Traders of Melbourne

Flinders Street rail and port

Flinders Street rail and port

How did trade impact on the creation and development of Melbourne?

This excursion in the Melbourne CBD is designed for both primary and secondary school students exploring the buildings, landscapes and streets in the historic maritime quarter of Melbourne by the Yarra River near the Aquarium, Immigration Museum (former customs house) and railway. We can also include key commercial buildings on Collins Street such as the Old Rialto, the Winfield Wool Exchange,  The Gothic Bank, the old stock exchange and Banana Alley.

This activity can be adjusted and designed to meet your students particular learning outcomes. The excursion can also be combined with a visit to the nearby Polly Woodside. We use activities and language that are adapted to the different age groups. Our excursion using particular sites, maps and images explores:


Trade: Melbourne was initially established in 1835 by two Tasmanian parties because of a globalised and lucrative trade in wool made possible by new technologies in shipping and later rail which dramatically expanded trade possibilities. The maritime quarter around today’s Immigration Museum was previously a major trading site for the the Kulin Nation including the local Boon wurrung and Woi wurrung clans . The wealth of Marvellous Melbourne derived from taxes on trade through the Port of Melbourne in the CBD  and the popularity of gold as a universal trading currency. The later development of the modern CBD was influenced by newer technologies for trade which shifted the focus away from the river. Trade even drove the founding of the  Melbourne City Council which was first established to administer the wholesale markets of which there are several historic sites in this area. The All Ordinaries (Stockmarket) Board is also in this area for the students to view in a public area if they wish.

See our other school programs and excursions