Hi! This website is a set of audio tours of local places and things in Melbourne, Australia.
Tour guides are let loose to choose both the topic and audience of their tour.

Most tours are of places in Melbourne, Australia,  that have special meaning for their tour guides. Places that people go to find quiet, to spend a Saturday morning, or places to find lesser known histories.

And some tours take us onto more abstract terrain – tours of attitudes, of music, a rollerderby player…

Who’s behind it ?

The Tour Guides are Melbourne locals and one (local) dog who generously volunteered their time, ideas and stories.  And I’m always looking for more.

The People’s tour of Melbourne website, audio tours and blog are a project by Jane Curtis. I recorded and edited most of the tours, and made this website.

Nicole Hurtabise and Elenor McInerney, broadcasters and trainers at 3CR Community Radio, helped recorded and edited five tours with their tour guides as part of the Carlton Flats Arts Project. These five tours are the outcome of radio training funded by the City of Melbourne.

Why People’s Tours?

Because they:

  • share people’s stories and their take on local places
  • ride on ‘the long tail‘ – the idea that you no longer have to cater for a mass audience
  • promote ordinary people as experts – in this case, curators of the local and personal
  • remix and remash the idea of what an tour is
  • be playful and expansive (and sometimes less practical) with the idea of ‘place’
  • d.i.y. (do it yourself) recording and publishing
  • inspire and let loose a tour guides’ creativity
  • use audio which is the best and most intimate medium in the world (so says me!) to share and hear each other’s stories, and
  • travel local.

Other unique tour and audio guide projects*

*this list needs to be updated

A documentary oral history project that records stories and memories told about specific geographic locations.

Invisible 5 Audio Tour
Self-guided critical audio tour along Interstate 5 between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Cripplebush Ghost Tour
Over 200 stickers were placed in specific public locations in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, USA. By texting the unique 4-digit code on the sticker, passers-by immediately received text-messaged history about the person behind their named location.

ArtMobs remix MoMA
Audio guides for pieces in the Musuem of Modern Art are remixed.

Dear Art, Please Touch Me
An audio guide remixed in Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria for the 2008 Next Wave Festival.

Agents of Proximity
A local, artist-run travel service, based in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick. It’s an exploration of the ways in which the rituals and mindsets associated with travel can be applied to the spaces we inhabit, the streets we walk down daily, the places that we think we know.