MELBOURNE SHRINE OF REMEMBRANCE
There are a couple of ways to access the Shrine of Remembrance, the one I like the best if not walking is to travel by tram and get off at stop 19 – St Kilda Road and Dorcas Street. If arriving from the city, when alighting the tram you’ll notice the reserve with the Shrine sitting at the top of the grassy mound to your left.
Walk up the steps [about 20]and you’ll find yourself on the forecourt. Whether you have arrived on foot or by transport this a great spot to start your walk around the Shrine and reserve, with vistas to your left that you hadn’t expected and the eternal flame adjacent. In the distance, past the walk up to the forecourt blends the street cutting through the centre of the city. The building at that end of the streetscape forms what seems like another book ends with this impressive memorial. The forecourt is flanked by trees standing like sentinels and it’s not too hard to imagine the rank and file men or women having served their country as they parade and march up to the foot of the steps on
ANZAC day or one of the other 120 ceremonies held at the Shrine annually.
Looking to the right, let your eyes follow the steps up two or three levels to rest on the Shrine at the top of the steps. This impressive building stands tall and scanning your eyes up the structure you’ll notice that there are two levels on the outside which you can gain access to from the inside. The outside levels are a great place to capture the vista to the other side of the city on camera. You’ll even sneak a peak through the buildings to Port Philip bay or across to Albert Park and the lake.
Originally built to remember those lost in the Great war of 1914 -1918, the Shrine is now the focal point for those days on the calendar where the men and women are remembered and honoured having lost their life in active service. You’ll see evidence of this if you look around the reserve at the foot of the trees that have been planted or one of the small sculptures and fountains dotted around in memory, each with a plaques commemorating a specific event.
On this occasion I am not sure if a significant day, we heard the sound of the last post ring out across the evening air, but the bugler was not in sight!! Having visited on other occasions I recommend the visitor centre , inside the entrance a featured wall of poppies and occurring on the hour in the main chamber, a short ceremony with light is performed.
It is easy for 60-120 minutes at disappear at the Shrine and reserve, depending on your interest. My partner always say the Americans do monuments well and the place to see the best is in Washington, DC., although I enjoy Washington. I think this little pocket of the Kings Domain which the Shrine of Remembrance is very special place.
We pass through the reserve several times a week on one of our many walks around “the Tan“, the track around the Botanical Gardens popular with runners, walkers or sightseers at lunchtime or from around 5.00 pm each day. Check out ‘What’s underneath the Onion Skin’ below for other options to add to your adventure, literally across the road and minutes away.
What’s underneath the Onion Skin – other things to do nearby:
The Royal Botanical Gardens [RBG], incorporates the Children’s Garden a favourite to take my godson, the Guilfoyle’s Volcano – the rebuilt resevoir, Herb Garden and adjacent Camelia Walk. If gardens are your thing and you have the time for an expedition by car, 90 minutes is another campus of the RBG and the Australian Garden in Cranbourne.
Dotted around the perimeter of the gardens are The National Herbarium, The Observatory Gate and Café , Government House and the Historic Places Trust property – La Trobe Cottage.
On this walk there are Coffee Shops in abundance, just a little tucked away. Across the road from the Shrine is the Observatory Gate Café, inside the gardens overlooking the Ornamental Lake is located another café. Alternatively outside one the gates on the Domain Road and Anderson Street intersection is a row of more gourmet offerings.
Suburb/Neighbourhood: MELBOURNE [5 minutes from South Melbourne Homestay]
How to get there: Melway reference – Map 2F J12
By Car: Parking around the Tan, there are a range of two and four hour parking spots or weekend s on St Kilda Road
St Kilda Road and Dorcas Street – stop number 19 Shrine of Remembrance, Vietnam War Memorial.
St Kilda Road and Coventry Street – stop number 18 is a gradual flatter approach but a little further to walk but easier managing a stroller and children or if steps might be a difficulty.
The Domain Road intersection Terminus– walk from the rear of the reserve to the site.