From daring rescues to sinister sharks, and a severe case of amnesia, Frankston Pier has seen it all in its 165 years on the Mornington Peninsula
Avoca Racecourse Grandstand
It is thanks to the WW2 Dambusters crew that Avoca races take place at all these days. This simple grandstand, built in 1927, has looked down on almost 100 years of meets now.
From access point to the quarantine station to playground of the rich, Portsea Pier has seen a lot, and still does today with snorkelling and sandbags nearby
St Leonards Pier
First opened in 1859, St Leonards Pier is more a fishing haven these days than a ferry stop, but the old boardwalk still curves round to form a rather unique shape.
Port Welshpool Jetty
Today's Fisherman Jetty at Port Welshpool with timber boardwalk dates from 1859. The kilometre long 'Long Jetty,' first built in 1938, is now an impressive modern pier, but has kept its iconic curve
The peaceful Westernport village of Tooradin has had several jetties since the first was built in the 1890s. The current jetty and its fish shed were overhauled in 2021, now with good disabled access.
Castlemaine Botanical Gardens
Some trees in Castlemaine Botanical Gardens date back to the goldrush years. A lot of the vintage structures have been recently restored but have kept their charm for visitors to the Gardens today.
Black Rock Jetty
Black Rock Jetty has been the viewing point for the old naval vessel Cerberus for the last 95 years. The waters and cliffs nearby have also seen their share of drama over many decades.
Geelong Botanic Gardens
19th century explorer Daniel Bunce was the first curator of Geelong Botanic Gardens; a life-size model of him and a Victorian lady visitor to the gardens stands just by the entrance today.
Wodonga Racecourse Grandstand
Wodonga Racecourse has witnessed bushfires, hurricanes and army occupation during WW2, as well as drama on the track itself. The vintage grandstand has a few stories to tell, too.
Portland Botanic Gardens
The most westerly botanic gardens in Victoria, Portland's gardens are also some of the oldest. The curator's cottage dates from 1857, and many of the trees are a similar vintage.
Seaford Pier is one of Victoria's later vintage piers, the first plank being laid in 1929. It's had its fair share of dramas in its near 100 years life, though.
Port Fairy Botanic Gardens
A vintage bandstand / rotunda is about all that remains of the old Port Fairy Botanic Gardens, which have now disappeared from online maps. There's talk of funding to revive the gardens in 2021 though
Warrnambool Racecourse Grandstand
There's been racing at Warrnambool since the mid 1850s, though the two vintage grandstands on the course today date from early to mid 20th century. Lots of drama here over the years.
Warrnambool Botanic Gardens
The pine tree grown from the seed from the Lone Pine at Gallipoli is surely the star vintage feature of Warrnambool Botanic Gardens. The octagonal 'rotunda' is also a star of these gardens.
A tranquil spot about as far east in Victoria as you can get, Mallacoota Wharf hit the world news headlines as local residents and visitors used it as a safe haven during the deadly bushfires of 2019.
Penshurst Botanic Gardens
Penshurst Botanic Gardens played host to grazing sheep for many years. These days covering a smaller area and converted to a wetlands garden, there isn't much left of the old botanic gardens here.
Cameo Cinema, Belgrave
The Cameo Cinema Belgrave may have had a complete facelift in the 1980s but the current owners really play to the connections back to when the cinema first opened in 1935.
Hamilton Botanic Gardens
Of all the botanic gardens of Victoria, Hamilton's has kept perhaps the most vintage aspects from its superb entrance gates, through its fountain, rotunda and trees commemorating big names of our past
Puffing Billy Railway – Belgrave to Gembrook
Steam trains first hauled passengers up from Belgrave to Gembrook in 1900. Volunteers still maintain the track today, making Puffing Billy a great vintage rail experience.
Sale Botanic Gardens
A lot of vintage aspects of Sale Botanic Gardens were lost when the local golf club took over the space nearly 100 years ago. But new landscaping now is turning this into a lovely spot by the lake.
