Heritage Hobsons Bay

Heritage Hobsons Bay

18 April to 19 May 2019
Various locations

All events are FREE unless otherwise stated

Explore Hobsons Bay during the Australian Heritage Festival. Discover the history and heritage from waterfront Williamstown, the original port of Melbourne, to the 177-year-old Altona Homestead built by the Langhorne family - early settlers in Melbourne’s west. Join us for a program of events and guided walking tours or travel along the 24km coastal trail with interpretive markers that tell unique heritage stories along the way.

Download the full program: Heritage Hobsons Bay 2019 Program(PDF, 1MB)



100yrs Of Williamstown
2019 marks 100 years since Williamstown became a city.

For more information about this historic occasion visit www.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au/williamstown100




Memories of Williamstown Town Hall: 100 Years a City Exhibition
Presented by Hobsons Bay Libraries

Thursday 18 April to Sunday 19 May, during library opening hours
Williamstown Library, 104 Ferguson Street, Williamstown

We asked the community to share their fondest memories of the historic Williamstown Town Hall through stories, photographs and ephemera resulting in a snapshot of the social history of a city. No bookings required. 



Newport Archives
Presented by The Substation

Available Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 5pm
The Substation, 1 Market Street, Newport

Newport Archives is an audio tour, which explores The Substation’s own building and surrounding landmarks in Newport. Equipped with headphones and an mp3 player as their guide, participants walk unaccompanied through Newport’s streets in a journey that uncannily knits the present with past memories. Newport Archives is available by appointment. Bookings via info@thesubstation.org.au



Connecting Back to Childhood
Presented by Altona-Laverton Historical Society

Tuesdays, 11am to 2pm
Saturdays, 10am to 1pm
Sunday 5 May, 10.30am to 2.30pm (Devonshire Tea)
Altona Homestead, Logan Reserve, Altona

Oh to be a kid again, when times were simpler and there was just your imagination to keep you entertained! Take a step back in time at Altona Homestead and take a peek at games, toys and activities that provided entertainment in years gone by. No bookings required. Gold coin donation.



Heritage Help
Presented by Hobsons Bay Libraries

Wednesday 24 April and Tuesday 7 May, sessions between 10am to 12.15pm
Monday 13 May and Friday 17 May, sessions between 1.30pm to 3.30pm
Williamstown Library, 104 Ferguson Street, Williamstown

If you’re new to family history and would like a few pointers to get started, why not book a free 45 minute one-on-one introductory session with a member of the library heritage team? 
Bookings essential heritage@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au or phone 1300 HOB LIB



Ada Cambridge Walking Tour
In partnership with Williamstown Literary Festival

Wednesday 24 April, 11am
Sunday 28 April, 10am
Meet at Ada Cambridge Forecourt, Williamstown Town Hall, 104 Ferguson Street, Williamstown

 Join the Willy Lit Fest and walk a mile in the shoes of Ada Cambridge. Author, poet and autobiographer, Ada was a woman ahead of her time. Spend an hour taking in the air and view the world of Cambridge, her life at the Manse on Nelson Place and her well-worn paths of Williamstown. Bookings essential via heritagehobsonsbay.eventbrite.com



Step Back in Time - Williamstown Guided Walking Tour

Tuesdays and Fridays, 11.45am to 12.45pm (excludes Good Friday)
Meet at the Visitor Information Centre, Commonwealth Reserve, corner Syme Street and Nelson Place, Williamstown

Step back in time and unlock the secrets of the historic waterfront and seaport of Williamstown with free guided heritage walking tours. Bookings essential via hobsonsbaytickets.com.au or call 9932 4310.



Spotswood Industrial Heritage Tour

Wednesday 24 April, 9.30am to 1pm
Meet at Scienceworks, 2 Booker Street, Spotswood, 3015

The tour includes a visit to the Pumping Station at Scienceworks, and uses the Museum Victoria Spotswood Industrial Tour App. Non-app users are also welcome to attend. Bookings essential via heritagehobsonsbay.eventbrite.com or call 9932 4310.



ANZAC Day Cemetery Tour
Presented by Friends of Williamstown Cemetery

Thursday 25 April, 11am
Meet at the Main Gates, Williamstown Cemetery, Champion Road, North Williamstown

Visit the Williamstown Cemetery and be guided around graves and memorials of our local service people.  You are welcome to bring a small posy of flowers to lay on a grave of your choice. Bookings essential via heritagehobsonsbay.eventbrite.com



Point Gellibrand Walking Tour
In partnership with Parks Victoria

Saturday 27 April, walking tours at 11am and 1pm
Meet at the Timeball Tower, Point Gellibrand Coastal Heritage Park, Williamstown

Join Parks Victoria rangers and local historians to discover the fascinating history of Williamstown’s Point Gellibrand Coastal Heritage Park. Including indigenous cultural heritage, convict stories, military defences, post-colonial settlement and the natural history of the area, the walking tour will focus on the diversity of stories presented across this significant landscape. Timeball Tower (ground level only) is open to visitors from 11am to 2pm. Bookings essential via heritagehobsonsbay.eventbrite.com



Paint the Gardens
In partnership with the Friends of Williamstown Botanic Gardens

Sunday 28 April, 11am to 4pm
Williamstown Botanic Gardens, Osborne Street, Williamstown

Bring a picnic to the beautiful, heritage listed Williamstown Botanic Gardens and enjoy this popular outdoor exhibition showcasing the talents of local artists. Paint the Gardens is a great family day out, with free art workshops, musical entertainment and tours. No bookings required.



