Photo of Tara Oldfield

Author: Tara Oldfield

Senior Communications Advisor

Did you know the 30th of March is “take a walk in the park day”? 

Soon after he arrived in 1839 to take up the position of Superintendent of the Port Phillip District, Charles Joseph La Trobe began setting aside from sale large areas of land near the city that he described as being for the public advantage and recreation.

“It is of vital importance to the health of the inhabitants that there should be parks within a distance of the town where they could conveniently take recreation,” he said. 

Here we delve into our collection in celebration of the day. 


Parks or gardens?

A park is defined as a large public garden or area of land used for recreation. In the City of Melbourne there are 565 hectares of open space with each park and garden a reflection of Melbourne’s history.  

You can take a virtual historical tour of eight major gardens in Melbourne’s inner city: the Royal Botanic, Fitzroy, Carlton, Flagstaff, Treasury, Alexandra, Queen Victoria and Birrarung Marr via our online exhibition Gardens of Melbourne below (best viewed on the Google Cultural Institute website.) 



Advertising that promotes the joys of walking, hiking and getting out in nature as a way to encourage tourism in Victoria can be found within our collection. 

black and white images of like to hik posters
Like to Hike posters by artist Trewin VPRS 12903 P1 item 675/10 and 683/07


colour image of like and hike poster
Like to Hike poster in colour by artist Trewin


black and white images of mt buffalo national park posters
Mt Buffalo National Park posters by Trompf VPRS 12903 P1 item 608/05 and 503/08


colour mt buffalo poster
Mt Buffalo poster in colour by artist Trompf


black and white images of the hills posters
Hills by train posters VPRS 12903 P1 Item 677/10 and 664/09


colour the hills poster
The hills poster in colour



Some beautiful photographs of people on hikes and exploring the nature of Victoria also appear throughout our collection. 

black and white photo of people walking through a park
Various views of people on a hike in the bush VPRS 12903 P1 Item 374/11


black and white photo of people walking through a park
Various views of people on a hike in the bush VPRS 12903 P1 Item 374/03


black and white photo of people walking through a park
Queens Park Essendon VPRS 12800 P1 Item H/5055


Search terms like "hike" or "park" within our collection for more like these. 

Inspired? Head out for a walk in the park. Check out the Walking Maps website for plenty of options. And if you prefer streets to parks, try our North Melbourne walking tour here. 

Material in the Public Record Office Victoria archival collection contains words and descriptions that reflect attitudes and government policies at different times which may be insensitive and upsetting

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples should be aware the collection and website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.

PROV provides advice to researchers wishing to access, publish or re-use records about Aboriginal Peoples