The Original Walking Tours of Melbourne
est. 2004
03 9663 3358 (A/H +61447868788)
Sharing Melbourne Evolutions

Melbourne just loves breaking out in a riot of spring colour, festivals, fashion, markets, sport and, of course, our famous spring racing carnival. Where to start? A few of our major events are time-sensitive, especially the Spring Racing Carnival. Its major Melbourne events are the Ladbrokes Cox Plate on October 22, the Penfolds Victoria Derby Day on 29 October, the Lexus Melbourne Cup on November 1, Kennedy Oaks Day on November 3 and the VRC Champions Stakes Day on November 5.


Photo: Louise Macdonald Milliner designer hat

Photo: Louise Macdonald Milliner designer hat


So of course you’ll need a new race day outfit and a fabulous hat…check out the high-end imported labels in the Paris end of Collins St, local designers in the CBD laneways and alleys, and milliners in the historic Nicholas Building. See the directory here. 


The Melbourne Fringe Festival turns 40 this year, but there’s absolutely nothing middle-aged about the entertainment from artists, actors, dancers, drag queens and musicians. But best shake out your feather boa and book quickly – it ends October 23.


Two other October-only events are the Arriba! Melbourne Mexican Festival featuring a Day of the Dead costume competition (remember the opening scenes of James Bond’s Spectre?), Mexican food, folklore and dance (October 28 – 30). And the Europa Night Market which turns Queen Victoria Market into a smorgasbord of classic European street food, plus Euro-inspired bars, music and entertainment until October 26.


Melbourne’s laneways and alleys are legendary, but just when you think you’ve seen them all, a few more pop up. Guildford Lane is now a must-see, with its raw industrial heritage the backdrop for a secluded green oasis. Drop in for a coffee or lunch – or try Rankins Lane with its green window boxes, balcony flowerpots and lemon trees. Somerset Place is equally edgy…but why not take a Hidden Secrets Melbourne Lanes and Arcades Tour and let us reveal all.


Coffee is another ongoing revelation in Melbourne, and if you need any convincing about our world leadership, Melbourne’s Anthony Douglas was recently crowned 2022 World Barista Champion. You could hear the applause from all those tiny tucked-away cafes and specialty roasters that make Melbourne coffee unique. Come and discover it all on our Café Culture Walk, including lunch at a secret location.


Royal Exhibition Building Dome

Royal Exhibition Building Dome

A place that has been kept secret for 100 years is the extraordinary Dome Promenade high up on the Royal Exhibition Building. Built for the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition, this enormous and ornate building now gives you an amazing opportunity to view the Carlton Gardens and Melbourne skyline from the Dome Promenade.


Time by Rone at Flinders Street Station

Time by Rone at Flinders Street Station


And here’s another very special secret: the long-abandoned third-floor wing of Flinders Street Station has become a nostalgic love letter to mid-century Melbourne and a tribute to one of its greatest icons. ‘Time’ by street artist Rone is profoundly atmospheric, has taken three years to create, and runs October 28 – January 29.


From here, you can take a walk in the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kings Domain, Treasury Gardens (near Parliament House) or the Fitzroy Gardens just across the road where the Conservatory is always filled with a display of breathtaking seasonal colour.


Of course, the most famous stretch of green in Melbourne is the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which this year hosts the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Final on November 13, while the celebrated Boxing Day Test (December 26 – 29) is between Australia and South Africa.  If you’re visiting in January, the spectacle of the Australian Open tennis runs from January 16 to 29, with a host of entertainment off-court as well as on-court.


Holidaymakers travelling with kids will find more than enough to enchant and amuse them. Myer’s Christmas windows have been captivating little ones since 1956, and this year open in mid-November. The giant Christmas tree in Federation Square will be lit up from November 25.


‘Tyama: A Multisensory Experience of Nature’ will wow everyone in the family at the Melbourne Museum until January 29. It transports you to Victoria’s night-time worlds, with 360-degree responsive projections, breathtaking effects and intriguing soundscapes.


Smash hit musical theatre


Melbourne’s famous musical theatre never fails to deliver: the smash-hit Old Vic production of Charles Dickens’ classic ‘A Christmas Carol’ stars David Wenham from November 12 to December 29; ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ thrills from October 30 to January 29; ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’ arrives on November 13 from the West End; ‘Hamilton’ continues to draw the crowds until January 15.


So if you live in Melbourne, why not book a city staycation and take in the shows and art exhibitions? There are lots of new hotels here, and our spies say the best sunny pool deck is at Langham’s Chuan Spa where you can try their Pink Taxi Gin made by Victoria’s Bass n Flinders distillery.


All hotels put you within walking distance of all the great art on show:  the ‘Light: Works from the Tate Collection’ is at ACMI until November 13; Lume has another dazzling immersive digital exhibition from October 26 – ‘Monet and Friends’ includes those divine water lilies and Degas’ ballerinas.


The National Gallery of Victoria is pulling out all artistic stops over spring and summer: ‘Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos Muse’ explores this extraordinary designer’s thought-provoking and singular fashion viewpoint from December 11; ‘Indigenous Art from the NGV Collection’ runs until January 29; and ‘Freedom of Movement’ crosses cultures, disciplines and traditional divides of contemporary art and design from December 3 to April 10.


