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Walking around Uluru (Ayers Rock)

After watching the sun rise we began a walk part way around the Rock. The circumference is 9.4kms (5.8mi). There are quite a few walks around the base. You can do them all at once or break them up into each walk. We did the Kuniya and Lungkata Walks. Each of the six walks around the base have their own significance.

The Kuniya Walk focuses on the Kuniya Tjukurpa as well as the place of waterholes in Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park. In addition, information is provided on the pivotal role of the Mutitjulu waterhole in establishing tourism at the Park and its focal point in early interactions between Europeans and traditional owners at Uluru.

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The Lungkata Walk focuses on the non-snake reptiles of Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park as well as fire management on the Park. By the time we started this walk the sun came out providing the gorgeous blue sky as the backdrop.

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Glenrowan….Ned Kelly’s last siege and capture

On the way home from Bright we decided to go to Glenrowan. This is where Ned Kelly, probably Australia’s most famous (or infamous) bushranger was caught in the siege finally caught The Kelly Gang. These days the freeway diverts traffic away from Glenrowan but it’s well worth getting off it to go into town. There is a self-guided walk around town pointing out all the major points of interest. Each stop explains its part in the siege. There is also a museum devoted to all things related to the Kelly Gang.

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Australian’s are fond of ‘big’ things ie big Banana, ram, Koala, Lobster and many, many more. This ‘big’ Ned is in the town centre.

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The re-creation of Ned Kelly’s capture after being shot. He wore the metal shield around his torso and head but left is legs unprotected so that’s where the police shot him.

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The Museum and Tourist Centre.

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Bollards are placed around town on the self-guided walk to re-create the characters involved in the shootout and capture of Ned and some of his gang members.

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The train station has been re-built. This is where Ned and his gang were transported to Melbourne to face judgement.

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The jail cell where Ned was kept while transport was organised to Melbourne.

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http://www.cv.vic.gov.au/stories/sites-in-glenrowan/

Quarantine Station in Point Nepean National Park

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The quarantine station was built in 1852. This site was chose because it was remote from Melbourne and only accessible by boat. There are around 50 heritage-listed buildings making up the complex.

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There are five double-storeyed buildings like this in the complex. They were used as hospitals and admin buildings amongst other uses. They were built from local sandstone. We don’t have a lot of sandstone in Victoria. Bluestone is the most well-known stone.

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A walk around South Melbourne – part 2

Mum recently borrowed a book from her local library that had a lot of different walks you could do in and around Melbourne. The first time I looked at it I thought there were a few good walks but the second time I realised that I wanted to do most of them. I also realised I had already done some of them. Now that the weather is getting better we are going to do more walking and sightseeing. We love being tourists in our own town. There’s no better way of getting to know a place than by getting out of your car and walking. You see so much more.

South Melbourne isn’t a place I knew a lot about. Apart from a few job interviews years ago in the business district of the suburb I haven’t been there a lot. I’ve been past it and around it often enough. It borders Albert Park, Port Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay, all places I’ve been to a lot more. I was looking forward to this walk. It was a nice day for walking too.

It took a while for us to get our bearings but parked near the corner of Park and Ferrars Sts. That was actually stop 4 on the tour but we decided it was easy to park there. When we got a block away from the South Melbourne Market we decided to go in there for lunch. I loved the range and prices of the fruit, vegies and items in the butchers.

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One of the modern developments in South Melbourne. This one has a modern scene printed on the side depicting the trams rustling down South Melbourne.

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This beautiful, old building was a school but is now apartments. I’ve seen other such buildings turned into apartments as well.

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Nixon Place is an example of the cobblestone laneways spread through many inner-city suburbs. There is a drainage channel running down the centre. These laneways were used by night soil collectors and ice delivery men before mod cons such as indoor bathrooms and fridges.

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Nowadays, the Caledonian is a house but it was originally built as a hotel.

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These heritage-listed prefabricated portable cottages are an example of the housing that was required in the 1850’s Gold Rush. Demand was so high that they had to come up with a cheap, easily-built type of housing. They are maintained by the National Trust and are only open on the first Sunday of each month.

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Another example of Gold Rush housing. This one is a wooden prefabricated house. The owners have very cleverly built a double storey house beside and behind the wooden house. It’s very well designed, providing a discreet home and not destroying the look of the wooden house.