Corinella Jetty stretches out towards French Island, where there used to be a prison: there were at least two failed attempts to escape and reach the jetty, Alcatraz-style in the past
St Kilda Botanical Gardens
There's a mix of the modern and vintage in St Kilda Botanical Gardens. The rose garden and rotunda are my favourites, along with the Rain Man sculpture and the radiator from Hull
Cape Liptrap Lighthouse
From shipwrecks to light planes plunging into the sea, Cape Liptrap Lighthouse has seen a lot going on since the first light was installed - unmanned - in 1913. The current light dates from 1951.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne
Opening in 1846 makes the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne the oldest entry yet on Vintage Victoria. Lamps, lakes, gates and cottages make it an exciting place to explore 175 years on.
Port Melbourne Leading Lights
Port Melbourne Leading Lights were installed in 1924 to help ships find their berth at nearby wharves. Now surrounded by modern housing but still lining up nicely.
Camperdown Botanic Gardens
Thankfully there are still vintage buildings such as the potting shed, the pavilion and ironwork benches dotted around the Camperdown Botanic Gardens. Great views also over lakes and distant volcanoes
The original Grantville Jetty was built in the 1870s, when it was used for transporting timber from local saw mills. Surely a different pier from the rickety boardwalk that still stands today?
Colac Botanic Gardens
Nellie Melba loved the roses in Colac Botanic Gardens, but I wonder what she'd make of the flying foxes which rule the roost above large sections of the Gardens today.
Inverloch Jetty still marks the entrance to Anderson Inlet. Steamers no longer drop passengers off, and surfboarders are now a more common sight than swimmers near the pier.
Koroit Botanic Gardens
Apart from some magnificent old trees, the only remaining vintage features in the Koroit Botanic Gardens seemed to be the lamps that line the paths and a small stretch of picket fencing.
You can still watch racing at the 'Flemington of the Bush' from the 1886 grandstand, which has graced Terang racecourse for well over 100 years now
Ballarat Botanical Gardens
Gold money brought marble statues to Ballarat Botanical Gardens in the 1880s - They still feature today, some housed in a vintage pavilion, some exposed to the elements, including William Wallace.
Centre Cinema, Horsham – previously Horsham Theatre
Past performers at the Horsham Theatre include Nellie Melba and George Bernard Shaw. This 1926 cinema is now merged with the even older Mechanics Institute next door.
Williamstown Botanic Gardens
The magnificent iron gates at the entrance to Williamstown Botanic Gardens were forged in Glasgow and shipped over some years after the Gardens opened in 1860. Still standing proud today.
79 years passed between George Bass landing here in 1798 and the jetty being built at Rhyll. It's certainly a peaceful spot on Phillip Island in 2021.
Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens, Daylesford
The 1938 look out tower still stands in Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens in Daylesford, giving superb views over the century-old trees and the distant dormant volcanoes on the horizon
San Remo Jetty
Pelicans have a starring role at San Remo Jetty today, but this used to be the launch pad for ferries over to Phillip Island, and the narrow stretch of water has seen many rescues of people falling in
Horsham Botanic Gardens
Horsham Botanic Gardens opened in the 1870s or 1880s. Each curator since then has a path or walkway named after him, and an ancient tree has now become a commemorative sculpture.
Capitol Cinema, Warrnambool
An enormous fire destroyed the cinema which stood on this spot in 1929. The building they replaced it with still stands today as the Capitol Cinema, though it opened as the Warrnambool Theatre.
Buninyong Botanic Gardens
The original 1901 bandstand rotunda still stands in Buninyong Botanic Gardens today. Along with 'The Gong' lake next door, a beautiful spot in 2021 still.
Peninsula Cinema – Sorrento – aka Athenaeum Theatre
The 1894 frontage of Sorrento's Athenaeum Hall still stands today. Much of the interior is modern but the main cinema retains several original features
Benalla Botanical Gardens
England's touring cricketers played Country Victoria on the oval in Benalla Botanical Gardens in 1937. You could watch the game from the bandstand which still stands today.
Flinders Pier was built in the 1860s, just a few years before the first telegraph cable connecting Victoria and Tasmania was rolled out into the sea right next to the jetty.
