It not very often that good things are free, but Melbourne's Greeter service, run by the City of Melbourne, is just that. It's a fantastic way to get the feel of the city.
Orientations are available every day departing the Melbourne Visitor Centre at Federation Square.
Your particular interests will be taken into account and an orientation tailored to your tastes will await you. They are generally around the city and take in rides on the city loop bus and city tram with a friendly and knowledgeable guide. The volunteers are passionate about their city and are wonderfully enthusiastic sharing it with visitors.
For international visitors, orientations are conducted in French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish, with others available on request. Melbourne certainly lives up to being Australia's most multi-cultural city.
Even though Melbourne is Jules Lund's home city, he thought it was a good idea to see it through someone else's eyes, and he was surprised at how much he discovered.
Hosier Lane Street Art brought back memories to Jules. In his younger days he was caught there painting where he shouldn't, but the area is now an official place for street art and graffiti often with political leanings but of good quality.
Wunderkammer was a real eye opener. German for "wonderchamber", Wunderkammer is a museum and retail store, specialising in science and natural history. It has an amazing collection of botanical prints, anatomical models, preserved specimens in vintage glass canisters and fossils. They're all fascinating and well worth lingering over.
Degraves Street is a narrow laneway, cobbled with bluestone. It is home to bars and cafes and many of its old buildings have been converted into loft-style apartments. It has a wonderful ambience and is a place you will probably want to re-visit.
Please keep in mind that the Greeter volunteers aren't professionals. Should you want a more in-depth look around Melbourne, contact one of the city's tour companies.
Adelaide also offers a free greeter service to their city. You can check them out online.
It's free! They operate every day with the exception of Good Friday and Christmas Day. Orientations run with one to four people.
Wunderkammer is open 10am-6pm from Tuesday to Friday and on Saturdays 10am-4pm.
For further information
Ph: (03) 9658 9658 Monday to Friday
Ph: (03) 9658 9942 weekends
439 Lonsdale Street
Ph: 03 9642 4694
GPO Box 2252
Ph: (08) 8203 7168
Fax: (08) 8203 7157