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Published: April 2nd 2018
Today I am indulging two of my passions. I have been watching Neighbours for 30 years so a visit to Melbourne would not be complete without a Ramsey Street tour. Reviews are mixed so I have high hopes and low expectations. The package includes a meet and greet with a star of the show. I am intrigued to see who they have coaxed out of bed on a bank holiday morning.
After a shaky start (the bus driver reversing into a street sign) it’s actually a really good tour. The clientele are exclusively British (the Aussies don’t watch Neighbours) and super excited. The driver/guide spends the 18 mile drive to the suburbs engaging in Neighbours themed banter.
We start at the studio. Because there’s no filming taking place, we are allowed onto the set, which is a bonus, and I get to take loads of cheesy photos.
Then on to Ramsey St, which isn’t actually called Ramsey St. But the guide has a makeshift street sign for more cheesy photo ops. The star we meet played the character Stingray. He seems nice and is happy to chat and pose for photos. All in all, a great morning.
The afternoon is dedicated to genealogy. We start at the Polly Woodside, a 19th century tall ship similar to those my g-g-grandad sailed on. You can board the ship to see what conditions were like and there is also an interesting little museum.
Then we walk to Port Melbourne, to Bay Street where my g-g-grandad lived. I take plenty of pictures of his homes (front and back). The old man stresses that I will get arrested for stalking or casing the joint.
We plan to return to the city by train but that involves purchasing a $6 card on which to put the $6 fare. We are too mean to pay, so walk instead. By the time we reach the hotel, we have walked 19 km and are tired and hungry. We head out intending to eat our body weight in Chinese, but I order a Kung Po chicken so hot it burns my lips - a novel form of portion control.
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