Download PDF (542kb)
View a map
Walking time: 2 hours
Distance: 3.75 km
Stunning city views, glamorous Collins St, sophisticated shopping and Chinatown.
Matthew Flinders (1) Burke and Wills Monument (2)
Begin by walking up Swanston Street, opposite bustling Flinders Street Station, and past the magnificent St Paul’s Cathedral. Pass the monument to explorer Matthew Flinders and the Burke and Wills monument dedicated to their doomed journey of discovery across the continent.
Melbourne Town Hall (3) Manchester Unity Building (4)
Take in the view of the Melbourne Town Hall and Manchester Unity Building, an art deco dream built in the 1930s.
Reaching Collins Street, catch a whiff of Chanel as you turn right into Melbourne’s most sophisticated shopping street, home to Gucci, Prada, Hermes and Louis Vuitton. Majestic, tree-lined Collins Street is one of Melbourne’s most prestigious addresses.
Regent Theatre (5) Melbourne Athenaeum (6)
At the Regent Theatre, take a quick tour of the ornate entrance hall, and then look over the road to Athena on the parapet of the Melbourne Athenaeum.
If you have time, book a performance in one of the city’s fine theatres at the ticket office here.
A little further up, is the former Georges department store – now home to George Patterson Bates (one of Melbourne’s most renowned ad agencies) and design shops. Mingle with office workers in suits and elegant ladies, shopping and lunching at leisure.
161 On Collins (7)
At 161 On Collins, enter the atrium and see the glass sculptures that represent 'Significant Melbourne Landmarks and Buildings'.
Scots Church (8)
At the corner of Russell Street you’ll pass Scots Church, where Dame Nellie ‘Melba’ (named after her birthplace Melbourne) sang in the late 1800s. Her father was the builder.
St Michael’s Uniting Church (9)
As you cross Russell Street, look back down Collins Street for a stunning view of the city. Notice the beautiful polychrome patterns of St Michael’s Uniting Church. Look down to Federation Square on the right past the Grand Hyatt Plaza.
101 Collins Street (10)
On reaching the columns of 101 Collins Street, go into the neo-classical foyer. Home to the city’s financial whizzes, it’s an amazing artistic experience – four water pools, stunning marble granite columns and sumptuous gold leaf panelling.
Townhouses (11) Nauru House (12) Boutiques (13)
Back on Collins Street, several 19th century townhouses nestle in the shadow of Nauru House. These were doctors’ surgeries where Melbourne’s well-heeled came for treatment. With its luxury designer boutiques, this area was christened the ‘Paris-end’ in 1958 when the Oriental Hotel put tables on the footpath. Nowadays, city workers soak up the atmosphere over a cappuccino.
Collins Place (14)
In the 1970s, the Oriental made way for the soaring twin towers of Collins Place. Explore the fabulous shops and cafes and if you have time, check out the famous view of the city from the Sofitel restrooms on the 35th floor!
Melbourne Club (15)
Opposite is the Melbourne Club, a private gentleman’s club – you can almost smell the leather and cigars as you walk by.
Old Treasury Museum (16)
For chocolate lovers, a stop at either Koko Black or Haigh’s is a must on the way to the Old Treasury Museum at the top of Collins Street. It sits grandly at the intersection with Spring Street and was Victoria’s old Treasury, designed in the 1850s by 19-year-old JJ Clark.
Hotel Windsor (17)
Turning left into Spring Street, we are still in the heart of the city, but the calm green oasis of the Treasury Gardens is nearby. Pass the famous Hotel Windsor, the grandest surviving hotel from the 1880s. The Windsor’s traditional afternoon tea is almost an institution. And at the Cricketers Bar, the discerning drinker can enjoy a whisky and soda every day from noon.
Parliament House (18)
Look across to Parliament House and the tranquil gardens beyond. In 1860 rioters tried to storm parliament, seeking land reform. If you look behind the columns, high on the façade, you can still see the two horizontal gun slits installed by the government after the riot.
Princess Theatre (19)
At Princess Theatre (1886) Federici’s Bar is named after Frederick Baker, the actor who died on stage in 1888. Some say his ghost still haunts the building. Next door is the cosmopolitan European café and the sleek Supper Club upstairs.
Tianjin Garden (20) Gordon Place (21) Majesty’s Theatre (22) Chinatown Arch (23)
Fascinating ‘Chinatown’ begins at Tianjin Garden as you turn into Little Bourke Street. Pass Gordon Place, now a luxury hotel apartment building. Cross Exhibition Street and continue to Her Majesty’s Theatre alongside the Chinatown Arch. Her Majesty’s has staged over 100 musicals since 1934.
Facing Heaven Archway (24)
At Facing Heaven Archway you are in culinary heaven, with a host of Asian restaurants nearby. Yum Cha anyone? Be tempted at Shark Fin House, Fortuna Banquet Restaurant, or for something special, the Flower Drum.
Chinese Museum (25)
Turn right at Cohen Place and walk through to the Chinese Museum, home to the Millennium Dragon, the world’s largest parade Dragon. You’re now in the heart of one of the oldest chinatowns in the western world – where hard-working goldminers, herbalists and cabinetmakers first settled in the 1850s.
Heffernan Lane (26) Methodist Mission (27)
As you continue down Little Bourke Street, old shops, mission halls and secret laneways surround you. Cross Russell Street and turn right into Heffernan Lane where the walls of the Methodist Mission warn: ‘Commit No Nuisance’. Don’t forget to look for the signs at the end of the lane.
Tattersall’s Lane (28)
Turn left into Lonsdale Street, and return to Chinatown taking the first left into Tattersall’s Lane which was a horse bazaar in the 19th century. Lonsdale Street has some great Greek restaurants and is teeming with cafes and cake shops, rich with the aroma of coffee and oregano.
Weathervanes (29) Three businessmen who brought their own lunch (30)
From Little Bourke Street, turn left into Swanston Street, an eclectic collection of buildings and businesses, shops, buskers and public sculptures. At Bourke Street, look up to the four Weathervanes. And don’t miss Three businessmen who brought their own lunch – three of Melbourne’s founding fathers, Batman, Swanston and Hoddle.
Bourke Street Mall (31)
Turn right into Bourke Street Mall, a short pedestrian and tram strip, pulsating with shoppers, tourists and city workers. Here you’ll find Melbourne’s two big department stores, David Jones and Myer, plus the Royal Arcade (1869) with its delightful range of small specialty shops. Stop at the Melbourne Visitor Booth in the mall for more information about the city.
Royal Arcade (32) Block Place (33) Block Arcade (34) Centre Way (35) Centre Place (36) Degraves Street (37) Federation Square (38)
Take the scenic route home, and explore the maze of sensational shops and cafes in the narrow laneways. Walk through Royal Arcade, Block Place and Block Arcade over Collins Street through Centre Way, Centre Place and Degraves Street to Flinders Street
and back again to Federation Square.