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"Melbourne: Urban Derives Pt 5" Melbourne Off The Beaten Path Tip by Intrepidduck

Melbourne Off The Beaten Path: 238 reviews and 308 photos

  A Bluestone laneway
by Intrepidduck

After Hoddle's Grid of 1838 lanes were incorporated into Melbourne's layout. While bluestone soon became the choice building material, although a little sombre, it was also used in the paving of those lanes and alleyways of the growing town. The central city area once had some 158 signposted lanes alone.

Today there is approximately 1000Km of lanes and alleyways covering the city and inner city suburbs. Bluestone, a highly durable material, will be certain to last for the next millenium. However up until very recently some of the central city area's lanes were torn up as huge developments went ahead. The Melbourne Central complex swallowed up several bluestone alleys. Fortunately for the moment this kind of ruthless town planning has been halted, however there has been yet more balchings about their value in real estate terms.

A good street map of the CBD area will mark all lanes that are accessible. Flinders Lane is more of a street, but it's entire length has numerous small lanes running off it. Other lanes worth visiting are found between Queen and Elizabeth Streets, bounded by Bourke and Lonsdale Streets. In all of these you will find many bars, cafes, restaurants, book and music stores etc.

If your out in the inner suburbs such as Brunswick and Northcote spare some times to walk the lanes, after the rain is best. Another facinating feature of these suburbs' lanes is the iron fencing and owner built sheds. They don't it appears to be protected from demolistion, but in their own right are historic features like the bluestone lanes and alleyways of Melbourne.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jun 8, 2004
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