Metro Tunnel magic is a sight for sore eyes

There’s more to the Metro Tunnel than meets the eye – at least going by the project’s latest striking idea to support businesses in Melbourne’s CBD.

The Flinders Quarter Augmented Art Walk is an exhibition with a difference, using augmented reality (AR) to reveal the city’s laneways from a new perspective.

Anyone with a smartphone can wend their way around this self-guided tour of eye-catching work, which runs from May 18 to July 2. Artworks are both indoors (located at participating businesses and visible during opening hours) and outdoors.

Each of the 12 specially commissioned artworks are brought to life through digital animation and sound on mobile devices via the free EyeJack app (for iPhone and Android).

First rolled out in 2019, the Art Walk was cancelled due to COVID last year – but it’s back again as part of a push to support businesses in the centre of town.

The artworks have been commissioned from established local artists for this feast of the senses, displayed throughout the Flinders Quarter in the CBD’s south, located between Swanston, Elizabeth, Flinders and Collins streets. (The main tour follows Degraves St, Flinders Lane, Campbell Arcade and Flinders/Swanston streets.)

More than 2500 people used the AR element of the Art Walk in 2019, and this year there’s even more incentive to get involved as the Art Walk takes the form of a treasure hunt.

Visitors will be taken on a journey across the precinct to unlock each artwork, one leading to the next. Anyone who finds all 12 artwork “treasures” will be entered into the draw for a major prize package, including a signed print of one of the artworks and a night at the DoubleTree Hilton. 

Every entry also has the chance to win instant prizes such as food and drink offers from participating Flinders Quarter businesses. 

The printed Art Walk map is available from participating Flinders Quarter businesses, Metro Tunnel HQ (125-133 Swanston St), and the Melbourne Visitor Hub (90-130 Swanston St).

EyeJack can be downloaded for iPhone through the App Store or Android through the Google Play Store and attendees can share their experience on social media by tagging #FlindersQuarter and #MetroTunnel.

Participating businesses include: Clementine’s, 7 Degraves Street; Journal Cafe, 253 Flinders Lane; Alpha Barbers, Scott Alley; Bared Men’s Shoes, 11 Manchester Lane; Flinders Lane Gallery, Level 1, Nicholas Building; Little Mandarin Yoga Studio, Level 2, Nicholas Building; Dangerfield, 224 Flinders St; DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, 270 Flinders St; and two artworks in Campbell Arcade. Several more artworks are dotted around the precinct. 

When the Metro Tunnel Project opens in 2025, it will create a new end-to-end line from Sunbury in the west to Cranbourne/Pakenham in the east. It will feature a new line with five underground stations – the new Town Hall Station will be the nearest to the Flinders Quarter •

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