Tuesday, 8 September 2009

WeekendNotes - Everybody needs good Neighbours

When you stand on Pin Oak Court in Melbourne’s eastern suburb of Vermont South, you could be in any stretch of Melburnian suburbia. It’s unremarkable but naggingly familiar.

Aim your camera at the houses and that familiarity becomes recognisability when viewed through a screen. Pin Oak Court is better known to the world as Ramsay Street, and is the longest serving cast member of perennial soap Neighbours.

You could visit the street on your own steam of course, though the real neighbours ask that you respect their privacy. But even if you’re a Neighbours die-hard it’s still just another suburban street. More fun is to be had on the Neighbours Tour, which not only guides you around Ramsay Street, but takes you even further into Erinsborough.

Whether you watched Neighbours years ago or are an avid fan today, you’ll get a thrilling sensation of stepping into your television on this tour. It is for Neighbours lovers past and present only though.

You’re shown a classic episode on the not-so-subtle bus during the half hour journey out to Pin Oak Court. (We had Daphne’s (sob) death.) Then you pull up outside Erinsborough High and enter a world only understood from viewing it on screen.

You’re not allowed in the school itself - like Ramsay Street it has a real life as well. Nor are you allowed in the Neighbours’ houses, of course. But you do get given a Ramsay Street sign to hold up and have your photograph with, so that’s all right.

Further exploration of sets such as Lou’s garage and the infamous Lassiter’s Complex provide further Neighbours geek heaven. It’s the meeting of a cast member though that’s the icing on the cake. But don’t expect Scott or Charlene. You should be so lucky. We got Janelle. No, I didn’t know her either.

Why? Turn off the TV and go out and do something more interesting instead.

WHEN: Saturday & Sunday 8.30am
WHERE: Neighbours Centre, 570 Flinders Street
COST: $65
MAP: click here