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by Heather F
Heywood, Victoria, Australia
October 28, 2001
From journal Melbourne For Free
July 22, 2001
Though most of Melbourne’s currently-operating ‘trams’ are actually modern light-rail cars, the City Circle Trams are transportation history; much as they probably were in the 1930’s or even before. (At least two American cities --- New Orleans and San Francisco --- have imported sisters of these historic trolleys for use in their own public-transit systems.)
The City Circle trams generally follow the perimeter of the Central Business District: Spencer, La Trobe, Spring and Flinders Streets, with a brief detour through Parliament Gardens. Attractions they serve include:
- Spencer St. Station, terminal for intercity trains to Sydney, Adelaide and inland cities;
- The (former) Royal Mint, State Library and Museum of Victoria;
- Parliament House and the adjoining Parliament Gardens;
- The Old Treasury and other state office buildings;
- Treasury Gardens and, further east, the larger Fitzroy Gardens;
- The Fox & Hounds Hotel and several other of Melbourne’s oldest and most ornate buildings;
- Flinders St. Station, a major crossroads for tram lines and hub of a vast commuter rail system.
Since there’s no fare, you can get off and reboard as often as you like, Trams run frequently, so you shouldn’t have a wait of more than 10-15 minutes (probably less).
Though the free tram takes you around downtown, It won’t take you past the City Center’s most popular shopping, dining and entertainment venues. For those, you’ll need to walk or take a paid tram along Bourke and Collins Streets or walk northward from Flinders St. along Swanston St, Walk.
Rialto Tower, said to be the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest buillding, is at Collins Place, a block north of the City Circle Tram stop at Flinders and King Sts. What the tourism agency’s web site calls the Central Business District’s most popular shopping center is on the tram line near Swanston St. Walk.
From journal Melbourne and its Marvelous Trams