Federation Square and city tram, Melbourne
Australia City Break Travel Ideas Oceania

Australia: Wandering Melbourne’s Federation Square

Melbourne’s Federation Square is 10 years old this year and as a piece of urban planning it has been a raving success, constantly busy with tourists and locals enjoying the sunshine, the bars and cafes, and of course Melbourne’s vibrant cultural scene.

Flinders Street Station, Melbourne

The bold modern architecture contrasts brilliantly against the heritage buildings surrounding it, such as Flinders Street Station and the cathedral. Federation Square is home to the National Gallery of Victoria (also known as the Ian Potter centre or the NGV) and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. It also does a great job linking the city with the Yarra River.

Patrick Dougherty sculpture in Federation Square, Melbourne

As part of the birthday celebrations Fed Square has commissioned one of Patrick Dougherty’s fabulous natural sculptures – his first ever work in Australia.

Patrick Dougherty sculpture in Federation Square, Melbourne

The stick castle is entitled “Ballroom” and it took three weeks or 2,000 hours to construct, with the help of 70 volunteers. Dougherty said he was in part inspired by the architecture of Flinders Street Station across the road.

Patrick Dougherty sculpture in Federation Square, Melbourne

These sculptures are very tactile and you can wander in and out and around it. You can touch the surfaces of the willow branches and it has certainly been popular with everyone from children to photographers.vDougherty says he likes to “spark people’s imaginations and connect them with nature in a surprising way”.

Federation Square, Melbourne

There’s something sad and yet satisfying about the temporary nature of the sculpture – like so many things in life and travel, it’s beautiful and you’ve got to enjoy it now!

By Natasha von Geldern

I think Patrick Dougherty has done a great job with his Federation Square sculpture – do you agree?

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  1. It’s funny how much we all love Fed Square now, but 10 years ago most people hated it cos it seemed so out of place with the surrounding historic architecture. Now it is the meeting place, and central point of our great city!
    I have been meaning to check out Sticks….must go for a look!

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