The city’s northern quarter is a hub of universities and institutions known as the Melbourne Innovation District. Find libraries, museums and sites of Aboriginal significance before heading to Lygon Street for everything little Italy has to offer.
This walk is approximately 5km and takes around 2 hours.
1. State Library Victoria
Dating from 1856, the library features magnificent architecture, reading rooms and exhibitions.
The State Library of Victoria is Melbourne’s UNESCO City of Literature hub. Visit the octagonal domed La Trobe Reading Room, exhibition spaces, Russell Street Welcome Zone cafe and Readings bookshop.Discover more about State Library Victoria
2. RMIT University
Known for design, technology and enterprise, with a must-see gallery and exhibition space.
Founded in 1887, RMIT University now spans several city blocks.
See the fractal geometric facade of Storey Hall, pop into the RMIT Gallery and admire the glass disc-covered RMIT Design Hub, on the corner of Swanston and Victoria streets.
3. Swanston Square Apartment Tower
Woi Wurrung ngurungaeta (leader) William Barak (1823-1903) was an activist, artist and educator.
4. Standing by Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner
Behind the Melbourne City Baths is the artwork 'Standing by Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner' by Brook Andrew and Trent Walter.
It was commissioned in 2016 by the City of Melbourne to honour the two Aboriginal men who were hanged here in 1842.
5. Trades Hall
The birthplace of the Victorian Trade Union movement is now home to theatre and comedy.
Located on the corner of Lygon Street, the Victorian Trades Hall was built to commemorate the victory of the Eight Hour Day in 1856.Discover more about Trades Hall
6. Royal Exhibition Building
Dating from 1880, this historic domed building is located in the heritage-listed Carlton Gardens.
Combining elements from the Byzantine, Romanesque, Lombardic, and Italian Renaissance styles, the design for the Royal Exhibition Building’s dome was influenced by Brunelleschi’s cathedral dome in Florence.
The building was the site of Australia's first Federal Parliament in 1901. In 2004 it became Australia’s first building to be given World Heritage listing.Discover more about Royal Exhibition Building
7. Moreton Bay Fig Trees
8. Melbourne Museum
See legendary Melbourne Cup racehorse Phar Lap and learn about Aboriginal Culture.
See the stunning possum skin cloaks in the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre and wander through the indoor living Forest Gallery.Discover more about Melbourne Museum
9. Argyle Square
10. Lygon Street
If the rumours are true, The University Cafe (257 Lygon Street) was the first to install an espresso machine in 1952, kicking off Melbourne’s cafe culture love affair.
11. King & Godfree
This historic 1884 grocery is now a local's favourite deli, restaurant and wine bar.
Head to the rooftop bar for magnificent views of the city, and grab a gelato next door at Pidapipo.Discover more about King & Godfree
12. University of Melbourne
This historic campus was used as a filming location in the iconic movie Mad Max.
The underground gothic South Lawn Carpark at Melbourne University was used as a filming location in Mad Max (1979).
Nearby, find the four ancient River Red Gums, essential to the Woi Wurrung people for shelter, canoes and tools.Discover more about University of Melbourne
13. RMIT Social Innovation Hub
14. NGO Precinct
At number 130 is Oxfam, and at number 60 is the award-winning 60L Green Building, home to the Australian Conservation Foundation and other green tenants.
Take a tour or visit the Going Solar shop for sustainable tech.
15. Queen Victoria Market
Shop fresh produce and handmade crafts in the largest open air market in the southern hemisphere.
The Queen Victoria Market has been open since 1878. Previously the Old Melbourne Cemetery (until 1854), ithe market is an important site of Aboriginal burial grounds.Discover more about Queen Victoria Market
More to explore
Innovation and new ideas share street blocks with historical sites.
RMIT Advanced Manufacturing Precinct
Melbourne Connect Innovation Precinct
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