Seaworks Museum Tour
Presented by Williamstown Historical Society and Williamstown Maritime Museum

Sunday 28 April, tours at 12pm, 1pm and 2pm
Seaworks, 82 Nelson Place, Williamstown

The Seaworks Maritime Museum has a huge array of models and seafaring items including models of the Williamstown Ferry and the Gellibrand Pile light, made by a local historian Cliff Gibson. Includes a tour of Melbourne’s first morgue situated on the Seaworks site. Bookings essential via heritagehobsonsbay.eventbrite.com. Gold coin donation.



The ANZAC Billy: Book Launch with Claire Saxby
Presented by Hobsons Bay Libraries

Monday 29 April, 12pm to 1pm
Altona Meadows Library and Learning Centre, Central Square Shopping Centre, 2 Newham Way, Altona Meadows

During the First World War, children helped gather supplies to send to the Australian troops for Christmas. Join award-winning author, Claire Saxby, as she launches her brand new picture book The ANZAC Billy. Find out about how local families supported those serving overseas by sending ANZAC billies to the war front. Children in grades one to four are invited to share in this magical tale and participate in a writing response activity. School bookings essential, email librarycyteam@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au



Back Lanes of Williamstown

Wednesday 1 May, 10am to 11.30am
Meet at the Visitor Information Centre, Commonwealth Reserve, corner Syme Street and Nelson Place, Williamstown

Join local historian Brian Haynes for a walking tour of the back lanes and streets behind Nelson Place in Williamstown and gain a different perspective of the heritage of the area. Bookings essential via heritagehobsonsbay.eventbrite.com



Preservation: One Shipwreck. 14 Dead. What is the truth?
Presented by Hobsons Bay Libraries

Thursday 2 May, 6.30pm to 7.30pm
Williamstown Library, 104 Ferguson Street, Williamtown

Based on the true story of the wreck of the Sydney Cove, master storyteller Jock Serong turns his talent to historical narrative. Come and discover the truth of the wreck. Bookings essential via libraries.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au or call 1300 HOB LIB.



Journey to the Dead Centre of Town: Williamstown Cemetery Bus Tour
In partnership with Friends of Williamstown Cemetery

Saturday 4 May, 10am and 1.30pm
Meet at the Main Gates, Williamstown Cemetery, Champion Road, North Williamstown

Join the Friends of Williamstown Cemetery on a local bus tour and hear fascinating stories of tragedy and intrigue whilst stopping to look at various historical sites, including the old morgue and the original 1842 burial ground. After a refreshment break, the tour will continue past local hotels connected to early inquests and conclude at Williamstown Cemetery to view the largest mass grave in Australia. $12 (includes refreshments), bookings essential via heritagehobsonsbay.eventbrite.com



Family Art Workshop

Saturday 4 May, 9.15am to 12.15pm
Woods Street Arts Space, 44 Woods Street, Laverton

Join Little Art Big Art for a creative family art workshop inspired by local history and heritage. Bookings essential via heritageart.eventbrite.com



The Message Tree
Presented by Yalukit Marnang

Saturday 4 May, 3pm to 5pm
Joan Kirner House, 14 Thompson Street, Williamstown

Smoking ceremony and informal gathering to share research relating to two important histories from Thompson Street, Williamstown shared with the Boon Wurrung, some of the First Peoples of Hobsons Bay. This event will include a short walk and an open discussion. Bookings preferred: heritagehobsonsbay.eventbrite.com


Altona Homestead Ghost Tour
Presented by Lantern Ghost Tours

Saturday 4 May, 8.30pm to 10pm
Altona Homestead, 128 Queen Street, Altona

Visit one of Australia's original homesteads. Built by the Langhorne family, the homestead has long had a reputation for hauntings and has been the centre of paranormal investigations. Charges apply, bookings essential via lanternghosttours.com 



Ghosts of the Old City Williamstown
Presented by Lantern Ghost Tours

Various dates

Explore King William’s Town by lamplight, the original capital of Victoria. Charges apply. 

