by James Ridenour
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Hidden Secrets Lanes and Arcades Walking Tour

Fiona Sweetman loves Melbourne.  Several years ago Fiona decided that there might be some interest in a walking tour that focused on what makes Melbourne such a unique and livable city.  Fiona was bang on the money and she’s never looked back.

Hidden Secrets now do several dynamic tours including a Cafe Culture Walk, Sommeliers City Walk, Vintage Outing, Melbourne by the Book and her famous Lanes and Arcades tour which I have now done twice.  My first tour was years ago with Fiona and more recently I completed my second with Meg.  Both ladies are charming, entertaining and knowledgeable; they simply bring Melbourne to life-like no other.

What is unique and thoroughly delightful about the tours is that it focuses is on all aspects of Melbourne and its culture, giving you a very informed local perspective.  You’ll hear about some of our most infamous citizens as well as our trail blazers.

The tour starts at Federation Square where you’ll be asked to consider the architecture of Melbourne beginning with the controversial square, the Eureka Tower and Flinders Street Station.  Next stop is across the road where you hear about Chloe, Melbourne’s much-loved nude painting of a young French prostitute.  Your tour will continue on to Flinders Lane, Centre Place, the Block Arcade, Royal Arcade, Melbourne’s GPO, Howie Place and the Manchester Unity Building.  One of the highlights of the tour is a walk through the very quirky artistic hub at the Nicholas Building.  Most Melburnians don’t even know about the numerous artist studios and unique boutiques in this historic building.   Your adventure also includes a coffee and chocolate break and can be purchased with or without lunch.

Hidden Secrets focus on Melbourne’s history, politics, folklore, pop culture, architecture, street art, boutiques, restaurants, cafes and bars.  You’ll meet quirky and unique Melburnians and several entrepreneurial shop owners.  Fiona knows Melbourne’s who’s who of tourism, the arts and the business world.  This really does help to make the tour unlike any other.

I can easily proclaim that if you are looking to discover Melbourne there is no better or more entertaining tour than this.  It’s worth every cent.

Hidden Secrets Tours can be contacted on +61 3 9663 3358

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