To wander through the Flagstaff Gardens is to wander though
170 years of Melbourne history.
Try sitting under the beautiful stand of gum trees in the
North-West corner and imagining Melbourne before European settlement.
Elsewhere, the central city is now dominated by European trees, so this is a
rare reminder of 'the bush'. Try to imagine the 'blue lake' with its lively
water birds which stretched away from this corner of Flagstaff Hill.
Next wander to the memorial marking the graves of the first
European settlers when the area was referred to as 'Burial Hill'.
Looking over King Street to St.James Old Cathedral evokes
images of the growing town of Melbourne in the 1840's. You can still hear
the bellringers practising there on a Friday evening from about 8 o'clock.
On Monday November 11th 1850, news reached 'the Port Phillip
Settlement of New South Wales' that Queen Victoria declared Victoria to be a
separate colony. A great bonfire was lit that night on Flagstaff Hill to
signal the good news, and the rest of the week was declared a holiday.
Soon after, gold was discovered and the Royal Mint was built
at the South-East corner of the Flagstaff Gardens to mint the gold from the
rich fields of Ballarat, Bendigo and beyond.
Wander to the North-East corner and watch the bustle of the
Market and imagine the Sentimental Bloke and Ginger Mick hawking his
bunnies at 'The Vic' at the turn of the century.
Watch the trams trundle past as they have for the last
Sit under one of the Moreton Bay Fig Trees or go and smell
the herbs in the fragrant garden area.
Flagstaff Hill has watched a city grow out of the bush, and
quietly stores away its memories. It will give these memories back to anyone
prepared to slow down and ponder its gardens and surroundings.
Some forthcoming events at Flagstaff Gardens: