Intelligent, Informed, Independent and (occasionally) Irreverent

Free garden tour
Government House
Once a month
Parliament House
Open Day
White Hat

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The White Hat Guide to

Melbourne History

Melbourne History

Melbourne History

Melbourne History

Melbourne History

The White Hat Guide


Seven Melbourne Events that were Bigger Than The Beatles - overview

Seven Monuments of Melbourne - overview

  1. A Monument to Sydney-Melbourne Rivalry
  2.  Two Yarra Bookends
  3.  An Antarctic Monument
  4. Troubles on the other side of the world
  5.  A Plaque but no Statue
  6.  Two Pillars of Melbourne
  7.  Two Horse Troughs

Who were the original inhabitants of Melbourne?

Melbourne Street Names

The Chronicles of Early Melbourne

Buy The Chronicles of Early Brisbane from Amazon

Some forthcoming events related to Melbourne History:

Free Guided Tour of Fitzroy Gardens

A free one hour guided walking tour through this formal garden highlighting its rich history. Bookings are not required. The tour leaves from the Information Centre in the gardens.



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Free Government House garden tour

Government House garden

Garden lovers can enjoy a free tour of the Government House gardens. Tours start at 11am and are free but bookings are essential.

The gardens feature magnificent lawns, specimen trees surrounded by large beds of trees and shrubs, and the Peace and Prosperity Kitchen Garden. The gardens also feature ceremonial trees planted by members of the Royal Family and previous Governors.

The tour goes for about one hour and you will need a general level of fitness. There are some steps, small hills and uneven surfaces.

While each tour caters for up to 30 people, there are no group bookings available.
Bookings close at 12 noon the day before the tour, or when the tour is full. Bookings can be made online through the official website

Wear casual clothes with sensible footwear. Bring photo ID (passport, drivers licence, student ID etc.,). Check in at the Government House Gatehouse 15 minutes before the tour starts.
Entry will involve passing through a security checkpoint and bag inspection.

You are encouraged to take public transport: Flinders Street Station is a 15 to 20-minute walk to Government House Take the St Kilda Rd/Coventry St tram - routes 3/3a, 5, 6,16, 64, 67 and 72 - and get off at the Grant Street - Police Memorial stop.

Parking is not available at the House. If you drive, there is metered parking on Linlithgow and Birdwood avenues.

Tours can be cancelled in extreme weather or for operational reasons.



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Parliament House Open Day

Apart from its regular free daily tours, Melbourne's Parliament House has an annual open day. On this day not only are the interior spaces of Parliament House open to the public, the grounds and gardens are also accessible. More details at Parliament House Open Day >>

Our rating - 4 Hats

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Port Open Day Boat Tour

Shipping at Port of Melbourne

White Hat can recommend the Port Open Day Tours to anyone interested in the functioning of the Port of Melbourne as well as to those interested in Melbourne's history. In the early days of European settlement, shipping came right into the current CBD near Flinders and William Streets. Over time, ships became larger Victoria Dock was dug out of the swampy land behind Batman's Hill and low bridges blocked access to all but smaller boats. Further major works saw the creation of Swanson Dock and a man-made channel was dug to accommodate the larger shipping and eventually container vessels. The lower Yarra River that was known to Aboriginal people was filled in and is now covered with housing and factories while the man-made channel south of the city is what we think of as the lower Yarra river.

Port Open Day boat tours are fun, family-friendly events and one of the best ways to see Australia’s busiest port, right on the city’s doorstep. Featuring a guided commentary from port staff, you’ll see the port from a whole new angle. Tours depart from Victoria Harbour in Docklands, and include Victoria Dock and Appleton Dock, the port’s more historic facilities, before visiting the container terminals at Swanson Dock.

PLEASE NOTE: While every effort will be made to adhere to advertised tour routes, these may be changed without notice due to vessel traffic considerations on a given tour day.

Forthcoming tours are at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1 pm & 2pm on

  • 31st March 2019 (bookings open 6th February 2019)
  • 28th April 2019 (bookings open 3rd April 2019)

Once bookings are open for a particular date you can book online here. Bookings cannot be made prior to booking opening date and all bookings must be made in advance. Payment on the day is not possible. We will remind subscribers to the White Hat Melbourne Newsletter when bookings open for each tour.



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White Hat Tour of Melbourne Cemetery
Melbourne Cemetery is an ideal introduction to Melbourne's history - particularly with the entertaining and informative guide from White Hat. The final resting place of many famous Australians including Peter Lalor, judge Redmond Barry, Sir Robert Menzies, John Gorton, Marcus Clarke, Burke & Wills, Sir Isaac Isaacs, Walter Lindrum and many more. As chosen and recommended by the Qantas In Flight magazine in May 2007. More information on the cemetery tour >>. ..
Coburg Historical Society
Visitiors to the monthly meeting will enjoy a guest speaker, after which a light supper is served. ..
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