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Go On a Suburban Tour

Home > Melbourne > Fun Things To Do | Day Trips
by Matthew (subscribe)
WEN Editor
Published May 9th 2011
Photo by S2art
Take a Tour of the Suburbs - Photo by S2art

Why commit financial suicide on an overpriced overseas holiday when you can discover more totally fascinating things in your own town? Not only would you save a lot, but the experience can be priceless.

A lot of people would probably disagree with the idea of becoming a tourist in your own city. However, if you don't have a clue about what's going on in the suburbs fifteen to twenty kilometres around you, you could well qualify for the growing league of tourists in your own turf.

Taking a suburban tour doesn't need to be planned in advance. Fill the car up on petrol and simply try to go wherever your heart takes you, or leads you. Should you desire an even more memorable experience, catch the train and tram to your intended destinations. You will not be disappointed.

Here's the best way to decide on a tour of surburbia. Think of the last time your friends, family or co-workers talked about a mysterious suburb that wasn't too far away. Attempt to recall everything peculiar that they said about it.

Curiosity is probably the best way to drool with excitement over visiting the unknown close to home areas. Perhaps it's a suburb or district you often hear about on the evening news.

If there's a place that's a hot topic of discussion amongst family members, friends and co-workers that also just so happens to regularly come up in the news, then such a domestic tourist attraction is a must-see.

The thrill of exploring such an unfamiliar suburb would almost be on the same level as finding out why a certain house down the road has been sold more than eight times in less than four years.

You might think you know everything about your home city, until you bite the bullet and venture forth on your suburban quest. For crying out loud, make sure you empty your scabbard of its sword when visiting heavily knighted areas like Footscray. The palatial guard will think your Lord of the Rings masquerade is anything but cute, and will remind you that swords kill hoards. In non-Middle Earth lingo, this simply means that thou shalt not carry around a concealed weapon, for knives scar lives. You'd face a one-thousand-dollar on-the-spot fine just for trying, and you would have ended up paying the equivalent of an overseas trip for your humble suburban domestic tour.

Unfortunately you can't time travel back to the days before police checkpoints were set up and formally draw swords when exploring Middle Suburbia. But you can certainly brood over the better days when your conquests pre-dated the police checkpoints.

My university exams are no exception, although I was the unarmed anti-hero boy-next-door type. You, too, can discover your true image on a suburban tour.

Among other things, here are some above average discoveries you could possibly make when you go out on a limb, or lack of the same if you were maimed in previous battles. Heck, who's to say you won't find or see even better things and events than these?

Not to miff the residents of any of these honourable neighbourhoods, but you might find that Noble Park is anything but noble. Well, it all depends on what league you're in. If you're really into free viewing of drag racing, this would have to be the most noble of all Melbourne suburbs. That was about five years ago. Nowadays the practice has been stamped out completely, although some stalwart souls (or just plain hoons?) still dare to bare their number plates.

Be streetwise. Catching a train to Broadmeadows can be a heart-thumping, action packed thriller sometimes, especially when the girlfriend of a man who asks to use your $700 phone heaps abuse on you when you refuse him access. And the many spectators who witness it, young and old, male and female, only add to your eternal acclaim, even though they fail to rejoice in a sycophantic throng. Smiling back and kindly thanking her for her lovely compliments and adding to the vocabulary of the starry eyed children is more valuable than gold.

Just make sure you meekly get off at the next stop and catch another train. It helps the colour return to your cheeks. Your parasympathetic nervous system will kick in, and you'll even feel like crying. Cherish the priceless moment. It lasts but a few minutes.

Finally, be a sweetheart to anyone who asks you how to spell certain words when sending an SMS. That is more of a common occurrence than you may dare think.
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Why? Become a tourist in your own city
When: Anytime
Where: Anywhere close to home that's unfamiliar
Cost: Free, although public transport and petrol may apply
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