Melbourne Historical Walking Tour: Crime, Gangsters & Lolly Shops

» Melbourne » Melbourne » Melbourne

From $35.12

51 reviews   (4.98)

Price varies by group size

Lowest Price Guarantee

Pricing Info: Per Person

Duration: 2 hours

Departs: Melbourne, Melbourne

Ticket Type: Mobile or paper ticket accepted

Free cancellation

Up to 24 hours in advance.

Learn more


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 (speak easies), 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 (speak easies).

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

What's Included

A tour booklet featuring photos of the characters discussed along the way.

What's Not Included

Please bring along your own food and drinks.

Traveler Information

  • CHILD: Age: 16 - 17
  • ADULT: Age: 18 - 64
  • SENIOR: Age: 65 - 120

Additional Info

  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Gear/equipment sanitised between use
  • Infants and small children can ride in a pram or stroller
  • Service animals allowed
  • Transportation options are wheelchair accessible
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Gear/equipment sanitised between use
  • Infants and small children can ride in a pram or stroller
  • Service animals allowed
  • Transportation options are wheelchair accessible

Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure time.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.

What To Expect

Little Lon Distilling Co.
Little Lon Distilling Co is a Gin Distillery which operates from Melbourne CBD's only surviving single story cottage. It also happens to be a former house of ill repute. You will hear stories of the cottage's former inhabitants, sourced from original police files.

10 minutes • Admission Ticket Free


A great insight into early Melbourne.
Brendan_C, 18-12-2022
Michael was very knowledgeable and entertaining. To find out a bit more about Melbourne's seedy past was great.
Amazing and thought provoking
Adam F, 11-12-2022
We did the tour on Saturday 10th Dec 2022.
It was fantastic, Michael Shelford is very knowledgeable on the topic and is someone you could spend hours chatting to.
The points of interest he highlights along the way, were amazing, being locals exploring our own city, it's amazing what you walk past without knowing the history of an area, Michael helped put that to bed forever.
I recommend this any Melbournite or O/S tourist.
Lollie shops are not lollie shops
Wendy F, 09-10-2022
Melbourne is a fascinating city with so much history most of us know nothing about ….. this tour gave us an insight to a small part of history
A wealth of knowledge!
Liza H, 20-08-2022
Wow! The knowledge shared by Michael was incredibly interesting and very well presented.
Fascinating factual tales of Melbourne criminal history.
Throughly fantastic
bsh64894, 08-08-2022
Loved the history very knowledgeable guide, didn’t have to walk all over the city fascinating inside to a bygone era and found some new places to visit thanks
Entertaining and informative Tour.
Merydyth_R, 09-01-2023
I have a whole new appreciation for lolly shops, business and Australian history. Our thanks to Michael for sharing his amazing knowledge, research and passion for Melbourne’s historical characters and special locations. A great way to spend a couple of hours whether you are on holidays or a local resident.
Thoroughly entertaining
Allison_C, 08-01-2023
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the walking tour with Michael who was very passionate and knowledgeable about historical true crime in the city. Despite being locals and walking these streets regularly, it was great to learn more about the city we live in. We will definitely recommend this tour to friends and family.
Excellent tour.
jodit2023, 08-01-2023
Our host Michael was fantastic ! His passion & knowledge on the tour topics made his delivery super impressive . What a great speaker , was very Interesting. We loved it!

« All Activities

Melbourne activities and shore excursions by group:

© Copyright 1995 - 2023 Melbourne Travel Guide