VISIT sites of vanished buildings and hidden infrastructure in the lanes of Melbourne. The sort of places you walk past every day and don’t notice. What is there now and what was there before?
TRUE OR FALSE? Investigate claims and legends about lost places such as cellars, passageways, Squizzy hideouts, lost rivers and waterfalls, mansion cellars, military dug-outs, lost bullocks and crocodiles, flour mills, cinemas, sewer pits, gold stores, bowling alleys, vertical shafts and more. For legal reasons we do not enter underground infrastructure except up to 8 accessible public places such as subways, cellars, basements or galleries depending what is open on the day.
EXAMINE fifty historic images and maps for clues to the past.
HANDLE ancient objects dug up from under Melbourne to learn about early lifestyles.
FLOOD, FIRE AND FEVER: learn about disasters that changed Melbourne.
THE MELBOURNE STORY: Every place we visit is specifically chosen to tell a chapter of the Melbourne story from Dreamtime to Settlement, Gold Rush to Federation, Jazz Age to War and Prohibition, Olympic Games to the modern lanes of the world’s most livable city.
BOOKINGS at email@example.com 03 90907964 (See also LOST MELBOURNE TWO )
NOTE: We only enter publicly accessible places that you can return to -NOT illegal infrastructure such as drains, electricity, substations, cable etc.
REQUIRED: Average fitness required. Ability to walk up and down up to two flights of stairs.
STARTING POINT: Meet on Southbank Promenade next to the Evan Walker footbridge. Location is also outside Pure South Dining at 3 Southgate Avenue. It is just north of the Langham Hotel, MEL 1A K12.
WHEN: Tours are 3 hours by arrangement Wednesday to Saturday anytime between midday and 5.00pm. Currently running group tours listed on this page RHS.
COST: $60 per person. If a group is not running, we have a minimum price of $180 inclusive of up to three people or less. We can have up to 10-14 in a group.
INCLUDED: Tours include a free coffee/drink stop, chocolate sample and historic souvenirs (except clubs discounts).
SEE: Our other fifty tours.
See recent photographs by one of our tour participants. Listen to our Radio RRR Interview. View our Youtube video.
‘A fantastic 3 hour city walk guided by the engaging and knowledgeable Meyer today, discovering Lost Melbourne. So interesting, even as locals, we rediscovered so much, enjoyed divine hot chocolate, and parted with a treasured souvenir. Thanks for a fascinating adventure, 5 stars!’ Bryony Bishop July 2016.
‘Just fascinating! We explored parts of Melbourne we may never have known to go to and learnt things we would probably never have been able to find out! Thoroughly enjoyed it. Strongly recommend this tour for locals and those new to Melbourne city. Kate, Jan, 2017)
‘Fantastic guide. Having lived in Melbourne all our lives it was terrific to visit so many unusual places that we have never seen before. Meyer was enthusiastic, happy to answer questions and was a fund of information. He showed us great photos of former buildings to explain how things had changed and used some great props to bring things to life. ‘ Sue, DHS staff group Oct 2014.
‘‘Thanks again for a very enjoyable, memorable, informative & educational tour. Brought back many memories…fascinated by the unfolding history of the evolution of the city. Peter Nov 2015.
As historians we investigate and assemble evidence files on lost infrastructure stories obtained from our walkers and records – over 100 mysteries listed below. Do you have a story to add? Or can you provide the answer to a mystery?
1. Fact or Fantasy? The Degraves Lost Tunnel:
“A hidden passageway leading to a lost
bowling alley is under Degraves Street’ .
‘There is an ancient phone booth. When open you walk though into a huge basement normally unseen.’
“I can remember, not that long ago, when the basement was ‘The Paperback Bookshop of Charles Dickens’ of the CAE(!) You could go down stairs from Degraves St into the bookshop, and then into the subway.”
’‘The building on the eastern side of DeGraves St at the Flinders St end was a post office, and could also be accessed from the subway.” ”
”There was once a large hardware store under Degraves Street., the area sealed off now.” 2016.
‘There was once a big tavern there run by a friendly Egyptian guy”. 2016.
There was a bowling alley under Degraves Street. In the 1960s. I was the highest scorer on that alley.’ 2016.
Fact or Fantasy? Lost mansion? ‘There was once a huge mansion part of which is still underground still called Hodgsons Folly or Yarra House in Flinders Street. The mysterious Hodgson was a kind of early ‘Donald Trump.’ 2016.
