If you love walking around this beautiful city we live in, you may be interested in checking out "No Fixed Address - City by the Yarra" a 3 hour walking tour. Not your usual Postcards style tour, they aim to show and tell a different story, delivered by Melbourne's experts of the streets who are either homeless or have experienced homelessness.
Our guide Peter was the first guide to join No Fixed Address so we were in good hands. Passionate about advocating for homeless and marginalised groups, his relaxed commentary was interesting and enlightening and he was happy to answer any questions we had along the way.
Our tour commenced in Abbotsford which was once very much a working-class industrial suburb and is now a melting pot with a bit of everything including many new and expensive inner city apartments springing up everywhere. First stop, Victoria Park, the original home of the Collingwood Football Club. Even if you're not a footy fan, it is an interesting walk around the ground and great to see the facilities open to the community and being used.
After a walk around Abbotsford's streets, we came to Dights Falls where salt water meets the fresh water of the Yarra River. This is also the site for the old Dights Falls flour mill, Melbourne's oldest industrial site.
We then followed the river along the Main Yarra Trail, past the Collingwood Children's Farm and into the Abbotsford Convent grounds. In keeping with the mission of this tour, we stopped at Lentil as Anything (a pay as you can café) and had a chat with one of the volunteers there who told us a bit about their "Food Without Borders" philosophy. Serving tasty vegetarian and vegan food, guests contribute what they feel their meal is worth.
At times it really feels like you are in the country and not just a few kilometres from the CBD. Must have been the cute goats and pigs we saw whilst walking past the Collingwood Children's Farm and all the bird life around the river. There is also some great street art to admire along the way.
Eventually, we walked along Victoria St (Little Saigon) and ended up at the funky Moon Dog Craft Brewery where we were given a brief rundown on the brewery and several free tastings.
This is a great way to spend a few hours enjoying the sunshine and some parts of Melbourne that you may not have seen before.
The City by the Yarra Walking Tour runs every Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm. Wear comfy shoes, bring along water, sunscreen, an umbrella just in case (this is Melbourne after all) and an open mind.
Tickets are $40.00 for adults and $20.00 for children aged 10 - 18 (kids under 10 are free).
For more information on this tour and other offered by No Fixed Address, visit their website or Facebook page.