We can’t wait to see you on a tour with us.
Hidden Secrets Tours is all about sharing Melbourne and all it has to offer, including, of course, it’s lesser corners. It is, put simply, why we exist. We call ourselves Hidden Secrets, after all, and the unveiling of Melbourne’s hidden gems has become our speciality over the last 17 years of walking the city.
We like to have our secrets unravel as the tour unwinds, so that each corner we take unveils a surprise; an unknown story about a location you think you may have known well; or a hidden moment nestled in a laneway or arcade you may well have walked through a thousand times before and missed.
However, it is 2021, and we understand that checking in about how an experience will unfold is very important. With this in mind, we have written a customer care guide so guests can be assured that Hidden Secrets is taking the utmost care, as we always have, as guests enter our tour environments within Melbourne City.
* We take direct bookings online via our website with 24/7 live availability, and also take booking via phone any email too. Some guests also choose to book through travel agents or third party online platforms. For us to be sure that we can contact all guests in case of a need for tracing requirements, we will ask for a mobile number for each booking. We will also ask that all guests check in via the Victorian COVID check in app. This will be done on your smartphone for a contactless experience.
* We conduct small group tours: This means we run with a minimum of 2 or 4 guests, and a maximum usually of 8 guests per tour departure. We also offer private tours that are run exclusively for those who wish to enjoy a private experience that suits their plans of indulging in our city.
* Once we receive a booking or request, we will confirm our availability and subsequently take payment for the tour once the departure is confirmed. Payments will be taken prior to travel, as we have always done, and this will additionally ensure no cash handling is needed on the day. We have made options for our direct booking clients for small deposits to be made to hold a date, with final payment made within 3 days of travel.
* Arriving at our tour start points, we will refrain from shaking hands, but will welcome and introduce everyone whilst managing our proximity of 1.5 meters.
* Our guides operate with digital manifests, so there is no physical transferring of daily tour plans from office team to guide.
* Our guides will continue to carry their own tour bags, including first aid kits, hand sanitiser gel, tissue packs, umbrella and laminated maps. These bags are not shared with others, and both bags and items are wiped down at the end of each tour.
* As of April 2020 we understand it’s no longer suitable for us to give out souvenir cloth bags to our guests. This means we pre-pack our seasonal guest maps and tour kit in the days prior to tours, and offer any tastings on tours (where applicable) in the store from which they are carefully prepared for our guests with hygiene standards for Covid requirements (incl single serve portions, and single staff serving our tour group table where applicable.)
* We love to offer a drink stop when we are on a tour. Depending on the itinerary, our preferred options have always been to either include a Hidden Secrets Keep Cup for our guests, or to arrange a seated stop in one of the city’s atmospheric cafes. We are conscious of our environmental impact, thus making efforts to avoid the use of single-use plastics and un-recyclable cups. This will continue where applicable.
* On conclusion of our walks we love to continue the relationship and send our guests updates with the most recent info of the city – We are all about championing Melbourne and all it has to offer. We will ask for permission to text or email updates and tour exclusive offers before guests head off to continue their adventures. This data will be held for 72 hours, and all unsubscribes will be activated and our lists cleaned. We have Cyber Security team training, and update these protocols and programs regularly.
* Hidden Secrets Tours have always been committed to offering small groups tours, which we feel are ideal for great conversation and storytelling, along with allowing the space needed to soak into the urban spaces and move through the smaller lanes and arcades of our Melbourne. With this in mind, our guides keep groups together by stopping in areas ideal for allowing enough space (for 1.5meter distancing) and reduced noise for voice projection. Our guides are knowledgeable in just where those ideal spots are, and trained to project their voices without the need for the impersonality of microphones or headset set-ups.
* We are proud to work with local small businesses, and will be supporting them where needed to ensure safe practices such as appropriate physical distancing, and additional sanitising to ensure all of our guests are kept safe and feeling confident during their indulgent explorations of Melbourne’s spaces. Hidden Secrets Tours will regularly audit and update our venue relationships based on a strict hygiene protocol.
* All Hidden Secrets Tours guides will have daily pre-tour health care report card, and records kept for health reasons.
* Our office is used by only 2 of our staff at any time, and we rotate our rosters with 2 teams to ensure we have a full team available if any illness concerns arise.
We understand that taking time away from the day to day to be curious, to be indulgent, to be present, or just to re-adjust a view requires some care. Hidden Secrets Tours cares for our city, our small businesses, our locals and our visitors and the environments that we get to enjoy. We can’t wait to welcome you into our corners of the city and share the secrets they have in store. We look forward to helping you discover, re-discover and meet our Melbourne.