Meyer Eidelson, City of Port Phillip, Boonwurrung Foundation.

Aboriginal Melbourne: the Lost Land of the Kulin People, Gary Presland

Aboriginal Victorians. A history since 1800, Richard Broome, Allen and Unwin 2005.

Meerreeng-an. Here is my Country. The Story of Aboriginal Victoria told through art. Chris Keeler and Vicky Couzens 2010. I Succeeded Once. The Aboriginal Protectorate on the Mornington Peninsula, Marie Fels 2011.

1835: The Founding Of Melbourne And The Conquest Of Australia by James Boyce 2011.

Eight Wurundjeri Seasons in Melbourne.  Jim Poulter

Koorie Plants. Koorie People.  Beth Gott

Archaeology of the Dreamtime, J Flood, Angus and Robertson, 2001.

Remains to be Seen. Archaeological Insights into Australian pre-history. David Frankel.Good Men and True. The Native Police of Port Phillip. Marie Fels.
A Bend in the Yarra : a history of the Merri Creek Protectorate Station, Ian Clark, Toby Heydon
See Learning resources
See Woiwurrung language Apps
See curriculum resources
See Resources for Schools and Families
See Reconciliation Australia  Share Our Pride
See Prices & Bookings


OUR Melbourne school street art and graffiti tours have been experienced by hundreds of groups including primary, secondary, tertiary and international student groups. We also provide tours for the general public. Tours are normally two hours leaving from Federation Square but can be adjusted to group and school needs (adult tours 2.5 hours).

EXPLORE Melbourne’s famous street art and graffiti in the city’s labyrinth of lanes. Don’t miss seeing one of the most exciting and radical art movements in the world. It is happening right NOW! As Banksy said:  ‘Australia’s most significant contribution to the arts since they stole the Aborigine’s pencils’.
VIEW  stencils, paintings, paste-ups, structures, lightboxes, installations and mosaics by some of the world’s best artists.
PUT UP  and keep a piece of  creative street art in the tradition of street artists Mini-me and Slinkachu

LEARN the difference between street artist, street writers, graffiti and how the ‘permit lanes’ system work. Identify local, interstate and international artists (see video below or photos of art from our walk);
DISCOVER the history and architecture of the painted industrial walls, buildings, and lanes.
MAPS  are provided so students can return with friends and family.
STARTING POINT: We normally start from Federation Square


SEE:   OTHER SCHOOL PROGRAMS –  Explorer, Federation, Colonial, Indigenous, Early Melbourne, Architecture, Literature, City Discovery and more.

FORMS of Melbourne street art seen on our tour include:
Stencils: Transferring images to a surface with spray or roll-on paint using a paper or cardboard cut-outs.
Paint: Most artists or writers use paint as their medium using hand held spray cans.
Sticker or paste-ups: Creating an image or political or other message using homemade stickers and posters.
Mosaic: Using smaller parts or pieces, to creat a larger piece of art.
3D: Three dimensional pieces or objects adhered to walls.
Installations: Using objects and events to create a wide variety of art sculptures and art objects including neon signage, events and video projections onto surfaces.
Typographies:  Historic signage, posters, advertisements, neon from the past all tell a story.

Our students doing street art in Melbourne Lanes

WHAT kinds of artists do we see?
In 2015, these were just a few of the artists we photographed on a single tour: Ha Ha, Two One, Heesco, Peezr, PAA, Jetzo, Slicer, Rone, Lush, Lust, Chip, Pumpkin, Happy, Straker, AWOL,  Rone,  Phibs, Shida, Sakarios, Seek, Sunfigo, Nufeva, Braddock, OD, MakatronBeastman, Will Coles, Adnate,Renko, Civil, Junkie, PhibsSync, Dface, Chalk, DMZ, Banksy, Le Blek,RAD, ELK, Duke Style, Deams, Mal Function, Sofles, Ruskidd, Quench, Ironlak, Senekt, Two One, Cruel, Plea, Calm, Dem189, GT, Facter, Peril, Deb, Urban Cake Lady, Vexta, Baby Geurilla, Swoon, Lucy andBe Free.

WHAT IS STREET ART?      Street art is a controversial and democratic form of public art. This public art is labelled ‘Street Art’ when permitted by authorities. Without permits, this art is regarded as illegal ‘Graffiti’ yet many of these works are highly important creative and political pieces.  Many artists consider illegal graffiti as a radical endeavour which challenges the status quo and the concept of art as a collectable trophy. Yet others view Graffiti, particularly  ‘tagging’, as vandalism. We explore how this creative tension plays out as we walk the streets.
ARTISTS have played key role since the 1990s in bringing Melbourne back to life. The City has used street art permits  since 2007 to support fantastic and imaginative colour and design by artists on unused or obscure walls with the consent of property owners. Annual public art commissions in the laneways have also encouraged a wide range of artistic experimentation.  In 2005 street artists from across Australia illustrated Hosier Lane for the film Ghost Rider. In November 2013, 100 artists, assisted by six cranes and curator Dean Sunshine, were invited to totally repaint Hosier and Rutledge Lanes for the huge ‘Melbourne Now’ exhibition  See article Street art continues  Melbourne’s history of local counterculture movements including the 1860s Bohemians, the Heidelberg School, Angry Penguins, Dadaists and the 1960s Drift.  

THE LANES The art is stunning but so is the spectacular setting in the lanes which have serviced the city since the Gold Rush. Industrial brick, bluestone and old infrastructure such as iron winches abound in what was once the manufacturing heart of Victoria producing textiles, furniture and manufactured goods. Other lanes were once the locations of bagnios, opium dens, impoverished communities and Chinese immigrants. We tell their stories as we go.

WATCH our video below!!


‘Everfresh: Blackbook. The Studio and the Street 2004-2010?. Miegunyah Press.S; Street Art Tour
‘Stencil Graffiti Capital, Melbourne’; J.Smallman and N.Nyman;
‘Street/Studio’ by Alison Young, Ghostpatrol, Miso  and Timba Smits;
‘Kings Way– The Beginnings of Australian Graffiti:Melbourne 1983-93?.
Land of Sunshine. A Snapshot of Melbourne Street Art 2010-2012 by Dean Sunshine
Street Art Now, Melbourne, Australia and Beyond, 2010-2014 by Dean Sunshine

Useful websites and articles
Hosier Lane November 14 2013 – Blacked out and repainted!

Paint Wars – Street Artists versus Graffitti Writers
Articlesabout the Melbourne street art scene (City Lights)
100 Artists
City of Melbourne Public Art and Laneways Commission

How the street art permit system works 
is a website based out of Melbourne that showcases thousands of street and traditional stencil art from around the world. It provides tools to make your own stencil art on-line.
Arty Graffarti
is an important graffiti/street art blog based in Melbourne. Subscribe!

Dean Sunshine’s I/v re repainting Hosier Lane Nov 2013  Subscribe!
Melbourne Graffiti, Stencilling & Tagging

Street Art Galleries  (Subscribe on their websites to receive their free newsletters by email!)
Until Never – Hosier Lane for emerging underground artist
Blender Studios
 Street Art Gallery, 101-110 Franklin Street
Everfresh Studio
 Street Art Gallery, 101-110 Franklin Street
Backwoods Gallery
Street Art Gallery, 25 Easey Street, Collingwood

List of Art Galleries in Melbourne CBD

How to make a wheatpaste poster

How to make a stencil

how to make a sticker

Melbourne Link

Melbourne Link Stencil Graffiti Capital: Melbourne (Hardcover)

Melbourne Link melbourne graffiti – flickr

Melbourne Link Writing is on the wall. It’s moronic

Melbourne Link stumble upon Melbourne Taggers

Melbourne Link Have your say – Is graffiti really so bad? The Age

Melbourne Link Let us spray – councils to commission graffiti artists – The Age

Melbourne Link Art Crimes: Theses on the Tag

Melbourne Link Drawing a line on art

Melbourne Link Graffiti terminology – Wikipedia

Melbourne Link Gallery – Melbourne Stencilling, Grafitti and Tagging

Melbourne Link


These photos were taken on 5 March, 2015 during one of the regular Street Art and Graffiti Tours conducted by

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Fabulous Architecture Melbourne Tour

OUR tour tells the fabulous Architecture of Melbourne story from early lanes to goldrush boom to inter-war to the modern era to the ‘carbon-neutral’ architecture of the future. We also have some tour online options.
VISIT landmark heritage, innovative and sustainable design architecture from many different styles and eras, walking north from Federation Square along Melbourne’s ‘civic spine’  via Swanston, Flinders, Collins and Bourke Streets.
THIS tour traces the story of a city’s revival from just 400 residents in the 1990s to a cultural mecca voted seven times ‘the most liveable city in the world’.  Was it design or luck? Are there architectural lessons for other cities? What precious assets are under threat?
MELBOURNE has been a planned city since Robert Hoddle laid out the famous 1837  ‘Grid’ or ‘Golden Mile’ enabling us to see a wide variety of buildings by foot. Styles include art deco, modernist, Australian design’, Romanesque, Gothic revival, French Empire, Victorian, Neoclassical, Industrial and other.

