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Landmarks of Melbourne Walking Tour (Self Guided), Melbourne

Melbourne is an amazing city with its beautiful parks and gardens, Victorian and modern architecture. This self-guided tour will lead you to some of the most remarkable landmarks in Melbourne.
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Landmarks of Melbourne Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Landmarks of Melbourne Walking Tour
Guide Location: Australia » Melbourne (See other walking tours in Melbourne)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 Km or 3.3 Miles
Author: vickyc
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Scots' Church
  • Forum Theatre
  • Rialto Towers
  • Eureka Skydeck 88
  • Queen Victoria Gardens
  • Government House
  • Victoria Barracks
  • Melbourne Grammar School
  • La Trobe's Cottage
Scots' Church

1) Scots' Church

Scot’s Church, located in Collin’s Street in the CBD, was the first Presbyterian Church congregation in Victoria, with services starting in 1836 on the banks of the Yarra River. The congregation grew and applied for a land grant, which was promptly supplied and in 1841 a church to seat 500 was built on the site. But as numbers in the congregation continued to increase, it became apparent in 1869 that a grander building was needed. The foundation stone was laid in 1873 and the decorated Gothic style church was inaugurated on 29th November, 1874.

The church spire was originally 210 feet and was for a very long time the highest point in the city. In 1963 the spire was extensively damaged by lightning and it was lowered by 40 feet. The interior of the church is well known for its use of Tasmanian blackwood timber and stunning stained glass windows featuring the last supper. There is an impressive war memorial mosaic near the entrance to the church that was unveiled in 1961 in the presence of Sir Robert Menzies, former prime minister, and Queen Elizabeth II. World renowned opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba, is said to have begun and ended her singing career in the Scot’s Church choir.
Forum Theatre

2) Forum Theatre

Melbourne has long been considered the cultural capital of Australia, and the Forum Theatre is one of the city’s best known cultural landmarks. Formerly known as the “State Theatre”, it was originally built as a movie palace. When the theatre opened in 1929, it had the largest seating capacity in the country with space for 3371 people. The building was designed by John Eberson, an American architect, who was well known around the world for his theatres, and the exterior was in the Moorish revival style, with decadent minarets, cupola and an attention grabbing clock tower. The interior was done in an ornate Greco-Roman style and the ceiling was peppered with stars to emulate the twinkling night sky.

Today the theatre is no longer a cinema, but has for many years been used for a wide variety of theatrical, musical and cultural performances. Entertainers such as Oasis, Katy Perry and Ozzy Osborne have performed there and it is a regular venue for the Melbourne International Film Festival and Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The Forum Theatre is located on the corner of Flinders and Russell Street in Melbourne’s CBD and has been on the Victorian Heritage Register since 1981.
Rialto Towers

3) Rialto Towers

Rialto Towers is the tallest office building to be found in the southern hemisphere, rises to a height of 243 meters. The building’s foundations extend 20 meters underneath the ground and it is encased in 22,000 panes of glass that reflect the unpredictable skies of Melbourne. Since it was opened in 1986, Rialto Towers has been an unmistakable landmark of the CBD’s cityscape. Within the building complex, there are two towers – the South Tower, which has 55 floors and the North Tower, which has 40 floors.

Within the building there are several dining options and with the opening of even more restaurants, bistros and cafes in 2010, it has cemented its place as a gastronomic hub of Melbourne. The world class Intercontinental Hotel at Rialto can also be found within the complex and provides conveniently located accommodation in the heart of the city. The towers were home to the first observation deck in Melbourne, and although it shut in 2009, you can still enjoy breathtaking views from the higher stories of the building. The building is open to the public from 7am to 6:30pm Monday to Friday and is a must do for any visitor wanting to look out over the impressive expanse of the city.
Eureka Skydeck 88

4) Eureka Skydeck 88 (must see)

The Eureka Skydeck 88 is located in Eureka Tower on Melbourne’s Southbank. When it was built in 2002 it was the world’s tallest residential building, but now occupies the 15th place. At the Eureka Skydeck 88 you have the chance to take in the very best views of Melbourne. It is the southern hemisphere’s highest viewing platform and offers 360-degree views of the city and out to the Dandenong Mountain Range. If you are feeling daring, The Edge experience is the only one of its kind in the world. It is a glass viewing cube that juts out three meters from the rest of the building with you suspended 300 meters above the ground.

Out on The Terrace, you step out onto an enclosed space that is still open to the elements. There are often bracing winds on The Terrace and you can look through the high powered binoculars without the reflection from glass interrupting your views. Part of the Eureka Skydeck 88 experience is getting there in the fastest lifts in the southern hemisphere – it only takes 38 seconds to get to the 88th floor.

Save money and buy tickets online. Day&Night tickets are available, allowing to visit early in the morning and then return after your day's sightseeing.
When you get to the top, go and book in for the Sky Deck as there is often a large queue. You will be given a token which then lights up when it is your turn.

