So you think you know Melbourne?
In honour of Melbourne Day, we discover nine things you might not know about the city.
Melbourne Day on 30 August is usually set aside to celebrate all that is great and unique about the city. With the usual flag raising ceremony and Melbourne Awards celebrations cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, we mark the occasion by uncovering some lesser known features that give the city its distinct character.
Fitzroy, Melbourne's first suburb, was officially created in September 1858 when it separated from the City of Melbourne.
Nine things you probably didn't know about Melbourne
What is Melbourne’s oldest building?
Technically speaking, the oldest building in Melbourne is Cooks’ Cottage, which dates back to 1755 and was transported from Great Ayton in England and rebuilt in the Fitzroy Gardens in 1934. But the oldest building actually constructed in Melbourne is St James’ Old Cathedral. Heritage Council of Victoria records show the cathedral, now located at the corner of King and Batman Streets, West Melbourne, was originally built on a five-acre block bordered by Collins, William and Bourke Streets and completed in 1847. But after the opening of St Paul’s Cathedral, St James’ became a parish church and was dismantled, stone by stone, and rebuilt at its current site.
What is Melbourne’s highest point?
At 633 metres above sea level, Mount Dandenong lays claim to the highest point in Greater Melbourne, but in the metropolitan area, the honour goes to Mount Cooper in suburban Bundoora. At 137.3 metres above sea level the mount is what remains of a volcanic vent formed more than nine million years ago, and still offers one of the best views across Melbourne’s skyline. It was a prime spot for racing identity John M.V. Smith to build his extravagant homestead in 1899, which today houses Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, flanked by a children’s park, wetlands and the Coopers Settlement Heritage Village.
Which was Melbourne’s first suburb
Today the Melbourne area has more than 320 suburbs, but the first was Fitzroy. It was officially created in September 1858 when it separated from the City of Melbourne, and by then around 10,000 people called Fitzroy home. It was a gritty working-class area with flour mills, shoe and boot factories, a brewery and timber yards that employed most of the local population. MacRobertson’s confectionery factory – home to Freddo, Cherry Ripe and Old Gold – was a landmark in Smith Street for more than a century.
Skyhigh lookout on Mount Dandenong, Greater Melbourne’s highest point. Fordhams Milk Bar, which opened in 1915, is the oldest continually operating milk bar in Victoria.