EXPLORE the historic suburb of Port Melbourne, transformed in recent years from working class docks and suburb to one of Victoria’s most desirable locations. As a result, Port Melbourne is a diverse and historic area, featuring industrial and port areas along the Yarra, to open parklands, bayside beaches, amazing views, heritage buildings, apartments, Bay Street’s restaurants and cafes and striking modern architecture.
We also investigate the important Indigenous Boon Wurrung history of the area.
This walk also celebrates the contribution to the City of Port Phillip by immigrants and settlers. For many of these new arrivals, Station Pier was their first landfall in Australia after a long and hazardous journey by sea. This shipping trade has left its historic imprint on Port Melbourne, which retains many public buildings from settler days. Tasmanians were the first to arrive in 1835, keen to open up the country to expand the wool trade. Other pioneering settlers followed, particularly English, Scottish and Irish, travelling in wind- powered ships on extraordinary journeys round the Cape of Good Hope and through the Rip.
The Gold Rush in 1851 brought a huge influx of eager immigrants from all over the world. Post-war migration saw hundreds of thousands of immigrants, many from Southern and Eastern Europe, first setting foot on Australian shores at Station Pier, seeking refuge from persecution, war and economic hardship. Later arrivals from Asian, African and many other countries have added to a diverse multicultural community.
The suburb also has important World War history and sites. A third of Australia’s solders departed from Princess and Station Pier. For many who did not return, this was their last glimpse of home.
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