It’s fair to say that most cities have a history book with pages and pages of events and stories. What has happened in the past can’t be changed, neither should it be forgotten.
Melbourne in this respect is no different. The general area was first occupied by the Wurundjeri people who have lived around Melbourne for more than 30,000 years. It wasn’t until around 1800, when European settlers arrived in Port Phillip Bay, that the first permanent settlement was established in what we call modern-day Melbourne.
In the following 217-odd years, the city has had its share ups and downs, shaping the cultural hub of Australia. So, on your next trip around Melbourne, what are historic sites that are worth paying a visit to?
Old Melbourne Gaol
No trip to Melbourne would be complete without a sentence at the Old Melbourne Goal – don’t worry you won’t have to stay the night!
Jun 24, 2016 at 5:11am PDT
Built in the mid-1800s, the stone complex held some of the worst criminals in Victoria before its closure in 1929. In fact, between 1842 and 1929, 133 people were hanged at the gaol, including Australia’s most infamous citizen, the bushranger Ned Kelly.
Today, the prison remains eerily similar to how it looked in the 1800s, just without the men. Additionally, despite being one of Melbourne’s top attractions, there are parts of the gaol where you can find yourself alone – so watch out for the ghosts!
Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
Although the magnificent MCG with its bright lights looks like a modern stadium, it actually dates back to 1853 – only two decades after the city of Melbourne was established.
Nov 21, 2016 at 11:12pm PST
Perched on the side of the Yarra River opposite Rod Laver Arena, the ‘G has hosted thousands of events and not all related to sport. During World War II, it housed the US Army, US Marines as well as our own RAAF and welcomed Papal and Royal visitors to Australian shores.
Although a trip to the MCG is best saved for the Boxing Day Test or the annual AFL Grand Final, the venue is open every day of the year for tours of this amazing 100,000 seat stadium.
Como House and Garden
At 160 years old, Como House is one of Melbourne’s oldest structures – and it’s not in bad condition to say the least!
Como House was once owned by one of the country’s wealthiest pioneer families and a relic of a bygone era when aristocracy was everything. The house survived the famed Gold Rush, World Wars and a couple of depressions and still stand proud on the edge of Como Park.
Now owned by the National Trust, you can visit this two storey mansion and take in the special architecture for yourself. Take a wander around the manicured gardens as well, imagining you’re in an episode of Downton Abbey!
Melbourne Town Hall
Melbourne Town Hall remains the heart and soul of the city CBD – offering visitors a unique look into the city’s past and present. The town hall was completed in 1870 and has hosted everything from weddings and exhibitions to some of the world’s greatest musicians such as the Beatles and Abba.
Dec 7, 2016 at 11:38pm PST
If you’re into music, why not stop by around lunchtime for the daily Grand Organ concert. The impressive Grand Organ was recently refurbished and now sings proudly throughout the walls of the Melbourne Town Hall.
To learn more about what to see in Melbourne, contact the team at East Coast Car Rentals today.