four men in front of a pumping engine

Pumping Station Orientation

General information
30 minute tour
Book on arrival
Included with museum entry
Adult $15
Child Free
Member Free

Uncover the stories behind the Pumping Station that turned 'Smellbourne' back into Melbourne.

Walk through the boiler room, where men shovelled coal during eight-hour shifts in blistering heat. Consider the effort it took to build the extensive pipe tunnels, and what it meant to 'lose a man a mile'. See the straining wells where new workers got used to the stench by cleaning rubbish off the strainers and in the North Engine room, an engineer will power up the gleaming century-old Austral Otis Pumping Engine No.8… and the only thing you'll smell is machine oil.

Although it's no longer actively pumping, a quarter of Melbourne's sewerage still passes beneath the Pumping Station. This tour is full of stories of old Melbourne, Victorian engineering feats and fascinating things about the service we like to forget – sewerage.

The Pumping Station is open to the public however may be closed on some days for private events. Meet your guide near the Information Desk. Tours run for 30 minutes.


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