Magnificent Historical Victorian Arcades – Melbourne Walking Tour – Part 7

Because Australia has been colony of Great Britain, it is not surprising to see some of its buildings or structures significantly influenced by European architectural designs. When I came to Melbourne, there is an impression that the city made on me. I actually call the city as a European City Down Under. My own reason was when I lived in Melbourne, I felt the European ambiance on its surroundings. One of the evidence that made me felt like that was when I got a chance to walk around in some of its famous and historical arcades in the city. The Block Arcade, Block Court and Royal Arcade.

The Block Arcade – Australia’s Iconic Retail Precinct


Collins Street Entry of The Block


The Block




Elizabeth Street Entry of The Block

The arcade is currently in ‘L” shape but become ‘T’ shape where the store has its gate in Collins Street, Little Collins Street and Elizabeth Street. I used to pass the arcade in Collins Street every time I go to work and on my way home since my previous project client office is located in Collins Street.

During my stay in Melbourne, I had been in the arcade just a few times and most of that time was just a quick look. The longest time that I had been in the building was during the Open House Melbourne event last July 2013 and the day that I spent for photo shots of the arcade during one of walks that I did in Melbourne.

The arcade was erected between 1891 and 1893 and designed by architect David C. Askew. As per history, the idea was to make the arcade similar to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan, Italy and with this, the arcade become the famous historical Victorian arcade in Australia.

I walked in the arcade from Collins Street and that’s when I started taking photos of it, at that time, the only cameras I had with me were my iPhone 4 and Panasonic digital camera, so spare with me if not all photos are clear as it should be.

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One of the Skylight Wing of the arcade which is an interior walkway from Collins Street at The Block

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Glass Canopy of the Skylight Wing of the arcade

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Glass Dome of Central Atrium

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Victorian Scale Number 228

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Skylight Wing Looking towards Collins Street

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Another Skylight Wing towards Elizabeth Street showing the Glass Canopy and its Interior Walkway

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Some of the columns to be seen within the arcade


One of the Tainted Windows

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Mosaic Tile Flooring

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Central Atrium

I spent sometime in the arcade and to be honest it amazed me because the overall interiors of the arcade signify a European theme, though it has been renovated, the columns, the ceilings and its glass canopy, the glass dome, some tainted windows and the flooring which is a mosaic-tile signifies the Victorian style, one of the finest 19th Century arcade.

Inside the arcade I found an interesting scale called Victorian Scale Number 228. Historically this scale were normally seen in railway stations and outside post offices, but many of the same scales has been recycled during World War II. This scale has been restored and was seen before in Melbourne Zoo but now stands inside the arcade.

Block Court Arcade

This initially confused me, because I was able to pass this arcade from The Block Arcade, but this is totally different arcade. Since there is connection between arcades, everyone can really think its part of The Block but it’s not. The Block Court is historical as well since it was built last 1890 as Athenaeum Club. When it was remodeled last 1930 it was renamed as Block Court. This arcade can be found just beside The Block Arcade.

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Interiors of the Block Court

Royal Arcade – First Arcade and Longest Standing Arcade in Australia


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Interior Snapshots

After spending time in The Block and Block Court, I spent my time walking another historical arcade not far from the two, my steps directed me in Royal Arcade wherein its main entrance is in Bourke Street. Coming from The Block Arcade means I entered the building in its south end in Little Collins Street. The building features at the south are the Gaunt’s Clock and the two mythical figures beside it named Gog and Magog that strikes the chime since 1892 which can still be heard in our time. At the north is the symbolical figure of Father Time is to be found.


Gaunt’s Clock



Gog and Magog with Gaunt’s Clock



Father Time

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Exterior of the Royal Arcade along Bourke Street

As per official site of the arcade, the building was completed last May 1870 and its design was came from Charles Webb who won from the major design competition for the arcade happened 1868.

Australia has a lot of historical arcades in its major cities and the above arcades are only to be found in Melbourne. I did enjoyed my walk once more around Melbourne.


Yarra River And Sports Precinct – Melbourne Walking Tour – Part 6

Most Australians loves sports and one of the sports that they love is footy (football). As far as I remembered, the footy seasons starts at fall (March) and ends in winter (September) season. Footy is common buzzword in Australia. Because I came from a country where the popular sports is basketball, I am not familiar nor do I understand the rules of football.

While living in Melbourne, I learned and realized that Australians takes prides on sports. I noticed the high fever during the Annual Formula One Race because a lot of people coming to the area where I lived since Albert Park is just nearby to watch the Australian Grand Prix. Even the Cricket which is a bat-and-ball game is popular during December and for me, after watching a bit of Cricket in TV, I see the similarity of it to the Baseball. Australian showed that sports matters to them. Having a chance to travel to major cities of Australia, if not all cities but mostly the major cities has facilities to cater these different sports. Melbourne is not immune to this as the city hosting if not all but most of the sports popular in Australia. One of the walks that I had in the city was walks in Yarra River and its Sports Precinct.




Princess Bridge

I came from a bit of walk in St Kilda Road when I decided to continue my walks to Yarra River. Yarra River is the famous river in Melbourne where it starts from Yarra Ranges down to Melbourne City. In my previous post with Yarra River, I already describes some of the sceneries to be found between the sides of the river which surrounded by Docklands and CBD in one side and Southbank at the other side.



