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Historical Sites in Melbourne

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Australia
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Churchill Island Heritage Farm
Experience a piece of Victoria’s heritage on this historic island, where you can enjoy a relaxing stroll through the fragrant cottage gardens and lawns. Coastline walks offer magnificent views of Phillip Island and Western Port, while the restored farmhouse and cottages provide a glimpse into the past lives of early Australian settlers and past farming practices. Churchill Island, just off the coast of Phillip Island holds an important place in the history of European settlement in Victoria. The site of the first European agricultural pursuits in Victoria, the island has been farmed since the 1850’s and in 1872 was purchased by Samuel Amess, former Mayor of Melbourne. This tiny island of 57 hectares is now open to the public as an historic working farm that boasts significant natural and cultural values with world-class wetlands, ancient Moonah trees, heritage gardens and historic buildings.
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Portarlington Mill
Located just 300 metres from the beach, the Portarlington Mill was constructed in 1856 with rough local sandstone and Baltic Pine floors. The interior spaces are quintessential mid 19th century industrial style: large open spaces with heavy timber posts and beams enclosed by natural stone. The Mill is one of the few remaining and preserved Victorian flour mills.
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Warrook Farm
Warrook is living history, a full working farm over 100 years old. Take a step back in time, channel your inner ‘farmer’ self as you experience a range of hands on activities and demonstrations at Warrook – a genuine Aussie farm experience!
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Parliament House
See democracy in action at Australia’s iconic Parliament House high on Capital Hill. During Question Time see the country’s elected politicians make the big decisions on behalf of the nation. Take a guided tour, visit the popular Queen's Terrace Cafe and view historic documents and see an impressive collection of Australian art including one of the world’s largest tapestries based on an Arthur Boyd design.
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Australian War Memorial
The Australian War Memorial is pleased to be the recipient of TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Award for the number one landmark in both Australia and the South Pacific for 2016.
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Hobart Gas Company
Among the many and various curiosities that greet those arriving in Hobart, one that literally towers above the rest, is a distinctive brick chimney standing over the highway on the city centre's eastern edge. Built for the Hobart Gas Company, this grand two-tonne stack is square-based yet octagonal through its upper reaches. Built more than a century ago, it was used for barely a dozen years. Its significance is less about longevity, however, than it is about science; this handsome construction represents the technological underpinnings of modern Hobart and the innovative steam, gas and electric energy that powered it. At its base, the handful of original gasworks buildings are now a restaurant, convenience store, bottle shop and offices. Above them, the stack remains, a quiet reminder of an industry that once was -- and a unique signpost for those visiting Hobart. Hobart Gas Company was formed in 1854 to light the city streets. Processed from imported coal – the local product was of poor quality – the new 'town gas' impacted the young city of Hobart like nothing before it. Gaslighting in factories, homes and streets replaced oil lamps and candles, so that working hours lengthened, streets became safer, and the convenience of gaslighting and cooking came to homes.
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Hobart Convict Penitentiary
One of Australia's most significant convict precincts is only a short walk or Red Decker bus ride from Hobart's CBD (at the 'Old Hobart Gaol' stop). The Tench, as it was known by its inhabitants, was the convict prisoners' barracks for Hobart Town. It originally spanned over two acres and some 50,000 male convicts passed through the complex. Following the cessation of convict transportation, the site became Hobart Gaol for more than 100 years. This fascinating history can still be discovered in the buildings which remain - a captivating insight into over 175 years of Hobart's shadier past.
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Hahndorf
A stroll through historic Hahndorf's main street is the highlight for many visitors to the region. Settled in 1839 by Prussian Lutherans bravely seeking religious freedom on the other side of the world, Hahndorf's picturesque colonial charm remains remarkably intact. Located just 25 minutes from Adelaide, Hahndorf is Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement and still has a strong German flavour most evident in the smallgoods outlets, bakeries, pubs, restaurants and cafes that line the bustling main street. While its proximity to Adelaide makes Hahndorf a perennial favourite as a day trip destination, most visitors wish they had longer to explore all the township has to offer so consider accommodation from the wide range available.
