Kings Domain, Melbourne
Royal Botanic Gardens
Adjoining the Kings Domain on the east and bounded on the north by the river are the Royal Botanic Gardens, which rank among the finest of their kind in the world. Within an area of over 40ha there are 12,000 different species of plants. The site of the gardens was decided on in 1845, and in 1852 Ferdinand von Müller, a German-born botanist, began to lay them out. The gardens were extended by his successor, William Guilfoyle. Some of the trees on the Oak Lawn are over 100 years old. The Yarra originally flowed through the gardens; then, when the river was straightened to prevent the flooding which had previously occurred every year, the bends that were cut off became lakes. In addition to the flowers and trees the park has its own fauna, with large numbers of birds and even bats. The domed Temple of the Winds and other rotundas in the gardens show the Victorian liking for decoration. The National Herbarium was established in 1935 on the 100th anniversary of the city's foundation.
Shrine of Remembrance
The Shrine of Remembrance (1934) is an imposing memorial to the dead of the First World War. The commemorative marches which start from Swanston Street on Anzac Day (April 25th) end here; and on November 11th at 11am - the time at which the first world war ended - the sun shines through an opening in the roof on to the Stone of Remembrance.
Address: Box 1603M, Melbourne, VIC 3001, Australia
Opening hours: 10am-5pm
Always closed on: Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Good Friday - Christian
Useful tips: Guided tours at 11am and 2pm daily.
Guides: Guided tour included with admission.
Transit: Buses 216,219,220. Tram from Flinders Street Station.
Sidney Myer Music Bowl
The Sidney Myer Music Bowl was presented to the city by the Russian immigrant and department store magnate Sidney Myer. This is a huge open-air theater (2000sq.m) under a canopy, which can seat an audience of 2000; but for the top-flight open air opera performances and symphony concerts given here in high summer, around Christmas, there is a huge overflow audience sitting on the surrounding grass.
The Victoria Barracks is where the War Cabinet met during the Second World War. The barracks, built of bluestone, were erected in the 1860s when there were fears of a Russian invasion.
The white walls of Government House can be seen rising above the trees in Kings Domain. It is a copy of Queen Victoria's residence on the Isle of Wight, Osborne House. When Melbourne was the federal capital this was the official residence of the Governor-General of Australia.
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