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Top 5 Hidden Historical Landmarks in Melbourne

Home > Melbourne > Lists | Fun Things To Do | Fun for Children | Family | Exhibitions
by Barry J (subscribe)
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Published August 17th 2018
Lose yourself in Melbourne
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Hungry? (image by Cuckoo Restaurant)


Melbourne's icons, including the MCG, Southbank, Federation Square and Flemington, are enjoyed by millions of tourists each year.

If you're a born-and-bred Melburnian, you might take these sites for granted, jealous of first-time visitors as the gape in awe.

To find your own new delights, Melbourne still offers adventure, where period costumes and sepia-tinted glasses are encouraged. At each of these homes of hidden history, chat with the locals, who'll often reveal tidbits missing from the record books.

Start your walk into history with these top 5 landmarks in Melbourne:

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Making a withdrawal from the Treasury (by Szaaman / Public Domain)


Beatles Assassination Attempt
In 1932, the headquarters of the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Odd Fellows opened, bearing the motto, "Friendship, Love and Truth".

In 1964, as the Beatles toured Melbourne amid screaming teenage fans, the motto rang true.

But atop the towers of the Manchester Unity building, a distressed teen boy, jealous as he girlfriend swooned at the Fab Four, planned revenge on the superstars.

Learn the outcome of his heartbreak, along with the other memorable encounters on a guided tour. The gothic building is also an architectural achievement, adorned with sculpted marble and ornamental glasswork.

Visit the Manchester Unity building on Swanson St for breakfast or lunch in the art-deco restaurant. Book a guided tour at Manchester Unity.

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Look to the stars (image by Melbourne Observatory)


The Supper Club
Sir Antony Jay, the clever co-writer for Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, recently passed away. His fictional creation, Sir Humphrey Appleby, a 20th century Machiavelli, would delight at an evening at the Supper Club.

Chesterfield couches, aged wood panelling and a large oil painting of Columbia, the female personification of America, hint at the real political powerbrokers, dealmaking at the club's dining tables and bar.

Join them for a slice of the action, overlooking Parliament House from the giant picture window.

Visit the club at Level 1 161 Spring Street, Melbourne at 5pm daily. For details, visit the Supper Club.


The Old Treasury Vaults
A local unearthed a 4kg gold nugget in central Victoria's 'golden triangle', pocketing a cool $250,000. While he toiled for a decade for a flash of gold fever, you can get the same sensation in an afternoon at the Old Treasury.

Explore the 8 stone vaults beneath the entrance, stepping through Victoria in the 1850s and 60s, as the gold rush filled these rooms and funded the construction of our most loved public buildings.

While much of the gold has changed hands, the fuel of bureaucracy paperwork, was used for a bonus exhibit of original documents, maps and photographs charting our most most prominent cultural characters and periods. Open the files on Ned Kelly, the controversial settlement of Port Phillip and the drama of the Burke and Wills expedition.

The vaults of the Old Treasury Building open at 10am Sunday Friday at 20 Spring St, Melbourne. For details, visit the Old Treasury Building.

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Sup in style (image by The Supper Club)


Olinda The Cuckoo
Melbourne has Australia's most sophisticated and exciting foodie culture. As tastes change, only restaurants with something special last long-term.

The Cuckoo, established in 1958, is Melbourne's oldest, soon to celebrate 60 years of consistent dining pleasure.

Enter this Bavarian chalet and feast on a hearty menu German cuisine, ideal for cool winter evenings.

Celebrate Oktoberfest with your leather pants and join in the traditional yodelling and folk dancing.

Visit the Cuckoo for lunch or dinner at 508 Mount Dandenong Tourist Rd, Olinda. To view the menu and book, visit Cuckoo.


The Great Melbourne Telescope
Chart your course to Mars at the site of the world's largest steerable telescope.

In the 1860s, the 1.2-metre-diameter mirror of the Great Melbourne Telescope tracked the stars gliding over our southern skies, pioneering the science of astrophotography.

At the end of World War 2, the Observatory closed and the telescope was shipped to Canberra, where the mirror was shattered by the blistering heat of the 2003 bushfire racing over Mount Stromlo.

The scorched remains were sheepishly returned to Victoria, where experts are restoring the components.

Fortunately, the Observatory has a stack of historic telescopes for 21st century astronomers, with tours and night viewings available.

Visit the Observatory at Birdwood Ave, Melbourne. For details, visit the Melbourne Observatory.


Have you discovered hidden history in Melbourne? Please let us know with a comment.


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Why? Have a Magical Mystery Tour in Melbourne
Where: Throughout Melbourne
Your Comment
Awesome article Barry. The Cuckoo was the only one I knew. They're all going on my bucket list.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|6149) 754 days ago
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