Melbourne's Hidden Secrets Tours
Downtown Melbourne is laced with small alleys and laneways, once providing service access to the buildings, now, home to some of the city's most interesting restaurants and boutiques. After spending a few days walking the city getting the nagging sense I was missing something, I signed up for the tour. (As it happened, the other people on the tour were all from Melbourne -- they just wanted to know what was new and exciting in town, apparently it's hard to keep up.)
Straight away we went down into what seemed like a subway stop -- and it was that, too, but it was also home to Campbell Arcade, which hosts a rotating art exhibition, several boutiques and a cafe. After that, it was a spirited wander, through Union Lane, whose walls are lined with city-encouraged and sponsored graffiti art, to Royal Arcade to visit Koko Black chocolate boutique, through Cathedral Arcade, pictured above, home to a poetry bookstore and a vintage shop. My personal favorite? Design a Space, on Manchester Lane, a place where a 70 local emerging fashion designers can sell their lines, on a rotating basis. I'm glad I didn't miss it, although my suitcase was certainly heavier for it!
Tourism Victoria and Tourism Australia sponsored my visit; opinions are always 100% my own.