Recently I did a guided tour of the Melbourne lane-ways. The superb guide from CAE (Centre for Adult Education) (check-out http://www.cae.edu.au) was an exceptional historian. She added a lot of interesting tit-bits that held our attention. We flipped between yesteryear and present day, all the while learning from a historical perspective of the developments within the lanes. Sadly some have been taken away replaced with modern buildings, however there is still an awful lot there to see.
You can do self-guided walks and a Melbourne lane-ways book is readily available from most bookshops and information centers that said it is pictorial with little prose.
There are plenty of fabulous lane-ways located in all areas of Melbourne. Our tour guide runs frequent tours in different locations. Our tour focussed on 24 spots — There are many lanes leading from Flinders Lane such as AC/DC lane with the Cherry Bar to Beaney Lane, Duckboard Place, Hosier Lane and many, many, more. Flinders Lane has an assortment of restaurants offering sophisticated dinning to a quick bite.