Melbourne Lanes & Arcades

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Explore Melbourne’s vibrant and fascinating maze of lanes and arcades which have  propelled Melbourne into a major attraction for residents and visitors. Most of our tours are personalised to your interests and by arrangement at a time and date of your choice.
We blend many themes into our walks such as street art, architecture, retail and hospitality,  heritage icons, unusual or hidden places, gold rush, iconic characters and the evolution of the lanes system to provide a personalised experience.  

We provide maps, chocolate and historic souvenirs.

We can also offer  Lanes Tours combined with specific interest areas for example Early Melbourne, Literature, Rooftops, Madam Brussells, Chinatown,  Infrastructure, street art,  Madam Brussells and many more (see homepage).
Our tours usually start from Federation Square and are up to 2.5 hours.

‘I cannot recommend your laneways tour highly enough. What a wonderful way to explore the inner secrets of Melbourne..the stories, the personalities, the architecture..the artwork..all come to life blending the past and the present into a spellbinding adventure. It’s such a fun way to ramble through new insights and learning so much about our past’.…Marek,  2014
“Thanks everyone for a terrific day yesterday exploring the interesting but often overlooked side of Melbourne.  I think everyone learned something new and we were all delighted to learn that the Coles ghosts  have assured us that  next year’s bonus is already a done deal! Thanks so much to our terrific guide whose enthusiasm and passion for Melbourne shone through in all of his stories and trinkets shared with the team!” The Team, 17 November  2016.

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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. 
Many 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  190 or so lanes are rated by the city according to their heritage values. It is not an exaggeration to say it can be a life-long journey to explore all of Melbourne’s lanes which are changing rapidly.

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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