Melbourne Storm Tunnels – Melbourne, Australia - Atlas Obscura

Melbourne Storm Tunnels

The labyrinthine storm tunnels beneath the city of Melbourne are ruled by a band of urban explorers. 


Constructed separately from the sewer system, the storm drain tunnels beneath Melbourne, Australia are a warren of over 900 miles of concrete and brick tubes, chambers and waterfalls, all of which are slowly being explored by a committed group of urban adventurers.  

The massive system of twisting tunnels was first broached by the area’s most prominent urban exploration team in 1987 when the collective claimed the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) drain as their own. Since then, the tunnels and chambers off of this giant drain and others around Melbourne have been being explored by the group despite the constant threat of flash floods, claustrophobia, and whatever giant insectile Australian fauna has made a home in the darkness. While the ANZAC drain and its attendant large chamber act as the unofficial headquarters a number of other drains have been found and explored and given mythic names such as The Maze, The God, and The Tenth Drain.

The Melbourne Storm Tunnels might look like matte paintings from an urban gothic genre piece, but they are in fact quite dangerous. Despite this, parties are thrown in the damp, spacious chambers and graffiti artists regularly delve into the depths to leave their mark. For an in-depth view of life in the tunnels check out our first-hand account!

Know Before You Go

It's worth noting that while these laws aren't enforced, entering these drains is illegal and punishable by a very large fine. Furthermore, as they are storm drains, mild rainfall 30km away accumulates further towards the mouth and flash floods are a real danger, along with methane/co2 buildup in some areas.

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