Princess Bridge, Flinder Street Station, Federation Square, some restaurant and Yarra River Cruise Station




In this walks, I started my pace near from Princes Bridge which gives me a chance to see other parts of the river. For me, river makes the city so charming because it gives the city the  nature atmosphere of the place. From the bridge, Flinders Street Station still noticeable, even the Federation Square. Some restaurants are just beside the river. The river accommodates cruising but, I haven’t tried it.






Some of the buildings that I passed on

Having a chance to witness cities with clean and beautiful river in the middle of it, I more admire the city by being able to take care of its river.


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Shots of Yarra River


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Swan St Bridge


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After walking a bit beside the river, I reached and crossed Swan St Bridge. Then, I saw Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Park, Westpac Centre, Hisense Arena, Melbourne Olympic Parks, AAMI Park and Melbourne Cricket Ground. The area is what they called Sports Precinct.




Westpac Centre


Rod Laver Area


Hisense Arena





Melbourne Cricket Ground

I enjoyed the walk even though it rained a bit. This part of Yarra River and Sports Precinct is some place where I seldom to pass on while staying in the city. During the peak season of each sports, the area is fulfilled with a lot of people, I can feel it specially if I am at the city center, if I am at the tram or train. I can feel that each sports event was like a movie hits where massive people goes to. Melbourne was the first city that I experienced such wave for sports.



St Kilda Road – My Home Road in Melbourne – Melbourne Walking Tour – Part 5

I lived in Melbourne for more than 1.5 years, St Kilda Road became my home road. Wondering why? I used to pass this road back and forth in my daily travel while living in the city because the service apartment that I stayed-in is located along this road.

I remembered the first time I arrived in the hotel-service apartment, I was clueless which direction to and away from the city. On my first day at work I took a tram away from the city. I checked my mobile phone and realized I was in wrong direction. The tram I took already passed few stations and I ended at the last station that still in St Kilda Road before tram will take another street.


St Kilda Road (towards the city)

The location of my accommodation in my first impressions seems quiet since its weekend when I arrived in the city and I thought that the road was infamous but I was wrong for both. The road is busy not only because of the tram tracks placed on it but because the road is location of many offices where people also flocks during business hours. The road is very strategic location to live and to work in Melbourne.


St Kilda Road (away from the city)

St. Kilda Road is one of the major road and where 9 routes of tram passed on it which gives advantage to me because I can take at least 6 out of 9 routes as they passed the accommodation that I lived.  The road become advantageous to people who live along or nearby  the road, who doesn’t have a car like me and very dependent to public transportation.

The hotel-service apartment that I lived in Melbourne is part of Seasons Apartment Hotel Group. I specifically stayed in Seasons Heritage Melbourne. The lobby of the hotel is actually one of the old mansions that was part of old prestige of the road in its old times called Warwillah. Warwillah is one of the mansions that still survive at this time as many mansions had been fall down due to development that change the city. St Kilda Road is a road of fame and prestige during 19th century, one of the discovery that I learned while living in Melbourne.

Historically, the area of St Kilda become fashionable area where wealthy settlers starts to live here. St Kilda Road starts as a dirt track and become impassable after rain because of muds. While living in St Kilda, I can still feel its prestige every time I passed the road because old mansions that still existing that are evidence that St Kilda was once home of rich and wealthy people during its settlement years.

St Kilda Road starts from Flinders Street in CBD where more than 100 years old Flinders Street Station is located and Federation Square building at the other side of the road. The road ends in Carlisle Street where St Kilda Townhall is just around the corner. There are significant structures and parks to see and to enjoy along this road, they are the following (some has photos included):

Structures, Buildings, Sculptures and Parks

Flinders Street Station




Federation Square


Hamer Hall



Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre, Playhouse Arts Centre and The Pavilion


Royal Botanic Gardens

1. Alexandra Gardens

2. Queen Victoria Gardens


Floral Clock


Edward VII Monument

3. Kings Domain


Boer War Monument

4. Shrine of Remembrance


National Gallery of Victoria

VCA School of Music

Victorian College of the Arts (VCA)

Victoria Barracks, Melbourne

Tennis World Albert Reserve

Royce Hotel (previously an automobile showroom at 379 St Kilda Road)

Airlie Mansion (452 St Kilda Road)

Rathgael (Estella Mansion -462 St Kilda Road)

Majella Mansion (473 St Kilda Road)

New Charsfield (formerly Charsfield Mansion – 478 St Kilda Road)

Chevron Green Apartments (Chevron Hotel – 539 St Kilda Road)

Seasons Heritage Melbourne (formerly Warwillah – 572 St Kilda Road)

Royal College of Anaesthetist of Australia and New Zealand (formerly Ulimaroa – 630 St Kilda Road)

St Kilda Townhall


Embassy Offices

  1. French Honorary Consulate General (Melbourne)
  2. Consulate General of India
  3. Consulate General of Chile in Melbourne
  4. Consulate General of Malaysia Melbourne
  5. Italian Consulate General
  6. Royal Thai Consulate General
  7. USA Consulate
  8. Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Melbourne

There are lots of hotel and accommodations that can be found along the road aside from offices because the road is not far from Albert Park where F1 Race in Australia being held every year and during my stay in the service hotel I got a chance to experience twice the sounds of F1 race as one of the tracks they used is not far from St Kilda Road.