- Fact or Fantasy? Lost Turkish baths? ‘There were Turkish baths for half a century under Royal Arcade. The space that held the apparatus is still there under the Arcade.” 2001.
- Fact or Fantasy? Lost art deco rail station: ‘Long ago I worked at at Mitchell store cnr Degraves St and Flinders St. My manager took me underground to show me an art deco rail station there with two narrow rail lines. It was extraordinary.’ Dominic 2014.
- Fact or Fantasy? Armageddon: ‘If the egg timer ever falls from Chronos the God of Time in Royal Arcade, Melbourne will be destroyed.’ MCC 2001
- Fact or Fantasy? Lost flour mill: ‘The Degraves brother’s gold rush flour mill 1850s, after which Degraves Street is named, still exists with its gigantic underground bluestone cellar.’
- Fact or Fantasy: Lost River. ‘There is an underground river under Elizabeth Street which is an Aboriginal sacred site.’
- Fact or Fantasy: Lost waterfall ”The Yarra Yarra waterfall, after which the river was named, is still there under the water.’
- Fact or Fantasy? The Great Shaft ‘Australia’s largest constructed 19th hole hole – an 120 year-old, twelve-story shaft – lies under the corner of Flinders Lane and Elizabeth Street.’
- Fact or Fantasy? Lost Gold Cellar: ‘There are lost hidden spaces under Manchester House in Flinders Lane where huge amounts gold were stored and and may remain’
- Fact or Fantasy? Lost Mace: The 1891 stolen parliamentary mace is buried under Madam Brussell’s brothel. Truth Newspaper 1891.
- Fact or Fantasy? The Crown Casino Corpse Tunnel: ‘People say that the casino has its own morgue, down in the basement, to deal with the constant stream of corpses (from 3-40 suicides a year) – or at the very least a secret underground tunnel to the hospital’s morgue. What’s more, particular bathroom cubicles are said to have such a high suicide rate that they’re actually engineered to rotate for quick body disposal. Presumably this is so the next visitor to the bathroom isn’t deterred from further gambling by discovering two Crown employees wheeling a corpse down the hallway. No word yet on the number of ghosts in these cubicles, but it’s safe to assume that it’s in the double digits. As you might expect, the aforementioned Crown Casino plays a role in these speculations. It’s said that, years ago, the casino dug into the riverbank outside so that there’s an underwater lip. The casino’s victims collect under this lip, rather than floating to the surface, and pollute the surrounding water. ‘By now there should be a cemetery’s worth of bones, just waiting to be pulled into view by freak tides or police divers’. Sean Goedecke , June 19, 2012.
- Fact or Fantasy? The Collins Street Secret Tunnel: ‘There is a secret private underground tunnel running from Collins Street to Flinders Lane, west of Elizabeth Street’. . ‘Melbourne’s “Secret” Tunnels, 7 News, Sept 5th 2011. ‘
- Fact or Fantasy? The Gold Transport Tunnel: ‘My Grandfather told me that there was a tunnel system running under Melbourne that ran from Spring Street to the banks. It was put in to enable the transport of gold to be taken in security off the streets. This information was provided to him back in the 30’s from a bloke that did the wiring.’
- Fact or Fantasy? The Underground Rat Kingdom: ‘Once Elizabeth Street was flooding and I was standing in Flinders Court. Suddenly hundreds even thousands of rats poured out of the drains, the lane was a moving carpet of rats. There is hidden rat kingdom under Melbourne. I felt sorry for them actually their homes suddenly invaded’. Peter 2016.
- Fact or Fantasy? ANZ tunnels. ‘Old tellers of the ANZ Gothic bank bank say there were tunnels now sealed, under the bank used to transport valuables to to other branches.‘ ANZ staff member 2014.
- Fact or Fantasy? The Ancient Vault: ‘A huge old bank vault up to 150 years old, large enough to house an office, is under Emirates Arcade.’ It used to hold large amounts of gold bullion’. Claire 2015.
- Fact or Fantasy? The Myers to Collins Street Tunnel: ‘My late father being a manager in the NAB H/O Collins St in the Sixties told me about a tunnel running between Myers and the bank, for depositing cash into the vault.’
Fact or Fantasy? The Myers Tunnels: ‘Around 1 September 2012, workers were smuggled into the Grocon construction site through hidden Myers tunnels to evade a CFMEU picket line.’ The Age.
