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Twisted Tales - Free Historical Melbourne Walking Tour

Home > Melbourne > Free | Architecture | Outdoor | Walks
by Fiona Anderson (subscribe)
A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Published December 28th 2015
Tales of phantoms, snake charmers and the hanging judge
Each Sunday there is a free walking tour that will take you past some famous and iconic Melbourne landmarks. The walk departs every Saturday and Sunday at 11.00am, from the Tianjin Gardens (between the two lion statues), which is located close to the intersection of Spring and Little Bourke Streets, Melbourne CBD. The Tianjin Gardens mark the eastern entrance to Melbourne's Chinatown, and are easily accessible from Parliament Station.

Hear some stories of Melbourne's strange past in this walking tour, which lasts for around 2 hours, 20 minutes and is conducted by a qualified historian.

Along the way, you'll learn about Federici - the ghost of Princess Theatre, the infamous 'Little Lon', and the architect of the Royal Society, who died of 'inanity'.

Twisted Tales Free Historical Melbourne Walks
Learn about the 'Phantom of the Opera' that is said to inhabit the Princess Theatre. (Image attribution: Rexness on, via Creative Commons)

You'll also hear about the judge who ordered a snake to bite him on Swanston Street, and the 'unluckiest expedition' in Victorian history.

Amble through the Royal and Block Arcades, which are amongst the oldest arcades in Australia.

Twisted Tales Free Historical Melbourne Walks
Learn more about the historic Royal Arcade - one of Australia's oldest shopping arcades. (Image attribution: Photo by David Iliff. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0)

The tour takes participants from the meeting point towards the Old Melbourne Gaol and Swanston Street, and finally down towards City Square.

Twisted Tales Free Historical Melbourne Walks
The Old Melbourne Gaol is on the route of the walking tour. (Image attribution: Photo by Charlie Brewer, available under Creative Commons. )

This is a great way to learn about some of Melbourne's quirky history, while also exploring some of its wonderful architecture. It will be interesting both for visitors to Melbourne and locals.

While these walking tours are free, tips are appreciated. 'Pay what you feel the tour is worth'.

Please note these walking tours are not suitable for children.

Tours run regardless of the weather, so to maximise your enjoyment of the tour, make sure you are prepared for all weather contingencies - bring a hat, sunscreen, water and/or jacket and umbrella.

There's no need to book, simply turn up on the day. For more information, or if you wish to arrange for a private tour for a large group, go to the website, email, or call 0450 344 840.

Check the website for extra tour times as the tours are currently also being offered at 11.00am on Saturdays.
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Why? The truth is stranger than fiction - hear some of the sordid stories about Melbourne's past.
When: Each Sunday at 11.00am. Check the website for other dates and times.
Phone: 0450 344 840
Where: Starts from Tianjin Garden, in Spring Street, Melbourne (near the intersection with Little Bourke St).
Cost: FREE (but tips appreciated)
Your Comment
My husband and I did some walking tours of twons while we were on holidays and found them to be a great way to get a good look at the place. I didn't know about this, thanks for the article. If you're tipping, we found charges for these type of tours to generally be $10 adult and $8 concession - just as a guide for what they are worth.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|7970) 1683 days ago
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