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Old Government House
The summer residence of South Australia’s early governors, Old Government House, sits in the heart of Belair National Park. The house is an excellent example of Victorian architecture and is set amongst magnificent gardens. It was built on the Government farm as the former summer residence of several early Governors of South Australia. The cottage is an excellent example of Victorian-style architecture. It is looked after by a dedicated group of volunteers and the Friends of Old Government House in conjunction with DEWNR.
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Tacking Point Lighthouse
Built in 1879 by NSW architect James Barnet, Tacking Point Lighthouse is the thirteenth oldest lighthouse in Australia. The lighthouse is located in the picturesque coastal town of Port Macquarie, NSW, and sits atop a rocky headland which offers stunning panoramic views along Australia’s Mid-North Coast. Due to the elevation of the rocky headland, the lighthouse itself is only eight metres high, and the area itself is a popular location for whale-watching during migration. Explore the gorgeous beaches of Port Macquarie along a stunning coastal walk, starting at Town Green foreshore and finishing at Tacking Point Lighthouse. This 9.1 kilometre trek offers exquisite views of Port Macquarie’s beaches, foreshore shrubbery and native wildlife.
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Lismore Memorial Baths
The Lismore Memorial Baths were reopened in September 2005, after more than two years of redevelopment work. The multi-million dollar aquatics facility sets a new benchmark on the Northern Rivers. The Memorial Baths not only provides a great place for families and the community to enjoy their leisure time, they also cater for the more serious swimmers. The facility meets international specifications and is capable of hosting major events. State of the art equipment includes an electronic timing system available for major swimming carnivals and a moveable boom for short-course events and multi-programming.
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Anzac Hill
The most visited landmark in Alice Springs, Anzac Hill is the ideal spot for an overview of the town. The lookout offers a panoramic view of Alice Springs and the beautiful surrounding ranges. The Anzac Hill Memorial was unveiled on 25 April 1934 (Anzac Day) and was originally dedicated to all those members of the armed services who had paid the supreme sacrifice during World War I. It has now become a memorial to all those who have served in the defence of their country during all wars in which Australia has participated. Facing the Gap, interesting and comprehensive interpretative signs border the lookout. These detail some of the local Arrentte people's creation stories, featuring the Yeperenye Caterpillar of the MacDonnell Ranges and Mparntwe (Alice Springs).
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Alice Springs Telegraph Station
The Alice Springs Telegraph Station is a historic museum precinct, presenting the story of the connection of Australia to the rest of the world through Telegraph Communication in 1871. Since being declared protected as a Historical Reserve in 1963, it has become the best preserved Station along the Overland Telegraph Line. Guided tours of the heritage precinct run from March to November at 9:30am, 11:30am, 1:30pm & 3:30pm. Visit the original "Alice Spring" and learn about the origins of the town. Enjoy NT roasted coffee and homemade snacks at the Trail Station Wi-Fi Cafe and browse through the gift and souvenir shop and send a postcard from the towns original red Postbox.
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Gubulla Munda
A popular place in the Burdekin for visitors to take photos is located in Plantation Park, Ayr. The giant carpet snake is an impressive feature, and makes a fantastic backdrop. This 60 metre artwork depicts Gubulla Munda, the Aboriginal totem and the protective spirit for the Birri Gubba people. Gubulla Munda holds sacred cultural and spiritual significance to the Traditional Owners.
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Castle Hill
Just metres short of a mountain, Castle Hill is the giant pink granite monolith that stands proud in the centre of Townsville - a perfect place for visitors to orientate themselves. As well as offering vehicle access, Castle Hill provides a number of popular walking tracks, which are frequented by more than 2,500 locals a day! The 360-degree views of Townsville at the top are well worth the journey. Be sure to have a camera on hand, particularly for sunrise or sunset as these are photo opportunities which shouldn't be missed. Apart from being an iconic centrepiece for the city and a lookout for spectacular scenic views, Castle Hill has a significant history. The Hill's vantage was used by visiting American soldiers during World War II. According to local legend, the visitors famously offered to demolish the hill and use the rock to build a bridge to Magnetic Island. A World War II observation bunker sits on one corner of the Hill reminding visitors of Castle Hill's military history.
