This Offspring walking tour will take you to many of the iconic locations from the popular TV series, which is set in Melbourne’s inner-northern suburbs. You’ll see lots of familiar landmarks and finish with a drink in the local pub that features in every episode. Duration: 2 hours (approx.)
Please note: Walk Melbourne has recently discontinued this tour. You may like to visit the locations listed yourself, or browse all our available Melbourne walking tours here.
Tacqueria, St Francis Hospital and the Union Club Hotel: for fans of the hit Network Ten series ‘Offspring’, these names are as familiar as the characters of Nina, Billie and Jimmy, and the actors who play them.
One of the unsung stars of the show is the inner-city Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy, where much of the series is filmed. Given the popularity of Offspring, it’s not difficult to understand the success of Walk Melbourne’s Offspring walking tour around Fitzroy. Meeting owner/operator Monique Bayer on a picture-perfect Sunday afternoon, it soon becomes obvious why she is the perfect guide for this tour.
‘I love Offspring and I love Fitzroy!’, says Monique. ‘I grew up here. I just started identifying locations from the show, and it all went from there.’
Beginning on the corner of Gertrude and Nicholson Streets, the grassy green Carlton Gardens are home to the Royal Exhibition Building and a beautifully ornate fountain. Monique gives us a brief history lesson. The exhibition building hosted the first Australian Federal Parliament in 1901. More recently, the fountain is where Nina went on a date with one of her old flames.
It doesn’t take long for a wave of conversation to build amongst the group; after all, we all have something in common, we’ve all seen every episode! Our instant rapport equates to years of shared belly laughs, tears, loves and losses. And as we make our way through the side-streets of Melbourne’s hip northern suburbs of Carlton, Collingwood and East Melbourne, familiar landmarks spark recall of our favourite scenes; like the time Billie and Mick married, and Darcy’s funeral.
The tour takes us along Gertrude Street, where after countless hours of pausing scenes, Monique has more than mastered the show’s extensive location list. She details everything, from the seats the characters sat on, to the way the scene was shot. Standing out the front of Radio Bar, the circular window reflects the cityscape, trams and street ambience. It’s backdrops like this that are so well suited to the filming style of Offspring.
Strolling down Brunswick Street, Monique tells of her own chance encounters that could easily become an episode. While conducting a tour, Jane Harber who plays Zara walked past; another time Monique was hosting a personal tour (yes, you can do that too) and arriving at Nina’s house, she found the actors and crew were all present filming an episode!
Whilst this Offspring walking tour is based largely around locations from the television series, it’s also part history lesson/part art tour. Street art is a prominent characteristic of inner-city Melbourne and Monique points out an artwork based on a famous scene from another television show, Seinfeld. My favourite historical story is that of Sir Macpherson Robertson, who began making confectionery in his mother’s Fitzroy bathroom. To celebrate his success we share a Freddo Frog moment.
Storyline after storyline, from IVF to break ups, to family feuds, details of first dates, births and death, come flooding back on this Offspring walking tour. There’s a pang of sadness standing on the spot where Patrick was hit by a car. After this four-kilometre walk and emotional rollercoaster ride we’re in need of a refreshing drink, and while there’s no Jimmy behind the bar or Mick jamming, there’s a strong sense of familiarity in the famous Union Club Hotel on the corner of Gore and Webb Streets.
We still have one final location to visit, the Mercy Private Hospital in East Melbourne directly across from the beautiful Fitzroy Gardens, and here we say our farewells to new friends. I feel the need to head home to my couch and sneakily indulge in a couple of episodes with some old ones.
Vanessa travelled as a guest of Walk Melbourne.
Additional images: Bigstock
Vanessa O’Hanlon is an Australian television news presenter with the Nine Network and an avid traveller. Her travels began with a flight to Egypt, a visit to the pyramids and a camel ride, and she knew there was no turning back. Since then, Vanessa’s backpack has seen a thing or two — from exploring relatively untouched Bhutan to braving the cold on the peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro.