48 Hour Tourist Route

Day 1

We'll start the first day of the 48 Hour Tourist Route at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) International at 10am (unless it's a Tuesday when it's closed in which case do Day 2 of the tour first!).

This is the international art section of the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). It's Australia's oldest public gallery, begun in 1861, not long after the gold rush began........

......You'll find the NGV at 180 St Kilda Road, just beyond the white spire you can see from Federation Square........

National Gallery of Victoria International

........This International section of the NGV has big collections from Europe, Asia, America and Oceania, from works by European old masters to new acquisitions by upcoming artists. (We'll be checking out the Australian section of the NGV tomorrow by the way).

Next we'll make our way towards the Royal Botanic Gardens, wandering through some other nice gardens on the way........

.........Turn right out the NGV, cross over St Kilda Road at the traffic lights and you'll find yourself on the edge of the Queen Victoria Gardens which is a lovely place to wander seeing statues, ponds and the floral clock........

.........There's rarely any crowds here so chill out and take your time. You'll see the floral clock on your left as you cross the road. Queen Victoria Gardens are behind and a bit to the left of this clock.........

.........From here, make your way up to the Lych Gate entrance of the Royal Botanic Gardens.........

Pioneer Women's Memorial Garden

.........On the way you'll pass the serene Pioneer Women's Memorial Garden, built in 1935 in tribute to the early pioneer women of Melbourne. Very few people come across this garden.

Just before you come to the Lych Gate, which is one of the many entrances to the Royal Botanic Gardens, you'll also pass The Grotto on your left which is another nice place to wander, especially on hot days due to all the shade. This was actually the quarry for the Gardens.

Wander around the Royal Botanic Gardens at your leisure or if you've not been too long at NGV International or Queen Vic Gardens then I'd highly recommend the 11am free guided walk. This free walk is available every day except Mondays. It starts from the cafe near the main entrance by the Observatory buildings at the top of the Gardens.

Have your picnic here in the gardens if you have one, then leave from the main entrance near the cafe/Observatory buildings, cross the road and you're at the Shrine of Remembrance. There's loads to see here including The Ray of Light Ceremony which is very touching. This takes place every half hour........

........ And don't miss the view over Melbourne from the top of the Shrine.

Shrine of Remembrance rooftop view

Now it's time for a little bus journey back to town. You'll see the bus stop back on the other side of the road you crossed to get here.

Here's a map of this morning's section of the 48 Hour Tourist Route. Print it off so you know where to go. You can make the map bigger by clicking on the blue writing beneath the map and use the +, - and arrow buttons if necessary. You can also click on the blue markers to see each of the attractions.

View 48 Hour Tourist Route in a larger map

Take the bus back to the city to Stop 4 outside Parliament House. Actually, it's a really good idea to do the full bus tour as you'll see and learn a lot about Melbourne but it takes one and a half hours to do a full circuit and is best left for another day.

If you didn't bring a picnic to eat and haven't already eaten elsewhere, then I'd recommend a little detour here down Little Bourke Street. Just go one block and you'll be in Chinatown with a vast choice of cheap eating places and not just Chinese meals either.

Take a seat where Victoria's decisions are made!

Refreshments finished, it's time to retrace your steps to Parliament House. Just join the queue or walk right in if there isn't a queue - and often there's not. Tours are available 9.30am, 10.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.45pm........

..........On the days when Parliament is sitting (which are not many by the way!), you can still go inside and watch the MP's in action although you can't get a tour.

If you have a while to wait for the next tour, then go to the next item on the list first, the Old Treasury Building just a tiny walk down the road. This is a famous building, designed by a 19 year old and housing the original Melbourne gold vaults.........

........There's a lot to see here including seeing a copy of the biggest gold nugget ever found in the world (found here in Victoria), and there's also a lot of history about Melbourne. The Old Treasury closes at 4pm by the way and isn't open Saturdays so plan accordingly.

Fitzroy Gardens Conservatory

Well, it's probably 4 o'clock so just time for a little stroll to Fitzroy Gardens to have a look at the gorgeous flower filled conservatory.........

.........see a sacred aboriginal tree stump, a miniature village, a Fairies Tree and lots more if you have any energy left.........

..........If you stay till dusk you may also get to see possums strolling around.

You get to Fitzroy Gardens by turning left out of the Old Treasury, left at the first path and walk along in front of the Government Buildings, cross over the road and the conservatory is a little way down the gardens on your right.

There are signs all over the gardens pointing out the places of interest.

Have a look at the map below for this afternoon's section of the 48 Hour Tourist Route - make it larger and print it off.

View 48 Hour Tourist Route in a larger map

Well, that's Day 1 of the 48 Hour Tourist Route finished, it's now time to take a well earned rest, ready for another long day tomorrow!!

Now you need to CLICK HERE for Day 2 of the 48 Hour Tourist Route.

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