Melbourne Tour: Uncover Hidden Laneway Bars I Depot Adventures

Discover the best of Melbourne’s hidden bar scene on this action-packed tour.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Guaranteed small group size of 12 or fewer
  • Three hours long
  • Includes food samples, drink specials and a customised map of Melbourne’s best bars
  • Led by a friendly local guide

Melbourne is one of the world’s best bar cities — but it can be a challenge finding the good ones. Join our local tour guide and discover 4 bars off the beaten track. Locals very welcome — it’s very rare even for locals to know any of the bars we visit.

With a maximum group size of 12, you’ll become fast friends with your guide and group-mates. It’s not uncommon for this tour to continue long after the official “ending time.”

FAQs

Where does the tour start?

All our tours start from Gordon Reserve, the small park just across from The Windsor Hotel

What’s your cancellation policy?

We offer full refunds with no explanation needed up to 24 hours prior to the tour’s departure

What if there’s bad weather?

In the city with four seasons in one day, we’d quickly be out of business if we cancelled due to rain. Our tours operate rain or shine, so please come prepared.

Is the tour fully accessible? 

It can be, but please contact us prior to the tour date so we can make arrangements. Everyday we pick four bars from a roster of a few dozen, and if stairs will present challenges, we’ll avoid the venues that don’t have lift access.

Can I bring my kids?

Babies are fine, but the tour is not appropriate for kids aged 2-17.

Where will the tour end?

We always end in postcode 3000, but change the itinerary daily so we can’t give the exact ending place in advance. If you’re looking to book a dinner, we recommend booking no earlier than 7pm to avoid a rushed final bar experience.

Will I make my dinner reservation/theatre ticket/train?

We arrive to the last bar just before 6pm, where strangers have become fast friends on this tour and often want to stick around for a drink or two. We recommend booking nothing earlier than 7pm.

Find your Melbourne hidden bars bar guru (look for their blue umbrella) at Gordon Reserve. After meeting your guide, you’ll get to know your fellow guests who will serve as your new drinking buddies for the new 3 hours (or more!).

Your guide will provide all you need to get the best out of the tour and even after you leave! Everything from what makes Melbourne’s bars so unique, where to find our best venues, and what to order. We won’t dally too long though as we have four bars to get to.

Our venues are all walking distance 5-15 minutes from each other (so comfortable walking shoes are advised) but occasionally we will make use of our free trams within our city centre.  As your guide traverses you through our famous laneways you will be shown more points of interest that make Melbourne such a fascinating city and encounter more venues to visit on other occasions (or straight after the tour has ended)!

Here at Depot Adventures we pride ourselves on the variety and number of exceptional and unique Melbourne venues. We only bring you to venues that we think are perfectly suited for your group, the time of day, and special events that may be happening in the city. As such the bars and routes will rarely match up.

Melbourne has gained an international reputation for its laneway culture and laneway bars. These venues gained a reputation for their creative use of space, clever design and quality of produce and service. Our guides will take you to their hidden bars in Melbourne which may be:

Repurposed Venues: 

It was hospitality industry pioneers in the 1990’s who transformed these small nondescript venues into cafes, restaurants and bars that today define our city. Expect to visit old textile factory loading docks converted in whisky bars, corporate parking lots into shipping container art bars, old brothels into distilleries and hidden speakeasies in the basement of gold rush era buildings!

Part of the appeal is that these venues are not so easy to stumble across. They are hidden down lanes, up staircases, and through secret entrances

Shipping Container Bars: Making venues out of shipping containers is very on-trend these days, and Melbourne’s hidden bar scene is ALWAYS on trend. Expect elaborate open-air shipping container venues complete with delicious cocktails, craft beer, and street art.

Hidden Speakeasies:You will have to put some faith in your guide as you go through secret entrances of pizza shops, upstairs of dumpling houses, down to underground turn of the century inspired blues cellars or through a maze of laneways to nondescript doors that visitors and locals alike walk past without knowing the treasure within!  Try a themed seasonal modern cocktail or perhaps a classic dating back to when these establishments were illegal!

Other Things of Note:

Early Start + Small Group Size

Your guide will introduce you to your fellow tour guests. We cap our tours at 12 to create a more intimate experience and help you interact with our amazing career bartenders. Our bartenders will listen to your drink preferences and can help you decide which drink is best for you on the menu. Some of our bars  will be able to create a personalised cocktail just for you!

Great Food Selections

This tour includes 4 food portions served in a progressive-style meal. Don’t expect seated service — these range from classic New York pizza slices to Southeast Asian hot bar snacks. The food will keep you from getting hungry, but we recommend having a light dinner in advance.

Not a pub crawl

This is NOT a ‘pub crawl’ with watered down cheap shots and big, soulless venues. We instead take you to Melbourne’s best and most unique drinking establishments.

Everyone has different flavour preferences and drinking budgets, so we feel free to order what you please — we’ll give you enough time to enjoy one drink at each venue.

All venues on the Melbourne Hidden Bar Tour will take cards (sometimes with a small transaction fee) so feel free to bring card or cash.