Welcome to this audio tour of the exhibition Victorians on vacation, narrated by exhibition curator Clare Williamson. Victorians on vacation was a State Library of Victoria exhibition that ran from 30 November 2007 to 2 March 2008.
In this audio tour you'll discover how our holiday habits have changed over time, reflecting changes in our society, lifestyles and tastes. We’ll take you to the seaside, the mountains, the snow and the rivers that continue to be popular destinations for Victorian holidaymakers. We’ll show you the changes in transport and accommodation and reveal some of the stories behind the holiday-related collection material on display in the exhibition.
To listen to other audio files in the series, follow the links below:
Exhibition curator Clare Williamson begins our road trip through the history of holidaymaking in the state.
For most Australians the beach is a place of freedom and endless possibilities. In fact, for many of us the very word 'beach' brings thoughts of holiday-making. But it has not always been so.
Improved access by railway line and, later, cable trams helped make St Kilda a popular resort by the 1880s. Visitors could enjoy bathing, entertainment, refreshments, and places such as the Palais de Danse and Luna Park. Discover some of St Kilda's early stories and characters.
In the mid-19th century artists painted the great beauty of the Dandenongs and helped turn the area into a summer retreat to rival beach resorts by the late 1880s. Learn how a Eugene von Guerard paintingcaptured the imagination of the early colonists and tapped into the craze for ferns.
When Europeans first ventured into the Australian bush, notions of leisure were far from their thoughts. But many discovered a love of being outdoors, and bushwalking became a popular activity for holiday-makers. Learn about the sometimes eccentric bushwalking pioneers of the 1930s.
Discover the story of one of Victoria's mountain tourism pioneers, Alice Manfield, or 'Guide Alice', who worked at her family's Mount Buffalo guesthouse and guided mountain climbers there in the early 20th century.
- 'Victorians on vacation' audio tour: part 6
The Library's collection of photographs documenting the fun and comradeship on the ski slopes in the 1920s and 30s contains some real gems. Learn how these early adventurers did things before the advent of modern transport, accommodation and ski gear.
Holiday accommodation is often a simple affair, whether a tent on a bush block or a beach shack lovingly constructed by its owners. Discover the story of how Edna Walling, one of Australia’s most influential garden designers, built a humble holiday home at Lorne in the late 1940s, a far cry from the large architectural monuments that dot the Great Ocean Road today.
The holiday experiences of most Victorians changed markedly in the mid-20th century with the arrival of the affordable family car. And then came the caravan... The Don Caravan was the first Australian-made and designed caravan. Follow the story of this local Victorian company that became a household name.
Melbourne embraced cycling as early as the 1860s with the first bicycles – wooden-wheeled velocipedes commonly known as 'bone shakers’. By the late 1800s, the cycling craze was at its height. Hear more about this fascinating era of 'spiders', 'high bikes' and 'rational dress'.
Along with the growth of leisure and tourism in Victoria came the rise of the promotional poster. The 1920s and 30s was the Golden Age of poster design in Australia. Learn more about the commerical poster art of the day.
As the 20th century progressed, a more prosperous middle class with greater leisure time and mobility continued to embrace the annual summer beach holiday. Matthew Sleeth, an acclaimed Melbourne photographer, reminisces on his own childhood seaside holidays there.