The Royal Exhibition Building & Carlton Gardens

Just north of the city centre within easy walking distance, you’ll find the majestic Royal Exhibition Building surrounded by Carlton Gardens.


The building is one of the world’s oldest remaining exhibition pavilions and was originally built for the Great Exhibition of 1880. Later it housed the first Commonwealth Parliament from 1901, and was the first building in Australia to achieve a World Heritage listing in 2004.

The Exhibition Building also has theocratic history – conventions were held here in the 1950’s & 1960’s!

Tours of the Royal Exhibition Building are held most days at 2pm, subject to availability. Please call 13 11 02 to confirm.

Visit the Royal Exhibition Building’s Official website for further information or to book a tour.


The stunning Carlton Gardens feature ornamental lakes, elaborate fountains and mature European tree-lined avenues that reflect the changing seasons of these nineteenth century Gardens.

The gardens take in the Royal Exhibition Building, the Melbourne Museum, the Carlton Gardens Tennis Courts, a children’s playground and a collection of Moreton Bay fig trees.

A popular picnic and barbecue area, the heritage-listed Carlton Gardens are home to an array of wildlife, including brushtail possums.

Getting Here

It’s an easy walk to the Gardens & Royal Exhibition Building from the city centre, alternatively you can ride the free City Circle Tram and hop off at Stop 11, Victoria Parade & Nicholson Street.

Tram routes 86 & 96 both stop at the corner of Nicholson and Gertrude Streets which is directly opposite the Royal Exhibition Building. However, you will need to use your Myki card if using this stop from the City as it is just outside Zone 1.