SEE also our sustainable architecture and design tour.
TOURS are normally 2.5 hours – or two hours for student groups – but can be adjusted. on request. Tours normally start from the stage and big screen at Federation Square.

SEE  –  Also our many OTHER SCHOOL PROGRAMS.  – Explorer, Federation, Aboriginal, Early Melbourne, Lanes, Literature, ‘Runner’, Street Art and more…

‘Thanks again for a highly educational and enjoyable tour for all our visitors, not just the range of building but the architectural evolution of the city over time’.  Tina 2017.
‘Eye opening! Why aren’t I living here….?’ Angela and visitors 2018.

‘Fantastic feedback from our staff who attended your tours and thought all three of your guides were very engaging for our Year Nine’s, which isn’t easy!!’ 
 Pt Cook College, 2016.
‘I found the architectural tour to be most interesting, as we could apply our knowledge to and be inspired by real architecture designed for specific purposes.”  Ministry of Mercy Education 2016.

OUR ROUTE can vary depending on building accessibility, weather, construction, time of the week and public holidays  but  usually includes a mix of buildings and design below:

Federation Square Atrium (2002) – Lab Architecture Studio, Bates Smart.
Nearmnew, Paul Carter 2002.
New Metro Underground RSHP,  HWW 2018-2026
Flinders Street Station (1910) – JW Fawcett, HPC Ashworth.
The Carbon Neutral Precinct 2016.
Bunjil’s world: Caring for Country Strategy.
Eureka Tower, 108 and Phoenix , Fender 171 Collins Street - Foyer birdseyeKatsilides.
Evan Walker’s Southbank.
Hoddle Grid 1837-2018, the walking city.

Phoenix, Flinders St, Fender Katsilides 2011
Nicholas Building (1926) – Harry Norris
Hosier: Architecture , art and design of lanes.
Adelphi Hotel (1993) – DCM
St Paul’s Cathedral (1891) – William Butterfield, Reed and Barnes.
171 Collins (BHP), Mayfair Theatre,  Bates Smart 2014.
COLLINS STREET1. cathedralrcade
Paris End: Churches, theatres, clubs
Regent Theatre, Cedric Ballantye 1930
Melbourne Town Hall (1867), Joseph Reed
Manchester Unity, Marcus Barlow 1932.
St Collins Lane, 2017, ARM Architects
Centreway 1911, Edwardian Baroque, Tompkins, Cocks Carmichael Whitford,
Kodak House  252 Collins St, Oakley/Parkes,1934.
Lyric House
Napier Waller, Newspaper House, 247 Collins, Stephenson, Renaissance Revival
Block Arcade, 1891, 280 Collins, Twentyman and Askew, Marvellous Melbourne
Royal Arcade 1869 Charles Webb,
Banking Chamber (1892, 1990) – Lloyd Tayler and Alfred Dunn (1892) and Nelson Architects International and Robert Peck von Hartel Trethowan Pty Ltd. (1990), Marvellous Melbourne
Coles Book Arcade 1890, Howey Place, Marvellous Melbourne

Buckley & Nunn 294-296 Bourke Street, Bates, Smart & McCutcheon in style, Jazz Modern 1934
Melbourne Post Office (1859-1907) A.E. Johnson, Walter Burley Griffin, VictorianImage result for phoenix building flinders street sustainable design
Myers, 314 Bourke, HW and FB Tompkins, Streamlined Moderne
Royal Arcade, 331 Bourke, 1869, Charles Webb, Victorian
Council House 2 (2006) – City of Melbourne, Design Inc.
Melbourne Central (1988-2005) – Kisho Kurokawa, Bates Smart and McCutcheon and Hassell/Ashton Raggat McDougall
Storey Hall (1887/1995) – Tappin Gilbert & Dennehy /Ashton Raggatt McDougall.
RMIT Building 8 (1993) – Edmond and Corrigan
Building 80, Lyons Architects
Design Hub,  23 Cardigan St, Carlton, Sean Godsell.
Portrait Building – William Barak Apartments, Swanston Street,  Ashton Raggat McDougall
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (2002) – Wood Marsh Architects
School of Drama, Victorian College of the Arts (2002) – Edmond & Corrigan
Centre for Ideas, Victorian College of the Arts (2004) – Minifie Nixon
Melbourne Theatre Company & Melbourne Recital Centre (2008) – Ashton Raggat McDougall
Eureka Tower (2006) – Fender Katsalidis
Queensbridge Square (2006) – City of Melbourne
Australian Histories and The Travellers (2006) – City of Melbourne and Nadim Karam
Royal Exhibition Building (1880) – Joseph Reed
Melbourne Museum (2000) – Denton Corker Marshall.
Melbourne University School of Design John Wardle Architects

Tower 5 at Yarra’s Edge – (2000) Wood Marsh Architects. .
Webb Bridge (2003) – Robert Owen, Denton Corker Marshall; (connecting Yarra’s Edge and Docklands Park)
ANZ Headquarters – Hassell; 5-star green star energy building.
NAB Headquarters (2005) – Bligh Voller Neild.
Digital Harbour Port 1010 (2006) – Ashton Raggat McDougall.

Image result for royal arcade

Federation Square Atrium
Council House 2 (CH2) 218-242 Little Collins St- 6 Star Green Star – DesignInc Melbourne Pty Ltd
Hero Apartments former Russell Street Telephone Exchange and Post Office.
Ross House, Flinders Lane (retrofit)
55 Swanston (rerofit)
Coramandel Green Lane
Urban Workshop, 50 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne 4 Star Green – John Wardle Architects, Hassell and NH Architecture
ANZ Headquarters – Hassell; 5-star green star energy building.
500 Bourke Street Melbourne 5 Star Green Star – John Wardles Architects; Peddle Thorp Architects
181 William Street 5 Star Green Star –:Bates Smart and SJB joint venture
550 Bourke Street (Extension) 5 Star Green Star – Bates Smart and SJB joint venture

See Victorian Architecture Awards

Design City Melbourne.  Leon Van Schaik. Wiley Press.
Melbourne Architecture by Phillip Goad. Watermark Press.
A Pictorial Guide to Australian Architecture, Styles and terms from 1788 to the present by Richard Appleby, Robert Irving. Peter Reynolds, Angus and Robertson.
Walking Melbourne, A National Trust guide to the historic and architectural landmarks of central Melbourne by Rohan Storey.
Melbourne: The City’s History and Development Lewis, Miles, City of Melbourne, 1995
150 Years of Australian Architecture, Philip Goad, ‘Bates Smart: Fishermans Bend, 2004.
Melbourne by Sophie Cunningham 2011.
Characters: Cultural Stories Revealed Through Typography by Stephen Banham 2011.
The Place for a Village. How Nature has shaped the city of Melbourne. Gary Presland.
Essential but Unplanned: the story of Melbourne’s Lanes, Bate, Weston, Main Ridge: Loch Haven Books 1994
Melbourne Remade. Seamus O’Hanlon. The Inner city Since the 1970s. Arcade Publications 2010.

Vic Heritage        
Explores the histories of important and unusual places in Melbourne and Victoria.
Transforming the Yarra        
Architects and designers guide you to the places, images and buildings that have transformed the Yarra River.
The Sound of Buildings – one and two:      
Stories of and guides to Melbourne’s iconic places, images and buildings by writers, planners, designers.
Lost 100      
Point the phone at a building and see past buildings. Yes, really!
Formative Melbourne Walk      
The architecture and images of the Marvellous Melbourne buildings on and around Collins Street.
Our City:       Stories of and guides to Melbourne’s iconic buildings by the National Trust
Open House Melbourne:      Guide to building open annually to the public on Melbourne Open Day.