- Fact or Fantasy? The Myers Tube Network: ‘Myers is riddled with a network of hidden communication tubes’.
- Fact or Fantasy? The Underground Water Canals: ‘Water canals run underground from Lonsdale Street to the Yarra River’.
- Fact or Fantasy? The William Street Tunnel: “There is a 90 metre tunnel that runs from the former SECV building in William St to Swann House directly across the road. From there it runs across the road to what is now the Suncorp building.” Kevin Crook.
- Fact or Fantasy? The Swanston Street Bunker: ‘During WW2 a boat was always moored near Swanston Street on the Yarra River, and in the event of an air raid, the occupants of the War Room at Victoria Barracks would be whisked away up the Yarra River to this bunker.’
- Fact or Fantasy? The Young and Jackson Tunnel: ‘A tunnel runs from St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral under Swanston Street to the Young & Jackson’s Hotel (Princes Bridge Hotel).’
- Fact or Fantasy? The Ghost Train: ‘A Ghost Train runs through a hidden tunnel under Swanston Street’.
- Fact or Fantasy? The Spencer Street Bunker: ‘There was a military “bunker” under Spencer Street Railway Station as well as Swanston Street’.
- Fact or Fantasy? The Spencer Street Mail Tunnel: There was a small tunnel with rails in it from Spencer St to the old mail sorting office over the road. I think it has since been filled in.’‘ ‘There was a special underground rail tunnel to transport mail from Spencer Street Station to the Mail exchange across the road in Bourke Street.’ ‘Melbourne’s “Secret” Tunnels, 7 News, 6pm. Mon Sept 5th 2011.
- Fact or Fantasy? Tunnel from Spencer Street to the GPO, Elizabeth Street:
‘The subway (mail route) from Spencer St to the GPO certainly does exist; I saw it when I was in the basement of the GPO during its refurbishment in 2004. The entrance was bricked over. 21 July 2009.’ The GPO is on the corner of Elizabeth and Bourke St (or was, the building is now a shopping centre)…’
- Fact or Fantasy? Tunnel from Spencer Street to the GPO, Elizabeth Street: Wrong! – There was never a subway from Spencer St station to the GPO! I worked there!’
- Fact or Fantasy? There are former pedestrian tunnels under from the Southern Cross Station to the east side of Spencer Street both at Collins Street and Lt Collins Street.
- Fact or Fantasy? The Underground Firing Range: ‘There was a pistol range under Spencer St Station.’ Melbourne’s “Secret” Tunnels, 7 News, 6pm. Mon Sept 5th 2011
- Fact or Fantasy? The Spencer Street/Royal Melbourne Tunnel: ‘When I was an Orderly at RMH it was “common knowledge” that there was a tunnel running from Spencer Street to RMH. Apparently it comes out behind a lecture theatre at RMH’. James Doulis April 14, 2013
- Fact or Fantasy? The Subterranean Bullock Team: ‘An entire bullock team lies buried under the intersection of Elizabeth Street and Collins Street.’
- Fact or Fantasy? The Subterranean Pub. ‘An entire pub in Melbourne is two flights underground in Collins Street.’
- Fact or Fantasy? The Subterranean Horse Train: ‘An underground railway pulled by horses connected government buildings on Spring Street and the Treasury Gold Vault’.
- Fact or Fantasy? The Flinders Street Corpse Tunnel: ‘I have heard rumors of a tunnel running From Flinders Street Station to the Hospital (For transporting bodies during WW II), perhaps old or current station masters might have some information?’ 2013.
- Fact or Fantasy? The Spring Street Gold Tunnel: ‘My Grandfather told me that there was a tunnel system
running under Melbourne that ran from Spring Street to the banks. It was put in to enable the transport of gold to be taken in security off the streets. This information was provided to him back in the 30’s from a bloke that did the wiring’.
- Fact or Fantasy? The Parliament Tunnel Network: ‘A secret underground tunnel system crosses the entire city centre liking Parliament House and the Exhibition Building and with a number of exits under the CBD including Southern Cross Station’.
- Fact or Fantasy? The Little Lon Military Tunnel : ‘In 2002 an archaeological dig on a Government block unearthed a steel and concrete tunnel that was part of a bomb-proof underground network built by US General “Dugout Doug” MacArthur.’
