Wonderful walk from Flinders Street to Jolimont Station via Federation Square, Birrarung Marr, William Barak Bridge and the MCG.
This walk shows some of the best things Melbourne has to offer: walks, art, culture, playground, fun, nature (no cars!) and scenery. It starts at the famous meeting place under the Flinders St station clocks. Stroll over to Fed Square and hang around. Enjoy sitting on the pavers, particularly on a pleasant day or evening, and watching whatever is on offer.
Birrarung Marr park keeps getting better and better. It is on the north bank of the Yarra River next to Federation Square opened in 2002. Its name comes from the language of the Wurundjeri people the original inhabitants of area, 'Birrarung' means 'river of mists' while 'Marr' refers to the side of the river.
The Birrarung Wilam (meaning 'River Camp') installation near Art Play celebrates the diversity of Victoria's indigenous culture by interpreting stories from local communities through public artworks. A winding, textured pathway acknowledges the significance of the eel as a traditional food source for groups camped by the river. Large rocks incised with animal drawings enclose a performance space, and closer to the river a semi-circle of metal shields represents each of the five groups of the Kulin Nation.
Sitting on a bench watching whatever is happening on the Yarra River is a joy.
Walk over the 525 meter 'William Barak bridge' which was constructed in 2005 and stretches from Birrarung Marr to the MCG, improving the link between some of Melbourne's biggest sports and entertainment venues and the heart of the CBD. In 2006 a permanent sound installation called "Proximities" was installed on the bridge. It was designed by David Chesworth and Sonia Leber. Its central section features a welcome song sung in Woiwurrung by Wurundjeri Elder, and Barak's descendant, Joy Murphy Wandin. William Barak was a Wurundjeri diplomat, negotiator and artist who was a powerful leader and advocate for the Wurundjeri.
Although this walk does not go around the MCG, it is really worth the stroll, particularly if you are a sporty type of person (lots of sculptures of sports stars). Also wander around the surrounding Yarra Park; it has some massive old gum trees. Avoid the area on sporting days when the park turns into a car park. I live in hope for the day when this appalling practice ceases. Parks are for fun, sitting, walking, laughing and nature, not for parking cars!
The walk finishes at Jolimont train station so you can catch a train (or tram) back to Flinders St or jump on a train on the Epping or Hurstbridge lines. Or even walk around the MCG and catch a train at Richmond station through which about half of Melbourne's trains travel.
Melbourne's well known and iconic meeting place is under the clocks at Flinders Street Station. Sit on the steps and see the world go by.
Mirka Mora made this mosaic in about 1985, it is brilliant. Do not be one of the thousands who walk past it every day without stopping.
The slope down to Birrarung Marr, always fills with expectation. The sculpture of hundreds of red poles is a cracker. Go up and push the poles firmly, what a noise!
There always seems to be something happening at Fed Square whether it is concerts, buskers, festivals or people lolling about. The pavers are great to sit on on a sunny afternoon.
Looking over to the Art Centre spire from Fed Square.
The playground is always open. Watch kids play and enjoy the tube slides, sand pits, swinging hammocks, activity panels, rock and rope climbing features and balance beams.
Art Play is a great place for children it has lots of shows and creative activities for kids.
I do not know what the story is behind this brightly coloured mosaic outside Art Play, but it is wonderful.
The winding, textured pathway of cast iron acknowledges the significance of the eel as a traditional food source for groups camped by the river.
Sit on the seats under a shady tree watching rowers go by.
The gravel path on the river bank is a bit quieter. More seats and looking back to Princess Bridge.
From 'Angel' you can get a good look along the Yarra River
Angel (ceramic, steel and concrete) by Deborah Halpern is an artwork commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria. It is even more impressive than the photo suggests.
There should be more grassy hills like this one in the centre of cities. Watch the number of kids who are immediately drawn to it and roll down laughing.
The trees and shrubs set in the stone fence as you walk up the slope to the William Barak bridge.
A purpose built walking (and cycling) space, William Barak bridge is one of true delights of Melbourne. Beautiful and functional.
Proximities is a public art installation commissioned for the 2006 Commonwealth Games. The stories and songs from 53 Commonwealth nations come out of the many, many speakers across the bridge.
Sit on the bridge and look south to the Yarra and Tennis Centre or north to the city and listen to the trains go by underneath.
Coming off the bridge and walk to the MCG under the shade of magnificent old Elm trees.
The MCG, what a collosseum. You don't realise how massive it is until you actually see it. Even if you don't like sport, the sound of the crowd cheering will grab your attention.
Bronze statues do around the MCG, none more impressive than the great Dennis Lillee.
Statue commemorating the first game of Australian Rules Football said to be played nearby on 7 August 1858.
Its a beautiful the old train bridge. Catch a train (or tram) back to Flinders St or keep going.