Go back to Albury from a hundred years ago.
A visit to a new city isn’t complete without getting to know a bit more about that place’s history. This is especially true for a place like Albury, a city brimming with fascinating social, economic, and even political history. It is definitely a place worth knowing, and what better way to get acquainted with its historical past than to go on a walking tour? What’s more, you’ll be able to accomplish this without even leaving the central business district.
From your Albury accommodation, everything is just a couple of steps away. Walk towards the Albury Visitor Information Centre in the historic Albury Railway precinct. Located in the old Station Master’s Residence, this office technically starts your heritage tour. You can pick up a printed brochure and map of the CBD from the information centre to begin your walking tour.
The Albury CBD Heritage Walking Tour
Take this tour if you’d like to go back to Albury a hundred years ago. The Albury CBD Heritage Walking Tour highlights 13 historic sites right in the central business district. These sites are located along Smollett and Dean Streets, practically right outside your accommodation in Albury. You’ll be able to learn about the history of the Albury Railway Station, Beehive Buildings, Botanic Gardens, and Waterstreet Hotel.
13 Historic Sites You Can Visit in Albury CBD
Silver bollards show you where to stop along the tour. Each landmark has a brief description, so you know what’s in front of you. You will be encouraged to listen to audio and browse through historical photographs at each of these 13 sites.
1. Albury Station Master’s Residence
Built in 1882, the Albury Station Master’s Residence was designed by Henry Deane. The original structure featured a dining room, sitting room, pantry, scullery, kitchen, veranda, and five upstairs bedrooms, each with its own fireplace. The building was restored in 2010 and became the Visitor Information Centre.
2. Albury Railway Station
This used to be one of Australia’s most important rail stations. Albury Railway Station acted as the transfer point for the track gauge change between New South Wales and Victoria, decades before the standard gauge line between Melbourne and Sydney was introduced. The Station’s platform was one of Australia’s longest at 455 metres.
3. The Waterstreet Hotel
The Waterstreet Hotel is a two-storey late colonial-style country hotel. Designed by Gordon & Gordon, it was built in 1884 for Mrs Jane Poole, who also ran the Railway Hotel on Smollett Street.
Originally named the Commercial Hotel, it was owned by the renowned Waterstreet family and was thus more popularly called the Waterstreet Hotel. It served as a quarantine facility during the Spanish Flu outbreak in 1919.
4. Albury Public School
The Albury Public School was built in 1891. Better known to local school kids as ‘The Castle’, the two-storey building features both Victorian and Queen Anne styles. It was the third schoolhouse to be built in Albury.
5. St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church
Albury’s first Catholic Church was built in 1858. In 1870, the Reverend Michael McAlroy started building the new St. Patrick’s church, which opened in 1872. The stained glass windows were crafted by John Falconer, one of Australia’s most renowned stained-glass artists.
6. Dalgety Farmers & Graziers Wool Store
This grand structure used to be the largest wool store in Australia. The original building featured a frontage that extends 104 metres along Smollett Street. By 1962, it could store 12,000 bales of wool, with a total floor space of 2.75 hectares.
7. Kia Ora
Albury’s first major commercial structure, Kia Ora was described as “an ornament to the town and a standing monument to the value of Albury granite.” It housed The Bank of New South Wales in 1858 and has since functioned as a residence, a music academy and part of the New South Wales Health Service, before becoming a private residence once more.
8. Albury Botanic Gardens
Opening in 1877, the Albury Botanic Gardens were originally designed in the form of a Union Jack. These 10-acre gardens feature an impressive collection of over 1,000 plant species, including a 46m Queensland kauri.
9. Beehive Building
The Beehive Building features a neoclassic style, stuccoed façade, and balustrade parapet with decorative urns. Built between the 1850s and the 1880s, the building has been used as a flour mill, chemist, sports store, saddler, and the offices of the famous local architect, Louis Harrison.
10. Globe Hotel
Construction of the Globe Hotel started in 1859. John Roper, Albury’s first Clerk of Petty Sessions, commissioned the design and construction of the two-storey hotel. It featured 18 rooms and stables.
11. Albury Post Office
The Albury Post Office dates back to 1861, with its main function as the Telegraph Office. A new building was built in 1877, which included a private accommodation for the postmaster, a buggy house, and stables. The first floor housed the clock tower, and the bells first rang out in 1879.
12. Mate’s Building
The Mate’s Building is one of Albury’s most iconic structures. The original building was destroyed by a fire and replaced by the current one in 1915. Mate’s was the centre of Albury retail for several decades.
13. Albury Court House
The Albury Court House was built in 1860 in the Classic Revival style. The Palladian-style façade and portico were made using local grey granite. Two holding cells and an iron-railed dock can be found inside the Court House.
Enjoy a trip down memory lane in two hours.
The tour takes two hours, but you are welcome to stop at one of the nearby cafes for coffee or to grab a quick bite. You can also download the tour’s mobile app from Google Play or iTunes for a more in-depth experience.
You now have this heritage trail to look forward to. Make sure to add it to your itinerary and don’t forget to book your Albury accommodation early. Book directly with us at Garden Court Motel for big discounts!