I was born in 1985, the same year that the soap Neighbours first aired in the UK. This Australian export is set in the fictional Melbourne suburb of Erinsborough and was very popular in the UK during the 90s. It was a soap that I grew up with. I sat down to watch it every evening at 5.30pm with my Mum and sister.
The tour bus was full of British (aka Poms!) and Irish backpackers all in their late teens early twenties. On the drive out from the city the bus was full of chatter and anticipation. Our first stop was to “Erinsborough High School”, which is really a language college. The outside is used as a set for the show. It was so surreal to stand by the gate of the school that I had seen so many times on the tv. The tour company have a sign made, a replica from the show, that they hang on the fence for us backpackers to have our photo taken with.
Also forming part of the tour is some of the back lot, which didn’t look like it had been used in a while as the shop fronts were all dusty and full of cobwebs. I went during the week so wasn’t able to see some of the main lots such as Lassiter’s Lake because they use that for filming. Tours at the weekend do take in this area. The weekday tours offer a chance to meet one of the “stars” of the soap and have photos taken. On my tour it was Nell Feeney who played Janelle Timmins. I’d already met her at a Neighbours Night, where she was distant and not as friendly as the other actors I met that night, so I chose not to have my photo taken with her.
The tour was such a giggle, even though I went by myself. Currently the tour costs A$50 Monday to Friday and A$68 at the weekend, which includes the “exclusive access” to the area that’s closed off during the week. If you fancy taking the tour yourself, check out their website.