- Fact or Fantasy? The Supreme Court/Titles Office Tunnel: ‘One of the many enduring stories at the Titles Office is that there was a tunnel between the Titles Office and the Supreme Court, cnr Lonsdale & William St. These mythical tunnels date from around 1890 when the Queen/Lonsdale section of the Titles Office was constructed. The story was that there were cells in the TO and that prisoners would be taken underground to the Supreme Court. Whilst there is at least one cell, the rest of it sounds like pure BS to me.’ 2007.
- Fact or Fantasy? The Supreme Court, tunnels, bullets and bones: My name is Ian Hogan. I worked on the Supreme Court building for a company named Van Driel LTD. The Supreme Court was established in 1852 on the corner of Lonsdale and William Street on a foundation of bluestone and cast iron stumps. When we were constructing tunnels for the removal of the old communication wiring we came across old bones- these were said to be kangaroo bones! There was a bullet hole in a window in Lonsdale Street. Who put it there? Prisoners would be led down to the holding cells from a brick tunnel leading to number one court room. June 2016
- Fact or Fantasy? The Subterranean Tree Car Park. ‘A surrealist Mad Max car park designed for trees is under Melbourne University’.
- Fact or Fantasy? The Victoria Parade Tunnel: ‘There is a hospital tunnel under Victoria Parade.
- Fact or Fantasy? The GPO Tunnels: ‘A network of tunnels fans out from the former Chief Telegraph Office on Little Bourke Street next door to the GPO.’
- Fact or Fantasy? The Gondwanaland Cave: ‘There is a cave in the Silurian bedrock of the city where a dangerous Aboriginal supernatural being lives. ‘
- Fact or Fantasy? The Shell Cavern: ‘The Shell building, 1 Spring Street is considered milestone architecture by Harry Seidler and praised for its setback but it had no choice as the Underground runs under the forecourt.
- Fact or Fantasy? The Subterranean Toilets: ‘A famous toilet lies completely intact, sealed under tons of stone beneath Russell Street’ I once broke in to find the toilets rolls, mop and bucket are all there as they just walked out and left it all in place.’
- Fact or Fantasy? The North Melbourne Cable Car Tunnel. ‘A cable car tunnel was found under Abbotsford Street in 2007’.
- Fact or Fantasy? The Subterranean Headquarters: ‘The Cave Clan headquarters is in a huge cavern under Melbourne High School.
- Fact or Fantasy? The Squizzy Taylor Strong Room: ‘Squizzy had a strong room with gold scales and safe under Presgrave Lane. There was also a tunnel leading to the Mint.’
- Fact or Fantasy? Break-in: Thieves once broke into the vaults under Manchester Unity from adjacent passageways in the Capital building. Its a warren in there.‘ 2014
- Fact or Fantasy? The Squizzy Taylor Bourke Street Hideout. ‘Squizzy Taylor had a hideout for under a year under Bourke Street from which he wrote taunting letters to the police.’ Whelan the Wrecker.
- Fact or Fantasy? The Squizzy Richmond Hideout: ‘A secret Richmond tunnel believed to be used by Squizzy Taylor to escape police raids on his gambling den opposite has been located under 11 Goodwood Street, Richmond.’ The Age 2015.
- Fact or Fantasy? The Squizzy Taylor Elwood hideout: ‘Squizzy Taylor had his 1921 hideout and escape tunnel under 66 Glenhuntly Road, Elwood.’
- Fact or Fantasy? John Wren Collingwood Tunnel. ‘John Wren had an escape tunnel from a Collingwood coffee shop to the nearby pub called The Bendigo.’
- Fact or Fantasy? The Royal Parade Bunker: ‘My mother and her sister were both brought up in a boarding school in Parkville (building is still there), and as older teenagers would often run errands for the soldiers and returning polished boots and washed uniforms back to MacArthurs headquarters etc. From what i understand, there’s quite a network of bunkers and store-rooms, that were simply “filled over”, leaving the bunkers still in place or perhaps even still in use today???? I’m also told other bunkers of this nature STILL contain several vehicles, small artillery, weapons/ammunition, filing cabinets/paperwork etc etc, and were simply blocked in when the war finished…. There are groups attempting to dig back into the bunkers to confirm their contents, but that’s another story ( i haven’t heard of any success yet). From what I’m told so far, there was simply no money or time to bother emptying the bunkers of their contents, the easiest solution was to pour concrete into the entrance and it’s done! I can’t help feeling there’s an absolute goldmine of information & equipment left there, that should be in a museum.’
