Everyone has a dream, right? Back when he was a mayonnaise-sandwich eating student, Craig watched Neighbours daily. Sometimes twice daily, and his life dream was to meet Alan Fletcher, aka Dr Karl Kennedy. He achieved this ambition about ten years ago, and had to think of a new dream. That new dream was to meet Karl Kennedy again. So when we got to Melbourne, he promptly signed us up for the Melbourne Neighbours Tour.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. It had been a long time since I watched Neighbours and I was never a fan to the level Craig was (who is? I hear you ask). Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised. The tour company had (wisely) realised the cringe factor of a serious Neighbours tour, and what we got was a very funny, tongue-in-cheek look at the show and the many oddities of life on Ramsey Street. For example, the levels of temporary blindness and amnesia on a street consisting of only six houses are through the roof. Why is no one asking questions about this phenomenon?!
Our first stop on the tour was the studio lot. The studio building – an anonymous square brick block – also functions as the outside of the airport, school and hospital. Let no one accuse the Neighbours producers of not being thrifty.
We also got to visit the Fitzgerald Motors set (following in the footsteps of Kylie!) and stand at the bus stop (complete with its own timetable) outside the antiques shop.
The tour had promised a “star” and I was nervous that it would be some 18 year old newbie who would immediately uncover my amateur-fan status. But then, a familiar face appeared and Craig lit up like a kid at Christmas. Dr Karl was here for photos and a chat!
I genuinely don’t think I’ve seen Craig so happy. Ever. Even compared to our wedding day, which I was totally fine with. Less so when he edited the pictures.
Our final stop on the tour was the real Ramsey Street – aka a little cul-de-sac called Pin Oak Court (where house prices are some $100,000 more than neighbouring streets). It was rather surreal standing in a street with such familiar houses.
Neighbours provides 24 hour security for the street following a minor but nonetheless disturbing incident involving a drunk naked man banging on doors looking for Dr Karl. Craig was suspiciously quiet at this point.
Under their watchful eye we posed with the street sign and took photos of all the houses, but had to stop whenever a resident came past (they don’t like being photographed, which is fair enough).
If you want to do the Neighbours tour
- We did tour A, which cost $55 per person and picks up from Central Melbourne. Other tours are available, and if Neighbours formed even a small part of your formative years I would highly recommend going!
What happened to the Neighbours Trivia Night?!
Craig We had hoped to do the Neighbours Trivia Night that fellow travel bloggers Amy and Andrew had enjoyed. But alas, the pub that hosted it has apparently decided it wants to become more of a sports bar, and there isn’t a suitable evening anymore to slot the Neighbours gang in. Noooo! They are trying to find a new venue, so it may restart again soon, so it’s worth emailing the tour company and asking.