A slightly historical tour
When we touched on Federation Square, we didn’t mention anything at all about the Melbourne CBD! There’s loads of things to see and do around the city; enough for more than a single day in fact. We’ll keep it to a day’s worth of activities though, with a concentration on some of Melbourne’s more historic landmarks. Maybe, though, you’ll discover a few other great spots along the way. If you’re from Melbourne, why not be a tourist in your own city for once? If you’re from somewhere else, this is a good guide to get you started!
Flinders Street Station
We started our day in the heart of it all at Flinders Street Train Station. While you can certainly book a GoGet to get into Melbourne CBD, public transport is probably the best option. Carsharing is best done after exploring the city when you want to get out of town. Flinders Street Station is not unlike other major train stations around the world. For locals, stop for a moment and soak in the hustle and bustle of your city. For visitors, this is a time to be overwhelmed by the fact that everybody else seems to know where they’re going while ignoring a beautiful old train station that’s brand new to your eyes.
See some street art
Wander down Flinders Street towards Hosier Lane, one of the many laneways displaying some of Melbourne’s more prominent street artists. Whether you think it’s vandalism or beautiful work, the City of Melbourne allows graffiti along specific laneways so that it can practiced in agreed areas. All the work is temporary though. So enjoy it while it lasts and come back again to see something new in this outdoor impromptu art gallery. However, we do have a quick word of caution regarding Hosier Lane: none of the work is curated or approved by anybody. While generally the work isn’t graphic, what might be a great family outing one weekend may turn into children seeing graffiti with some more “interesting” four letter words the next.
Captain Cook’s Cottage
Keep heading east and into the Fitzroy Gardens (which are technically in East Melbourne, oops!) and check out Cook’s Cottage. You can look around on your own or get a guided tour and learn all about Captain Cook’s voyages and some Australian history. What’s even more interesting is that the cottage is actually the original cottage built by Captain Cook’s parents in Great Ayton, North Yorkshire. It was imported to Melbourne brick by brick!
Learn more history!
From the cottage, we backtracked down Flinders Street to the Immigration Museum. Located in the old Melbourne Customs House, it’s easy to spend multiple hours here learning about the settlement of Melbourne and the rest of Australia from the earliest British colonists all the way up to today. This is another great family outing as the exhibits range from the colourful and interactive for the kids, to the more informational for the adults. As an added bonus, simply enjoy the wonderful old architecture that is the old Customs House; there’s plenty of information on that too.
History made us hungry, so we strolled up to Hardware Lane and simply allowed ourselves to drift into one of the many cafes that looked tempting. This was a time for a well deserved rest to recharge and reflect on a great morning. If you’re with kids and they’re getting tired by this point, there are plenty of GoGet cars around to run them home in. Drop them off and return your car back to the city to continue with afternoon adventures! With that, we’ll leave the rest of our day in Melbourne until next time. With such a full day of activities, it’s too much for one post. Part 2 coming soon