Fans of the popular ABC television series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries are sure to be missing the irrepressible Miss Phryne Fisher now that she is off our screens.
If life seems lacking in flapper flare, don’t despair. The three seasons to date were all filmed in Melbourne and regional Victoria, and producers called on a number of tourism operators to lend a hand in recreating the 1920s-era Victorian capital, where the three series are set. You can visit many Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries locations across the city to get a good fix of Phryne while you wait for the next thrilling instalment.
Tour guide Kathy Deacon has studied both the television series and Kerry Greenwood’s books in depth, and created an informative and entertaining walking tour of many of the Melbourne CBD locations used during filming of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. The tour was devised as part of the Festival of Phryne — a series of events that coincided with the screening of series three on the ABC in 2015. It has been extended due to popular demand.
The tour begins with afternoon tea at Self Preservation café on Bourke Street, before moving on to sites including the Hotel Windsor, Old Treasury Building and Parliament House — all of which have featured in the show. Kathy uses an iPad to show clips from the relevant episodes to guests.
The tour is part history lesson as Kathy describes what Melbourne’s architectural landscape was like when Miss Fisher arrived at Station Pier in 1928. Even lifelong residents of the city are likely to discover something new.
Season three ends with Phryne flying off to England at the controls of a Tiger Moth. Is there anything this lady can’t do? The plane featured is a fully restored de Havilland Tiger Moth, operated by Vintage Airways. It was actually featured in two episodes of season three. Producers asked pilot Jeremy Hurley to help film some flying sequences at Riddells Creek for Murder and the Maiden. He was invited back to take part in the loved-up series finale, in which Phryne finally kisses Inspector Jack Robinson after three seasons of simmering sexual tension.
You can follow Miss Fisher’s flight path (well, some of it at least) during a scenic flight with the team at Vintage Airways. You won’t get all the way to London, but you will take in views of the Yarra Valley, Port Phillip Bay and Melbourne’s CBD. The crew will even make sure you look the part in a flight jacket and goggles. Vintage Airways is based at Lilydale Airport. Scenic flights run from 10 to 90 minutes.
When producers needed to recreate an authentic 1920s train and railway station, they found just what they needed in the Victorian Goldfields Railway. The historic tourist train operates between Maldon and Castlemaine, around two hours’ drive from Melbourne in central Victoria.
The Victorian Goldfields Railway starred in Murder on the Ballarat Train (series one, episode two), in which a botched jewel robbery leads to the grisly death of one of Miss Fisher’s fellow passengers. The operators teamed up with the production crew to build sets at Muckleford railway station to create the Ballarat terminus, while Castlemaine railway station was converted into a 1920s Spencer Street.
To travel in the same car where much of the episode takes place, upgrade to the first-class service and ride in the Tambo car with its cane furniture and viewing platform. You can ride the VGR on Wednesdays and Sundays, as well as some public holidays.
Do you have any tips for where to find Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries locations around Melbourne and regional Victoria? We would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.
Additional images: Bigstock
Louise Reynolds made up her mind at the age of about four that she would one day travel the world — and has so far visited around 30 countries across five continents and the Pacific. A hopeless Francophile, Louise has a particular love for France, its language and pretty much all things French. Her favourite way to explore the world is on foot and her boots have taken her walking on famous trails in Europe, South America and New Zealand. Louise also has a passion for her home state and loves exploring regional Victoria.