Leave downtown Melbourne behind and take a step into the suburb of Abbotsford, a neighbourhood along the Yarra River. This former industrial hub is now a trendy place to live, although the iconic buildings and landmarks of days past still stand. It’s also a place where you’ll get to meet No Fixed Address, a social enterprise providing local employment to marginalised and disadvantaged individuals.
Your beyond Melbourne tour will first lead you to the original ticket gates of Victoria Park, Collingwood’s historic football grounds and once a place of escape from daily life and unemployment during the Great Depression. From here, you’ll walk around the back of this once-abandoned (but now revitalised) stadium and talk through the history of Collingwood FC, spotting where old food stands and ticket gates once stood, and seeing where the seats have been removed but the frames of the stands remain. You can check out the interactive area where you can hear the haunting recorded sounds of the cheering crowds from the stadium’s old glory days.
Next up, you’ll stroll along the Yarra River to Dights Falls, where you’ll learn about the area’s past and present, from the historic flour mill to the tragic tale of the Pappas brothers, to the “rough sleepers” of today.
From there, your guide will lead you down the river and show you some Indigenous art, while also explaining the history of the Wurundjeri people and the significance of the Yarra. Amid all the luscious green flora of the Yarra banks is an abundance of street art that holds some interesting stories.
Next up, a stop at the Abbotsford convent and a wander through its landscaped gardens. This imposing building has played many roles throughout its history, and you’ll learn how the gold rush, the recessions, and immigration all played a part in shaping the architecture and local industry over the years.
We’ll then head to F.A. Andrews Reserve, and learn how this area has been a training pad for world champion cyclists. You’ll also uncover the history and significance of Studley Park, and take in some incredible views of the city.
We’ll head back onto the Yarra trail and spot some Australian flora, and learn about the region’s native plants and animals. Your walking tour will lead you to Dickinson Reserve, past a little-known city winery, and finally a photo op of the Skipping Girl Vinegar sign, Australia’s first animated neon sign.
You’ll finish up your In Focus tour on the back streets of Abbotsford, where you’ll see evidence of this former industrial area’s future — warehouses and factories are being converted or knocked down for modern-day apartments. We’ll spot some more street art, a few old worker cottages, and finally come to the impressive Kodak building.
Our final stop will be the Moon Dog Brewery, where you’ll be free to stay for a drink, or continue on your own exploring the rest of this neighbourhood.
Note for finding the meeting point: Victoria Park is on the Hurstbridge and South Morang train line, five stations from Flinders St. and Parliament in Melbourne’s CBD. Or you can take the 109 tram and get off at stop 18: Victoria and Hoddle streets.
Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide.
Exclusions: Food and drink (although you will get a discounted first drink at the brewery), items of a personal nature, tips and gratuities for your guide.
Dress standard: Please wear comfortable shoes for walking, and a hat for sunny days.
Your Trip: For your Urban Adventure you will be in a small group of a maximum of 12 people
Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We'll see you at the start point. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
Closure of sites: In the unlikely event that the brewery is closed, you’ll be taken to another suitable establishment to finish off the tour.
Child Policy: This is a child-friendly tour. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour free of charge. Please inform us at the time of booking if you’ll be bringing a child under the age of 6. You can do so in the special request box on the checkout page.