Kyneton Botanic Gardens
The original Kyneton Botanic Gardens, opened in 1861, extended down to the Campaspe River & regularly flooded in the early years. A picnic & a swim in the river baths was a common activity back then
McCrae Eastern Lighthouse
The metallic tower of Eastern Lighthouse between Dromana and Rosebud on the Mornington Peninsula might look more like a UFO than its white-stoned sisters, but it served its time after opening in 1884
Bendigo Botanic Gardens
Some of the trees in the Bendigo Botanic Gardens may well date from their early years in the 1850s. The vintage pavilion is a little newer than that. And now there are Gardens for the Future too.
Now a favourite with divers seeking sea horses and stingrays, Rye Pier started life in the 1860s as a mooring point for boats taking lime from the nearby kilns up to Melbourne.
Malmsbury Botanic Gardens
Malmsbury Viaduct has been looking down over the Botanic Gardens since they opened in the 1860s. Not many brass bands playing these days, or town hall dances after a gardens picnic, though.
Cape Nelson Lighthouse
Victoria's most westerly lighthouse has been guiding ships towards Melbourne since 1884, though it took 25 years to raise the funds to have it built on the coast near Portland.
Whaler’s Bluff Lighthouse – Portland
First built in 1859, this lighthouse looking over Portland harbour used to be on the other side of the bay. Now it sits on this grassy bluff, with lucky residents' gardens just yards away.
Point Lonsdale Pier
First built in 1890, the Point Lonsdale Pier pre-dates it neighbour the lighthouse by a dozen or so years. Popular fishing spot now with Mornington Peninsula in view.
Johnstone Court, Terang
Beautiful 1920s arcade in Terang, in Victoria's West. Lots of original features still, though I wonder where they used to hold the tea dances in the arcade's early years.
Port Campbell Jetty
There's been a jetty at Port Campbell since the 1870s, though it's had to be rebuilt several times due to the stormy seas that crash into this part of the Victorian coast.
Cape Otway Lighthouse
Built in 1848, Cape Otway Lighthouse was so isolated in the early years that the lighthouse keeper only found out about the Gold Rush when his annual delivery of supplies including newspapers arrived
Lido Cinema – Hawthorn
Another vintage cinema in Melbourne's suburbs, with a modern look in 2020, but still some original features from the 1912 building, like the tiled staircase with ironwork banisters
The first pier in Lorne dates from the 1880s and was always famed for its 'shapely' beauty. The 21st century pier is just as popular with fishermen and folk out for a breath of air.
King’s Arcade, Armadale
Opened in 1893, but many of the vintage features in Kings Arcade, Armadale date from a 1920s refurb. Beautifully maintained into the 21st century
Classic Cinema, Elsternwick
Films were first shown in Elsternwick Theatre in 1911. The Classic Elsternwick mixes old and new to keep up the tradition. Also hosts the Jewish International Film Festival
Hastings Pier/Hastings Jetty
Hastings Jetty and its fishing shed date from about 1866 when a mix of British and Sicilian guys began to supply the growing Melbourne market. A pretty tranquil spot today.
Astor Theatre, St Kilda
This art deco brick palace opened its doors in 1936. It is one of the last remaining vintage cinemas still showing film on a single screen. Shows old classics and new releases.
Cunningham Pier, Geelong
Cunningham Pier: a jewel on Geelong's waterfront or a bit of a white elephant. Once a working pier known as Railway Pier, it's now neither a pleasure pier nor used for regular shipping.
Middle Brighton Sea Baths
The current Middle Brighton Sea Baths date from 1936, after the older ones, built in the 1880s, were destroyed in a storm. The last remaining one of its kind down this side of the Bay.
Geelong Theatre – aka Village Cinemas Geelong
Thank goodness they uncovered the beautiful 1913 facade of the old Geelong Theatre - now Village Cinemas. Lovely retro tiling on the foyer floor, too.
Maryborough Outdoor Pool
Maryborough's art deco swimming pool opened in 1940 and was an inspiration to other towns in Victoria looking to improve their swimming facilities. Vintage grandstand and bandstand in view, too.
