To wander through the Flagstaff Gardens is to wander though 170 years of Melbourne history.
Try sitting under the beautiful stand of gum trees in the North-West corner and imagining Melbourne before European settlement. Elsewhere, the central city is now dominated by European trees, so this is a rare reminder of 'the bush'. Try to imagine the 'blue lake' with its lively water birds which stretched away from this corner of Flagstaff Hill.
Next wander to the memorial marking the graves of the first European settlers when the area was referred to as 'Burial Hill'.
Looking over King Street to St.James Old Cathedral evokes images of the growing town of Melbourne in the 1840's. You can still hear the bellringers practising there on a Friday evening from about 8 o'clock.
On Monday November 11th 1850, news reached 'the Port Phillip Settlement of New South Wales' that Queen Victoria declared Victoria to be a separate colony. A great bonfire was lit that night on Flagstaff Hill to signal the good news, and the rest of the week was declared a holiday.
Soon after, gold was discovered and the Royal Mint was built at the South-East corner of the Flagstaff Gardens to mint the gold from the rich fields of Ballarat, Bendigo and beyond.
Watch the trams trundle past as they have for the last hundred years.
Sit under one of the Moreton Bay Fig Trees or go and smell the herbs in the fragrant garden area.
Flagstaff Hill has watched a city grow out of the bush, and quietly stores away its memories. It will give these memories back to anyone prepared to slow down and ponder its gardens and surroundings.