Melbourne Walks is often asked for advice as to what school classes can do while they are in the city centre while their peers in other classes are engaged in our thirty school tours so we have compiled this list of 30 FREE activities below. All activities can be reached from from Federation Square www.fedsquare.com (Melway 1B N10).
1.Visit the Melbourne Visitors Centre on the square for numerous free maps and trails.
2. The Federation Square Atrium has shelter and conveniences and often hosts free exhibitions, dance classes, book stalls and others.
1.1. National Gallery (Contemporary) of Victoria is free on Federation Square. Especially the 19th Century Gallery with Colonial art, 2nd floor. They hold a large collection of Aboriginal art.
2. Ten minutes walk away on St Kilda Road is the other National Gallery (International) of Victoria.
3. ACMI, Federation Square. How many cities have their own free Film exhibition, gallery and library?
3.1 Explore Nearamnew a gigantic artwork in the 467,000 sandstone tiles in the plaza of Federation Square. The plaza design includes a huge Indigenous whorl plus nine different ‘vision texts’ in ‘federation font’. A Nearamnew booklet is available in the Visitors Centre. Can you find Cambrian fossil shells in a the cobblestones? (see notes)
3.2 Visit the free gallery bookstore and display at the Koorie Heritage Trust on Federation Square.
4. Hosier Lane Street Art – opposite Federation Square, off Flinders Street, west of Russell. Melbourne’s most popular street art space. See also nearby ACDC Lane, Presgrave Lane, Centre Place and Flinders Court.
5. Yarra River
5. 1 There are two large Aboriginal Installations including oral stories on a sound installation just below Federation Square on the wall of the play centre in Birrarung Marr Park. Use your hand to mysteriously change the volume of the recordings.
5.2 Walk upriver (east) from Birrarung Marr a few minutes to William Barak Bridge entered from Birrarung Marr Park for a spectacular view over Melbourne or walk the whole bridge length to Yarra Park (MCG) ten minutes away.
5.3 Visit the 39 bronze Federation Bells on the Lower Birrarung walkway. They play 8.00am, 12.30pm and 5.00pm. You can compose a tune.
5.4 Walk downriver along the riverbank (west) to a. Evan Walker pedestrian bridge b. Sandridge Bridge Multicultural Installation c. Scar Installation at Enterprise Park and the reconstructed Enterprize Wharf. Further downriver takes to you past Polly Woodside and Southgate.
6. Free Tram Zone Trams in the City Zone are free from Spencer to Spring and Flinders to La Trobe. The zone includes Elizabeth St up to QV market. The old W class city circle tram goes around the CBD from Flinders Street Station, both ways. The Melbourne Visitor Shuttle Bus (adults $5) departs every 30 minutes from Flinders Street outside St Pauls Cathedral 9.30am to 4.30pm.
7. Marvellous Melbourne on Collins Street
– CBA Bank Great Dome 333 Collins (south side between Elizabeth and Queen).
– The ANZ Gothic Bank, 380 Collins Street (corner Queen and Collins north side) and the Old Stock Exchange Building (through the ANZ Gothic Bank to the rear)
– Former Stock exchange (rear of ANZ bank), 380 Collins Street, Melbourne
– ANZ Banking Museum (free) lower ground floor, 380 Collins Street, Melbourne
8. State Library, Exhibition Hall, Free exhibitions in the hall to the right just inside front entrance. Also free exhibitions on the half dozen upper floors.
9. Queen Victoria Market Tuesday & Thursday 6am-2pm, Friday 6am-5pm (General Merchandise to 4pm)
10. Melbourne University. Walk the Billibellary (Aboriginal) Trail. Maps are online. Or just explore the historic university grounds. Trail Flyers can be found at the entrance office on Swanston Street opposite Elgin Street. The Ian Potter Gallery is also at the entrance and is free. No 1 or 15 tram along Swanston street
11. The Salvation Army Museum on the top floor of the Temple building 69 Bourke Street between Exhibition and Spring Streets). Free. A great museum. Book first 9653 3270.
12. The Fitzroy Aboriginal Trail starts cnr Gertrude and Nicholson Street reached by Number 86 and 96 tram near the Exhibition building. Maps are online. Brilliant! Free maps available from Visitors centre, Federation square.
13. Tours of Parliament are free, bookings required: http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/visit/public-tours
14. The 1930 Conservatory at Fitzroy Gardens. Search in the Gardens also for the historic Fairy Tree and Aboriginal Scarred Tree. Visit the new Fitzroy Gardens Visitors Centre (schools need to book in advance).
15. Parks and Gardens. Walk south from Federation Square across Princes Bridge through the Domain Gardens towards the Shrine and take photos of the many weird and wonderful statues and artworks and identify them. Explore the fascinating Fitzroy and Treasury Gardens ten minutes walk east from Federation Square up Flinders Street.
16. Visit all the Monuments on Spring Street from Collins to Lonsdale including the Womens Monster Petition, Adam Lindsay Gordon. Don’t forget the Doug and Lady Nicholls statues in Parliamentary Reserve Park (cnr Lonsdale and Spring)
17. Utilise these great Apps:
Melbourne Visitors Guide: Current events in the City of Melbourne.
Lost 100: Point the phone at the nominated building and see past buildings. Yes, really!
Formative Melbourne Walk: The architecture and images of the Marvellous Melbourne buildings on and around Collins Street.
Transforming the Yarra: Architects and designers guide you to the places, images and buildings that have transformed the Yarra River.
The Sound of Buildings – one and two: Stories of and guides to Melbourne’s iconic places, images and buildings by writers, planners, designers.
City Walks: Self guided walks to Melbourne.
Our City: Stories of and guides to Melbourne’s iconic buildings by the National Trust
Open House Melbourne: Guide to building open annually to the public on Melbourne Open Day.
18. See various self guided walks from the City of Melbourne.
19. The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, The landmark rust-red structure is one of Melbourne’s architectural icons. 111 Sturt Street, Southbank, Free, 9697 9999
20. Old Treasury Building Gold Museum. One of the finest 19th century buildings in Australia,. Plus free museum of course. 20 Spring Street, Melbourne , Telephone: 03 9651 2233. Ring first.
21. Melbourne Town Hall. Free tours. 100 Swanston Street. Telephone: 03 9658 9658. Ring first. 1 hour tour at 11am and 1pm.
22. See the stunning contemporary, sustainable and accessible architecture of RMIT University a few minutes away up Swanston Street: Storey Hall, Building 8, Building 80 (Academic Building with cafe on 7-8 floor and extraordinary views).
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