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VISIT over a dozen past and present drinking holes in seaside St Esplanade-72-81Kilda dating from the Gold Rush. Travel from the Elephant and Wheelbarrow in Fitzroy Street to the Village Belle Hotel in Acland Street.
EXPLORE the secret sly grog and two-up lanes of the Prohibition gangsters.
HEAR the fascinating storIes of pub connections to
 ghosts, wowsers, sport, bushrangers, drag queens, Yanks, cops and crims, Squizzy, musicians, films, gamblers and more.
THIS TOUR  also provides an overview of  170 years  of iconic St Kilda places – mansions, railways, baths, architecture and more.

Tours are usually  2.5 hours by arrangement on your date and time of choosing. They commence from Elephant and Wheelbarrow  Hotel 169 Fitzroy St cnr Princes St. They finish Village Belle Hotel, cnr Acland and Barkly Streets.


Past and present hotels near Fitzroy and Acland Streets:

Elephant & Wheelbarrow, corner Princes and Fitzroy Streets, formerly European Hotel, British Family Hotel, British Hotel, Victoria Hotel, Cricket Club Hotel and The Ritz 1854.


Junction Hotel (former), later Grand Junction Hotel 1853 – 1973.

Corner Hotel (former), formerly Sparrow’s Hotel, and Rolland’s Hotel 1864 – 1967.

George Hotel, once the The Terminus and Seaview 1857.

Prince of Wales Hotel 1862 –29 Fitzroy Street,

Club Hotel (former), (1 Fitzroy St, corner The Esplanade, St Kilda, adjacent south of Summerlands.

Beaconsfield Hotel (former),  1881 – 2004, 341 Beaconsfield Parade, corner Cowderoy Street, St Kilda .

Esplanade Hotel, once New Bath, Carlyons and Criterion 1856.

Royal Hotel (former), once the  Family Hotel 1847 – 1930s,
22 The Esplanade, corner Robe Street, St Kilda (former). Now belvedere flats.

 Pembroke 1857, now the Dog’s Bar,  Acland Street.

Star and Garter Hotel, Robe Street,  (now residences), once Pitt’s Hotel, Oakley’s Family Hotel, International, Mager’s Family Hotel, and Morgan’s Family Hotel 1854 – 1920s,

Carlton Family Hotel / Carlton House and Hotel 1858 – 1862 (now residences).

St Kilda Hotel , once St Kilda Family Hotel and Tradesmen’s Hotel 1851 – 1919

The Jacka Bar, The Memorial, 1926 –

Village Belle Hotel 1855 –     ,

St Kilda Inn, once the Hare and Hounds, The Court House,and Prince Charles Hotel 1853 (now residences). 

Images of St Kilda below from Cooper’s History of St Kilda, Vols 1 and 2




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Over fifty cultural, historic and Indigenous walking tours! The perfect learning and social event for club members of U3A, Probus, Rotary, Life Activities. Senior Citizens Clubs, Meetup.

In 2018 we will continue to offer our special discount rate for Probus, Rotary, U3A, Life Activities Clubs and Seniors Clubs of only $25 per person for a 2 hour tour if they have 12 or more persons – the best most cost-effective tours in Melbourne. Our usual maximum is 20 or more depending on which tour.  Book early! is one of Melbourne’s oldest walking companies. We deliver over fifty highly-researched walking tours (see a few below) in Melbourne’s city centre and also suburbs e.g. Lanes and Arcades, Street Art, Unsolved Crimes, Early Melbourne, Indigenous, Architecture, Rooftop tours, Subterranean tours and many more.

“On behalf of the Sherbrooke U3A members who took the Bearbrass (Early Melbourne) Tour last Thursday, I wish to express our thanks and appreciation…everyone enjoyed it immensely. Most of us have lived in the Melbourne area for many years, yet know very little about its history. The facts and stories that you shared with us will whet our appetite and encourage us to research into our collective past. I hope to plan further walks in the future. Kind regards” Lorraine, Sherbrooke U3A Course Coordinator, 12 March 2015.
‘Hi Meyer,, Many thanks for the tour on Monday last. We all learnt a great deal about our wonderful city from you. U3A Emerald, Dec 2015,



MELBOURNE LANES TOUR: Explore the fascinating labyrinth of lanes in Melbourne’s historic warehouse, fashion, maritime and residential precincts with their amazing culture, shops, architecture, hidden places. More.. 

MELBOURNE STREET ART TOUR:   Melbourne’s back lanes are internationally famous as creative galleries and feature thousands of amazing stencils, posters, paintings, murals, light boxes, graffiti and installations as well as historic typographies. Journey with us through the maze to learn how the radical transformation of industrial lanes into urban canvases occurred.More…

MELBOURNE DUNNY LANES TOUR:    Re-enact an 1880 dunny crew  undergoing training in the maze of historic lanes and arcades exploring Melbourne’s hidden infrastructure… More

1835. THE FOUNDING OF MELBOURNE (BEARBRASS):      Explore all the original places of settlement before the gold rush in the heart of the CBD… More   

ON TOP OF MELBOURNE TOUR:  An unforgettable history tour on top of Melbourne. Adventure to the high places of Melbourne often by mysterious access routes, to discover secret places and extraordinary views from rooftop cafes, car parks, fire-escapes, stairwells or whatever it takes.Normal fitness required.  Don’t forget your binoculars and camera! .…See Pictures…..More


MELBOURNE BOOKSHOPS AND WRITERS TOUR – A walking tour of booksellers and books: Melbourne is the world’s second UNESCO City of Literature. Explore, with a local writer, many of the 70 CBD booksellers hidden in obscure and historic locations.  Learn about the history of Melbourne writers and read extracts from stories, poems and scenes from books set on location in Melbourne.   More …

MELBOURNE ARCHITECTURAL TOUR  Take a tour of landmark architectural buildings in the Melbourne CBD that reflect local and international achievements …..More

THE MELBOURNE DREAMING – Explore Melbourne’s Aboriginal history: the characters, events, places, landscapes, corroborees and ceremonies of the traditional owners before and after settlement. Our hunting and gathering tours are located variously in the CBD, Footscray, Merri Creek, Black Rock – or  choose a local site convenient to yourself. … More.

MELBOURNE’S UNSOLVED CRIMES TOUR (COLD CASES):   Solve thirty unsolved and chilling crimes and mysteries from settlement to today including gangland murders, theft, conspiracy, robbery, bombings,  fraud, bombing, Ned Kelly, and massacres. ….More

RADICAL MELBOURNE:   Discover the packed history of left-wing oppositional troublemaking rebels in the back lanes of Melbourne – communists, ‘wobblies’, mutiny, anarchists, Chinese activists, bombers, rebellion, rioters, suffragettes, feminists, gays, stirrers, eccentrics and madmen….. More

HAUNTED MELBOURNE WALKING TOUR:   Visit historic and haunted places from Luna Park to the back lanes of St Kilda. Experience psychic illusions and past paranormal evets including clairvoyants, UFOs, gravesites, sorcery, murder, poltergeists, disappearances and more. Earn your ghostbusters licence….. More

MADAM BRUSSELL’S MELBOURNE:  Explore the 19th century life and times of Marvellous Smellboom during the reign of the city’s greatest ‘Madam’ visiting the slum sites of former opium dens, brothels,  music halls, joss houses, sweatshops, dance halls, gold rush theatres, lodging, houses, ‘salvation janes’ and ‘slum sisters’.…..More

Explore the historic locations, images and stories of ten famous markets  from 1842 to 2013 such as the Queen Victoria Market, Western, Eastern, Paddys, Melbourne Corporation Market, the Fish Markets, Hantons, Banana Vaults and Hay and Corn (3 hours). More…

MORNING TEA IN A GOLD RUSH COTTAGE:    Enjoy morning or afternoon tea plus a tour of surrounds in the City of Melbourne’s oldest home, a famous King Street gold rush cottage owned by George and Lola Russell’s family for 112 years. This is rare opportunity to meet people with eighty years of personal history living in the CBD. Cost $60.00.  If you miss this tour you may never get the chance again..…More

AROUND AND UNDER QUEEN VICTORIA MARKET:    Did you know that there are 9000 bodies of early settlers, Aboriginals, Quakers and bushrangers buried under the Queen Victoria Market Car Park and nearby Flagstaff Gardens?  Walk the market and learn their astonishing stories using maps, photos and records. Find the last monument standing. Read the many grave inscriptions on record. We remember, honour and pay our respects  …..More

SIGNS IN THE CITY – A MELBOURNE CULTURAL TYPOGRAPHY TOUR   Explore the City of Melbourne’s oldest historic neon and electric signs as well as other heritage letterforms in architecture,  infrastructure , murals, puzzles and stencils and learn their cultural stories.…More

OP SHOPS BY THE BAYSIDE BY BICYCLE.Cycle to bargains at Op shops in the beautiful basyside suburbs of St Kilda, Port Melbourne and South Melbourne… More

MELBOURNE ARCHAEOLOGY TOUR:  Two Tours:  1. Explore the archaeological sites of magnificent Half Moon Bay, Black Rock including pre-history wells, ochre site, stone scatters, shell middens, fossils, lookouts and stone tool ‘knapping’. 2.Explore the largest urban archaeological digs in Australia in Little Lon in the CBD. …..More


MAGICIANS OF MELBOURNE TOUR:   Visit the sites of great 19th century early theatres of Melbourne where the worlds greatest magicians performed such as such as Harry Houdini on his visit in 1910.  Discover their tricks and illusions, locations of historic events and the history of Melbourne’s Magic shops…… More

WOMEN’S MELBOURNE:  Retrace the historic places and significant buildings which tell the story of Melbourne’s women campaigners for equality and social justice from settlement to today including Vida Goldstein, Emma Silcock,  Saint Mary MacKillop, Clarence, Mary and Clara Stone, Helen Dugdale and others.

On the evening of Hallows Day the boundaries  with the Otherworld fade and the dead can cross to the world of the living. Experience the lost cities of the dead at Flagstaff Gardens and Queen Victoria Market. Or travel though the haunted back world of St Kilda at night….More

WALKING TOUR OF MELBOURNE’S MONUMENTS:  Walk the exquisite Domain Gardens following the innumerable sculptures, statues and formal gardens that celebrate Melbourne’s poets, heroines, soldiers, sporting figures, indigenous people, pioneers and settlers, even animals. Meet Weary Dunlop, Edith Cavell, Baron Mueller, John Wesley, Simpsons’s donkey and explore their creators.

DIVERT INTO DOCKLANDS:  Take a walking and tram tour of Melbourne’s waterfront suburb with its innovative architecture, public art, sporting and other attractions. Learn about its extraordinary evolution from indigenous estate, wetland and seaport to modern precinct.

THE CREATIVE CITY TOUR: Melbourne has witnessed a spectacular urban regenerationsince 1997. It has twice been ranked the most liveable city in the world as well as being nominated as a world UNESCO City of literature.  So what makes Melbourne one of Richard Florida’s Creative Cities with a high Bohemian Index? Our tour looks at the city over time and the changing role of artists, technology, transport, architecture, entertainment, hospitality.   …….More

SQUIZZY TAYLOR TOUR: Take a tour of the CBD sites associated with the notorious gangster Squizzy Taylor: bootlegger, jury rigger, thief, blackmailer and gambler as outlined in the novel ‘Runner’ by Robert Newton…..More

ST KILDA CEMETERY    Explore the history and beautiful monuments of St Kilda Cemetery with Meyer Eidelson, author of Nation Builders, including key Australian identities..more

GHOST SIGNS TOUR       Go on a hunting expedition of  Ghost Signs in the CBD,  to record and photograph hand-painted signage and stencils up to a century old, that tell rich stories of Melbourne’s commercial, industrial, creative and consumer history….. More


LIVING WILD OFF THE LAND: Go on a foraging expedition on suburban parks, waterways, street and foreshore and learn how Indigenous people, pioneers and locals harvested wild food, medicine, tools, shelter and other resources from before and after settlement to today.. More…

MELBOURNE WILDFLOWERS TOUR: Pay homage to the Spring season by taking a walk through the Canterbury Road Urban Forest and learn how to recognise the surprising diversity of wildflowers to be found in the urban areas of St Kilda,  Middle Park and Albert Park.  More…

MULTICULTURAL MELBOURNE  Explore the iconic places of Melbourne influenced by waves of immigrants such as the CBD, Chinese (Chinatown) and Greek (Lonsdale precinct). Or if time permits as well the Jewish/Italian (Lygon Street) and Vietnamese  (Little Saigon – Victoria Street). Enjoy a coffee at Brunetti’s and a Vietnamese lunch in Richmond). 4.5 hours. …….. More

YARRAVILLE  WALKING TOUR:   The renaissance of the Sun Theatre reflects huge changes to Yarrraville in recent years. Explore the delightful village of Yarravillewith its fascinating mix of railways, picture theatre, traders, clubs and community groups. See Pictures

PORT MELBOURNE WALKING TOUR:   Discover the amazing transformation of Port Melbourne and Station Pier, the greatest immigration and transport hub in Australia. Explore the places of early settlement along bay Street and learn the history of indigenous people, settlers, soldiers, dock workers and immigrants.  More

ELWOOD WALKING  TOUR:   Explore the extraordinary built and natural heritage of Elwood with the author of the ‘History of Elwood’ including the canal, the Ormond Road village, the foreshore, architecture and indigenous sites…. More

RIPPONLEA WALKING TOUR: Ripponlea’s historic places from indigenous times to heritage village by the author of ‘Ripponlea. The Village’ (2010)….. More

FOOTSCRAY WALKING TOURS (2)   – Take a stroll through the heart of Footscray and explore the fascinating history of its, people, homes, hotels, businesses, immigration, warehouses, transport and changes over time. Also we have a Footscray Heritage Wharf  Tour of the original settlement, bridges, pubs and indigenous sites on the Maribyrnong River. See pictures Footscray 

MARVELLOUS MELBOURNE:    Explore the golden age of the Melbourne boom of the late nineteenth century: the palaces of commence, great hotels, vaults, cathedrals, galleries, banks and stock exchanges.

BOURKE AND WILLS:   Heroism, tragedy, farce or conspiracy? Visit Burkes and Will sites such as Carlton Cemetery, Royal Park, expedition headquarters and monuments to explore the truth and the myths.

DIVERT INTO DOCKLANDS:   Melbourne’s newest suburb has an extraordinary history of indigenous people, wetlands, seaports, architecture and industry.

MULTICULTURAL MELBOURNE:   Explore the iconic cultural places of Melbourneinfluenced by waves of immigrants such as Chinatown, Lonsdale Greek precinct, Lygon Street and Little Saigon (Richmond).

WILLIAM BUCKLEY’S MELBOURNE – In the footsteps of the ‘wild white man’:   Retrace the escape route of convict William Buckley who lived with Aboriginal people for thirty two years before settlement in 1835. We trace the route along exquisite Port Phillip Bay discovering indigenous sites, bushtucker, wildlife and historic places.



YARRA BEND DREAMING:   Explore the history of the Yarra Riverand Merri Creek junction, one of the great corroboree sites of the Kulin Nation with trading, hunting, mission school, native police and Aboriginal Protector’s hut.

THE MARIBYRNONG DREAMING:   A bus and walking tour explores the Maribyrnong Valley, one of Australia’s great pre-history locations including archaeological sites such as fish traps, quarries, lookouts, scarred trees and excavations.

MELBOURNE’S KAKADU:   Explore the secretive billabongs and river at Heidelberg/Bulleen with its amazing wildlife, Aboriginal and Heidelberg school artists.


Unsolved Crimes of St Kilda – Solve 175 years crimes here others have failed…. More

St Kilda, the Dark Side:   Walk the back lanes of St Kilda at night to discover 175 years of murder, arson, prostitution, slygrog, cannibalism, bushrangers, theft and the redoubtable Squizzy Taylor…..More

Acland Street:   Walk the length of legendary Acland Street to visit the amazing architecture, history, cafes, cake shops, pubs, mansions, theatres, churches, artists, writers, and more.

Literary St Kilda:   St Kilda is Melbourne’s greatest setting for thrillers, books, screenplays and writers.  Experience places used in up to fifty Australian books and films.

In Pursuit of Ronald Ryan:    On 3 February 1967 Ronald Ryan and Peter Walker escaped from Pentridge to an Elwood hideout, triggering a reign of terror resulting in murder, bank robbery and the last hanging in Victoria. Investigate the locations of pivotal events in this extraordinary saga….More

Elwood: Fire Flood and Fever:   Explore the Elwood village and streets to discover the history of its early settlers, wetlands, poets, landscapes, homes, transport, businesses and local identities.

Rock and Roll St Kilda:   Discover the extraordinary history of music and entertainment of the St Kilda foreshore, Esplanade and Fitzroy Street.

