4 Hours In

Dis­cover in­trigu­ing art, in­dige­nous wildlife and Ned Kelly’s death mask in Aus­tralia’s sec­ond city

Business Traveler (USA) - - INSIDE - By Christo­pher Bean­land

Mel­bourne pgrad to


Start in the city’s brash and breezy Dock­lands, which can be reached from the cen­tral busi­ness dis­trict via the pedes­trian bridge over the rail tracks that fun­nel into South­ern Cross sta­tion.

The daz­zling glass-walled sky­scrapers that have sprung up around the wa­ter­front are all the proof you need that it’s boom time in this south­ern port town. Gold may have lured peo­ple here in the 1800s, but to­day’s Mel­bourne is build­ing flashy apart­ment, shops and res­tau­rants such as Berth (berth.com.au) on New Quay Prom­e­nade, which looks out at Vic­to­ria Har­bour.

The huge Eti­had sta­dium, which hosts foot­ball (a.k.a.‘Aussie rules’ or ‘footy’), rugby and pop con­certs, is lo­cated here, and there are plans to open an ar­ti­fi­cial $18.5M surf­ing park in 2017.

There’s a trail around the Dock­lands that you can down­load at walk­ingmaps.com. au/walk/609 – in less than half an hour it will take you past his­toric dock build­ings, old ship jet­ties and sculp­tures as well as some of the area’s swish new build­ings. des­ti­na­tion­dock­lands.com.au


Catch the num­ber 30 tram from Eti­had Sta­dium Dock­lands to Swanston Street/La Trobe Street and head into the gallery at the Royal Mel­bourne In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy (RMIT).

Its art col­lec­tion is pri­mar­ily made up of work by Aus­tralian artists such as Rus­sell Drys­dale, Jock Clut­ter­buck and John Olsen, and it also hosts in­trigu­ing tem­po­rary ex­hi­bi­tions.

Through Jan­uary 2017, the RMIT Gallery is pre­sent­ing Mor­bis Ar­tis, which ex­plores the con­junc­tion be­tween the biomolec­u­lar and the artis­tic in eleven sep­a­rate in­stal­la­tion works, us­ing dis­ease as a metaphor to raise is­sues that chal­lenge life to­day.

Open Mon-Fri 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Sat 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM; ad­mis­sion is free. 344 Swanston Street; rmit.edu.au/rmit­gallery


A two-minute stroll around the corner and along Rus­sell Street brings you to the Old Mel­bourne Gaol. In the 1800s, peo­ple did ev­ery­thing they could to avoid this stark Vic­to­rian

ed­i­fice, and yet to­day it’s a pop­u­lar tourist at­trac­tion. Why? Mostly be­cause we de­light in the hor­ror of the past; a hor­ror that’s made all too real here in the cells and at the gal­lows of the city’s old prison, which was de­com­mis­sioned in 1929.

These are the gal­lows, in fact, that claimed the life of outlaw Ned Kelly in 1880 – among the ar­ti­facts are the death mask that was made only an hour af­ter Kelly was hanged.

Open 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM daily; ad­mis­sion AU$25 ($19). old­mel­bourne­gaol.com.au


An­other two-minute walk to the end of La Trobe Street brings you to more rare­fied sur­round­ings – Carl­ton Gar­dens.

This beau­ti­ful park is home to all man­ner of Aus­tralian flora and fauna, in­clud­ing brush­tail pos­sums, as well as ex­otic In­dian myna birds.

At the heart of the gar­dens is the Royal Ex­hi­bi­tion Build­ing, which opened in the same year as Ned Kelly’s demise and, in 1901, hosted the first Aus­tralian par­lia­ment. But in 2017, don’t miss the world renowned 22nd An­nual Flower & Gar­den Show, Wed. March 29 – Sun. April 2.

It’s the most con­fi­dent build­ing Mel­bourne pos­sesses, pay­ing homage to Florence’s cathe­dral, In­dian ex­oti­cism and Bri­tish mus­cle, and the in­te­ri­ors are just as sump­tu­ous – daily tours take place at 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM. mu­se­umvic­to­ria.com.au/reb


Walk east along Gertrude Street and you’ll come to Brunswick Street, the city’s hippest drag. Head north through the Fitzroy dis­trict and you can in­dulge in a fa­mous flat white at one of the many cof­fee shops. Ad­mire trendy, col­or­ful street art in this counter cul­ture neigh­bor­hood.

Stores sell trendy clothes and records, and there are dozens of bars and mu­sic venues. One of the best is the Labour in Vain (labour­in­vain.com.au) at num­ber 197a, where you can fin­ish off your tour with a cold“stub­bie”of James Boag’s Tas­ma­nian beer and a sausage fresh off the bar­be­cue.

The 11 tram runs all the way down Brunswick Street and will get you back to the CBD in ten min­utes. BT

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