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Walking time: 2 hours
Distance: 3.75 km
Magnificent cathedrals, lush parklands and delightful Flinders Lane.
Federation Square (1) St Paul's Anglican Cathedral (2)
Opposite Federation Square, begin by taking the 10-minute tour of St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral. Pick up a brochure inside the entrance to guide you.
Matthew Flinders (3)
Near the Swanston Street entrance notice the statue of Matthew Flinders who bravely circumnavigated the continent in 1801-03.
Hosier Lane (4) Flinders Lane (5)
Continue back along Flinders Street to Hosier Lane. As you walk up the cobblestones to Flinders Lane, take in the dramatic street art and funky bars. Once the home of the city’s rag trade, today the old warehouses and factories hide apartments, artisans and galleries and some of the city’s grooviest bars.
Levy and Robinson's Warehouse (6) Milton House (7)
At 129-131 Flinders Lane, look out for Levy and Robinson's Warehouse that dates back to 1857. Near Spring Street you’ll pass Milton House, built as a hospital in 1901. The Aboriginal Art Gallery on the corner of Spring Street and Flinders Lane is one of the many temptations for browsers and collectors in Flinders Lane.
Treasury Gardens (8) Robert Burns (9) John F. Kennedy (10)
At the top of Spring Street the view widens to an expanse of green. Cross Spring Street and enter the Treasury Gardens. With their beautiful avenues of Moreton Bay Figs, the gardens are full of history - dating back to the early period of European settlement. As you stroll through them, look for the monuments to Scottish poet Robert Burns and the assassinated American president John F. Kennedy.
Fitzroy Gardens (11)
Cross Lansdowne Street into Fitzroy Gardens, and discover more historic and botanic treasures. Fitzroy Gardens was laid out in the 1850s and named after Sir Charles Augustus Fitzroy, Governor of New South Wales and Governor General of the Australian Colonies. Today, more than two million local, interstate and international visitors come to enjoy the gardens every year.
Follow the green signs to the graceful Conservatory built in 1930. Go in and see what’s in bloom (it’s free!) and walk around to admire the statues outside. Five major flower displays are staged each year, attracting large crowds of garden lovers.
Cooks' Cottage (13)
Your next stop is Cooks’ Cottage, which was shipped from Great Ayton in Yorkshire and re-erected in Fitzroy Gardens in 1934 as a Victorian centenary gift. The explorer James Cook may never have lived in the cottage, but his parents probably did. For a small fee, you can go inside the cottage and see the reconstruction of a modest English home of the mid 1700s.
Scarred tree (14)
Just up the small path to the east, a scarred tree is a reminder Aboriginal people were here long before.
Sinclair's Cottage (15) Fairies' Tree (16) Model Tudor Village (17)
You continue this walk past Sinclair’s Cottage. Built in 1864, it was the home to James Sinclair and his family. Sinclair was a renowned horticulturalist who established the Fitzroy Gardens in the 1860s. Follow the signs to the Pavilion Café - a great spot to relax and unwind. The nearby carved Fairies’ Tree and Model Tudor Village are popular with young children, while adults enjoy the elegant fountains and rotundas.
Children's playground (18)
Don’t miss the children’s playground - slide down the dragon’s tail, swing on the giraffe’s ears, see how the dragon glows in the dark! If you look carefully, maybe you’ll spot a possum or two in the trees overhead.
English elms (19) River God (20)
The English elms in Fitzroy Gardens are among the oldest and finest in the world. Along a glorious avenue, climb to the River God fountain and walk west towards the cathedral spires at Lansdowne Street.
St Patrick's College (21) Pilgrim Path (22) St Patrick’s (Catholic) Cathedral (23)
Cross Lansdowne Street to Cathedral Place, where a lonely tower is all that remains of St Patrick’s College. Then take the serene Pilgrim Path to St Patrick’s (Catholic) Cathedral, the architectural triumph of William Wardell.
The cathedral was built between 1858 and 1897, with spires added in the 1930s. During restoration work in the 1990s, a stonemason secretly carved a gargoyle in the image of recent Victorian Premier Jeffrey Kennett. You can spot ‘Jeff’ on high, to the right of the South Transept Door.
Stone inlay (24)
From the forecourt, where Aboriginal and Christian spiritual symbols are reconciled in the stone inlay, enter the Great West Doors and walk through to the seven beautiful chapels surrounding the sanctuary.
Lutheran Church (25)
Leaving the cathedral, walk down Macarthur Street, towards the towering city buildings, passing the Lutheran Church 25 built in 1853.
Premiers statues (26)
Cut through Treasury Reserve to see John Cain, Sir Henry Bolte and other premiers of Victoria at the end of Premiers Way. The Kennett state government introduced premiers statues for premiers serving 3000 days or more in office.
Government buildings (27) 1 Treasury Place (28)
Look along Treasury Place to some of Victoria’s finest government buildings. The current premier’s office is 1 Treasury Place.
Hotel Lindrum (29)
Cross Treasury Gardens and turn right into Flinders Street. Stop for coffee or a snack at the Hotel Lindrum, formerly the Lindrum Billiard Rooms. All-time billiards champion Walter Lindrum made a world record break of 4137 on an English tour in 1932!
Herald Building (30) Birrarung Marr (31)
Walk past the old Herald Building built in the 1920s and turn left into Batman Avenue that leads down to Birrarung Marr, the city’s newest park by the river. Birrarung means ‘river of mists’ in the language of the Wurundjeri people who originally lived here, and ‘Marr’ means ‘side of the river’. The 21st century parkscape is a popular outdoor venue for Melbourne’s many festivals and performances.
Federation Bells (32) Federation Square (1)
Cross the bridge to the Federation Bells sound sculpture where 39 electronic bells chime three times daily (currently 8am to 9am, 12.30pm to 1.30pm and 5pm to 6pm). The bells range in sizesfrom a small handbell, to a bell that stands 1.8 metres high and weighs 3.5 tonnes. Go down the steps and follow the river back to Federation Square, enjoying fabulous city views on the way.