06 May Everybody Needs a Good Neighbours Tour
“Now, I don’t want you all to freak out or anything, but there’s something I have to tell you all; Neighbours. Isn’t. Real.” Nooo! How cruel, of all the things to tell a bunch of Brits going on an Official Neighbours Tour. It had to be said though; we’d all find out sooner or later.
I didn’t really think Neighbours was real (honest). However, it has been such a staple of my life growing up, a great way of escaping reality; and not at all like dreary Eastenders, in fact it’s more like a guilty pleasure without the guilt! While we’ve been travelling we try every now and then to catch an episode but I think we’ve only managed four or five so far – it seems we don’t need such a release from our lives at the moment. Nevertheless, visiting Ramsay Street was one of our (my) most anticipated things to do in Australia, so while we were visiting Melbourne, we set off on our Official Neighbours Tour.
The Neighbours Set Tour
As we drove along in the tour bus, our guide showed us interviews with some cast members and played old episodes; a little bit of ‘Neighbours Nostalgia’ to keep us going before we reached our first stop: the secondary school they used to represent Erinsborough High in the programme. Next up was a tour of the Neighbours set, where they film everything but the scenes on Ramsay Street. This included the garage ‘Fitzgerald Motors’, the ‘Dial a Kyle’ yard, ‘Greasemonkeys’ and the infamous bus stop so many characters have left the show from. It was quite bizarre to stand in the same place you’ve seen on TV year after year.
Ramsay Street Tour
I had often thought about what it would be like to live on Ramsay Street, with its standard two deaths per year (a lot for a street with only six houses!), only three days of rain since it began (sadly not quite like the ‘real’ Melbourne), countless car accidents and the whole street falling in love with each other. What a place to live – so much better than miserable UK – unless you were one of the two who croaked it each year of course.
Then we finally got to Ramsay Street, known in real life as Pin Oak Court. Yes, it’s a real place, people live there and a British guy has bought two of the six houses on this famous street – he’s that much of a fan. We got to have our pictures taken in front of the Ramsay Street sign and in front of each house – it was such a surreal experience.
The last part of the tour was a meeting with a Neighbours Character; we got to see … Dr Karl Kennedy (Alan Fletcher)! What a friendly and down-to-earth man he was too, happy to chat with us all, share some secrets about the show and have photos taken with everyone. What a way to end the Official Neighbours Tour!
The Neighbours Trivia Night
The day was not over for us and Neighbours though; that evening we rocked up at the Elephant and Wheelbarrow pub in St Kilda to prepare for our Neighbours Trivia Night. This turned out to be one of the best nights we’ve had in such a long time; we haven’t laughed so much in ages.
The night started very well with Amy winning a $30 bar tab in a raffle. Then we were all greeted by the host ‘Safari Pete’; an incredibly stereotypically Australian character with no connection to the show but he was a great laugh none the less. He introduced the Neighbours characters who would be entertaining us that night – Dylan Timmins (Damien Bodie), Libby Kennedy (Kym Valentine) and Dr Karl Kennedy (again – busy day).
Since we were at the Neighbours Tour in the morning Dr K gave us a copy of his band’s album, our night was already made whatever happened! They did a short Q & A session before coming around to meet and greet everyone while the quiz was going on. Then the night descended into some sort of drunken madness as people were given the opportunity to show off their dancing and singing skills – with hilarious results. Our video gives an idea of just how random and entertaining it all was.
When the results of the Quiz were announced, our team came … 1st! Our prize was a Neighbours Tour! (Yep, the one we had done that morning). If we had enough time left in Melbourne we would have gone again, unfortunately we had so many other plans we couldn’t fit it in.
The Best Night of our Travels so Far
So far, we had been on a Neighbours Tour, won the $30 bar tab, got a free CD and won the Neighbours Trivia Night. Pretty good to this point right? To end the night, Dr K and his band the Waiting Room rocked the night away to some well known songs and a few of their own, Dr K was in his element. This was our best night so far on our adventure; we really didn’t want it to end and we hope there are many more nights like this to come!
*Our Neighbours Tour cost $60 per person and the Neighbours Trivia Night cost $40 per person – all booked through Bunyip Tours