And while you’re in the city, book yourself on a Hidden Secrets walking tour such as Golden Mile Heritage Walks of Melbourne.  It includes some of Melbourne’s grandest buildings and intriguing tales from the gold rush boom days, with a coffee break mid-tour.

Progressive degustation


Dining out in Melbourne continues to flourish, with new cafes, bars and restaurants including pizza, Italian, Nordic, Laotian, Thai BBQ and Japanese. Or you might just leave it all to Hidden Secrets’ Progressive Degustation Walk to three restaurants, each serving three savoury food tastings with a flight of wine or other beverages.


Bon appetit!


For more information on these and other events, you can see more on the Visit Melbourne website here.

Tour options to book.


We love it when guests send us notes of what they enjoyed on tour.

These are just a few!

What others say about our Tours of Melbourne

  • What a fabulous way to experience a new city. We learned a lot while being shown some amazing places to stop in and have a bite. This was absolutely one of the highlights from being in Melbourne.
    An outstanding way to spend an evening – Laura Jan 2023
  • A very informative, comprehensive and interesting walking tour that I thoroughly recommend. I’ve been to Melbourne a few times and future trips will be so much better for the knowledge gained. Melinda is an excellent guide and I’m so glad I signed up for this.
    Best for history food shopping and outdoor art – Solo Traveller April 23
  • Fantastic evening with great food and wine. Fiona was a wonderful and knowledgeable guide. She shared great facts about the beautiful city of Melbourne and took us to wonderful restaurants. A must do!
    Great Evening in Melbourne – Jan 2023
  • I am so thrilled I did. Wow, it was so interesting. I am seriously born and bred Melbourne, lived here for 50 years (in inner 'burbs) and worked and walked these city streets probably thousands of times and thought I knew my patch pretty well. This tour was the next level. My Melbourne will never be the same to me again, for which I am truly grateful. I liked it so much we're booked on the Degustation Tour. If you are not a local and you are interested in the quirky side of history and how this staid, yet beautiful city evolved, you will enjoy it. If you are a local, you will marvel at Marvelous Melbourne.
    “I loved it, and I’m a local.” – Jen, Melbourne
  • The tour is really worth every cent. We got two coffees, three sweets, a takeaway coffee mug and even a list + booklets with all the information of the tour. After this experience I wished I will stay longer in Melbourne so I can go explore every venue we passed again. Thums up for this tours! Thanks a lot 'Hidden secrets Melbourne'!
    Cafe Culture tour – Annelies from Netherlands
  • I had enjoyed Lanes and Arcades and Cafe Culture Tours in April 2015 with my family and it was so good that I returned with my friend in August Sept 2015. It really is the best way to make the most of your time in Melbourne to spend time with a guide from Hidden Secrets Tours. They are a wonderful example of Melbourne hospitality and the guests on the tour from all over the world make the experience one not to be missed. Next time I visit Melbourne their progressive High Tea Tour is definitely on my to do list.
    “Hidden Secrets Tours are becoming a must do for our trips to Melbourne.”
  • As Friday night was our last night in Melbourne we had a debriefing about what they had enjoyed the most...and guess what??.. Your tour was the most mentioned activity. One girl said it was the best $12 she had spent. Haha. So once again, a huge thank you for fitting us in and helping broaden our girls view of the food industry. They are so much wiser for the experience. Year 12 - Newcastle High School
    Newcastle High School – March 2014
  • This excellent informative and entertaining tour focused on the inner delights of Melbourne CBD lanes and arcades. Sarah is a wealth of information and is a natural entertainer. Even if like me you have been to Melbourne many times, Sarah still delivered the 'Well I never!" factor. Go on these attractions, they are truly worth every cent. - Trip Advisor - Jan 2014
    Shirley – Lanes & Arcades walk
  • This is honestly the best tour I have ever done anywhere in the world. If you ever visit Melbourne, I strongly recommend that you take this tour.
    Visited January 2014 - tripadvisor
    Via TripAdviser WynonaLavota
  • “Fantastic, Friendly, Interesting”

    The guide was amazing. She had such a wealth of background knowledge about the area that she answered every question as well as expanding on it. I could see she really enjoyed her what she did with enthusiasm and eagerness. It was a truly amazing experience. I would gladly recommend this tour for all those who love history and interesting coffee and eats Reviewed 2 January 2014 on TripAdvisor - Cafe Culture Walk

    Cafe Culture Walk – Sth Africa
  • I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you for your great hospitality. Thank you for making my Ultimate Australian Adventure with Oprah such and amazing time... 2010 Mary re the specially arranged Lanes and Arcades Walk 
    Mary T of Nova Scotia
  • Last week Jo and I went on your Lanes & Arcades tour and the Sommelier's Tour. They both offered completely different experiences. We had a great time discovering the many wonderful shops and cafes hidden away in the lanes and arcades of Melbourne...
    Robyn of Newcastle NSW
  • Both my friend Glenda & I have been going to Melbourne for years and we would have never known that these “Hidden Treasures” existed. It was fascinating to walk up & down the lanes & arcades and to see a completely different side of Melbourne...
    Kathryn & Glenda – NSW
If you joined a tour with us and enjoyed it, we would love to hear! - you can email us at Also a fabulous post on Google here,    Facebook or    is always a joy for us and our potential clients We as a team go through them, and love getting your personalised messages!   We're proud to say we have received Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, and now 2020. We know 2020 and 2021 will be a year of new adventures. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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