Discover Melbourne, a city rich in history. Originally the home of the Kulin Nation and made up of five Aboriginal language groups, today Melbourne is one of the greatest multicultural cities in the world, with numerous historical buildings and monuments in and around the city.
Take a journey into the ancestral lands of the Kulin people and gain an insight into their rich and thriving culture on a heritage walk in the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. On this 90-minute tour you’ll experience a traditional smoking ceremony, followed by an exploratory walk through important areas of the Gardens as your guide discusses the local First Peoples’ connection to plants and their traditional uses for food, medicine and tools.
Alternatively, the Koorie Heritage Trust also offer a cultural walk - The Birrarung Wilam (River Camp) Walk – that will take you through Federation Square and down to the Birrarung Wilam Aboriginal art installations at Birrarung Marr.
The multi-award-winning Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at the Melbourne Museum also offers guided tours discovering the vibrant cultures of Indigenous Australia and a celebration of the history, achievements and survival of Victoria’s Aboriginal people.
A City of Varied History
Head to the World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building, one of the world's oldest remaining exhibition pavilions. Peruse the exhibitions and see first-hand the striking interiors, before stopping by the beautiful Fitzroy Gardens to see the childhood home of one of the first European navigators to chart the east coast of Australia, Captain James Cook. The building is and was originally built for the Great Exhibition of 1880to visit Cooks’ Cottage, the oldest building in Australia. Originally built by Captain James Cook’s father in Yorkshire, England, the cottage was bought by Sir Russell Grimwade in 1934 and relocated to Fitzroy Gardens to be rebuilt brick by brick.
Explore terrifying tales of prison life in the Old Melbourne Gaol, one of the city's oldest standing buildings and a place of more than 130 executions. If you’re feeling brave you can even go on a Hangman’s Night Tour.
Built in 1934, the Shrine of Remembrance, is the Victorian state memorial to Australians who have served in war and peacekeeping operations. Amidst the classical interior discover the reverent solitude of the Sanctuary and breathtaking views of Melbourne from the Balcony. The Galleries of Remembrance are worth a look, featuring over 800 artworks, historical artefacts and personal effects. For an insight into Melbourne’s religion head to St Patrick’s Cathedral, and admire the splendid sacristy and chapels within, as well as the stunning floor mosaics and brass items.
A Place to Stay – Then and Now
Melbourne is home to a number of outstanding and architecturally significant National Trust homes, with one of the best being the lavish Como House and Garden, with an intriguing mix of Australian Regency and classic Italianate architecture. The central block of this colonial mansion was built c. 1855, with its kitchen wing dating back to the 1840’s. Today Como