• Walking tours

Gangsters, Brothels & Lolly Shops - Historical Crime Tour

38-40 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000

Take a walk through downtown Melbourne and learn of an era in which there was much more on offer at the local confectionery store than just lollies and soft drinks.

Explore Melbourne’s underworld c.1870’s to 1930’s, an era in which Melbourne’s downtown slum district, ‘Little Lon’, was mostly run by women. Learn about the battle for supremacy, madams who stood their ground against well-known gangsters such as Squizzy Taylor, and an all-female crime syndicate known as ‘The Combine’. Stop outside buildings which were once brothels and sly grog shops, and hear the stories of what occurred within their walls and on the streets and laneways around them.

Shootings, bombings, bashings, brothels, robberies, opium, cocaine and sly grog (speakeasies).

The tour is designed and delivered by writer and historian, Michael Shelford.

Type Indicative prices
Adult $25.00
Child $15.00


A 32 page booklet including photos of the characters featured on the tour.

Days of operation:
  • Departure details: 24/02/18 - 23/02/19

    Sat: 04:30pm - 06:30pm

Melbourne true crime tours created and hosted by writer and historian Michael Shelford as featured on ABC and BBC Radio and SBS Secrets of our Cities.

Take a trip back to the early 1900’s where Melbourne’s inner-city crime district was controlled by female syndicates and the nearby suburb of Fitzroy was home to Australia’s largest ever gang war.

All attendees receive a booklet containing photos of the characters discussed. Night tours feature a hand held laser projector, used by your host to project images of the historical characters discussed onto the buildings and streets they once inhabited.

The two hour walking tours take place every: Thursday night (Melbourne CBD), Friday afternoon (Fitzroy), Saturday late afternoon (Melbourne CBD) and Sunday afternoon (Fitzroy).

Included as part of the tour is your own copy of the official tour booklet, which contains photos of the criminals discussed and other interesting information. Night tours feature a hand-held projector which is used to beam photos onto the old buildings and streetscapes.

Tour numbers are limited so please book online in advance at the website or on Facebook.

38-40 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000

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