- Fact or Fantasy? The Royal Melbourne Air Raid Tunnel: ‘There was a large public WW11 air raid shelter in a tunnel under the Royal Melbourne Hospital.’ ‘in the seventies i had a student job where I drove laundry underground from the RMH to the Childrens Hospital in a buggy’. 2015
- Legends 1-4: The Army Hospital Tunnels
- ‘An unseen network of underground tunnels links together four hospitals as well as Melbourne University.’
b. ‘The US Army occupied these tunnels under during World War Two.’
c. ‘A secret tunnel under Flemington Road linked the hospital to the US Camp Pell in Royal Park. d. The tunnels extend secretly under the CBD south to Victoria Barracks and west to Mt Alexander Road.’
- Fact or Fantasy? The Rialto Towers Cavern” A great subterranean space exists under the Rialto.
- Fact or Fantasy? The Tunnel Big Cats:‘Alien Phantom Big Cats’, Pumas and cougars, live in the Western suburbs, sleeping in hidden places like tunnels during the day and padding into backyards at night.’
- Fact or Fantasy? The Lost Cafe: ‘In the 1960s an exotic South Seas Cafe with palm trees was in the basement of the Manchester Unity building’.
- Fact or Fantasy? Secret vaults: Under the Manchester unity buildings are secret vaults where the jewelers keep their valuables’.
- Fact or Fantasy? Pistol range under Bourke street? The State Bank of Victoria had a training school at 186 Bourke Street, between Swanston and Russell. It had a pistol range in the basement which I used when I was training as a teller. Colin 2015.
- Fact or Fantasy? Tunnel under Government House? ‘I have actually seen what I believe to be the western end of the tunnel under the St Kilda Road gardens which probably leads to Government House. These days it only goes a metre or two and is walled up.’ Colin 2015.Fact or Fantasy? Access through the bookcase. ‘There is an underground cellar bar in Collins Street where you enter by pulling a book from a bookcase.’
- Fact or Fantasy? Underground cheese cellar. ‘There is a specially cooled underground cellar with fabulous cheeses entered from above by a narrow spiral staircase….It was once a carpark that connected to the secret tunnel network to the parliament across the road... 2015.’
- Fact or Fantasy? Underground Cinemas. My first employment experience, whilst still at school during school holidays, was to `switch’ the reels between the Century News Theatrette and the Tatler News Theatrette. They screened the same programs each week on the same 35mm prints. (as did the Albany and Times). As each reel came off the projector at the Century it was rewound and placed in a calico (I think) bag and I set off down Swanston Street, through an arcade and down Collins Street to the Tatler (basement Hotel Australia, 262 Collins).. I am not sure if I had to do the return `switch` or if there was a second kid on for that. This was during the Melbourne Olympic Games and we were switching the coverage that Pacific Films produced of the latest events and I remember well the line (from up in Swanston Street) going down the stairs into the Century Theatrette waiting to see this weekly production. As this was the year that television was introduced to Australia very few had the luxury of watching it at home. Brian J, Jan 6, 2011.
- My mother would drop me off at the Century underground cinema in Swanston Street to see the cartoon reels for an hour while she went shopping. It always irritated me when she came back to early for me to finish seeing all the cartoons I wanted to see. August 2015.
- Fact or Fantasy? Lost tea room: ‘There was a huge tea house under Manchester Unity , could hold 200 people in the 1930s called Tate’s. Many gay people had assignations there…;
- Fact or Fantasy? Underground cinemas:‘ The oldest running cinema in the CBD showed Olympic Games newsreels and is still under under Flinders Lane’. ‘There was a newsreel theatre under Swanston Street for many years called Century, Capitol 2 or Swanston Theatre where they showed hourly newsreels in the war years and later.’
- Fact or Fantasy? Underground dance hall:‘ I used to go dancing in an underground space under the former Capitol Theatre called the Dugout or the Bowl in the 1960s.. it was very hip and cool.’ 2015
- Fact or Fantasy? Underground palm trees and crocodiles: ‘There was a swish 60s style cafe under ground cafe called South Seas or Tropicana . It exited to Collins Street near Swanston Street. It had underground palm trees and big fish tanks everywhere. They were also live crocodiles . Yes, seriously! Ron Houlder, 2015.
