four men in front of a pumping engine

Pumping Station tours

General information
30 minute tour
Book on arrival
Included with museum entry
$0 – $15
Information for your visit

On this tour, a guide will take you through the Pumping Station that turned 'Smellbourne' back into Melbourne.

You'll walk through the boiler room, where men shovelled coal during eight hour shifts in blistering heat. You'll consider the effort it took to build the extensive pipe tunnels, and what it meant to 'lose a man a mile'. You'll see the straining wells where new workers got used to the stench by cleaning rubbish off the strainers. 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 forgetsewerage.

The Pumping Station is open to the public but on some days it is closed for private events. Check the daily What’s On to see if tours are running. Meet your guide near the Information Desk. Tours run for 30 minutes.


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