EXPLORE the early Melbourne township known as ‘Bearbrass’ or ‘Batmania’. This include the sites of settlers’ homes, Batman Hill, gaols, pub, church, docks, woolstore, warehouses, auction house, market, customs, newspaper office, Melbourne Club, Yarra Yarra falls, Aboriginal camp and others.
LEARN about the founding settlers, their challenges and the events led to settlement in defiance of British law.
VIEW dozens of paintings, maps and documents by by early settlers and artists eg, historic pictures, timelines,
DISCOVER the impact of settlement on the Aboriginal people of the Kulin Nation.
WHEN: Tours are normally 2.5 hours by arrangement at any time of your convenience -day time, weekends or evening.
SCHOOLS: See our SCHOOLS TOUR OF EARLY OR COLONIAL MELBOURNE
SEE – BOOKINGS AND PRICES – FOR INDIVIDUALS, GROUPS AND SCHOOLS
SCHOOL GROUPS: See also our other Early Melbourne School Excursions below:
MELBOURNE CITY SCHOOLS TOUR..More
MELBOURNE ABORIGINAL TOUR…More
A NEW LAND – PORT PHILLIP DISTRICT 1830-1860….. More
MELBOURNE GEOGRAPHY TOUR….More
TRADERS AND EXPLORERS.. More
MELBOURNE EXPLORERS SCHOOL EXCURSION… More
THE GOLDEN MILE – MARVELLOUS MELBOURNE …..More
I just wanted to thank you for the marvelous walking tour that we did through our friends’ surprise for us on Monday 28/3. It was an incredibly interesting morning, and very much appreciated. As I’ve been telling people about it, what struck me was your detailed knowledge of early Melbourne history, the maps and photos you showed us, the Batman pole that will soon be a thing of the past, your insight into the Aboriginal community, the former waterfall which marked the Yarra River crossing and freshwater mark, the idea of the young Tasmanian girl about to give birth to the first European child in Melbourne, and the artifacts that we examined at the Rialto.
Mary Jo, 2016
We pursue the political, social and economic reasons that created this village in defiance pf British law. Learn how Melbourne began and who were the personalities that shaped it. Discover the characters living in what was once a muddy, stump- infested collection of shanties. grog houses, shepherds and gentrified speculators. The pioneer ancestors of Melbourne regularly come on the Bearbrass tour to experience the resurrection of Old Melbourne Town in 1835.
We encounter John Batman and John Fawkner on route, the original larrikin and wowser, explore their opposed characters and the contentious question of who was the original European founder of the city. Or was it Charles Evans and Captain Lancey? We peruse and debate the original treaty. We also examine the impact of settlement on the Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation.
And why is it called Bearbrass anyway?
On 11-12 March 2012, 160 of the 4500 descendants of the Solomons convened in Melbourne. We were honoured to provide them with our Bearbrass Tour to celebrate their reunion. The Solomons have an extraordinary history. A Solomon was an early settler with John Batman, another the fire chief at Broken Hill, four fought at Gallipoli, one went down on the Titanic, one was Premier of South Australia, another helped write the Australian Constitution. See Age article
Amazing! I thought I knew Melbourne but I was wrong. Under our noses is the whole village.... Christine.
See our list of Characters of Early Melbourne
Some of the places we go. We start either at the Melbourne Aquarium or Southern Cross Station.
John Batmans House (also church services, Hoddle Grid, also La Trobe’s office. (near Southern Cross Station)
Batmans’ sheep run (Collins Streeet)
The Rialto wool store (Collins Street)
Turning Basin on Yarra (Enterprize Park) where the Enterprise landed.
The Falls (Yarra)
Scar Poles/ Enterprize Park: Seven Victorian indigenous artists have sculpted their stories into totemic wharf piles.
Customs House Flinders Street
Early Post Office Flinders Street
Fawkner’s House Williams Street
Fawkners Hotel, The Patriot Office and Melbourne Club (1837)
Town Square (Collins Street)
Gaol, hospital, the stocks and Captain Lonsdale’s office (Collins Street)
John Batman’s statue (Collins Street)
John Fawkners Statue (Collins Street)
The Lambs Inn (Collins Street)
The stockade, Aboriginail escape, Aboriginal freedom fighters, prison, (Collins and King Streets)
Auction House where the Kulin lands were first sold to speculators. (Collins Street)
Early port warehouses (King Street)
Further Reading about Melbourne’s history