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The White Hat Guide to the

Royal Exhibition Building

One of the grandest buildings of Melbourne with an important history.

Royal Exhibition Building

Carlton Gardens



This grand old Victorian dame probably represents Melbourne better than any other building because of the continuous and diverse service it has paid to Melbournians. Erected in 1880 for our first Grand International Exhibition it was built by Nellie Melba�s father. After the exhibitions of 1880 and 1888 it hosted the opening of Federal Parliament, housed our state parliament for twenty-odd years, served as an emergency hospital during the influenza epidemic after World War One, hosted several Olympic sports during the Melbourne Olympic Games and has been the venue for countless exhibitions and trade shows. This wonderful building, unlike some of its more ornate Victorian cousins, is egalitarian and non-judgemental. One week it will be hosting an upmarket society event for the top end of town, and the next week it will be welcoming a throw out sale of remnants and remainders. It does both with equal grace and is a building where Melburnians from all walks of life feel �at home�.

For over a century the Royal Exhibition Building was used for major exhibitions and trade shows. The venue now used for most such events is the Exhibition and Convention Centre in Southbank (known by the locals as Jeff's Shed).

Some forthcoming events at the Royal Exhibition Building:

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show
The Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show is now regarded as the largest and most successful horticultural event in the Southern Hemisphere.

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Dome Promenade Tours
Exhibition Building Dome with city skyline in background

Experience the magnificent Royal Exhibition Building Dome Promenade on a one hour guided tour. Discover the rich history of this iconic building while taking in uninterrupted views of the Melbourne city skyline.

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The Big Design Market

Featuring 230 stallholders across homewares, textiles, fashion, furniture, lighting, stationery, lifestyle & kids products. You can also attend creative workshops, pick up showbags, or take advantage of the free kids activities. White Hat suggests that you may find a number of items suitable for Christmas gifts that are not your run-of-the-mill department store fare. Adults $2 - children 12 and under free. Entry fees apply. Details at The Big Design Market.

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The Finders Keepers
The Finders Keepers market the the Royal Exhibition Building

The Finders Keepers was founded in 2008 and now hosts highly succesful design markets and other events in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Full information at The Finders Keepers website.

7th to 9th July 2023

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The Finders Keepers - slider

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