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Arrowtown
Arrowtown is a living historic settlement with many stories to tell. Wander the tree-lined streets of restored cottages and explore gold mining sites. One of the most picturesque settlements in New Zealand, Arrowtown sits alongside the gold-bearing Arrow River and is just 20 minutes from Queenstown. The town was established in 1862, during the height of the Otago gold rush. The settlement grew quickly as pioneers constructed cottages, shops, hotels and churches, more than 60 of which can still be seen today. The gold days are long over (although you can still pan for gold in the river with some success), so Arrowtown's focus is on hosting visitors. Play a round at the challenging local golf course or take a 4WD journey to Macetown, a ghost town accessible only by wagon track, or simply while away some time wandering the streets, café hopping, or catch a film!
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Innisfail Chinese Temple
The Chinese Temple was built in 1940 by the shire's Chinese population who were drawn to the agricultural industry and the gold rushes of the region. Far North Queensland is a very special part of Australia. It is lush and Tropical with green intrusive mountains complementing the adjoining blue-water Great Barrier Reef. Innisfail is situated in the heart of Far North Queensland, and it is to this area that peoples from across the globe migrated, to share in Nature's bounty. The Chinese were one such small group and contributed to the community with their industrious ways and a subtle spiritual and cultural centre, referred to as the "Joss House", but now more appropriately named as the "Innisfail Temple".
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Dunedin Railway Station
Described as ‘the outstanding monument of Edwardian architecture in New Zealand’, as well being regarded as the most photographed building in the country, the Dunedin Railway Station was constructed in 1906, during the New Zealand railing systems period of growth that occurred between the late 1890s to the early 1900s.
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Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park
Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park prides itself on its authenticity. The Tjapukai people inhabited the tropic region that extends from Cairns to Port Douglas and inland to Kuranda. Their name means ‘People of the Rainforest'. The displays and cultural dances within the park portray the Dreamtime through to the present reality of today's Tjapukai people.
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Auckland Museum - Tamaki Paenga Hira
Welcome to Auckland Museum, where exciting stories of New Zealand people, the Pacific, flora, fauna and landforms of our unique islands, are told within a memorial dedicated to those who have sacrificed their lives for our country.
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The Elms - Te Papa Tauranga
The Elms | Te Papa Tauranga, one of the oldest heritage sites in New Zealand. As a place of early contact between Māori and Pākehā, this historic site remains at the centre of Tauranga’s history and identity today.
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Nga Pou o Heretaunga
18 pou, each representing an ancestor from marae around the Heretaunga district stand proudly in the centre of Hastings, presenting a tangible link to the regions' cultural heritage.
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Art Deco
Napier's Art Deco town centre is unique. Rivalled only by Miami beachfront Streamline Moderne, it is the most comprehensive Art Deco styled town in the world. Fascination with cinema, Hollywood and exotic imagery from Africa and South America mixed with expressions of new and exciting transport engineering; railway, steamships, cars and airplanes, is what gives Art Deco its distinct look. Other period styles such as Spanish Mission and Stripped Classical were also tested and mixed in. Notable Architect J. A. Louis Hay also experimented with the palette of Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie Style. Despite this altogether global influence, the town retains its kiwi nature in building and street scale, bright colour, and New Zealand's typically quirky and innovative appropriation of international trends. An architecture that embodies an era's optimism in the face of such a tragedy; enjoy this town's many architectural treasures with a variety of walks and guided tours, or take it in at your own pace as you stroll down the palm-lined Marine Parade.
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Napier Prison
Walk through New Zealand's oldest prison! Listen to a 50-minute self-guided audio tour of Napier Prison while inspecting the vacant prison cells and deserted exercise yard. Learn the history and feel the oppressive atmosphere of the hanging yard, the solitary confinement and the death row cells. Hear the tales of Australasia's richest drug baron, numerous escape attempts, the ominous Eye Eater, and the graveyard. Take your time walking through the empty halls and enjoy several photo opportunities that are great for the family! Opening in 1862, Napier Prison is New Zealand's oldest penal complex. Begin your tour at the front gate and enter through the prisoner-built wall and walk through the Visiting Area where family members could see their loved ones. Take a look at the The Pound and see what solitary confinement meant in the 1900s, and visit the Detox Room where inmates would be disinfected and begin their new life behind bars. Next, step through the Courtyard where the Shower Block, Toilets, and Mess Hall are located. Learn about their meager meals and the few recreational activities available. As you enter the living areas, you'll witness the living conditions that inmates were subjected to, see how they left their mark on the Prison, and learn about the Earthquake that levelled Napier City. You'll make your way through the back of the Prison where you'll learn about the Graveyard and the prisoners that remain here. Finally, around the Cleaning Building, you'll visit the ominous Hanging Yard where several inmates met their end. This audio-guided tour allows you to take your time (or skip) certain parts of the Prison. The tour allows you to read extra information and take great photo opportunities along the way.
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Guadalcanal American Memorial
The World War II Guadalcanal American Memorial is located on Skyline Drive overlooking the town of Honiara, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. It was built through the joint efforts of ABMC and the Guadalcanal-Solomon Islands Memorial Commission. It honours those Americans and its allies who lost their lives during the Guadalcanal Campaign of World War II (August 7, 1942, to February 9, 1943). The memorial consists of a 4-foot square, 24-foot tall pylon on which is inscribed: This memorial has been erected by the United States of America in humble tribute to its sons and its allies who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the liberation of the Solomon Islands 1942-1943. There are four directional walls pointing to the four major battle areas. Inscribed on these walls are a description of the battles and a listing of the U.S. and Allied ships that were lost.
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Bajra Sandhi Monument
Set within a beautiful park in front of the Bali Governor Office in Renon, Denpasar, this massive cultural monument was built in order to mark the struggle of the Balinese people throughout history. The Bajra Sandhi Monument features a three-tiered black stone structure with a tall tower that’s surrounded by courtyards. There’s a spiral staircase that leads up to the top of the monument offering 360-degree views of Denpasar, including the surrounding government buildings and the towers of the Denpasar Cathedral. On the building’s second floor, a series of 33 dioramas trace Bali’s long and unique history: prehistoric times, the introduction of Hinduism, Dutch colonialism, and its independence.
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Fort Rotterdam
Standing majestically at the western coast of Makassar, South Sulawesi. Fort Rotterdam is recognized as the city’s most iconic landmark. With historical traces dating back to the Kingdom of Gowa from the 16th century to colonization by the Dutch, this Fort has silently witnessed many episodes in Makassar’s history, playing a most essential role in its development. Its magnificence and authenticity has always captivated those who set eyes on it. Originally called Benteng or Fort Jumpandang or Ujung Pandang, the huge complex was first built in 1545 in the era of Imanrigau Daeng Bonto Karaeng Lakiung or Karaeng Tunipalangga Ulaweng, the tenth King of Gowa. Initially, the fort was made from a mixture of Stone and burnt clay, and took the shape of a typical square Portuguese architectural style. The fort was also expanded and took on a new shape resembling a sea turtle, thus the fort gained a new name, Benteng Pannyua (Penyu) or Fort Sea turtle. The shape is not only unique, but also contains deep meaning. For just as a sea turtle lives both on land and at sea, the glory of the Gowa Kingdom also stretched on land as well as over the seas.
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Tana Toraja
Tana Toraja is safely protected beyond the lofty mountains and rugged granite cliffs of the central highlands of the island of Sulawesi and the home of the Toraja people. 'Discovered' and opened to the world from their long isolation only since the beginning of the last century, the Toraja today still adhere to their age-old beliefs, rituals and traditions. The nobility of Toraja are believed to be descendants of heavenly beings who came down by a heavenly stairway to live here on earth in this beautiful landscape. To keep up the energy of the land and its people, the Toraja people believe that these must be sustained through rituals that celebrate both life and death, which are attached to the agricultural seasons. Tourists to Toraja, therefore, are either attracted by its unique culture and rituals, most of which are mostly centered around graves and death ceremonies. While others prefer to avoid the morbid images and go trekking through the spectacular, almost untouched Toraja countryside visiting remote villages, or exhilarate in rafting the Sa'dan river rapids.