Note to photographers:
Reflections are your greatest enemy here, especially at night, so hold your camera lens hard up against the window. If necessary, clean the glass first.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-10pm (last entry at 9:30pm)
Queen Victoria Gardens

5) Queen Victoria Gardens

The Queen Victoria Gardens is a memorial to the state of Victoria’s namesake. Following her death in 1901, the state deemed that the long reigning monarch should be given an appropriate memorial and 4.8 hectares was set aside. The gardens are bounded by St Kilda Road, Alexandra Avenue and Linlithgow Avenue and make up part of the large group of city gardens known as the Domain Parklands. Taking a stroll through the gardens is the perfect way to revive your spirits and seek out some green space close to the bustling CBD.

There are several features to visit while wandering through the Queen Victoria Gardens. One of the highlights is the large floral clock, which was donated in 1966 and features more than 7000 blooms. Behind the clock is a large bronze statue of Edward VII who succeeded Queen Victoria on the British throne. One of the main features of the park is the statue of Queen Victoria, which is at the highest point in the park, and she is shown wearing full regalia. Built from marble by James White, Queen Victoria looks down over the parklands’ lawns and garden beds. There are many other statues that are scattered around the parklands including The Genie, The Phoenix and The Pathfinder.
Government House

6) Government House

Government House is one of Melbourne’s most stunning buildings and is the official residence of Victoria’s Governor. It was also home to Australia’s Governor-General, following federation, from 1901 to 1930. The house is located next to the Royal Botanic Gardens on land that was set aside by Charles La Trobe in 1841 and in 1870 the decision was made to finally construct a purpose built Victorian Government House there. It is the largest government house anywhere in the former British Empire. The flamboyant style of the building reflects the immense wealth of the state at that time as a direct result of the gold rush.

Generally Government House is generally closed to the public as it is in use for state events and as the Governor’s private residence. However, tours may be available on Mondays and Wednesdays if you make an advance booking. The ballroom is said to be the largest in the southern hemisphere and within the British Empire. Every Australia Day it is opened up to visitors including many private apartments. Paying a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens and wandering up to Government House to see its lovely Italianate exterior at close range is highly recommended.
Victoria Barracks

7) Victoria Barracks

Located on St. Kilda Road, the Victoria Barracks are an important part of both Victoria and Australia’s history. The barracks were originally built as accommodation for the soldiers who were involved in quashing the Eureka Stockade rebellion during the Victorian gold rush. Today you can still see the original bluestone buildings dating from the 1850s. Upon federation, the Victoria Barracks were made the administrative centre for the Australian army, then during World War I to assist with communication between the defence arms, the navy and air force moved onto the site too. During this time the barracks provided accommodation for the soldiers as well as travelling War Cabinet ministers and the prime minister. Space was limited and so extensions were added in 1917, followed by an art deco style building added in 1939 upon the outbreak of World War II.

During World War II, the barracks were again put to use as a meeting space for Australia’s War Cabinet, which was made up of senior politicians in both the ruling and opposition parties. There are rumours of a tunnel leading from the barracks down to the Yarra River, to whisk away cabinet members to safety in the event of an air raid.
Melbourne Grammar School

8) Melbourne Grammar School

Melbourne Grammar School is one of Australia’s oldest private colleges as well as one of the best regarded Australian educational institutions. The school was founded in 1858 by the first Anglican Bishop of Melbourne, Charles Perry and today has an enrolment of around 1800 co-educational students. The many bluestone original school buildings at the senior campus are now on the Victorian Heritage Register. In 1893 St. Peter’s Chapel was built on the campus and it was Australia’s first school chapel. The school now has seven campuses including its outdoor recreational centres, but it is the original school site on St. Kilda Road right next door to the Royal Botanic Gardens that is the heart of the school.

The school has a long list of high profile former students including well known Australians such as: comedian, Barry Humphries; Sir Keith Aickin, former chief justice of the High Court of Australia; Alfred Brookes, first head of the Australian Security Intelligence Service; Malcolm Fraser, former Prime Minister of Australia and Edwin Flack, Australia’s first Olympic gold medalist. The school has an archival gallery filled with photographs, records and memorabilia of the school’s history, which may be visited by appointment during term time. The archives are based at the St. Kilda Road campus of the school.
La Trobe's Cottage

9) La Trobe's Cottage

La Trobe Cottage was the home of Victoria’s first governor Charles Joseph La Trobe. You will find the little cottage in the King’s Domain parklands close to the south entrance of the Royal Botanic Gardens. The cottage was built from pre-fabricated materials transported from England in 1839. Originally the home stood near the Melbourne Cricket Ground and during his governance, La Trobe continued to live there until he returned to England in 1854. The home is now looked after by the National Trust of Australia and is one of only a handful of examples that survive of pre-fabricated English houses from this period of colonial life.

In 1840 La Trobe added a dining room extension to the cottage and this is believed to be the oldest construction in Melbourne. In 1960 the home was rescued from its derelict state and it was moved to the Domain and restored. Inside the home you can still see much of the furniture and personal effects of the La Trobe family that have been tracked down by the trust. Tours of the cottage can be arranged in advance or the cottage is open to visitors each Sunday between October and May from 2pm to 4pm and the last Sunday of the month for the rest of the year.

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