St Kilda Hill:   Walk St Kilda Hill from the Astor down to theCarlisle Streetvillage to explore a crowded landscape of theatres, churches, army base, cottages, mansions, synagogues, pubs, parks, post office and drain

East St Kilda Heritage: Explore the designated heritage precincts and how they operate from Alma Road to Inkerman Street from Queen Anne streets, to former mansion estates, Victorian cottages mission bungalows, heritage trees, a war hero’s home and a rabbinical college.

Art Deco St Kilda:   Visit the great art deco buildings of the St Kilda foreshore.Art Deco ElwoodVisit the delightful art deco flats and buildings of Elwood

Sporting St Kilda:   Visit historic and famous sporting venues of St Kilda that have played host to football, cricket, yachting, bowls, athletics, swimming as well as lesser known recreations such as marngrook and two-up.

Bushrangers to Biopolis:  Explore the fascinating history of the St Kilda Road precinct by tram and foot from indigenous estate to cattle route, bushrangers, mansions, parks, churches and synagogues, office blocks and envisioned biopolis.

Marvellous Middle Park:   Learn about the recent heritage study of Middle Park undertaken by the City ofPort Phillipand discover the fascinating range of architecture, streets, building styles and historic personalities revealed in the landscape.

Angels and Battlers:   Visit Fitzroy and Grey Streets and surrounding areas to learn about the extraordinary range of support places in St Kilda that support disadvantaged Melbournians in need.

Poetry Streets of Elwood:   Take turns to read the poetry of the thirty or so authors and poets whose names are borne aloft on street signs such as Dickens, Tennyson, Byron, Browning, Barrett and Gordon.

The Charge of the Light Brigade:   Relive the events and personalities of the Crimean War by traveling the score of war-named streets such as Odessa, Malakoff, Nightingale, Alma, Balaclava and Inkerman.

The Spirit of St Kilda:   Discover 180 years of spiritual heritage of St Kilda’s places of worship established by Aboriginals, settlers, refugees, today’s communities and the persecuted for ‘matching, hatching and dispatching’

St Kilda Hill:   Explore St Kilda’s architecture since settlement from its wealthy seaside mansions, great hotels, amusement palaces, seabaths, boarding houses, flats, brothels, punk venues and immigrant cafeeAST sT kILDA

St Kilda Dreaming:   Explore St Kilda’s sacred Corroboree tree and pre-history including dreamtimes stories, tools, bushtucker and wildlife.

Historic Pub Crawl  St Kilda:   Discover fascinating stories behind St Kilda’s great 150 year old hotels including The Gorge, Esplanade, Elephant and castle, Prince of Wales and others.

Elwood Canal:    Explore the Elwood canal (formerly Elster Creek) at Point Ormond near its junction with the sea and discover the history, wildlife, flora, early settlement, and indigenous places of this ancient swamp and coastline.


Wildlife of St. Kilda:   Discover the wildlife of St Kilda Harbour including the urban penguin breeding colony, possums, birds, water beavers, insects and sealife.

Walk the Western Wetlands to the Sea:   Circumnavigate Cherry Lake, Altona and travel down Koroit creek to the Bay. Discover the extraordinary waterbird population as well as the striking natural history of the Altona Saltmarsh.

Merri Creek Meander:   Travel down the Merri creek valley from Northcote to its confluence at the Yarra and discover the amazing, natural, indigenous and cultural heritage of this urban waterway

The Stony Creek. The Journey of a People’s Waterway:   Follow the creek’s serpentine journey from Yarraville to the Yarra and discover historic landscapes, quarries, wastelands, waterways, bridges, wetlands and parks.

Walk the Mullum Mullum:   Explore amazing history and natural environment including wildlife, wildflowers, Schwerkolts cottage and Deep creek reserve.


Bridges of the Yarra:   Explore the Yarra valley from Hawthorn to the City and discover the fascinating variety and beauty of over twenty bridges as well as the natural history of Melbourne’s major waterway

In the Footsteps of the Dunny Man:   Explore the maze of 19th century lanes in historic Albert Park as a night soil worker and discover extraordinary workers’ cottages, bluestone, chimneys, characters and the great Australian outhouse. A time travel journey to the rear end of Victorian architecture and working life.

Housing the Poor and the Privileged:   Garden City is home to five extraordinary housing estates including ‘Baghdad’ or Fishermens Bend and the heritage Bank Houses built to an English visionary ideal.

To the Mouth of the Yarra:   Take a walk at night to the mouth of the Yarra River and experience the reconstructed MelbournePort and the extraordinary lightscape of the Melbourne coastline. Learn about the explorers and colonists who arrived via this historic gateway. Explore the indigenous landscapes and dunesof SandridgeBeach and discover the use of indigenous plants and animals.

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ADVENTURE with an historian to see hidden places, forgotten stories and rare views of heritage Melbourne.   Locations, depending on dates and times, may include rooftop bars, Myers, GPO, Salvation Army citadel, car parks, sky signs, Nicholas building and others.
EXPERIENCE heritage views that tell iconic stories about Melbourne’s history and culture including highs and lows  of morality, wealth, power, class, geography, technology  and our Indigenous past. We use birds-eye images by artists as far back as 1837 to illustrate these stories.
TRAVEL from Melbourne’s former slum and theatre district to the warehouse precinct to the fashion and commercial precincts. Investigate historic technologies of overcoming height e.g steps, trams, stairwells, winches, fire-escapes,  hydraulic lifts, escalators and super lifts – whatever it takes.

CONSIDERATIONS  Average fitness, capacity to climb some stairs, and tolerance to lifts is required.  This tour, not surprisingly, may not be suitable for height sensitive people.  Regrettably this tour is not wheelchair accessible.
WHEN: Tours runs by arrangement Mondays to Fridays; 


The Guardian article rooftop

On Top walk with Meyer was pretty awesome.  We were four twenty- and thirty-somethings visitors.
“Our group of seniors had a marvelous time. Highly organised and we went at our own place with a wonderful coffee break. This is one of a series with Melbourne Walks that have all been excellent! Moorleigh U3A
On behalf of Liz, (the birthday girl), Mary-Liz, Annemarie and myself I would like to thank you very much for guiding us through an interesting and informative walk yesterday.  Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day.  It gave everyone a new insight into the CBD.
Yesterday we went on a 3 hour ‘on top’ walk in Melbourne. We had a marvellous time… It felt as if Meyer was uncovering Secret Melbourne for us. We took lifts and climbed stairs to glimpse roof gardens, the back garden of the reclusive Melbourne Club, and many other stunning sights from rooftop vantage points. Meyer was so informative, relaxed and obviously loves history. Inspiring! 

The Civic precinct: churches, slums and institutions.
Paris end: Respectability and Money.
Temperance palaces versus pubs.
Christian evangelism versus Madam Brussells.
Palazzos versus skyscrapers.
Electric versus hydraulic power.
Cars versus bullocks and horses.
The Moral Majority versus the wages of sin.

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Melbourne Social Justice Tour

Melbourne citizens oppose government cuts to the poor in 2015.

Protest in Swanston Street against budget cuts by Government to low-income groups 2015.

Melbourne has been described as the founding heartland of Australian democracy and diversity. Explore iconic locations in the City of Melbourne that tell important stories of events, places and people that influenced social justice and freedoms in Australia. These can include civil rights, movements such as Aboriginal rights, Women’s emancipation, free education, reconciliation, disability, moratoriums, gender equality, multiculturalism, homelessness, conscription, ANZACs, democracy, the right to vote, anti-war protests, anti-racism, workers rights, artistic protest and creativity.

We travel from Federation Square to the central city over a 2 hour (students) or 2.5 hour (adults) period or any time period requested. Tours normally start from Federation Square.  Locations may include the Nicholas building, Hosier Lane, Manchester Unity, Ross House, Womens Centre, Melbourne Town Hall, Howie Place, Lt Bourke Street, KPMG, 50 Lonsdale, Athenaeum Theatre, town square and others depending on the day and times.

‘Melbourne Walks offers a superb introduction to the history of protest and justice issues in the City of Melbourne. Our school tour was characterised by impressive and comprehensive knowledge, high levels of student engagement, good humour and practical concern for our (high school) students on a warmish afternoon. I am very comfortable in giving Melbourne Walks my unreserved endorsement.’      Sacred Heart College, Geelong.

Government by the people and for the people and not one half the people. 
Vida Goldstein, The Millenial ‘Monster’ petition
We swear under the banner of the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties. Peter Lalor 1854



Melbourne citizens protest outside St Paul's Cathedral at Government attack at Eureka, 1854.

