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Women, Lolly Shops and the Underworld: Melbourne Walking tour

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  • 1 Guest
    • Adult (17+)
    • Child (12-16)
from US$ 20.24 per person pp
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Key Highlights

  • Listen to chilling accounts of the working of the underworld in Melbourne in early 1900s
  • Hear stories of supremacy battles, madams guarding notorious criminals and all-female syndicates
  • Visit buildings which served as lolly shops, brothels and opium dens
  • Upgrade to add laser projections of characters on important buildings
  • Coveted journalist, Michael Shelford, will conduct the tour
  • Both printed or smartphone vouchers accepted
  • Overview

    Melbourne was a notorious city in the early 1900s and the lolly shops (Australian term for candy shops) and women played a big role in the criminal circuits. This crime tour is all about the stories of the women, brothels, lolly shops, sly-grogs (speakeasies) that dominated the sinister side of Melbourne.

    To bring a face and get a better perspective on the crime scene, upgrade your tour and see your host project images of the characters discussed into the buildings and the laneways they once inhabited through laser projection.

    Here’s the plan…

     You will meet your guide at historic Coopers Inn from where you will head to explore the streets and laneways which were all about murders, prostitution and vice in the early 1900s.

    Your guide will take you to downtown Melbourne’s ‘Little Lon’ district and learn about an era when the lolly shops sold much more than just confectionary and soft drinks. The underworld mostly operation through this district and the women stood their ground against well-known gangsters such as Squizzy Taylor. Hear stories of gang wars, madams and all-female crime syndicates like ‘The Combine’. You will receive a booklet with photographs of the people that the guide talks about during the walk.

    Your guide will show you sites of shootings, bombings, bashings, brothels, robberies, opium, cocaine and sly grog (speak easies) that occurred within the walls and on the streets.

    About the Supplier: All the tours of Melbourne Historical Crime Tours are conducted by journalist and local historian Michael Shelford based in Fitzroy. He has researched about Melbourne’s crime history for over 8 years and has featured in several documentaries and newspapers all over the globe. He has a treasure trove of material on horrific crimes and scandals that happened on the streets of Melbourne. The accounts are often spine chilling and make for a thrilling adventure. You have been warned.

  • Activity Schedule & Itinerary

    Activity Schedule

    When does it run?

    With laser projection: Thursday


    2 hours

    Start time

    With laser projection: 6:30pm

    Meeting Point

    Make your way to the Coopers Inn, 282 Exhibition St (corner of Exhibition and Little Lonsdale St), Melbourne city.

    Ending Point

    The corner of Lonsdale and Russell Street, Melbourne CBD.

  • Inclusions & Exclusions


    • Booklet containing photographs of the people featured on the tour
      Live and friendly host


    • Food and drinks (we might lose our appetite listening to all those sinister tales)

  • Please note

    The confirmation voucher includes the local activity operator’s contact details. They’re a nice bunch, and will happily answer any logistical questions you may have. Please give them a call at least 24 hours before your organised activity to reconfirm.

    Voucher information: No need to print! You can show your voucher on your smartphone or other devices. (But if you’d rather print a copy – that’s fine too!)

    This activity is adults (and older children) only. Little ones under the age of 12 years will have to sit this one out, we’re afraid.