Exhibition Building tour

Some pics from a tour of the Exhibition Building a few weeks ago.

You start off on the ground floor, with the guide giving a brief history. It was interesting to see the building empty – I’d previously been here when it was busy – for exhibitions or to get a COVID vaccine.

Here’s a panoramic shot from my phone.

Exhibition Building, Melbourne
Click to view on Flickr/zoom in

You can choose to take the lift or walk up 8 flights of stairs. I chose the latter. Impressively my phone accurately reported afterwards the number of flights I’d climbed.

The stairwell includes some interesting photos on the walls, including this one from mid-20th century when it seems car parks were seen as more worthwhile than parkland or other public space.

Old photo of Exhibition Buildings surrounded by car parks

We booked at dusk, hoping for a nice sunset… it was overcast, but the view from the Promenade was still good.

Melbourne City view from the Exhibition Building roof promenade
Melbourne skyline from Exhibition Buildings dome promenade
Exhbition Building dome, as viewed from the roof Promenade
Fountain at the Exhibition Buildings

Definitely worthwhile to get some history of the building and the views.


By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

2 replies on “Exhibition Building tour”

I was lucky enough to do this tour at 7pm on one of those ethereal Melbourne evenings with my sister and 96yo father. It’s great you’ve mentioned the eight flights of stairs, but any prospective visitors should also note that there are 20 quite steep stairs up to the base of the dome and then five stairs up and five stairs down to access each quadrant. My father handled them with ablomb, despite being reliant on a walker for most situations. There were people half his age on our tour who found them a challenge.

As a volunteer tour guide myself I did think some areas of the tour could be improved. In the ‘basement’ we had virtually no time to enjoy the great display they had there. The explanation of the empty building was a highlight as were the exterior areas.

The car park looks like it is in a north American town.

I probably parked there in about 1976 to see a car show. Along with seeing the cars, I climbed up in the building as far as I could. I didn’t get to the rooftop but I did get well above the exhibition hall at ground level and the gallery.

Although perhaps that was when to another exhibition, specifically about modern electronic devices and I saw my first colour tv monitor. The colours were ghastly.

Your tour sounds terrific. I should have made the effort.

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