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Ratu Boko Temple
Settled on a hillside plateau, overlooking Prambanan temple complex and with a view to Mount Merapi behind Prambanan Temple complex, lie the remains of a once grand palace. The palace (kraton) is named Ratu Boko after a King Boko of local folklore, but the real owner of the palace is more likely to have been a king of a local dynasty.
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Borobudur Temple
The Sailendra dynasty built this Largest Buddhist monument in the world between AD 780 and 840. It was built as a place for glorifying Buddha and a pilgrimage spot to guide mankind from worldly desires into enlightenment and wisdom according to Buddha.
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Chu Chi Tunnels
The Chu Chi Tunnels are part of a massive war museum in Ho Chi Minh. They offer visitors a sneak-peek at the underground life of Vietnamese soldiers back in 1948. The site has over 120km of underground tunnels, with trapdoors, living areas, kitchens, storage facilities, armoury, hospitals, and command centres. After the war against the French, Vietnamese soldiers expanded the tunnels and included effective air filtration systems, which helped them survive the Chu Chi carpet-bombings. It is now one of Ho Chi Minh’s most iconic attractions. You can enjoy plenty of activities during your visit. A popular option is following the narrow routes of the underground tunnel. Before entering the underground tunnels, visitors watch a short film of Chu Chi Tunnels so that they understand how the tunnel system works. Parts of Chu Chi Tunnels are also cemented and widened so that the crawl is less harrowing than it would have been in the past.
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Silver Pagoda
Wat Preah Keo Morakot (Silver Pagoda) is located in the southern portion of the Royal Palace complex. The pagoda was formerly known as Wat Uborsoth Rotannaram because it is where the King worshiped, prayed and practiced every Buddhist Silas Day. In the additional, the royal family and officials also held Buddhist ceremonies there.This pagoda has no monks. However, this Majestic King Norodom Sihanouk lived there for one year when he entered the monkhood on July 31, 1947. Because the pagoda has no monks, visitors usually refer to it as Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot. When the King celebrates Buddhist ceremonies, monks from other pagoda such as Wat Unaloam and Wat Botumvattey are invited to attend the ceremonies. Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot was built between 1892 and 1902, during the reign of King Norodom, but at that time it was constructed of wood and brick. Its design is base on Cambodian architectural style. Then Banhchos Khan Seima ceremony was held on Feb 5, 1903. There are 1,650 art objects housed in this temple. Most of them are Buddha figures. They are made of gold, silver, bronze and other valuable materials. Some are decorated with diamonds. They are gifts from the King, the royal family, dignitaries and other people who worship at Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot, where they pray for peace and prosperity, for happiness and for the preservation of Cambodian cultural heritage for the next generation. In front of the throne, site a Buddha statue made of gold, weighing 90 kilograms (about 200 pounds) and decorated with 2,086 diamonds. The biggest diamond is on the crown. It is 25 millimeters. This statue was commissioned in 1904 by King Sisowath, following the suggestion of King Norodom. King Norodom said, after his body was cremated the gold casket should be melted to make Buddha statue representing Preah Srei Araymetrey. This Buddha statue is named Preah Chin Raingsei Rachik Norodom.
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The Topaka Lighthouse
See the Topaka Lighthouse, a stone structure shaped like a pyramid that stands 45 feet (14 meters) high.
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Angkor Wat
There are few places anywhere on earth to match the splendour of Angkor Wat. The temple is one of the largest monuments to religion ever built and is truly one the wonders of the world. Believed to have been constructed as a temple and mausoleum for King Suryavarman II at the peak of the Khmer empire in the first half of the 12th century, Angkor Wat is probably the best-preserved of the Angkorean temples. As with other Angkorean temples and walled cities such as Angkor Thom, the central theme of Khmer architecture revolved around the idea of the temple-mountain.