The lighthouse sits atop jagged cliffs, more than 50m above the sea on the Victorian coast at Portland. I think this is where I fell in love with lighthouses. Ever since, if I’m near a lighthouse I just have to go and see it. This one is still operational and provides a beacon over Bass Strait, one of the most dangerous waters in the world.
The old cottages have been converted to accommodation since we visited but the lighthouse is no longer manned. Technology does all the work now.
Highfield House, Stanley, Tasmania. This wing of the house contains the kitchen on the ground level and the staff quarters upstairs. The house was built in the 1830’s when Australia was still very young.
Dawn Princess cruise ship, docked at Mason Cove at Port Arthur
This beautiful, symmetrical, Georgian-inspired house was built between 1849 and 1852 which pre-dates the Gold Rush. The house, at 300 Queens Street, was used as the Treasury Building at one stage. It’s a shame it’s not open to the public. I would love to be able to go inside and see what it’s like in there.
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.
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.
This beautiful, gold crest of the Mint is hanging on the gate.
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.
We expected Federation Square to be the centre of the Christmas celebrations (as well as the Myer Christmas lights). I was really disappointed to find that wasn’t the case. Mum had read that there was something at the Town Hall and City Square so we headed up there.
As we walked up Swanston St we saw crowds sitting on the footpath and realised there was a light show at the Town Hall. As we got closer we realised the exterior of the building was illuminated in a magnificent light show.