Guided walks and things to do

Discover the heritage treasures and secret histories of Port Phillip with free online and in person guided walks. Art and heritage programs are also available online and in person including self-guided walks and exhibitions.

Guided walks in Port Phillip

This is a free program of monthly walks that explore the heritage treasures of the City of Port Phillip. Join our knowledgeable walks leaders as they share the cultural, architectural, art and social histories of the places that we call home and tell the amazing stories of the people who have lived here.


War, Worship and Wealth in East St Kilda

Explore the many Crimeanamed streets of East St Kilda on the 160th Crimean War anniversary to reconstruct the epic 1854-6 battles and discover the precinct’s rich history of mansions, architecture and places of worship.

Esplanade Vaults

and explore the Esplanade Vaults fondly remembered by many as the kiosks, shops and cafes that served visitors to the St Kilda foreshore. But do the vaults have a darker side? Stories and eyewitness accounts abound, along with much speculation as to whether there are tunnels leading from the vaults to the Esplanade Hotel and the Palais Theatre. The visit includes an exhibition and projection of historic images of the area from the Port Phillip City Collection.

Catani Clock Tower Tours

The Catani Clock Tower was commissioned by St Kilda City Council in 1918 as a memorial for Victorian Public Works Department, Engineer-in-Chief, Carlo Giorgio Domenico Enrico Catani (1852 – 1918), designer of the ornamental gardens and coastal parkland, St Kilda’s Catani Gardens. Join Historian Meyer Eidelson, for an informative guided tour of the Catani Clock Tower and its surrounds.

Swinging St Kilda: Swing and Big Bands in St Kilda

Join Sally Moore, music historian, St Kilda Historical Society and Paulie Stewart, artist (Painters and Dockers), music journalist and author for this fascinating tour through St Kilda’s 1940s + music history.

Movers, Shakers and Money Makers of St Kilda

Join Carmel McKenzie for a walk around the 19th century mansions and grand homes on St Kilda Hill and discover new and surprising insights about the history of landmarks such as Eildon, Stradbrooke, Ripplemere, Lansdowne Terrace and Oberwyl, uncovered while Carmel was researching her book ‘St Kilda 1841-1900: Movers & Shakers & Money-makers’ (winner of the 2023 Victorian Premier’s History Award). The wealthiest suburb in Melbourne for much of the 19th century, St Kilda was a fascinating microcosm of the city’s upper echelon, and the lives of many of the influential residents covered in this walk provide revealing insights into Victoria’s history.

The conquering flat: apartment living in St Kilda and Elwood 1910-1960

Join David Helms, Principal Heritage Advisor at the City of Port Phillip, on an informative walking tour of the early to mid-twentieth century flats, (1910s to 1950s) in the area around the St Kilda Botanical Gardens (Blessington, Tennyson, Dickens and Herbert streets). Learn about the architecture and the key historic and social reasons why St Kilda and Elwood became such popular locations for flat/apartment living.


Riverside South

Visit the origins of Southbank along the Birrarung (Yarra River) that have experienced striking transformations in architecture, recreation and commerce.

St Kilda's Underground Music Walking Tour

Explore St Kilda’s iconic music venues with Melynda Von Wayward in conversation with special guest Paulie Stewart (Painters and Dockers). Hear about the bands, promoters, fashion and artists that made 1979-1987 a significant decade in Australian music history.


Dignitaries and Dreadnoughts Port Melbourne

On the anniversary of the Empire (British) Cruise visit of 1923-24, we explore the history of this and other momentous naval visits for war, royalty, civic events and immigration.


The Greening of Elwood

Explore the environmental transformation of recreational reserves bringing residents into natural contact with Yalukit Willam: an oasis of ponds, lake, creek, native plants, animals and birdlife on the edge of Port Phillip.


St Kilda's Underground Music Walking Tour

Explore St Kilda’s iconic music venues with Rob Wellington in conversation with special guest Fred Negro (I spit on your Gravy). Hear about the bands, promoters, fashion and artists that made 1979-1987 a significant decade in Australian music history.

From South to Port

Journey from Port Melbourne to South Melbourne exploring the historical relationships, cooperation and dissension between the two municipalities as well as the obstinate downhill path of water from South to Port.

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