Melbourne is a place I have always wanted to visit, for no other reason than it is where Neighbours is set.Reubs and I were there for a comparatively long time, a week.It was cold and wet and so the Great Ocean Road was out unfortunately.We were also pretty tired from all the bouncing around we had done on the East coast, so were happy to just stay in one place and explore.That was easier said than done though, as Melbourne has a dearth of places to stay.Surprising really, as it used to be a bigger city than Sydney and still has a lot of international companies headquartered there.One memorable place we stayed at for 3 nights because there was nowhere else to be had in a price range that was a little less than daylight robbery.And this place was special.It didnt have a ceiling.I mean, it did have a roof, but the roof didnt come within 10 feet of the walls.It was essentially a cubicle.A cubicle for about 60 a night.The walls were made of the stuff shoeboxes are made from, maybe a little thinner. There were hundreds and hundreds of these cubicles.Naturally, you could hear everything that was happening in every one.It was also locked up like Fort Knox.Swipecards were needed for every floor, and for every 10 yards on each floor.Not that they were very effective; we blithely heard the receptionist boast to her friend on the phone that the police had been out twice the night previously and that they have had a glut of burglaries recently. Also, there were dire signs everywhere warning of a pandemic of swine flu, yet no soap was provided in the toilets.I dont mean to sound spoiled, but after a month in New Zealand hostels where you can get free hot chocolate pudding every night and no risk of having your stuff jacked or contracting swine flu, for a price far lower, it seems that the Melbourne hostels leave something to be desired.However, Australians are such friendly people that a couple who live there, who know Reubens dad slightly, and who had never met us before in their lives, offered to let us stay with them in their home for the remainder of our trip.So we made the transition from the skanky Elephants Backpackers to Chez Olivia and Ned.Their house was a gracious Victorian with massively high ceilings, proper wine cellar, wraught iron detailing, and a lovely garden.Our room had walls and a ceiling and came with an en-suite!We thought about claiming Squatters Rights.
Anyhow, I digress.Melbourne is the home of Neighbours, and as the UK's biggest fan until I stopped watching it, Neighbours was what I had come to see.
Pin Oak Crescent is the name of the hallowed street where fictional Ramsey Street is set.All the acting greats have used Neighbours as a launch point to Hollywood - Kylie Minogue, Guy Pearce, Holly Valance.... Alan Dales been in loads of stuff recently.If not great actors, then a shedloads of singers, such as Kylie Minogue and Holly Valance.Either way, Neighbours rocks.Its so weird being on the street because its exactly how it is on TV, except a lot smaller. It was like I was home.The houses are as familiar to me as my own.Even the birds that you hear whenever you see a street scene are real, its not prerecorded.I heard them, and I havent heard another bird sound like that anywhere else I have been in Oz.
The cast of Neighbours have never been over the threshold of any house in Ramsey Street, ever.They just go up the path and pretend to knock on the door and thats it.The residents of P.O.C get paid loads of money for this and actually have their own security guard who sits in his car and glowers at you.I was the oldest one on the tour and the only one by myself (Reubsflatly refused to come).I wont bore with the minor details but I will say it was the best money I had ever spent on a tour.BRILLIANT. If anyone has questions about the show and how its made I am now a mine of useless information and would LOVE to share.