Explore Miss Fisher filming locations around Melbourne and regional Victoria
The indomitable Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher may have departed our TV screens, but that doesn’t mean the feisty and fashionable fun has come to an end. There's now a movie, a new costume exhibition, and plenty of opportunities for Fisher fans to go 'on location' around Melbourne and greater Victoria.
Devotees of the popular ABC television series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries are sure to have been missing the irrepressible Miss Phryne Fisher.
If life seems lacking in flapper flair, don’t despair. She’s back! Five years after the popular ABC television series wrapped up, the much anticipated feature film Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears was released in 2020, setting the glamorous sleuth and Inspector Jack Robinson on a rollicking adventure from London to Palestine. A major new costume exhibition has also opened.
With filming locations from both the television series and movie spread across Melbourne and regional Victoria, it’s not too difficult for fans to seek them out and follow in their heroine’s footsteps. In addition to seeing the many famous city landmarks that have played a starring role (including the historic Hotel Windsor and St Kilda’s Luna Park), you can visit various regional tourist attractions that have helped bring Miss Fisher’s 1920s world to life.
Here are some suggestions for tapping into your inner Phryne on location.
Melbourne tour guide Kathy Deacon studied both the television series and Kerry Greenwood’s books in depth, and created an informative and entertaining walking tour of many of the CBD locations used during filming. The tour was devised as part of the Festival of Phryne — a series of events that coincided with the screening of season three on the ABC in 2015. It has continued to operate due to popular demand.
The tour begins with afternoon tea at Self Preservation café on Bourke Street, before moving on to sites like The Windsor, the Old Treasury Building and Parliament House — all of which have featured in the show. An iPad is used to play clips from the relevant episodes to guests.
You’ll also get interesting insights into the history of Melbourne as Kathy describes what the city’s architectural landscape was like when Miss Fisher arrived at Station Pier in 1928. Even lifelong residents are likely to discover something new.
When producers needed a period rail setting in season one of the TV series, they found just what they were looking for on board the Victorian Goldfields Railway. The historical tourist train service runs between the towns of Maldon and Castlemaine in central Victoria (around two hours’ drive from Melbourne).
The Victorian Goldfields Railway starred in Murder on the Ballarat Train, in which a botched jewel robbery leads to the grisly death of one of Miss Fisher’s fellow passengers. The train operators and production crew teamed up to build sets at Muckleford railway station to create the Ballarat terminus, while Castlemaine station was converted into a 1920s Spencer Street.
Much of the episode was filmed in the train’s beautifully restored Tambo Parlour Car, with its wicker furniture and external observation deck. To travel in that carriage, you’ll need to upgrade to the first-class service. The Victorian Goldfields Railway operates on Wednesdays and Sundays, along with some public holidays.
Take to the skies in a vintage Tiger Moth
Season three of the television series ends with Phryne flying off to England at the controls of a Tiger Moth. Is there anything this lady can’t do? The plane is a fully restored de Havilland DH-82 Tiger Moth, operated by Vintage Airways. It actually appeared in two episodes in season three. Pilot Jeremy Hurley helped 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 in Miss Fisher’s flight path (well, part of it at least) on a scenic flight with Vintage Airways. Their 60-minute flight will see you soaring over Brighton, St Kilda, the Melbourne CBD and Williamstown. The crew will even make sure you look the part in a vintage flight jacket and goggles. Flights depart from Lilydale Airport.
Live it up at a lavish mansion
Having urged the dapper (and heartbroken) Inspector Jack Robinson to follow her to London, in Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears Jack reunites with Phryne at fictional Lofthouse Manor, and murder and intrigue soon follow.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen Miss Fisher at Werribee Park. The mansion and grounds were featured in series two in Blood at the Wheel, when a lady racing car driver meets with foul play in the lead-up to a rally.
Drop in on Aunt Prudence at Rippon Lea Estate
Another of Melbourne’shistoric homes, Rippon Lea Estate in Elsternwick featured regularly in the television series as the residence of matronly Aunt Prudence. The 33-room mansion set in 14 landscaped acres is owned by the National Trust and operates as a museum.
In thrilling news for Phyrne fans, Rippon Lea is again hosting a major Miss Fisher costume exhibition. It features fabulous fashions from the feature film, television series, Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries spin-off series, and even the Chinese adaptation Miss S, and runs until May 2021.
Do you have any tips for where to find Miss Fisher filming locations around Melbourne and regional Victoria? We would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.
Additional images: Bigstock
About the writer
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, she has a particular love for France, its language and pretty much all things French. Louise’s favourite way to see the world is on foot and her boots have taken her walking on famous trails in Europe, South America and New Zealand. She also has a passion for her home state of Victoria and loves exploring its diverse regions.