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History Of Melbourne

Want to know about the rich history of Melbourne? There are a number of historical buildings and places around the city that you can visit to learn about its beginnings and development.

The Early Days

The Melburnian territory is originally the home of the Kulin people, which is composed of five indigenous Australian tribes. It is believed that Bunjil, appearing as a wedge-tailed eagle, is the spiritual creator of the first people and all things natural in the Kulin nation.

Explore the aboriginal arts and culture by visiting the Koorie Heritage Trust and the Bunjilaka gallery within the Melbourne Museum. You may also join a popular tour at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne called the Aboriginal Heritage Walk. Indigenous guides will give you a peek into the traditional lifestyle and thriving culture of the Kulin people.

The Founding of Melbourne

In 1835, a group of people from Tasmania led by John Batman sailed up Port Phillip Bay looking for sites of settlement. Batman purported that he bought 600,000 acres of land here from the aboriginal leaders. Another group led by John Pascoe Fawkner came via the Yarra River and settled in the area.

Although, the New South Wales government annulled Batman’s treaty with the Aborigines, Governor Richard Bourke was forced to let the growing town remain. In 1837, Governor Bourke gave this settlement the name “Melbourne.”

Step back in time by visiting some of the oldest buildings in the city. The Old Melbourne Gaol, which held some of Australia’s most notorious criminals, was built in the 1800s near the site of the gallows where Melbourne’s first public executions took place. Captain James Cook’s Cottage was built in 1755 but was brought to Fitzroy Gardens in 1934. Step inside the iconic Polly Woodside tall ship that started sailing in 1885. It’s a testament to Australia’s rich maritime history.

The Gold Rush

The history of Melbourne will not be complete without talking about the Gold Rush of the 1850s. The discovery of gold resulted to a boom of population and an outstanding heritage of fine architecture and infrastructure.

Go on an exciting adventure in some preserved gold mining towns that bring to life the 1850s gold rush. Explore a real underground gold mine in Bendigo’s Central Deborah Gold Mine. Pan for gold in Ballarat’s Sovereign Hill or in High Country’s El Dorado Museum.

What has been mentioned above just gives the tip of the iceberg of what can be discovered about the history of Melbourne. There’s a lot more to uncover by visiting other key historic places like the Forum Theatre on Flinders Street and Russell Street, La Trobe’s Cottage that was built in 1839, the Coma House and Garden with its impressive collection of antique furniture, the Shrine of Remembrance built in memory of the men and women of Victoria who fought during World War I and the Royal Exhibition Building, which is a World Heritage Site. Visit these places and discover more for yourself. To see prices for removals see the Fragile removals website in Melbourne


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