All good things come to an end so, sadly, we had to leave Melbourne and Australia to take the long journey home. But our plane only left late afternoon so we still had a morning to fill and so decided to walk round the block to the Old Treasury Building. It was built between 1858 and 1862 following the Victorian Gold Rush as a safe place to store the gold that had been mined and also to provide offices for the Governor, Treasurer and some other officials. Today it’s a museum with displays about the history and development of Melbourne.
The building was designed in the Renaissance Revival style by JJ Clark, a nineteen-year-old architect who was originally from Liverpool (there was a map of his native city that he’s drawn on display in the lobby).
The displays were very interesting and showed just how quickly Melbourne had grown from a small outpost to a major city, all due to the Victorian Gold Rush. I particularly liked this panorama showing how the city looked in 1882.
There were displays about Indigenous Victorians and first white settlement in 1835, Victorian Democracy, Victorians at Work and the Gold Rush, the heated debate on whether Australia should enter WW1
and the bushrangers which included the suit of armour worn by one of the Kelly gang (we’d already seen Ned Kelly’s armour in the Sate Library)
And here’s the official record of Ned Kelly’s first conviction
Down in the vaults,
there was a replica of the largest gold nugget found in the Victorian gold fields
and a collection of “gold” bars
We spent a good couple of hours looking round before taking a final stroll through Fitzroy Gardens. Then it was time to collect our bags and make our way to the airport.
We were reluctant to leave, but the flight was booked! I hope this won’t be our last trip to Australia. It’s a long way but we’ve already got an idea about returning.