There is something unique about Victoria. Anywhere you look, you will find out fascinating and proud history of the state, from maritime museums to Victorian era buildings to steam trains to Murray River paddle steamers. The long history of the Aboriginal occupation is quite evident from the presence of gold mining towns and burial sites. Choose coach hire in Victoria to visit some of the best historical attractions in the state.
Cape Otway Lightstation
Known to be the most important lighthouse in Australia, the Cape Otway Lightstation was established in 1848, tucked on the towering sea cliffs, where Southern Ocean and Bass Straight collide. It’s a completely different experience to soak up the expansive views, while getting to know about the history behind catastrophic shipwrecks on this rugged coastline. Explore the fascinating secret war history of Australia from World War 2 and discover the iconic telegraph station built in 1859. Accommodation facilities are also available at this historic venue, perfect for an overnight stay for friends and families.
The historic Lightkeeper’s kitchen offers a wide range of tasty homemade fare, locally roasted coffee and freshly baked scones. The location is a short drive from the Great Ocean Road.
Old Melbourne Gaol
Known to be one of the oldest surviving buildings in Melbourne, Melbourne Gaol was built in the 1800s to house the quickly growing criminal population in Victoria. This is one of the must-visit attractions for all the history lovers out there. Enter a world of prisoners in an imposing bluestone institution, where some of the most dangerous criminals were held, and over 130 have been hanged to death. The notorious gangster Squizzy Taylor and bushranger Ned Kelly are some notable names.
Discover the life and death of some infamous criminals, and experience the feel of getting arrested in the Police Watch House by the Charge Sergeant. In one of the night tours, you can also see the Old Melbourne Gaol by candlelight.
Shrine of Remembrance
The Shrine of Remembrance is no less than a building with an essence. It was established in the year 1934 in the memory of those who served for the nation. The Shrine was constructed by the veterans of World War I. Rich in history and symbology, the shrine is known for its architecture offering a multi-layered journey. Panoramic, unrivalled views of the city is on offer from the Shrine at the south-end of the city’s cultural precinct.
There’s a muddle of galleries featuring historical artefacts and more than 800 artworks. Special events and exhibitions are held throughout the year, with ever changing experiences on offer. Guided tours are available, if you are looking for a unique insight into this historic place.
Travel back in time to the great 1850s gold rushes of Australia at the Sovereign Hill, named as one of the major tourist attractions in Australia. It’s a unique historical experience, with some real gold to be panned. It’s a great opportunity to meet goldfields characters, while exploring an underground gold mine. Take a walk through the coach builder’s and the confectionary factory, chat with skilled craftsmen at work and see a spectacular $150,000 gold pour. If you want to explore a beautiful exhibition of Ballarat and gold history, head towards the Gold Museum.
Do not miss out on the spectacular sound and light show, ‘Blood on the Southern Cross’ at the night, when you will be told the legendary story of the 1853 Eureka Uprising. It’s an exceptional Australian drama to watch. Plenty of reasonable accommodation options are also available in the area, if you are looking for an overnight stay.
WW1 Memorial Park
This memorial park is an accolade to those who served in the first World War. In the year 1927, the Memorial Gates were constructed by alive soldiers at the entry gates to the Memorial Hospital. In 1996, it was moved to its current location, and RSL refurnished the name on the pillars in 2004. The WW1 Memorial Park was revealed on the Remembrance Day in 2016.
Standing tall in the face of the gate is the statue of World War 1 soldier, ‘Bluey’. The sculpture stands on top of ten panels made of glass, which tells the story of more than 50 people during WW1. The stories make engaging and emotional reading, and the visitors are certain to be moved by the inspiring journeys of the service men and women during the war. You will also find a Lone Pine tree at the site, telling its own story.
Koorie Heritage Trust
Looking to get a taste of Aboriginal art and culture from the ancient times? The Koorie Heritage Trust offers an immersive experience for all the history lovers curious to dig up the past. You will be able to witness a cultural experience in a safe environment, with lots to learn about the rich history and culture of Torres Strait Islander people. As a non-indigenous visitor, you are invited to learn about the indigenous cultural heritage of Victoria, while also indulging in annual programs and exhibitions showcasing the works of modern aboriginal artists and their artefacts permanent collections.
A number of cultural tours and education are provided at the Heritage Trust, which includes cultural walks as well. Do not miss out on the River Walk along the Yarra River, exploring the installations at Birrarung Marr.
Walhalla Historic Area
For over 5 decades, the scenic and remote mountain township of Walhalla has been a rich gold producer in Australia. It is difficult to decipher a site like this with the steep narrow valley of Stringers Creek winding down through the densely wooded region of the Baws Baws. Over 4000 people lived in this region during its glory days between 1880 and 1895.
Come along and discover the history of gold mining in this region, which is also the start of 650km Australian Alps Walking Track. Explore the remnants of a community that thrived in a challenging environment, in search of gold!