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Last updated : Nov 2009
 
Melbourne Sightseeing
Melbourne Sightseeing Guide - TravelPuppy.com
Melbourne has several places to visit throughout the metropolitan area and is also an ideal city for visitors to stroll around, savouring the ambience and lifestyle. The central business district has a spectacular skyline with some intriguing modern architecture. The latest example of this is the large and controversial new civic hub Federation Square, with its sandstone plaza, galleries and restaurants.

However, lovers of Australian colonial history will only have to walk through Melbourne to discover many examples of Victorian buildings nestling among the skyscrapers or dotted throughout the suburbs. The complex ironwork decorating the mansions and business houses testify to the wealth brought to the city during the gold rush.

Several examples can be found along Collins Street, number 333, an imposing building that opened in 1891, is famous for its beautiful domed ceiling and equally as extravagant interior, which reflects Melbourne’s golden heyday.

The Block Arcade shopping centre, also on Collins Street, is a courteous Victorian building and the Old Royal Mint, on William Street, is also a particularly good example. Close to Bourke Street Mall and Swanston Walk are diverse narrow lanes and arcades with a mix of colourful bars, chic clubs, coffee houses and elegant arcades.

Melbourne’s gardens and parks reflect their British heritage. A perfect example is Fitzroy Gardens, laid out to represent the Union Jack. Close by, the charming Treasury Gardens are home to the Old Treasury Building, while to the north is Parliament House, which is open to the public when parliament is not in session.

Carlton Gardens is home to the new Melbourne Museum and the adjacent Royal Exhibition Building, built for the 1880 Great Exhibition and based on Crystal Palace in London. This is where Australia’s Parliament sat from 1901 until 1927. In 2001, a renovation on the site celebrated the centenary of federation. Kings Domain, south of Yarra River, is a enjoyable park housing the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Government House, the Old Melbourne Observatory and Latrobe’s Cottage.

Further afield, the colonial mansions of Como House, in South Yarra, and Werribee Park, in Werribee, both have stunning formal gardens, the latter contains the Victoria State Rose Gardens.

Chinatown is situated at the eastern end of Little Bourke Street and has been located there since the start of the gold rush. The narrow lanes are crammed with Chinese restaurants and supermarkets. The Chinese Museum, Cohen Place, is worth a visit to learn about the donation the Chinese community has made to the growth of Melbourne.

Tourist Information

Melbourne Visitor Information Centre

Address: Melbourne Town Hall, corner of Swanston Street Walk and Little Collins Street

Telephone: (03) 9658 9658

Facsimile: (03) 9650 6168.

Email address: tourism@melbourne.vic.gov.au

Website address: www.melbourne.vic.gov.au

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm, Saturday to Sunday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Other tourist information offices are located at Flinders Street Station and Bourke Street Mall.

Passes


The Melbourne Attractions Pass is a book of coupons for entry to up to 4 of 11 different attractions, including the Melbourne Museum, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Old Melbourne Goal, Melbourne Zoo, Melbourne Observation Deck and Scienceworks Museum.

The pass costs A $54 and is accessible from Royal Automobile Club Victoria offices or from travel agents.