Melbourne citizens protest outside St Paul’s Cathedral at Government attack at Eureka in 1854.


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Madame Brussells Tour

VISIT the historical places of Madame Brussell’s life and times. She ruled the bordellos of Lt Lonsdale, Lt Bourke and Chinatown in gold-rush Melbourne. Her  bagnios opposite Parliament drew the bigotry of church leaders and gutter press who vilified the  ‘Queen of Evil and Harlotry’ . 
EXPLORE locations of Melbourne’s  underclass including Madame Brussell’s (and other) bordellos, missions,  dance halls,  markets,  bohemians, gangsters, opium dens,  ragged schools, Joss house, fortune tellers, ‘Salvation Janes’, gambling dens, revolutionaries, Chinese lodgers, gangsters, ghosts and burlesque theatres.
THIS era also tells the story of the gold rush, Marvellous Melbourne, the creation of trams, cars, film and phones, the 1890s depression, prohibition, christian temperance and suffragette movement and Federation.
DISCOVER how Madam Brussell’s ‘loathsome slum’ has been transformed into an exciting precinct of cafes, rooftop bars, restaurants, stunning architecture, street artists and heritage buildings.
LEARN about  the Archaeological dig that brought  Little Lon to life.  This tour is also the story of how working communities can be lost and denigrated. Recent research has revealed a fascinating ,complex and exciting story.  Examine  archaeological artifacts and the secrets they reveal.


 ‘I just wanted to say thank you for the great tour you gave last night, everyone had a wonderful time and for our line of work, all that history of welfare and everything else about this little corner of Melbourne was absolutely fascinating. Staff, Office of the Hon. Daniel Andrews MP.
Thank you again for taking us on the tour of Madam Brussell’s Melbourne, we all found out some fascinating information about our own ‘home’ city which we didn’t know. So much history!  Staff, Royal Melbourne Hospital.
I want to thank you for your time and insight today giving us that fantastic historical walk. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I certainly gained a richer understanding of Madame Brussels and who she might have been. I felt an incredible appreciation for people like you who are passionate and actively working to tell these stories that have shaped the deeply interesting character of our city. Emily’s group.

Gimme old Melbourne, an gimme me tart:
An’ then I am simply orlright,
Can any bloke point to a better old joint,
Than Bourke Street on Saturday night?’
Drinking Song.
“(Little Lon is) a  loathsome centre in which crime, gambling hells, opium dens and degraded Chinese abound, and where hundred of licentious and horribly debased men and women are herded like swine… “a disgrace to any civilized city on earth.”   Evangelist Henry Varley 1891.

From 11 o’clock in the forenoon till 3 or 4 next morning – there is fully thirty larrikins from 14-22 years of age…[that] live entirely on their prostitutes… they watch during the night for men intoxicated to rob them…they know the time the police is due [so] they disperse until they pass.  Argus, 1882.
How many brothels does Mrs Brussells keep?   She has two splendid houses in [Lonsdale] Street that cost her £1,300, and those two houses are her own property… and then she has two cottages in and  many others ….  Sergeant James Dalton 1662

The Madam Brussell’s Tour is a fascinating insight into the values, morals and lifestyles of 19th century Melbournians and the architectural transformation of a city which had abandoned its poor into a modern city with a social welfare safety net and striking contemporary architecture  (See Pictures). Then there’s that mystery of the missing parliamentary mace, Melbourne’s oldest outstanding reward after 120 years ($50,000) claimed to be lodged in Madam Brussell’s bagnio.

Some Locations:
17 Casselden Place operated by  Chinese street worker  “Yokohama” (Tiecome Ah Chung) until 1920s.
Lonsdale Street: Madam Brussell’s brothels at nos 2, 8. 32-4.
Lonsdale Street: Boccacio House (Annie Wilson)
‘Fallen Women’ shelter, Spring Street:  dancing hall
Romeo Lane: Brothels, Thieves, Fancy Men and and Vagrants
Casselden Place: Slums and brothels, ragged school, nuns and the shoemaker’s cottage.
Celestial Lane. Chinese boarding houses and prostitutes.
Juliet Terrace: Opium Den
Kytes Lane: Opium Den and Brothels, Ragged Schools
Globe Alley: Animal Pound, Joss House
Bilking Square: Thieves, mugging, blackmail
Waratah Lane: Gambling Dens
Punch Lane: Lola Montez, the Stripper, Federicio
O’Brien’s Lane, Ragged School
Cumberland Place: Sisters of St Joseph School

Punch Lane (Telstra), Trunk Bar: Homeless Refugees, fallen women
Stephens Street: Madam Fraser’s Brothel
Stephens Street: ‘Murder of the Chinawoman’
Eastern Market: Madam Ghurka and Madam Zinga Lee
Eastern Market: Gun Alley Murder, Murder by Professor Medor,

Paddy’s Market: female penitentiary (Lt Collins end 1840-1855), Insane asylum (Watchhouse), Insurrection, Homeless, Suicide.
Little Collins: Gun Battle  of the Fitzroy Vendetta
Bourke Street: Assassination attempt Squizzy Taylor
Bourke Street: Palace Hotel – Hide-out Squizzy Taylor
and much more………..

‘Madam Brussells’ was born Caroline Lohman in Prussia, the year before the Gold Rush. (See biography The Life of Caroline Hodgson by Meyer Eidelson).  Caroline (1850-1908) was a contemporary of  Saint Mary Mackillop (1842-1909) who was born nearby and set up her missions and ragged schools 200 metres away. These two very different lives make fascinating comparison.  Both were responses to the extreme desperation of many women and both fell foul of  outraged males in the church hierarchy. The slums of Little Lon and Little Bourke were an intensive hotbed of social justice agitators: anarchists, communists, gays, feminists, slum sisters, church leaders, Chinese civil rights activists  and others (see below) whose groundbreaking programs powerfully influenced our humanistic society of today.
Little Lon was the popular name for a slum and red-light district in Melbourne, Australia.
The area was roughly bounded by Lonsdale Street, Spring Street, Stephen Street (later Exhibition Street) and La Trobe Street. Little Lonsdale Street itself ran through the block, and the area was further divided by numerous narrow laneways. In the nineteenth century the area consisted of timber and brick cottages, shops and small factories and was home to an ethnically diverse and generally poor population. Today there are few reminders of the area’s former notoriety.

Prostitution, petty crime and larrikinism
Archaeologist Justin McCarthy suggests that by 1854, only twenty years after Melbourne was established as a city, the area was well established as a notorious “red light” and slum district. It was associated with prostitution, petty crime and larrikinism. The numerous narrow back alleys and small cottages of this area housed, by this time, a growing number of prostitutes, The Argus newspaper at the time complaining of “females of the lowest and most disreputable class, who pursued their calling with the lowest and most filthy language and conduct. 

Fergus Hume‘s immensely popular The Mystery of a Hansom Cab, written in 1887, described life in a slum in the nearby lanes behind Little Bourke Street, as exposed by its middle class heroes. Writing in 1915, C. J. Dennis‘s humorous novel The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke spoke of the “low, degraded broots” (brutes) of Little Lon.

Little Lon’s most opulent brothels tended to face main streets, but were discreetly run. “Disorderly” or “low class” brothels tended to be in the narrower laneways behind. Tobacconists, confectionery, cigar and fruit shops in the area also sometimes acted as fronts for prostitution. In the small houses of the laneways, single or small groups of prostitutes also ran the most primitive cottage brothels. For example, the still extant Number 17 Casselden Place was operated by a single Chinese prostitute known as “Yokohama” (Tiecome Ah Chung) as late as the 1920s.

“Madam Brussels”, facing Lonsdale Street, attracted a wealthy class of clientele, and consequently also greater notoriety, although prostitution itself was not illegal in 19th century Victoria. 

Madam Brussels was far from the only elite brothel in the area. In 1867 Police Commissioner Standish introduced the visiting Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, to a brothel run in Stephen Street by Sarah Fraser. Other “orderly” brothels also included those of “Scotch Maude” and Biddy O’Connor.

In October 1891, the mace of the Victorian parliament was stolen. It was claimed that it had found its way to Annie Wilson’s “Boccaccio House”, in the Little Lon district, where it was supposedly used in a mock parliament. It was not recoveredThe connection between Victoria’s politicians and the brothels of Little Lon was reinforced when Chief Secretary Sir Samuel Gillott was revealed to have had ongoing financial dealings with Madam Brussels.

