Melbourne Sights

Sights and Landmarks

Captain Cook’s Cottage

This historic cottage is the only 18th century building in Melbourne and is located in the Fitzroy Gardens in East Melbourne, close to the CBD. It was built in 1755 in Yorkshire, England and transported to Australia in 1933. Although called Captain Cook’s Cottage it was built and owned by his parents. Fitzroy Gardens, Landsdowne Street, East Melbourne (03 9419 4677). Tram 48 or 75 from Flinders Street station, stop 9.

Como Historic House and Garden

Como house is a historic mansion with antique furniture and tells the story of the early Melbourne aristocracy. Corner of Williams Road and Lechdale Avenue, South Yarra. Take tram 8, stop 34.

City Museum at Old Treasury

City Museum (also known as the Gold Treasury Museum) is in the Old Treasury Building, a most impressive edifice, generally regarded as one of the finest public buildings in Australia. It was built in 1862, having been designed by a nineteen-year-old architect. It was used as government offices until 1992, and then reopened as a museum in 1994. There are three permanent exhibitions here, entitled Built on Gold, Making Melbourne, and Growing Up in the Old Treasury. Old Treasury Building, Spring Street, Melbourne (03 9651 2233). City Circle Tram to Old Treasury Building or tram 31,42,109 and 112 along Collins Street. Admission charges apply.

Eureka

View Melbourne from the highest point in the Southern Hemisphere at the 88th Floor of the Eureak tower on the banks of the Yarrra river. Eureka Skydeck 88, Riverside Quay, Southbank (03 9693 8888)

Federation Square

Its unique, modern design and its size (it covers an entire city block) makes Federation Square Melbourne’s newest, major cultural, arts, and tourism venue. The Ian Potter Centre, NGV Australia has the world’s largest collection of Australian art. Federation Square also houses the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Champions Australian Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, National Design Centre, Melbourne Visitor Centre, Restaurants, Cafes and Bars, as well as hosting many events and festivals. Corner of Swanston and Flinders Streets, Melbourne (03 9655 1900). City Circle Tram

Flinders Street Station

Built in 1910, Flinders Street Railway station is proud of its status as the oldest railway station in Australia. Now it also can boast that it is the busiest suburban railway station in the entire Southern Hemisphere.

Flinders Street Station is not only a Melbourne Landmark but an Australian icon, featured on many Australian tourism websites, calendars, and postcard. It is the symbol of Victorias Capital city and a part of the daily routine of nearly a quarter of million locals and tourists. The iconic clocks that hang above the entrance are a common meeting place for locals and tourists alike, easy to find, easy to explain, and a great photo opportunity.

The clocks were a part of the initial design plans and remain in almost exactly the same position as they did when they were first put up. The 13 clocks are now cleverly controlled by a computer and indicate train departures. Recently, plans were made to remove the clocks and replace them with video screens, but the public outcry was enormous and the clocks remain today.

In 1854, Flinders Street Station was nothing more than a couple of weatherboard sheds creating the very first steam railway station in Australia. In the late 1880’s, Flinders Street Station developed and the railway grew to incorporate Port Melbourne and St Kilda. Now the train station incorporates suburban Victoria and has links to the train lines going into rural Victoria and beyond.

For a touch of history and a practical place to plan your trip around the city, Flinders Street station is a great landmark from which to start. Easy to find at the Melbourne’s busiest intersection, you can’t miss this city icon.

Address: Cnr Flinders and Swanston Streets, Melbourne.

Latrobe’s Cottage Melbourne

Charles Joseph La Trobe was the first Governor of Victoria, and visitors to Melbourne can have a look at his home from 1839 to 1854. La Trobe’s Cottage is located at the corner of Birdwood Avenue & Dallas Brooks Drive. For information call (03) 9656 9800. During the year the days it is open change. It is open on some Sundays, while booked tours can visit on a Monday or Wednesday.

The easiest way to travel to Latrobe’s Cottage is by tram, along St Kilda Road. Other tourist attractions in the area include the Shrine of Remembrance, the Royal Botanic Gardens, and Government House.

Originally built at Jolimont as a pre-fabricated building, Latrobe’s Cottage was later moved to its current site. Inside the cottage are items from the time that La Trobe and his family lived in the cottage, and some of his original possessions are part of the displays.