Plaza Theatre – Kyabram
The Plaza Theatre in Kyabram first opened its doors in 1929 at a time when the annual Bachelors' Ball was as important to the cinema as the weekly movie on screen
Lagoon Pier – Port Melbourne
In its early 1880s years, the Lagoon Pier in Port Melbourne was witness to a series of tragic drownings. These days it plays host to fishing & strolling, with the occasional acrobatic dive off the end
Kerferd Road Pier – Albert Park, Melbourne
Kerferd Road Pier in Albert Park, Melbourne, hasn't changed too much since it was built in 1887 - there are fewer promenaders now but certainly more lighting than there used to be.
This 1903 grandstand at Coleraine Racecourse has watched over the running of Australia's oldest steeplechase race for over 100 years.
The remains of the original Werribee Jetty, built in 1897, still stand on the other side of the Werribee River from today's Jetty - a peaceful spot with lots of birdlife and lots of fishing.
Queenscliff White Lighthouse – aka Queenscliff Low Light
The Queenscliff White Lighthouse has been watching over passing ships since 1862, with pilots and navigators lining it up with the Black Lighthouse on the hill for entry into Port Phillip Bay
Forum Theatre, Melbourne
Another palatial 1920s cinema in the heart of Melbourne, the Forum Theatre only occasionally shows films these days, but when it opened as the State Theatre had 3000+ seats for cinema-goers
Capitol Theatre – Melbourne
Lighting was key to making the Capitol Theatre unique when it opened in 1924 so it's fitting that The Capitol still has fantastic lighting after its recent refurb. Great venue for MIFF.
Manchester Unity Arcade – Melbourne
This superb 1932 arcade in the heart of Melbourne may no longer house small boutique shops, but it has two cafes and a dental practice whose owner opens up the building for public tours on Sundays
Queenscliff High Lighthouse
The black lighthouse at Queenscliff pre-dates the Fort that now surrounds it by about 20 years. It's been guiding ships through Port Phillip Heads since 1863 and still does
Theatre Royal, Castlemaine
The Theatre Royal in Castlemaine first opened its doors at the height of the 1850s goldrush, with the art deco facade of today's cinema a 1930s innovation
Howey Place, Melbourne
Howey Place started life as a laneway to Coles Book Arcade but has had a glass roof for over 100 years now. So many curious incidents here over the years...
There's been a pier or jetty at Portarlington on the Bellarine Peninsula since 1859. The current pier is a recent arrival but has traditional boardwalk, with distant views across to Melbourne's CBD.
In the 1950s two ocean liners ran aground near Rosebud Pier. After a rebuild in the last 10 years, this is a popular spot for fishing in 2019.
The new Dromana Pier dates from the late 1950s and is about half the length of the original 1862 pier, but it's only thanks to local campaigns & maintenance work that we even have a Dromana Pier still
City Circle trams – Melbourne
Melbourne's City Circle tram route is a 1990s invention, but the trams that run the Number 35 route are all vintage 1920s and 1930s and the line takes you past some wonderful vintage structures
Another palatial art deco cinema in the Melbourne suburb of Balwyn. Opened in 1930, and still showing a great mix of films today.
There's been racing at Casterton since the 1850s and the track now claims to have Australia's only live hedge jumps course. It's set in a natural amphitheatre so we were here for the vintage hedges
The 1920s frontage of Brunswick Baths remains a local landmark. Most of the swimming pools have been rebuilt several times over the decades but the brick wall along the side is of 1914 vintage.
Rex Theatre, Charlton
This classic 1938 vintage cinema in Charlton still shows films three times a week, as it did when it first opened. And it survived the 2011 floods in the town.
A sea wall from the 1850s jetty still stands at the start of Mornington Pier today. And there are half a dozen smaller piers along Schnapper Point, making Mornington great for pier reviews.
Sun Theatre – Yarraville
This 1938 vintage cinema in Yarraville still towers over what was once a heavily industrialised - now gentrified - part of Melbourne. Beautiful art deco.
Block Court Arcade – Melbourne
This 1930 conversion of an older building in the centre of Melbourne gives Block Court Arcade an art deco feel. Not so many quirky shops, but this arcade has a bank branch in the middle of it.
Essendon Swimming Pool – Queens Park, Moonee Ponds
This 1950s outdoor swimming pool in the beautiful Queens Park near Moonee Ponds was built in that wave of post-Olympics enthusiasm for swimming in Australia. Don't miss the vintage turnstiles.