Understanding the people of Little Lon
Recent writers have emphasized the vibrancy and complexity of Little Lon’s population of migrants and itinerant workers, and challenged the stereotype of the area as a miserable slum. This also seems to have been born out by the major archaeological studies conducted in the area in 1988 and 2002, which discovered a wide variety of objects from abandoned cesspits and rubbish dumps. Many were typical of domestic use in the nineteenth century, but a number gave indications of a flourishing community and occasionally, prosperity. Dr. Alan Mayne has commented;
Little Lon was clearly not, as the slummer genre would have it, an unstable mishmash of listless and directionless deviants. Nor were its inhabitants passive victims to poverty.”  By the end of the nineteenth century, the area had become home to a diverse migrant population of Chinese, German Jews, Lebanese and Italians.

Changes in the early twentieth century
Leanne Robinson comments that in the early twentieth century the Little Lon district began to change significantly.[Newspapers had increasingly demanded a clean up of the area, John Norton‘s The Truth being particularly vocal in its attacks, especially on Madam Brussels, the “queen of harlotry.” Workshops and small factories increasingly took over the area. Many of the hotels and brothels were gradually being demolished and “prostitutes found themselves forced into… areas such as Gore Street and the notorious ‘Narrows’ around the Fitzroy Town Hall” Policemen had greater powers and prostitutes were subject to new laws.[Around 1914, the buildings between 6 and 34 Lonsdale street, including Madam Brussels former brothel (which had closed in 1907) were demolished and replaced by small factories.

However, people continued to live in the area until the 1950s, when much of the district was compulsorily acquired for redevelopment by the Federal Government. In the early 1990s, a former resident of the Little Lon district was interviewed. Marie Hayes lived in her parent’s home in Cumberland Place (in the northern half of the district) until she married in 1940. Of Little Lon she said This area used to have a bad name. Some of these streets were not pleasant, but everyone has always been kind to us. No one [had] ever molested us, or even made us afraid. When you have lived so long in the heart of the city, you want to stay here alway.

 The area today
The Oddfellows Hotel, built in 1853, on the corner of Little Lonsdale Street and “Madam Brussels Lane” (Little Leichardt Street)

In the northern half of the district, all buildings and streets were demolished in the late 1950s to make way for Commonwealth buildings.Today, only a few nineteenth century buildings survive in the southern half of the area. These include

17 Casselden Place, a former house built in 1877. Typical of cottages built in the mid nineteenth century and originally one of a terrace of six. This is the only nineteenth century single story dwelling in the area to survive.

Oddfellows Hotel, built c.1853 at 35-9 Little Lonsdale Street. Although now a licensed premises, this building has had a number of uses, including a Chinese furniture maker’s factory

Black Eagle Hotel built c.1850 at 42-4 Lonsdale Street, now a shop.

Factory at 25 Little Lonsdale Street. A former shop and forge, built about 1868 for engineer Alexander Lugton. This is one of few surviving examples of the small businesses that operated in the area in the nineteenth century.[27] The company expanded in the late nineteenth century and eventually took over a number of buildings in the district.

Elms Family Hotel, on the corner of Spring Street and Little Lonsdale Street. This is the only commercial business in the area that has operated continuously on the same spot in the district since the mid nineteenth century, although the building has been remodeled.

Church of England Mission building, next to the Elms Family Hotel, one of a number built in the district by Church missions to cater for local residents.

118-162 Little Lonsdale Street, 100 metres west of the area. A small streetscape of former shops and dwellings between Exploration lane and Bennetts Lane, that most resembles the Little Lon of the nineteenth century.

Several other buildings in the district have been redeveloped or incorporated into modern office blocks.

Buildings in Little Lonsdale Street, numbers 118-162, between Exploration Lane and Bennetts Lane.

These include

“P.N.Hong Nam” Building at 268 Exhibition Street. This was built as a factory and shop c.1910.[

“Khyat and Co” Building at 76 Lonsdale Street. Built as a factory in 1922.

“Coopers Hotel” at 282 Exhibition Street. Originally built as a hotel for James Cooper in the 1850s, but later delicensed. The building served as a Mission building, a home for girls, and later a post office before being reopened as a hotel.

Major archeological digs were conducted in the area in 1988 and 2002.[34] Many of the objects uncovered are on display at Museum Victoria in a recreated “Little Lon” streetscape.