Old Melbourne Gaol

For a slice of history with the true Melbourne theatrical flair, the Old Melbourne Gaol offers something for everyone. Victoria’s very first prison, the Old Melbourne Goal is one of Melbourne’s oldest buildings. It was also the last home of Ned Kelly

The night tours are something not to be missed. Visiting this very old, spectacular building in the dark and taking a tour by candle light is a step back into the past with a bit of a creepy twist. The Night tours run four times a week and are an exciting and creative combination of the theatrical and the factual.

Whilst at the prison you get a chance to experience what life was like behind bars for some of Australia’s most notorious villains. You learn about their lives, their crimes, their trials, and their final demise. This particular prison was designed to house the most notorious criminals and the criminally insane. A full tour is provided that includes viewing of the death masks, punishment tools, armour, and the very scaffolding on which many criminals were hanged.

The tours are designed to entertain the youngest and the oldest guests and the experienced staff are on hand to answer any questions or curiosities. The past can be enthralling and this historical site right in the heart of the city offers a wonderful blend of history and entertainment. Take a walk on the dark side and find learning about history as exciting as it is terrifying.

Address: 377 Russell St, Melbourne
Phone: 03 8663 7228

Melbourne Exhibition Centre

The Exhibition Centre is Australia’s largest, with 30,000 square metres of space available. 2 Clarendon Street, Southbank.

Melbourne Town Hall

The Melbourne Town Hall is a centre for local government, a historical site and also the venue for many forms of entertainment. This is the second building on the site and was completed in 1870. The original Town Hall building was built in the 1850s. For information about free tours of the Melbourne Town Hall call (03) 9658 9658.

There are many small rooms available for hire in the building while the biggest, the Town Hall Auditorium, hosts many famous events. It has a capacity of 2,492.

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Victorian Opera and Melbourne Symphany Orchestra perform at the Melbourne Town Hall.

Call (03) 9658 9779 for Town Hall information on hiring rooms and other inquiries.

The building is located at the corner of Swanston Street and Collins Street, Melbourne. Trams stop right in front of the Melbourne Town Hall and it is a walk of only two blocks from Flinders Street Station. If driving to an event there, you will need to take Collins Street as that section of Swanston Street is closed to regular traffic.

Parliament House

The historic Parliament House was opened in November 1856. It is where the Victorian government sits. The public can view the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly in action. Bags are not allowed in the public galleries and visitors will need to walk through security scanners to enter.

Free tours of the Parliament House are available. Book ahead for groups of six or more by calling (03) 9651 8568.

Parliament House is located on Spring Street, East Melbourne, Victoria. Phone (03) 9651 8911 for more information. There is a restaurant there and also rooms available to hire for special events.

The site is easy to get to with public transport; many trams go along Spring Street and stop at Parliament House. It is also along the route of the free City Circle tram. Catching a tram that is heading along Bourke Street will also get you there. Parliament Station is right across the road.

Polly Woodside

The Polly Woodside is a large sailing ship that was built in Belfast, Ireland in 1885. After a busy life as a commercial vessel, and also briefly as part of the Royal Australian Navy, the ship became a National Trust of Australia (Victoria) item in 1968.

The Polly Woodside is now a floating museum. Visitors can view the gallery that examines the construction of the vessel and also its restoration in more recent years. There are historical displays about Melbourne’s docks, what it was like to work on sailing ships and the equipment that was used.

The Polly Woodside – Melbourne Maritime Museum is located at 2A Clarendon Street, South Wharf. If arriving in Melbourne by train, the Polly Woodside site is a short walk from Southern Cross Station, or a pleasant walk along the Yarra River from Flinders Street Station.

Trams stop close to the location. For information about the Polly Woodside phone (03) 9699 9760. Except for Good Friday and Christmas Day, the Polly Woodside – Melbourne Maritime Museum is open every day of the year.

Other Melbourne attractions that are nearby include the Crown Casino and the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.

Rippon Lea Estate

Rippon Lea is a large Victorian suburban estate with gardens about 8km from Melbourne. Built by Sir Frederick Thomas Sargood between 1863 and 1903, and with numerous rooms and landscaped gardens. 192 Hotham Street, Elsternwick (03 9523 6095)

Royal Exhibition Building

Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building was built in 1880 and is World Heritage listed. The building itself is a destination for tourists, as well as the multitude of events that are held there each year.

Some of the important events are the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show, Victorian Hot Rod Show, and L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival.

Another part of the historical site that is popular with visitors is the Carlton Gardens. Some of the sights to see there are three fountains, two water features, many trees, and paths. If walking to the Royal Exhibition Building from the city centre, travel through the Carlton Gardens.