Station Pier – Port Melbourne
Station Pier officially opened in 1930 and was the first port of call for wave after wave of European migrants arriving in Melbourne after the war. These days for cruise ships & the ferry to Tasmania
Bellarine Railway – Drysdale Station
Drysdale Station is the end of the line on the Bellarine Railway these days, but back in 1879, when the Geelong to Queenscliff line opened, Drysdale Station was the first station building on the line.
Bellarine Railway – Queenscliff
The railway line from Queenscliff to Geelong was built in 1879, with Queenscliff Station opening in 1881. Part of that line now forms the Bellarine Railway with steam trains to Drysdale
The 1880s pier at Queenscliff has a vintage shelter half way along, built with seating for waiting ferry passengers, and the old Queenscliff lifeboat shed with steep ramp to launch the boat in a storm
Ferguson Street Pier, Williamstown
Built in 1924 for the ferry 'Rosny', Ferguson Street Pier in Williamstown is today the place to be if you are a boat lover, with sailing and yacht clubs all around
The 1903 grandstand at Camperdown Racecourse was reopened in 2019 after a long restoration period. Once upon a time it was ladies only in the grandstand!
Scenic Railway – Luna Park, St Kilda
The Scenic Railway at Luna Park in St Kilda has been on the go since 1912. Mostly works by gravity and the skills of the brakeman who stands for every ride.
Ovens River swimming pool – Bright
They've been swimming in the Ovens River at Bright since the gold miners left the area a good while ago. Popular spot on a hot day, and with good reason - such clear water
Timeball Tower – Williamstown
Originally a lighthouse at Gellibrand Point, this timeball tower ended up helping ships keep their timepieces accurate for many decades. Ceased work in 1926 but had a makeover recently.
Regent Theatre, Melbourne
The Regent Theatre in Collins St has been reborn a few times, after fire in 1945 and then a remodel in 1993, with lots of design features based on the original 1929 building.
St Kilda Pier
Popular with promenaders since the 1850s, St Kilda Pier draws people today for a peek at the penguins, though its newly-restored pavilion is also a local landmark.
Hanging Rock Racecourse
They've been horse racing at Hanging Rock for over 140 years, though there isn't much vintage architecture here now & I'd love to hear more ancient stories of this mystical spot
Campbell Arcade – Melbourne
1950s vintage arcade built to ease pedestrian traffic into Flinders St station for the Melbourne Olympics. Check it out while you can as Metro Tunnel building works might see it pulled apart.
Vaughan Springs Swimming Hole
Thousands used to come to Vaughan Springs for a day out when the swimming hole was first created in the late 1920s, with bathing beauty contests and brass bands in the 50s. Very quiet now.
Rivoli Cinemas, Camberwell
The Rivoli Theatre in Camberwell is a superb 1940 palace with lots of original features and still showing a great range of movies to this day.
Altona Pier was built for the steam ferries in 1888, but these days is used mostly by fishermen and 'promenaders'. Lovely old boardwalk stretching out over Altona Beach
City Baths – Melbourne
Fabulous 1904 building in the centre of Melbourne housing a stunning indoor swimming pool with lots of original features, including one of the 'slipper baths' needed to keep Melbourne residents clean!
There's a real vintage grandstand at Hamilton racecourse. Built in 1873, it's looking a bit tired now, but such a nice fixture on this beautiful race track in the west of the state.
Gem Pier – Williamstown
Gem Pier has been at the heart of Williamstown - in its various guises - since the 1830s. Now home to HMAS Castlemaine, with great views to Port Melbourne and the Westgate Bridge
Lady Bay Lower Lighthouse – Warrnambool
Lady Bay Lower Lighthouse teams up with her Upper sister to guide boats into Warrnambool harbour. No access to this lighthouse which is part of the Flagstaff Hill Village
Cathedral Arcade, Melbourne
The glass leadlight ceiling of Cathedral Arcade is absolutely stunning. A real vintage beauty in this 1920s building near Flinders St station.
Westgarth Theatre, Northcote
Westgarth Theatre in Northcote has been showing films since 1921. Now a multiplex, but a fantastic facade & lots of original features inside too. Great arthouse programme, too.