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Rochester Terrace. An example of the beautiful rows of terraces.

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A walk around South Melbourne – part 1

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South Melbourne is one of the oldest suburbs in Melbourne, being just 2kms south of the city. It was originally named Emerald Hill because it was an attractive green hill behind the swampy land south of the Yarra River.

Within a few decades it became one of the homes of the working class. There were a number of industries operating in this and nearby suburbs and they needed somewhere to live. There are streets of tiny workers cottages on the western side of the suburb. Further east are much more grand two and three storey homes with iron lacework. The town hall is one of the most magnificent in Melbourne.

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The photos above and below are of the Old St Vincent de Paul Orphanage for Boys. Nowadays it’s the McKillop Family Services building. It is also listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.

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The much plainer Orphanage for Girls, located just behind the Boy’s Orphanage.

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I love this small building. It was probably an old corner milk bar.

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A lovely row of red and gold terraces.

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Royal Mint, Melbourne

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Until I was doing some research for the walking tour I went on in late-June, I didn’t know there had been a branch of the Royal Mint in Melbourne. I’ve been to the one in Canberra but don’t remember them mentioning the Melbourne branch. I had never noticed the beautiful building either on the corner of William and Lonsdale Sts, a very prominent building near the Flagstaff Gardens.

On the tour the guide told us this was the only branch of the Royal Mint outside of England at the time it was built. Originally they made English coins but later began minting Aussie coins. The building was completed in 1872 when Melbourne was one of the wealthiest cities in the world. And it was less than 40 years old. They were able to use gold in the Coat of Arms that hangs above the portico at the front of the building.

We couldn’t go inside because it is leased to a private company but in the past it has also been the home of the Registry Office (it is a gorgeous building to have wedding photos taken in front of) and the home of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria.

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The lovely gatehouse. One of the few remaining buildings of the complex. Some of the buildings at the back were demolished after the complex ceased to be the Mint in 1968.

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This beautiful, gold crest of the Mint is hanging on the gate.

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Walking tour: East side of Melbourne

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Scot’s Church

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This cute little garden is on the boundary of Scot’s Church.

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We saw this piece of art on the wall near Naura House.

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Old Treasury Building – this is now the Registry Office and Births, Deaths and Marriage. They also hold exhibitions about Melbourne’s history. I didn’t realise this until recently so will go and see some of them.

It was built during the Gold Rush in the 1850’s when Melbourne was the richest city in the world and known world-wide as Marvellous Melbourne. Amazingly, it was designed by a 19 year old architect.

Walking tour: More of Collins St

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Have a look closely at the building above. Can you see what makes it remarkable? Comment if you can.

We were heading further east of the city during the walking tour. The lower the building number, the more prestigious the address. The lower numbers make up the ‘Paris end’ of Collins St. This is where you go to find the expensive, international retailers such as Prada and Luis Vuitton. Before it became the Paris end it was where the medical practices were. It was a big deal if you were going to a Collins St specialist. And expensive.

We stopped to look at this building which is opposite the T & G building. It’s a beautiful building that was originally built as a medical practice. Jeremy pointed out what makes this building different. When you know what it is you realise how obvious it is.

The building is now dwarfed by the Hyatt Hotel.

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Walking tour: T & G building

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When it was built, the T & G Building at 161 Collins St was described as the most beautiful building in Melbourne. T & G stands for Temperance and General as it was built by the Temperance Society. Mum pointed out that it was also known as the Tooth and Gum building because when she was growing up many dental specialists had their clinics in there.

There is a big trend in ‘shadowing’ buildings in Melbourne these days. I read an article about it a few weeks ago and Jeremy mentioned it and pointed out some buildings that had been shadowed. This is where they keep the historical facade and build a modern building behind it. Some architects are saying it is cheating and doesn’t really keep the history of the building so in fact we are still losing so much history.

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Walking tour: Forum Theatre & Duke of Wellington Hotel

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Looking at the Forum Theatre, it’s hard to believe it was originally built as a home. After that it became what it is known for, a theatre. It had one screen with two levels. The rich people watched from the stalls upstairs and the rest from downstairs. It was eventually converted into two movie screens, one on each level.

The exterior is built in the Moorish style. It was such a grand building, it was noticeable from Flinders St Station. There is a 49 metre clocktower on the corner of Flinders and Russell Sts.

