Author: nickgadd

About nickgadd

Writer and urban explorer, Melbourne. Walking the city at melbournecircle.net

Completing the circle: Fishermans Bend to Williamstown

After two and a half years of circumnavigating the city, and more than 60 walks through more than 40 suburbs, we have reached the final walk, and today we are completing the circle.  Beginning at Westgate Park, just below the West Gate Bridge, we are going for one final stroll around Port Melbourne and Fishermans Bend before jumping on the Punt back to the western side of the bay and returning to the point where the circle began in 2014. Continue reading

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Dream houses past and present

You get used to typical streetscapes in Melbourne – rows of small Victorian cottages, red brick Edwardian houses in established middle-class suburbs, clusters of oversized mansions in newer developments here and there, occasional hip architect-designed boxes, and the Housing Commission towers that punctuate the city like exclamation marks. Most of it is pretty familiar after a while. But heading east from Graham Street and south of Williamstown Road in Port Melbourne, we came across streets like nothing we had seen before – at least, not in this city. It felt as if we had stumbled through some time-and-travel machine into a British housing estate. (The fact that it was raining as we walked probably added to the illusion). In fact it was a utopian social experiment from the 1920s. Continue reading

From the ocean to the lake

This blog isn’t just about ghostsigns, architecture, and quirky tales of local history. It’s about an experience of the whole city – including the areas that might not be thought of as attractive for a recreational walk. The most unprepossessing parts of town can be as intriguing as any other. With this in mind we walked through the Port Melbourne industrial zone and headed towards the Westgate Bridge. Continue reading

Whisky on the rocks

Leaving Gasworks Arts Park, we headed south down Pickles Street into Port Melbourne. Like South Melbourne – the suburb formerly known as Emerald Hill – Port Melbourne once had a different name, and in the 19th century was known as Sandridge.  There used to be a lagoon here too, though it has long been filled in. But there’s plenty of evidence of other transformations in this once working class, now gentrified neighbourhood. Continue reading

The lost names of Emerald Hill

The walls of South Melbourne (or Emerald Hill, as it was known in the later 19th century – one of Melbourne’s lost place names) are rich in memories: of people, occupations, products, social movements.  These painted signs, featuring other lost names, are an archive of the suburb’s history, visible in plain sight, though often overlooked. Continue reading