Bookings essential: lanternghosttours.com



Truganina Explosives Reserve Open Day
In partnership with Truganina Explosives Reserve Preservation Society and Inner West Branch of the National Trust

Sunday 5 May, 11am to 4pm
Truganina Explosives Reserve, Queen Street, Altona

Join a guided tour or a self-guided walk and discover the remnants of the historic Explosives Reserve and learn about the indigenous plants in the area. Bring a picnic to enjoy in the Keeper’s Gardens. No bookings required.



Digitising the Past: 3D Scanning Workshop
Presented by Hobsons Bay Libraries

Thursday 9 May, 6pm to 8pm
Williamstown Library, 104 Ferguson Street, Williamstown

Do you have items of historical significance? Bring them along and learn the basics of scanning objects into 3D. Get started with photogrammetry and discuss the best ways to begin editing, viewing and sharing your 3D models. Bookings essential via libraries.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au or call 1300 HOB LIB.



Maritime talk and Slide Show
Presented by Williamstown Historical Society and Williamstown Maritime Association

Thursday 9 May, 6pm
Pirates Tavern (rear of Seaworks), 82 Nelson Place, Williamstown, 3016

Speakers will present various aspects of maritime life and the effects it had on trade, convicts, the Victorian gold rush, export of wheat and shipbuilding. View the maritime photos and objects on display at the Pirates Tavern. The bar will be open. Bookings essential via heritagehobsonsbay.eventbrite.com



Williamstown Town Hall Centenary Tour and Morning Tea

Monday 13 May, 9.30am to 12pm
Williamstown Town Hall, 104 Ferguson Street, Williamstown, 3016

Enjoy the 100th anniversary tour of the recently restored front building of the Williamstown Town Hall. Learn more about the history of the building and the role that it has played in the local community over the years. The tour will be followed by a morning tea in the Chamber. $18 includes tour, morning tea with a glass of champagne, bookings essential via hobsonsbaytickets.com.au



Children: Then and Now
Presented by the Williamstown Historical Society

Sunday 12 May, 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Williamstown Library, 104 Ferguson Street, Williamstown

Find out what it was like to be a child in the early days of Williamstown. What was school like? What were homes like? Did children go to work? Come along and join in activities that will demonstrate the difference between then and now. Suitable for all ages, especially families and children. Drop in at any time during the session. No bookings required

Old School Group


Williamstown Centenary Projection Tour

Meet at Williamstown Town Hall, 104 Ferguson Street, Williamstown
Friday 17 May, 6pm and 7.30pm
Saturday 18 May, 6pm and 7.30pm

On 17 May 1919, Williamstown was proclaimed a city by the State Governor, Sir Arthur Stanley during a visit to the newly completed Town Hall. One hundred years later, you are invited to join us on a night time tour of the surrounding streets to discover stories of Williamstown’s past.

Bookings essential: heritagehobsonsbay.eventbrite.com


Cultural Day
Presented by the Boon Wurrung Foundation and 4th Williamstown Sea Scouts

4th Williamstown Sea Scouts, The Strand (opposite Stevedore St) Williamstown
Sunday 19 May, 11 am to 2 pm

Come along to a day of cultural learning and fun with the traditional owners of the Strand foreshore and countryside, the Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation. There will be a Welcome to Country, Smoking Ceremony, free Bush/BBQ, tours of the 1920's boatshed and the 1940's scout hall and the official naming of the SSS Gurrong. The word Gurrong means canoe in Boon Wurrung language and permission has been granted for use to foster a deeper understanding of our shared histories. No bookings required.


70 years of Mobil in Altona

In 2019, the Mobil Altona Refinery is celebrating 70 years of operations – 70 years of fuelling Victoria.

Learn more about the enduring legacy of Altona Refinery and the upcoming program of events to celebrate Mobil’s long-term contribution to jobs, economic growth and opportunity in Melbourne’s west: www.mobil.com.au/communitynews



Altona Homestead
Logan Reserve, Altona.
Open Tuesdays, 11am to 2pm, Saturdays (except first Saturday of the month), 10am to 12pm and first Sunday of the month, 11am to 4pm.

Enterprize Tall Ship
Gem Pier, Syme St, Williamstown.
Visit website to confirm sailing times and bookings.

HMAS Castlemaine Museum Ship
Gem Pier, Syme St, Williamstown.
Open weekends and public holidays, 11am to 4pm

Newport Railway Museum
Champion Road, Newport
Open Saturdays, 12pm to 5pm 


2 Booker St, Spotswood
Open daily, 10am to 4pm 

Seaworks Maritime Museum
Seaworks, 82 Nelson Place, Williamstown
Open Friday, Sunday and Wednesday, 11am to 2pm 

St John Library and Museum
Corner of The Esplanade and Garden Street, Williamstown
Open Thursdays and Sundays, 10am to 4pm

Williamstown Historical Society Museum
Currently closed for renovations.
For research enquiries email williamstownhistsocietyvic@gmail.com