‘Did you by any chance read the Age Traveller today, Saturday, 30th January 2016 page 34? The Letter of the Week: Luxe Nomad (Traveller, January 16-17) refers to the Tiki bar in Melbourne in the 1960’s called the South Seas Restaurant or cafe in the basement. You went down the stairs from Collins Street into a tropical wonderland with big fish tanks and palm trees….People said there were three crocodiles (live ones)”. Dianne, 30 Jan 2016.
‘I remember the crocodile in the South Seas restaurant. It was 5 ft long and near the kitchen at the north end. The palms were fake.” 2016.
‘I went there as a kid. The crocs were big, at least a metre.’ Mary 2016.
‘My grandmother was a waitress in the Spot Cafe in Elizabeth Street. She had a crocodile handbag given to her by Squizzy Taylor. Perhaps that’s how the South Sea Cafe crocodiles ended up? 2016.
- Fact or Fantasy? Underground tunnel network: ‘ In 1956 I was a 14 year old Telegram Delivery Boy at the Post Office on the corner of Russell St and Little Collins St and in our lunch time we used to travel all over the CBD in the tunnels from the basement. We sometimes entered the old Bourke and Spencer Street’s Post Office through their basement. There are many off chute tunnels and stairs to various other buildings from the main tunnels. All the tunnels ran like streets under the real streets up above. We were allowed to take these walks because in the Fifties, Australia was easy going and innocent to the problems we have today and we were in uniform so it was no problem to do it then. It was exciting for a 14 year old boy. Regards, John Williams’ 1 June 2015.
- Fact or Fantasy? Princess and Regent Theatres tunnels
‘My husband is incredibly curious about the tunnels between the Princess and Regent theatres (he is a musician),’ June 2015.
- Fact or Fantasy? tunnels under Smith Street. My mother worked in Smith Street shops for many years and said that there are many tunnels linking shops under Smith Street.
- Fact or Fantasy? Dights Falls Bunker: ‘There used to be a large underground “bunker” near Dights Falls at Abbotsford. It is believed that this large underground “bunker” was an old WW2 air raid shelter and could hold a few thousand people.’
- Legends: The Melbourne Boys High (MHS) School Tunnels:
- ‘I was there (MHS) in the late 70’s and we explored any off limit areas (another story) in the school’s vicinity, inside and out …
some tunnels originate from the old Q-store and armoury …. Many walls have been erected ..usually brick and concrete … these areas or vaulted rooms were used.’
- ‘Melbourne’ Boy’s High School was used by the US Army during WW2. A tunnel leads from the school to the Yarra River, to provide General Douglas Macarthur with a potential escape route because his Headquarters was at the school. It was later continued by the school cadets’
- There is a large steel door in the army cadet room at the rear of the armoury (MHS) which is welded shut, which is the entrance to this escape tunnel that was used during WW2.’
- ‘Any student found to have entered this tunnel will be automatically expelled.’
- ‘A trap door in the Principle’s office (MHS) leads to the tunnel’.
- The Principal (MHS) Michael Bukraba found a tunnel under the School Library’.
- Fact or Fantasy? The Subterranean Big Cats: The study of ‘phantom cats’, more amusingly called ‘Alien Big Cats’, Pumas and cougars, for instance, have been reported around the Western suburbs. It’s a scary thought – huge silent predators, subsisting on possums and the occasional hapless human. Or there could actually be a colony of big cats, sleeping in hidden places like tunnels during the day and padding into your backyard at night. Predators like that move very quietly, and very fast. Oct 2012.
- Fact or Fantasy? The Merri Creek Tunnel: ‘A former military ammunition tunnel exists with an entrance near Merri Creek.’
- Fact or Fantasy? A Missing Train Station Under Melbourne Airport: ‘In 1970 a train station was built under Melbourne Airport (Tullamarine) – It’s sitting there waiting to be connected.’
- Fact or Fantasy? US 1940s Army boat was found under a Ringwood house.
- Fact or Fantasy? Tunnel under Northcote Town Hall: ‘There is a street in Northcote called Wardrop Grove. History behind this is secret tunnels were built on the Hill which is called Ruckers Hill near High Street where tunnels exist but hidden under the Northcote Town Hall and the current Santa Maria Private Girls College and surrounding Nun complex.’ 2015.
- Fact or Fantasy? ‘There is a large underground crypt where bodies are still interred.entered by a trapdoor under the pews at the NW end Paul’s Cathedral. ‘ 2015.
- Fact or Fantasy? Tunnel: ‘There is a tunnel from St Pauls to Parliament..’ 2015.