Nowadays the building is looking grand but tired. It’s beauty is fading and is desperately in need of a facelift. Paint is peeling and the roof over the footpath is damaged amongst other things.

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You can see some of the peeling paint on the right hand side of this photo.

On the opposite corner of Flinders and Russell Sts is the Duke of Wellington Hotel. Built in the early 1850’s (before the gold rush) and recently reopened after years of renovation, it has the feeling of an old-fashioned pub inside with modern finishes, large-screen tvs and bars. Most of the building has been modernised but there are a couple of original brick walls, one with three arches in it.

We walked in one door and out the other – and didn’t stop for a drink. That would have been nice because we were so cold.

Walking tour: St Paul’s Cathedral

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Our http://www.Meltours.com.au East walking tour began at the Melbourne Visitor’s Centre at Federation Square. We were to meet our guide outside the Visitor’s Centre. As soon as he walked towards us I recognised him as an actor I’ve seen a lot of on tv. I remembered his name was Jeremy but couldn’t remember his surname. I quickly googled him and came up with his surname. A few minutes later he introduced himself as Jeremy Kewley and mentioned he was an actor and gave his surname.

Jeremy turned out to be fantastic tour guide. His knowledge and love of Melbourne and it’s history is amazing. He started off by giving us a shortish history of Melbourne. A lot of it I knew but he filled in some gaps and ’embellished’ some of the stories. He would be a great person to sit and listen to. He would go off on different tangents and told us so many stories. I have to say he really made the tour a lot of fun and extremely interesting.

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We started off looking at St Paul’s Cathedral. Now, because the cathedral is on the corner of one of Melbourne’s busiest intersections (opposite Flinders St Station and Fed Sq) I’ve walked past hundreds of times but never REALLY looked at the detail in the building. The foundation stone was laid in 1880. The spires weren’t built at that time. Construction of those began in 1926. When you stop to look at them closely, you can see the stone is different and I could see the line where they start. I’d also never really noticed the square tiles either.

Jeremy told us the story of how the building was designed by an English architect who never bothered to come to Australia to oversee the project. As a result, some changes were made to the design which annoyed the architect so much he quit the project.
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Kings Cross, Sydney by day

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My final stop on the Hop-on, Hop-off bus was at Kings Cross. At night it’s full of nightlife but during the day it’s quite a sleepy place. It feels like everyone is asleep or just waiting to come out at night to play.

The El Alamein Fountain is located at the entrance to the Fitzroy Gardens on the corner of Darlinghurst Rd and Macleay St in Kings Cross. It’s significance is that it is a war memorial to the soldiers that died in two battles at El Alamein in Egypt during World War 2. Some people say the shape is like a dandelion (which I agree with) and it won it’s architect an award in the early 1960’s. I love going there and just sitting and watching the water and the interesting people walking past.

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Angled Wheels of Fortune

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The double-decker Hop-on, Hop-off bus

Cadman’s Cottage, Sydney

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Built in 1816, this little cottage’s claim to fame is that it is the oldest surviving residential (and the third oldest) building in Sydney. It was built as a home for the government coxswain who looked after the government boats and their crews. Since then it has had a number of uses. The cottage is now a museum and the home of the Sydney Harbour National Park Information Centre. It was designed by Francis Greenway, an English architect who was transported to the colony of New South Wales for forgery. His career in NSW was controversial because he was designing buildings while still serving his sentence. This caused quite an uproar amongst the elite in the colony.

I had heard about the cottage from my interest in Australian history over many years but thought it was hard to find. This time when I went to Sydney I decided to find it and realised it was just off George St in The Rocks.

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The following photos show the timeline of Sydney’s history.

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Macquarie St, Sydney

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Macquarie St, Sydney is named after my favourite governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie who with his wife Elizabeth, came to the colony in 1810 and stayed until 1821. During that time he commissioned the building of many beautiful buildings that still stand today, many of them in the street named after him. He also brought in a lot of reforms for convicts which wasn’t popular with the military sent to guard the colony.

The first two photos in this post is of Hyde Park Barracks. The building was designed to house male adult and child convicts. It has also been a home to female immigrants, an asylum and a home for destitute women at various times. It’s my favourite building on Macquarie St. Inside is now a museum and a bookstore. I ban myself from the bookstore because there are so many books I really want. I can spend a fortune in there every time I go there. And now they have an online bookstore. Dangerous!!!

