Melbourne Walkabout

Click on our interactive map to see highlights of this walking tour.

Melbourne has always been the scrappy underdog to cosmopolitan Sydney, but its vibrant downtown laneways are something even Sydneyites envy. This north-south network of narrow service lanes and arcades was laid down in the late 19th century to store trash and forge shorter passages between the city's long, broad avenues. In the past few years, the laneways have developed into lively gathering places and incubators for independent boutiques. The resulting feeling is of another, funkier city just beneath the Central Business District's staid surface. This circuitous walk only stretches a few city blocks, first north then south, but those blocks are so jam-packed, you'll be busy for at least half a day.