Bendigo's vintage trams still run along part of the original tram routes for the city with beautiful rolling stock and fascinating stories dating back to the Gold Rush
The long, straight finger of Mordialloc Pier has been stretching out into Port Phillip Bay since the mid-1800s. Popular with fishermen, but also for a casual stroll.
The Block Arcade, Melbourne
Melbourne's Block Arcade, where class has been on display since 1892, in all senses of the word. The tea rooms, a bugler and a dose of Dr Seuss are my favourite bits.
Yarra Valley Railway – Healesville
The Yarra Valley vintage railway runs from Healesville on the old line to Lilydale in a cute 1960s carriage. It goes through a brick tunnel and along a stretch of trestle bridges.
Star Cinema, Eaglehawk
Boutique cinema full of sofas in the same venue as they first showed films over 100 years ago. Lovely place to see films in Eaglehawk near Bendigo.
Lady Bay Upper Lighthouse – Warrnambool
Lady Bay Upper lighthouse sits in Warrnambool's Flagstaff Hill Village looking down over the bay, with its breakwater and reef. On the Shipwreck Coast.
Paramount Theatre – Maryborough
The new owners of the Paramount Theatre in Maryborough have kept the fantastic 1920s frontage with the old Coffee Palace next door. Great to have a cinema in Maryborough again.
Port Fairy Lighthouse – Griffiths Island
Port Fairy Lighthouse on Griffiths Island sits almost at sea level on the Great Ocean Road. A distinguished red nose on top and red door with path which used to lead back to keeper cottages
The vintage grandstand at Bendigo Racecourse is the reason this venue made it to Vintage Victoria but there are other vintage bits dotted round this beautiful country Victoria racetrack.
Maldon Station – Victorian Goldfields Railway
Maldon Station marks the start or finish of the Victorian Goldfields Railway. Unlike Castlemaine, at the other end of the line, Maldon is not on the main V/Line public transport network.
Astor Cinema, Ararat
The Astor Cinema in Ararat opened 80 years ago in 1938 and is still going today. They bring a cup of tea to your seat if you are running late for the film. Shame they don't make more of their history.
Victorian Goldfields Railway – Castlemaine – Maldon
Gorgeous steam train running from Castlemaine to Maldon known as the Victorian Goldfields Railway. Through stunning eucalyptus bush so runs as a diesel in summer. Visible from our lounge room!
Split Point Lighthouse, Aireys Inlet
Tall, majestic 'White Queen' lighthouse at Split Point near Aireys Inlet on the Great Ocean Road. Fabulous views over the rocks and reefs. Nice tea room too in the old lighthouse stables
Bullarto Station – Daylesford Spa Country Railway
Bullarto station marks the end point of the Daylesford Spa Country railway. It is the highest altitude train station in Victoria. Plans for 1930s themed museum here. Lovely walks from Bullarto.
Eastern Beach Baths, Geelong
Built in the 1920s, the Eastern Beach Baths in Geelong are almost as popular in 2018 as they were in the heyday of ocean swimming in Victoria. Lovely art deco features include the Promenade boardwalk.
The old grandstand at Ballarat Racecourse was the big draw for Vintage Victoria, along with the Tea House. Lots of old stories of drama & skulduggery at the races, too, dating back to 1866.
Royal Arcade, Melbourne
Melbourne's Royal Arcade opened in 1870 & is still going strong. Full of quirky, interesting shops plus the wonderful Gog & Magog sculptures & Father Time to remind of the important things in life
Daylesford – Bullarto Railway
The Daylesford Spa Country Railway takes you the ten or so kilometres from Daylesford to Bullarto, which has the highest altitude train station in Victoria. 1930s diesel trains mostly on Sundays.
Point Lonsdale Lighthouse
Point Lonsdale lighthouse has guarded the entrance to Port Phillip Bay since 1902. It towers over treacherous waters known as The Rip, close to a spot where the man famous for Buckleys Chance lived
Regent Theatre, Ballarat
The Regent Theatre is the loveliest cinema in Ballarat, right in the city centre. The multiplex today has kept many features from the original 1920s movie theatre, with arthouse & mainstream programme