Free walking tour Melbourne greeters
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Laneways & Landmarks on the Best Free Walking Tour of Melbourne

Somewhat of a secret is the City of Melbourne’s Greeter Service; an in-depth orientation or walking tour highlighting Melbourne’s hidden gems.

Among the multitude of worthwhile Melbourne services, these free walking tours provide a unique and insightful glimpse into the city, led by knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteers.

Get ready for a meet and greet with Melbourne’s charm and character – you won’t be disappointed.

Related reading: 13 Free Walking Tours of Melbourne Attractions

Centre Place, on the Melbourne free walking tour
Centre Place

Melbourne Greeters Free Walking Tour

Melbourne is a city full of surprises, with its eclectic mix of art, culture, and history waiting to be explored. The Melbourne Greeter Service offers a 3-4 hour walking orientation that will take you off the beaten path and show you the city through the eyes of a local. 

This is an experience that left us with a newfound appreciation for Melbourne.

The Melbourne Greeters are passionate volunteers who are eager to share their love for the city on this lengthy free walking tour. As you stroll through the bustling streets and charming laneways, you’ll uncover hidden gems and fascinating stories that bring Melbourne to life.

Inside 333 Collins St, on the Melbourne free walking tour
Interior of 333 Collins Street, built in 1891–93 as Commercial Bank of Australia

Meeting up with a “Greeter” at the Town Hall Information Centre was a wow experience.  I even enjoyed the gift shop as I was a little early for the appointed time.  What a wonderful selection of Australian-made and themed gifts. 

The Greeter (tour guide) is flexible to show you around your own personal interests of the city.  We walked along the Graffiti Lanes, Hosier Lane, AC/DC Lane, these were unfamiliar to me but it was so fascinating to learn the history these lanes hold.  The churches, and the Regent Theatre, were all dripping with the feel of being there a long time.  

The highlight for me however was three old buildings.  101 Collins Street is a building with an old facade but a completely new interior.  Our guide took us through various outstanding features of this interior, explaining the meaning behind each one, including a seating area, alongside a beautiful atrium, where anyone can sit and relax.    

I never knew 333 Collins Street (a former bank) existed.  A very ornate old building, and when you enter you really are transported into another era.  The wood work, the arches, the dome ceiling, and the fancy columns with gold features reminded me of the splendour of Parliament House.  Of course, it’s not a working bank anymore but I would highly recommend it as well worth a visit.  

A short tram hop took us to 388 Collins Street, the ANZ Gothic Bank.  An amazing building with tiled mosaic floors and ceilings and ornate columns.  It is open to the public free of charge.   This tour did involve quite a bit of walking, but we did tram hop a couple of times and limited our tour to 3 hrs.  You can go for up to 4.

I have decided I love guided tours. They are so informative and give me a deeper knowledge and appreciation for all the wonderful parts of the city that I have been totally ignorant about and most likely would never visit on my own wanderings.

– Terrie

Inside the ANZ Banking Museum, on a free walking tour melbourne
Inside the ANZ Banking Museum

A Personalised Experience 

The Melbourne Greeter Service caters to groups of up to four people, which means it can be a personalised experience. Whether you’re interested in art, history, food, or architecture, the greeters can tailor the tour to suit your preferences. 

We were free to ask questions, request specific sights, or simply enjoy the serendipitous discoveries that await around every corner.

Our wonderful guide, Shelley, even had an iPad on hand in case we had any specific questions we needed to delve into a little deeper.

Whilst the tour is lengthy (lasting 3-4 hours) with quite a bit of walking, we were able to take it at a comfortable pace and hopped on and off trams at different spots too. Wheelchair-friendly tours can be booked also.

Booking your free Melbourne walking Tour

Booking your orientation with the Melbourne Greeter Service is quick and easy. Simply reach out via email, phone, or visit the Melbourne Visitor Hub at Town Hall to secure your spot. Advanced bookings are recommended to guarantee availability, as tours depart daily at 10 am (excluding Good Friday and Christmas Day).

You can also inquire about tours conducted in different languages, including French, German, Indonesian, Italian, and Mandarin.

Greeter Service tours leave from the Melbourne Visitor Hub at Town Hall, (Corner Swanston and Little Collins Street), at 10 am sharp each day.

Side Trip

Located at Melbourne Town Hall, the City Gallery, and the Visitor Information Centre gift shop are great pit stops before or after your free Melbourne walking tour.

Other outing ideas nearby:

The walking tour, led by a guide from the Melbourne Greeter Service, took me on another trip down memory lane. 

At one point, wending our way down Collins Street, I was listening in awe to our very enthusiastic Greeter but also trying to keep an eye out for the street addresses… I was after No.95, the CRA Building.

As a very young man I worked at 95 Collins Street for mining company Conzinc RioTinto Australia. Now, I found myself reminiscing back to the time when Comalco, a subsidiary of CRA, manufactured the first aluminium beer can. Before that time steel beer cans were the go and it was proof of a young man’s masculinity if he could crush an empty can in one hand. Well, as a promotion of the new lighter metal can, Comalco arranged a media event that involved a much-admired footballer standing in front of a host of swooning office girls and crushing the can. Wow, I was sure the cheering would still be echoing in the building today…

Not to be, our Guide advised that the CRA Building was demolished in 1988 and the magnificent office tower in front of us now, 101 Collins Street, stands in the exact place.

We ventured in through the grand entrance with its stone columns, mementos of the past, into a vast but welcoming space. With an enormous atrium along one side, art pieces that wooed your senses and an upmarket restaurant, the entrance hall oozed business wealth.

Breathing in a fascinating, but brief, glimpse of the corporate world, we strolled through and out the rear door. Flinders Lane at this point has a cluster of interesting eateries which our Guide told us stories about as she led us to the next interesting Melbourne site.

– Chris

Hosier Lane on our free walking tour Melbourne
Hosier Lane

Tidbits for This Free Walking Tour Melbourne

  • Greeter Service walking tours run daily at 10 am, bookings must be made in advance;
  • Expect it to last 3 – 4 hours, with lots of walking and some tram trips within the Free Tram Zone;
  • Tours can be tailored to your specific interests, just let the guide know at the beginning of your tour;
  • Choose from tours available in multiple languages;
  • Bookings can be made via email, phone, or at the Melbourne Visitor Hub at Town Hall;
  • Wheelchair-accessible tours are available;
  • Stop at the City Gallery at Town Hall, and the Visitor Information Centre gift shop before or after your tour.

Melbourne Greeter Service
City of Melbourne
[email protected]
03 9658 9658 (Monday to Friday) and 03 9658 9942 (weekends).
90 – 120 Swanston Street, Melbourne Visitor Hub at Town Hall, (Corner Swanston and Little Collins Street), Melbourne, Victoria, 3000

In Federation Square on our free Melbourne walking tour
In Federation Square
Read more:
Melbourne Athenaeum Library: Find History & Literary Treasures
Unexpected Finds on a State Library of Victoria Free Walking Tour
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2 Comments

  1. The information that I have just read is brilliant, most of this I didn’t know about. I am single aged 79 and find it very difficult finding things to do on my own. I will definitely be taking advantage of this information when the weather gets warmer. Thank you for all your advice in this article.

    1. Hi Valerie, thanks for your comment. We love hearing that our information has helped. We hope to hear of your city adventures. Happy exploring!

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