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State Parliament House, formerly known as the Rum Hospital because the business men who built the hospital were given a monopoly on the importation of rum for three years.

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The Royal Mint which was originally part of the Rum Hospital. In 1853 it became the first branch of the Royal Mint outside England so it’s name was changed.

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Statue of Queen Victoria near Hyde Park.

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The more modern State Library

Circular Quay, Sydney

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Circular Quay is the hub of Sydney and it’s transport system. It’s a hive of activity at any time of the day. In the mornings and evenings it’s busy with business people and during the day and night time it’s the tourists that keep it busy.

This is the main ferry quay in Sydney and ferries depart here to Manly, Watson’s Bay, Middle Harbour, Darling Harbour and upriver to Parramatta amongst other destinations. There are also restaurants, cafes and tourist shops here. The Museum of Contemporary Art and the Overseas Passenger Terminal are located on the western side with the Opera House on the eastern side.

The area played a major part in the settling of New South Wales in 1788 after Botany Bay was thought to be an unsuitable place to set up the new colony.

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Walking around The Rocks – Part 2

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Next stop on my walk was around The Rocks to Circular Quay. Many of the buildings in the area have been converted for other purposes. In the 1980’s it wasn’t a popular area and there was a movement to knock down a lot of buildings and build modern, probably high-rise buildings. The public rallied around and convinced authorities they should save the area and make it into a tourist area. If this hadn’t happened so much of Sydney’s and Australia’s history would have been lost forever.

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The terrace houses above have been converted into shops and small businesses.

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I always love seeing these walls with the trees, creepers and other plants growing within the cracks in the wall.

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An example of some of the beautiful sandstone that you see buildings around Sydney made from.

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The Harbour Rocks Hotel is quite famous in the area. I’ve often thought of staying there one day.

Walking around The Rocks, Sydney

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One of my favourite Aussie movies, Starstruck, was filmed at the Harbour View Hotel. It’s (now) a daggy but fun musical movie that launched the careers (some only short-lived) of some actors. For years I’ve wanted to see where the movie was filmed and researched it on the internet before going to Sydney. I knew I had plenty of time to walk around to find it, knowing it was just under the Harbour Bridge. I know that part of Sydney really well because it’s my favourite part, being the history buff I am, so I knew which streets went where.

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The Hero of Waterloo is one of Sydney’s most historic and oldest pubs. It was built in 1863 and was a popular drinking spot for the Garrison Troops in those days. It’s famous for the tunnel that is supposed to run from the harbour to the hotel. There are some funny stories of men getting drunk at the hotel and being smuggled on to the ships that were at anchor on the harbour and waking up to find themselves as reluctant sailors on their way to some exotic destination.

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The Garrison Church where the troops attended. This is one of my favourite spots in The Rocks. I love the architecture.

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The Argyle Cut is one of the most amazing pieces of construction undertaken in Sydney in the 1800’s. Convicts cut through the sandstone and then when transportation ended, qualified stonemasons completed the work. Once completed, it allowed better access to the port facilities from The Rocks. If you didn’t know about the Cut you would walk right through without realising the significance but it was such an engineering feat at the time.

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Susannah Place, The Rocks, Sydney

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Susannah Place is a row of four original terrace houses in the historic Rocks area of Sydney. Dating back to 1844, they show how the early immigrants lived in Sydney. The houses look run down but inside they are meticulously cared for and kept as they were when they when they were built. Unfortunately the museum was closed at the time. I came across a tour group but they had already started so I was unable to join in. It’s one of the few complexes I’ve seen where they have so faithfully restored the homes.

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Melbourne’s Docklands – part 2

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The old and the new: a disused wharf with shiny modern buildings behind it. Many of the wharves in the Docklands have been transformed into bars and cafes but this one is still awaiting development. It’s great to see these old buildings being given a new life.

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Webb Bridge – this is another newish bridge that joins the Docklands to South Wharf and Yarra’s Edge developments. It was designed by Melbourne architects Denton Corker Marshall in collaboration with sculptor Robert Owen who imagined it as a Koori eel trap. It weaves its way from north of the Yarra to the south following the path of the old Webb railway bridge.

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