Fact or Fantasy? Underground cinema: ‘The Times Newsreel Theaterette in Bourke St. (from my research) was part of the Odeon & was located in the Odeon basement at 283 Bourke St. Both theatres closed in 1978 giving way to the Centrepoint Arcade., It seems that The Melba Theatre may have commenced there in 1911, The Liberty in 1939 & The Odeon around 1950 after a fire destroyed The Liberty.’ Peter 2015.
- Fact or Fantasy? Drowned car parks. ‘The original two levels of the underground casino car park were flood-prone and so were abandoned and lie as ghostly watery spaces.” 2015.
- Fact or Fantasy? Underground pistol range? In my younger days I was with the ANZ bank and we used to go to pistol practice in a building that I think was on the cnr. of Bourke and King street.’ Rob, 2016.
- Fact or Fantasy? Lost squash court: ‘The old CAE building was in Flinders street and I think it had previously been a retail store in 1940/50’s.( it’s now apartments)….about 20 years ago when working at CAE Flinders Street, I recall finding a small flight of stairs that lead up to an intact but weather damaged squash court that I understand was for the use of the executive staff at the store .it might have been Maples store pre CAE.’ Rob, 2016.
- Fact or Fantasy? Hideout under church: ‘About 20 years ago I was watching a news feature about a workman’s find of a dusty but well equipped cubby house under St Therese’s church, Essendon. In the 1960’s it was us 10 years olds who found our way into a very narrow opening in the church and constructed the cubby house. We went there during lunch time in grade 6. Access was via a small door that look as if it was locked but if you pushed the door the other way, it opened..we then crawled through even smaller openings in the foundations over dirt and rubble until we found a bigger opening…we dragged in chairs, books and God knows what else …of course we had candles. It was fortunate that we didn’t burn the church down. The things you do as kids’. Rob, 2016.
- Fact or Fantasy? Under the park: As kids we found an underground pipe in the local Woodlands Park in Essendon that allowed us access and we ended up quite some distance away in nearby Strathmore. Rob, 2016.
- Fact or Fantasy? Espy Tunnel: ‘I worked at the Espy and there was a door in the basement. which apparently ran to a tunnel ran from the hotel basement under the St Kilda Esplanade to the foreshore which was used by smugglers’. 2012.
- Fact or Fantasy? Richmond Tunnels: ‘ I’ve heard there is a maze of tunnels under Richmond used by the American Army’. 2016.
- Fact or Fantasy? Underground Cherry: ‘Just east of the Regent Theatre in Collins Street, I used to go with my mother to an below ground teahouse called the Ripe or Wild Cherry. Anyone heard of It? ‘ 2016.
- Fact or Fantasy? First coffee underground? As a teenager I worked serving food and drink at The Bowl which was a musical theatre venue with meals under today’s Capital Arcade. It also did other events such as dances. During the war it was a popular venue for American soldiers. The soldiers brought the coffee habit to Melbourne. So The Bowl would have been a first to make and regularly serve coffee in Melbourne.’ 2016.
- Fact or Fantasy? Evacuation tunnel: I was a staff at St Vincents and saw the entrance to the tunnel which ran to Flinders Street Station to evacuate soldiers if necessary.’ 2016.
- Fact or Fantasy? Mauled electrician: When my aunt was 19 she worked in the underground South Seas restaurant. The crocodiles in the cafe’s pond escaped so the staff fled and locked up. An electrician came unknowingly at night and was bitten in the leg by an escaped crocodile. 2015.
- Fact or Fantasy? Lost Chief: Underground near the junction of the Merri Creek and the Yarra is the body of the Chief of the Yarra Tribe. Its location was lost after the nearby freeway construction.
- Fact or Fantasy? Magician’s Hidden Secrets: Only professional magicians can access the AWG Alma Conjuring Collection in the Sate Library. There is a hidden vault with the most secret magician tools.
- Where ? ‘When I was a small child we used to go to a cafe underground. Through the windows you could see just the legs of people walking past . Does anyone know where this cafe may have been? ‘ 2016 .
- Lost Turkish Baths Royal Arcade 1870-1929? Nellie Haig the grand-daughter of the owners of the baths wrote a manuscript 1992 about its history which is in the State Library. The Baths closed in 1929 after the old boilers burst and flooded the Arcade and surrounding areas.
Louisa Ellum 2017