-Wikipedia’s Little Lon



1851  ‘Madam Brussells’ was born Caroline Lohman in Prussia in 1851 and migrated to Australia 24 June 1871 with husband William Hodgson on the Melmerby. Mary MacKillop was born of Scottish parents in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy on 15th January 1842. She was the eldest of eight children in a family that was often without a home.
1853 Cooper’s Inn, corner Exhibition and Little Lonsdale Streets was in turn a lodging house, Chinese factory and a base for Melbourne City Mission.
1859 Ragged schools first appeared in Melbourne in 1859, 15 years after the foundation of the English Ragged School Union. The first, in Smith Street, Collingwood, was established by leading evangelical Mrs Hornbrook, a founding member of the Melbourne City Mission. Following her death in 1862, a voluntary association agreed to continue the work in her name. At its peak the Hornbrook Ragged School Association offered 1000 children in twelve schools a basic education with an emphasis on biblical and practical instruction, often operating out of premises owned by inner-city missions, which found that the schools provided an entrée into working-class families. Following the introduction of compulsory education in 1872, the Ragged School association went into decline, closing all but five of its schools within three years, the committee arguing that it found it impossible to continue to attract subscriptions. However, the idea of ragged schools survived, with the Education Department operating a school for the children of the ‘byeways, brothels and opium dens’ in an ex-Hornbrook school in O’Brien’s Lane throughout the 1880s. The Little Lonsdale Street Hornbrook school, handed over to the Mission to Streets and Lanes, survived until 1924.
1859-60 The City Free Kindergarten (275-285 Exhibition Street) constructed in 1859-60 as a Jewish School for the Michveh Yisrael Synagogue. The building was used for worship and Hebrew School until 1877 and since then has served several uses. It became a free kindergarten in 1920. From an 1870 photo it seems that part of the pedimented end to Exhibition Street facade has been removed.
1860 At age of 18, Mary Mackillop and her financially struggling family moved to Penola in South Australia where she provided for her family by taking up the post of governess to her Cameron relatives.
  The Ragged Boys’ Mission Latrobe and Exhibition Streets (photo), a non-denominational organisation caring for ‘waifs and strays’ was established in Melbourne by Mr William Minton. It operated a home for boys on the corner of Latrobe and Exhibition Streets. The term ‘ragged school’ was adopted from Britain, where charity schools for underprivileged children were given this name from around 1840. The organisation moved to Frankston in 1901 to a holiday home for boys known as Minton Boys’ Home, after the founder of the Ragged School.
1866  In Penola Mary MacKillop met a Catholic priest, Father Julian Tension Woods, with whom she started in 1866 the first St Joseph’s School in an old stable. On St Joseph’s Day, March 19, 1866, Mary MacKillop started wearing a simple black dress and began the Congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph. As the congregation grew, the Sisters of St Joseph opened more schools including Melbourne.
1874 Caroline principal brothel, which was also her home, was located at 32-34 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
1884 Salvation Army Fallen Sister’s Home in Carlton (also called ‘Rescued Sister’s Home’ targets the city’s Red Light district after opening in Carlton. It catered for discharged female prisoners, prostitutes and drug addicts frequenting the opium dens of the Little Bourke Street area. In its first 12 months this women’s refuge received 300 women who were in desperate need of assistance.
1880s Hornbrook Ragged Day School 1880s in Cumberland Place replaced by St Georges Day School 1907- 1930 Mission to Streets and Lanes.
1886 The Mission to the Streets and Lanound, Joss House% at 171 Little Lonsdale St.  in providing food, shelter and pastoral care to women and children in inner-city Melbourne. By 1900 the Mission had a staff of six deaconesses and one probationer. Its deaconesses were to ‘bring the message of the Gospel to the poor and fallen and by the force of their sisterly sympathy, compel the outcast to come in’. It wanted to include people who were not reached already by the ordinary parochial organisations, especially the category described as ‘fallen women’.  Miss Emma Silcock (Sister Esther) assumed responsibility in 1888. She was also the founder of the Community of the Holy Name in Victoria 1888. In 1997 it merged with the Mission of St James and St John and the St John’s Homes for Boys and Girls to form Anglicare.
1866 Anarchist Club established 1886 in room above her Majesty’s Theatree (Lt Bourke Street side) 
1888  Community of the Holy Name Spring St e  religious order, founded by Sister Esther at 171 Little Lonsdale Street. Moved to Spring St (near Little Lonsdale Street in 1913 and in 1958 to Fitzroy. Sister Esther led the work in Melbourne of the Mission to the Streets and Lanes. Many of the women who worked in institutions run by the Mission to the Streets and Lanes were Sisters of the Community of the Holy Name
1889 Mary Mackillop returns to Victoria – The first Victorian foundation was in 1889 at Numurkah, a rural centre. Father Michael O’Connor first met Mary MacKillop in Penola, as Father Woods’ successor. Parish Priest of Numurkah, in Sandhurst Diocese, he requested Sisters for a school. In late 1889 four sisters arrived by Cobb & Co. coach. In January 1890 Mary in Numurkah, opened the first Victorian Josephite school. She wrote of a ‘humble beginning of a great work’. Bacchus Marsh and Surrey Hills followed in 1890. East Melbourne, Footscray, Yarraville, Williamstown and Newport were established by 1902. At Archbishop Carr’s request, the Josephites acquired the St Vincent De Paul Society Children’s Home, with its debt. From 1891 till 1980 Sisters cared for poor and need children for at the home in Surrey Hills.
1889 Labour Bureau at 53 Latrobe Street opened by The Salvation Army. This was Australia’s first free employment service. It moved to 271 Exhibition Street in 1892 before being taken over by the Victorian Government. In 1897 the Labour Bureau recorded 81,831 men were registered as unemployed – work was found for 69,119 of them.
1889 Australian Socialist League formed at Golden Fleece Hotel in Coverlid Lane
1891 The Providence convent at 43-45 Latrobe Street opens as refuge for women and children’s night school. Soup, food and clothes were distributed with volunteer help.
1892 Disastrous depression ends 40 years of boom since the gold rush.When Hodgson, her husband, became ill with tuberculosis  Caroline arranged for him to be nursed in at “Gnarwin,” her property on Beaconsfield Parade.
1892 Synagogue and Hebrew School built 1859 at 271 Exhibition was used by the Salvation Army as the first Free Labour Bureau in Australia to seek jobs in the disastrous depression of 1892 and then as a Men’s industrial home1897 Women’s shelter following additions in 1897, as a1909 Free kindergarten for children of poor parents under the patronage of the lady mayoress (MCM)1909 Methodist Central Mission (MCM)1916 City Crèche for mothers visiting hospitals or doctors (MCM). The need for such care became particularly acute during WWI when many women entered the workforce.1929 Relief Depot in the Great Depression.1948-1950 Melbourne City Council Creche modified1948-1950 Crèche and nursery facility – remodified Melbourne City Council
1892 Parliamentary mace disappears bringing public attention to Melbourne’s brothels and is rumored to be used in Madam Brussells brothel for unparliamentary activity. Telephone scandal erupts when Madam Brussells is found to be connected to the exchange with govt assistance.In his 1891 pamphlet The War between Heaven and Hell, religious crusader Henry Varley singled out Madam Brussels as an “accursed procuress”.Truth newspaper regularly attacked her eg headlining “Madame Brussels’ Notorious Bawdy House: Her Junketing Jezebels
1895  From its beginnings as an out-patients’ dispensary in Latrobe Street (where the Doctors Stone worked on Monday mornings), the Queen Victoria Hospital, funded by a jubilee shilling fund appeal, evolved and was officially opened in July 1899. Doctors Constance, Emily, Clara and Mary Stone (Stone Lane) pioneered early activities and networks of Melbourne’s female doctors. Constance’s home was the venue for formation in March 1895 of the Victorian Medical Women’s Society, formed with the chief object of ‘effecting a closer relationship between medical women graduates and undergraduates and to advance the knowledge to further their interests generally’. Clara was the first president and all three women supported the society throughout their lives. At a meeting held on 5 September 1896 the eleven women doctors decided to set up a hospital of their own: their vision, and its subsequent achievement, was attributed by the others to Constance’s inspired leadership.
1897 Sewerage lines connected to Spotswood pumping station begins to lower high death rates of children and others after government implements reports from Slum and Royal Commissions.
1897 St Joseph’s Poor or ‘Syrian’ School opened by Mary MacKillop in a cottage in Cumberland Place, behind the original Providence, for children from the nearby slums. 1897 St Joseph’s Poor or ‘Syrian’ School opened by Mary MacKillop in  a grain store Little Lon Street.1898 St Joseph’s Poor or ‘Syrian’ School moved by Mary McKillop in a cottage in Cumberland Place, behind their original Providence, for children from the nearby slums.
1898 Women’s Social and Political Crusade – aims included measures to provide a Deceased Husband’s Brother Bill (to permit marriage in such circumstances); public lavatories for women (1904 Russell), a septicaemia ward at the Women’s Hospital and children’s playgrounds.
1898 Chinese Mission Church, 123-129 Little Bourke St, MelbourneThe Chinese Mission Church was established by Cheok Hong Cheong. After a dispute with authorities in 1898 Cheong moves his congregation out of the church at 108 Little Bourke Street and establishes the Chinese Mission Church at 123-129 Little Bourke Stafter an interim period operating from the Temperance Hall in Russell Street.
1898 Will Andrade establishes Melbourne Anarchist Club 1880s and Anarchist Bookshop at 201 Bourke Street in 1898-1929.
1899  Queen Victoria Hospital opened in Little Lonsdale Street. It was the first womens hospital in Australia run by women for women. Money had been raised in 1897 by an appeal from Vida Goldstein and female doctors to every woman in Victoria to donate one shilling and three thousand, one hundred and sixty two pounds and eleven shillings and ninepence was raised. This appeal was held in connection with the Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee celebration. In 1946 the hospital moved to Lonsdale Street.
1901 Providence centre land purchased in Albert Street, East Melbourne for the erection of a new Providence, providing a home for women and children. An adjoining two storey residence, purchased and opened in 1920, later became a hostel for country girls. Today the Mary MacKillop Heritage Centre occupies the Providence site. In 1901 the Broadmeadows Foundling Home opened to care for single mothers and babies. The Carlton Receiving Home cared for young women.
1907 Cumberland Place was St Georges Day School 1907- 1930 replacing the Hornbrook Ragged Day School 1880s.Madame Brussels was forced to close following increased efforts by the government to curtail prostitution. she retired to Gnarwin in St Kilda and died in 1908.
1902- 1909  Mother Mary MacKillop suffered a stroke in 1902. With deteriorating health, she died on August 8, 1909, in North Sydney. Her remains were reburied in 1914 in the motherhouse of the Sisters of St Joseph in North Sydney, in the Mary MacKillop Memorial Chapel.
1916 Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies) HQ established corner of Russells and Lt Bourke Streets opposing conscription, war and White Australia policy. Banned in 1917.Vida Goldstein locates Womens Political Association at Guild Hall (RMIT) Latrobe Street in a joint commune with men to oppose conscription and war.
1918  Mission House, located in an old bakery in Little Lonsdale Street was the base of the Sisters Josephites. In 1918, Mission House moved to new premises in Spring Street.
1924 Communist Party established at 122 Bourke Street in 1924, 217 Russell Street 1927 and182 Exhibition Street 1933
1951 Communist Party printing press at 16 Corrs Lane raised after Government initiates Communist Party Dissolution Bill. Referendum defeated September 1951.
1971 Womens Action Committee leases two story warehouse 16 Little Latrobe Street and initiates Womens Liberation newsletter, Halfway House, Health Centre and Rape Crisis Centre after Zelda D’Aprano chains herself to Commonwealth Centre for equal pay. In 1974 moves to 50 Latrobe Street.
1995  Mary MacKillop beatified by Pope John Paul II after the Vatican accepted the details of her life as evidence of exceptional virtue.
1921 St John’s Homes for Boys was established. By 1958, the home had also began caring for young girls and changed its name to St John’s Home for Boys and Girls.
2008-2012  Canonisation of Mary MacKillop on October 17 2010.New lane named for Madam Brussells.Madam Brussells bar opens in Bourke Street

Nation Builders:
The Outcasts of Melbourne by  Graeme Davison
Madam Brussells by L M Robinson
Dancing with Empty Pockets: Australia’s bohemia Since 1860 by Tony Moore
Marcus Clarke’s Bohemia by Andrew McCann
The Mystery of the Hansom Cab by Fergus Hulme

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