Trams and buses service the area, the free City Circle tram travels along Victoria Parade, which is next to the Carlton Gardens.

Call (03) 9270 5006 for information, in Victoria call 13 11 02 to book a guided tour. The address for the Royal Exhibition Building is 9 Nicholson Street, Carlton.

Sandridge Bridge

Melbourne’s Sandridge Bridge was for many years a railway bridge but it is now a historical site and a path across the Yarra River for pedestrians and cyclists. Various artworks and displays now adorn the bridge. The bridge is part of the Victorian Heritage Register.

The steel plate girder bridge is approximately 180 metres in length. The first bridge at the location, for trains running to Port Melbourne, was built in 1853. The current bridge was used for around a century, the last train going across in 1987.

If you are attending events at Crown Casino or the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre or other areas of Southbank, travel to the city on a train to Flinders Street, then from the Elizabeth Street end of the platforms take the exit that leads to the Sandridge Bridge.

Shrine of remembrance

This was originally Victoria’s memorial to the 18,000 men from the state lost in the Great War. The Shrine was opened in 1934. After the Second World War, it was extended to include those who had been lost in that conflict. The perpetual flame was lit by Queen Elizabeth on 28th February 1954.

The Shrine is so designed that at 11am on 11th November each year (Remembrance Day) a single ray of sunlight will penetrate the roof and shine on the Stone of Remembrance in the Inner Sanctum. However, since Victoria has adopted daylight-saving time in the summer months, that event actually occurs at noon now. St Kilda Road, Melbourne (03 9661 8100). Tram from city

Southern Cross Station

Formerly Spencer Street Station and is on the northwest corner of Spencer Street and Collins Street. It was transformed from a dull 1960 style building to a modern station in 2006, winning in 2007 the prestigious British Architects Lubetkin Prize. The stand out is the domed roof and large glass walls. The building also houses a bus interchange and Direct Factory Outlet store.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

St Patrick’s Cathedral is the Mother Church of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. It has been an important part of Melbourne for well over a century. It is neo-gothic Cathedral, the foundation stone was laid in 1850 while the Consecration of St Patrick’s Cathedral took place in 1897. In 1939 the spires were completed. In 1986 Pope John Paul II visited the St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Sunday Mass and Weekday Mass are held at St Patrick’s Cathedral.

The location of St Patrick’s Cathedral is the corner of Gisborne Street and Cathedral Place, East Melbourne, Victoria. The phone number there is (03) 9662 2233, while the contact number for the Archbishop is (03) 9926 5677.

The Cathedral Shop offers visitors the chance to purchase souvenirs, books and gifts. Call (03) 9665 2256 for more information.

St Patrick’s Cathedral is within walking distance of the Melbourne CBD and Parliament Station. Trams run along roads in the area. Other tourist locations that are close include the State Parliament House, Fitzroy Gardens and Treasury Gardens.

St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral

The spectacular historical building that is St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral is a place of worship right in the heart of the city that holds as much beauty as it does stories of the past. The Cathedral was built on the very site where Alexander Thomson held the first Christian service was held in 1836. Not long after this a very small, subtle wooden chapel was built somewhere else and the site became a corn market, but it was always destined to come back to its roots in worship.

Situated right in the heart of the city action (even in the 1800s) was a decision made to ensure that this place of worship would stand strong in the city in the heart of the cities life. The Swanston Street and Flinders Street intersection is one of the busiest in the city today, and the Cathedral still stands quietly at its edge.

The architecture is some of the most traditional in Melbourne and is described as being Gothic transitional. On the 22nd of January 1891 the Cathedral was consecrated, but it was not the same building that stands in the heart of Melbourne today. The large spires that are now an icon of the city where not constructed until 1926.

In the 1960s extensive restoration was done to the exterior of the Cathedral, and recently in 2009 extensive work was done to both the interior and exterior to ensure that the old building maintains its history and beauty. You can hear the church bells from across the city which is a beautiful sound appreciated by many in the bustling city. Many weddings are held at this Cathedral and it’s very common to see it bustling with life and happiness.

Address: Corner Flinders and Swanston Streets, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9653 4333

The Old G.P.O.

A majestic building dating from 1867 that, unfortunately, was gutted by fire in September 2001 and is used as the G.P.O. no longer. It has now been restored for use as shops, restaurants, and offices. Corner of Elizabeth and Bourke Streets.

Werribee Park

Features include an 1870s Italianate Mansion and formal gardens. Victoria State Rose Garden and farm buildings. (13 1963)