06/03/2015 - 06/03/2015 27 °C
The City of Melbourne has produced some great walking guides, that help you get to know the city and see parts you might not see, or notice.
The Cosmopolitan Walk shows you stunning city views, glamorous Collins Street, sophisticated shopping and Chinatown, covering around 3.75km.
Beginning at the bustling Flinders Street Station
the walk began past Federation Square
and the carriages waiting to take tourists on a trip around town
up Swanston Street, and past the magnificent St Paul's Cathedral:
Past the monument of explorer Matthew Flinders
and the Burke and Wills monument dedicated to their doomed journey of discovery across the continent - the first to cross the continent from south to north. They perished on the journey at Coopers Creek, Central Australia, 1861.
and then there was this little fella
Opposite is the Melbourne Town Hall
Reaching Collins Street you could catch a whiff of Chanel along Melbourne's most sophisticated shopping Street, home to Gucci, Prada, Hermes and Louis Vitton. Majestic tree-lined Collins Street is one of Melbourne's most prestigious addresses.
At the Regent Theatre it's worth a look at the entrance hall
and then over the road to Athena on the parapet of the Melbourne Athenaeum.
At 161 On Collins, inside the atrium are glass sculptures that represent Significant Melbourne Landmarks and Buildings.
At the corner of Russell Street is Scots Church, where Dame Nellie 'Melba' (named after her birthplace Melbourne) sang in the late 1800's. Her father built the church.
On reaching the columns of 101 Collins Street, if you go into the neo-classical foyer you'll see an artistic experience including four water pools, stunning marble, granite columns and sumptuous gold leaf panelling.
In the 1970's, the Oriental Hotel made way for the soaring twin towers of Collins Place, where you can now explore the shops and café, and check out the view of the city from the Sofitel restrooms on the 35th Floor - a cheaper alternative to the Skydeck!
and outside was an interesting statue
and an interesting reflection in a mirror pillar...!
At the top of Collins Street is the Old Treasury Museum. It sits grandly at the intersection with Spring Street and was Victoria's Treasury, designed in the 1850's by 19 year old JJ Clark.
Turning left into Spring Street you're still in the heart of the city, but the calm green oasis of the Treasury Gardens is nearby.
Opposite is the famous Hotel Windsor, the grandest surviving hotel from the 1880's. The Windsor's afternoon tea is almost and institution.
On the other side of the road is Parliament House and the tranquil gardens beyond. In 1860 rioters tried to storm parliament, seeking land reform. You can still see two horizontal gun slits installed by the government after the riot behind the columns on the façade.
At Princess Theatre (1886) Federici's Bar is named after Frederick Baker, the actor who died on stage in 1888. Some say his ghost still haunts the building.
Fascinating Chinatown begins at Tianjin Garden. This is one of the oldest Chinatowns in the western world - where hard-working gold miners, herbalists and cabinetmakers first settled in the 1850's.
As you turn into Little Bourke Street, past Her Majesty's Theatre which has staged over 100 musicals since 1934.
The Chinese Museum
is home of the Millennium Dragon, the world's largest parade dragon, which we saw at the Moomba Carnival a few days later, with over 26 people carrying it!
A little further down Little Bourke Street, past old shops, mission halls and secret laneways you come to the Methodist Mission, where the walls warn 'Commit No Nuisance'
The lane is splattered with signs of all sorts of interesting information...
Even the paper bags are happy...
Taking the scenic route back to where we started we explored the maze of shops and café down the narrow laneways, walking through Royal Arcade
Where we stopped to watch Gog & Magog chime the time:
These two seven foot giants have been striking the time on Gaunt's clock since 1892. They were carved from clear pine and modelled on the figures erected in Guildhall, London, in 1708 to symbolise the conflict between the ancient Britons and the Trojan invaders.
Mythology tells of the giants Gog and Magog having been captured in battle by the Trojans and made to serve as porters at the gateway of an ancient p[alace on a site later occupied by the Guildhall. It is traditional for Gog to stand to the north and Magog to the south.
over Collins Street through Centre Place
and Degraves Street
Walking back to Flinders Street Station, we stopped to listen to a group playing called Woodluck.
They were very good, I think, but you can make up your own mind here: