37. Visit the Neighbours back lot

21 06 2012

Ok, so I haven’t exactly done this. But it’s close enough.

You get to visit the Neighbours Back Lot on weekend tours but owing to the fact that Lucy works weekends, it made much more sense for us to do the standard weekday tour.

We arrived at the Bunyip Tours shop on Flinders Street and waited for our Irish guide Gerry to drive us to the Eastern suburbs where Neighbours is filmed. En route (in the second most embarrassing vehicle I’ve ever traveled in – I’m looking at you, London Duck Tours) Gerry told us lots of fun facts and trivia about Neighbours which I may have already known most of. I do definitely agree that a non G rated Neighbours would be very entertaining to watch. Imagine a whole half hour of this…

Unlike my first Neighbours tour four years ago (where I was jokingly offered a job if I could get a minibus license), this time we headed to the Nunawading Studios first and took daggy photos outside Back Lot 2. Here’s me chillin’ at Fitzgerald Motors…

Read my t-shirt. I said… READ MY T-SHIRT.

At this point Chris Milligan who plays Kyle Canning drove passed us in his car with his personalised number plate (apparently both characters in Neighbours – a la Andrew Robinson – and the real life actors enjoy a good initialed number plate). Alas we didn’t actually see him in the car though. Apparently he was wearing a black hoodie. Insightful, eh?

We then loitered for a bit to see if we could meet the ‘star’ we were supposed to be meeting but filming was overrunning (apparently this is common) so we headed off to Pin Oak Court (the real street!). We did, however, do a loop around the studio to turn around and got to see the back of the main Back Lot set where the Lassiters complex is. Neighbours seem to be very much of the ‘let’s maximise the usage of everything’ as we past a gate that had been used as a gate to the prison, that animal testing place where Zeke got arrested and as the entrance to Eden Hills Grammar School.

Once in the street we continued to take dorky Facebook profile pictures such as this…

Apparently the guy who really lives there once beat up a drunk backpacker. I am not sure if this is 100% true.

Yes real people live there. Apart from Number 26 which is currently being rented to the studio and being used to store props, all the other houses are lived in by real non-fictional people.

Having taken enough photos we then got back in the Neighbours-mobile and headed back to Flinders Street watching a BBC Documentary about our beloved (entirely realistic) soap.

Once back at Bunyip Headquarters Gerry had called in Alan Fletcher (Dr Karl Kennedy) to come and meet us all. This was actually the third time I’d met him (if you’re my Facebook friend you may remember this video four years ago where I went to his gig and then he filmed me looking like a nutter singing all the words to his original-penned song.)

And sometimes I question why my Neighbours love is weird…

Anyway, it was a great few hours and for $50 you get lots of laughs and enough Facebook profile pictures to last a lifetime (or until you do another Neighbours tour in four years).


26. See new parts of the country

29 04 2012

This week I went on holiday.

Ok, so it was a night away. But we’re counting it as a holiday nonetheless.

On Tuesday morning, Lucy and I headed to Phillip Island with Bunyip Tours via a few wildlife sanctuaries, a heritage farm and a chocolate factory. We fed kangaroos, ate lemon and blueberry cake and then made some probably-inappropriate jokes about the chocolate factory. It also rained a lot. But in a typical cliché, it didn’t dampen our spirits.

Excuse the dorky overexcited face.

We then got to see the Penguin Parade which was pretty impressive – but mainly from the boardwalk. Seriously, get a glimpse of them leaving the sea from the grandstands but then head straight to the boardwalks for the best views.

We stayed at a surprisingly nice hostel on Philip Island before heading off to Wilsons Promontory National Park on Wednesday morning. Oh my goodness, it was beautiful.

Over the course of the sunny day, we did three walks. One up to a viewing point overlooking Tidal River. Then we headed off along Squeaky Beach to Picnic Bay before one final epic hike up one of the Northern peaks. We were initially told we’d be doing an hour and a half of easy-to-moderate walks but actually did about three hours of walking including one which definitely was moderate-to-hard but it was totally worth it.

It’s hard to put the day into words, so here are some pictures…