Take the Albury CBD Walking Tour and discover beautifully preserved heritage buildings that offer a window into the city’s fascinating past. Download the app and look out for the bollards at each of these six sites.
Former Albury Station Master’s Residence & Albury Railway Station
Bollard 1; Sites 1, 2
Among other accolades, the 455m-long platform of the grand Italianate-style is credited as being one of the Southern Hemisphere’s longest. Before 1962, NSW and Victoria once used different sized gauges (distance between rails on a track), so all passengers crossing the border had to change trains at Albury (even if it was the middle of the night), hence the need for the space, as well as large refreshment rooms and lots of staff to serve food and drink to ease discomfort. Also on site is the Station Master’s Residence, designed by Henry Dean and built between 1881 and 1882. Dean’s design was ahead of its time, with the residence featuring fireplaces in every room and (unusual for the era) piped water. Pop in today to pick up maps and get tips from the Visitor Information Centre staff.
St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church
Bollard 4; Site 5
It’s hard not to be dazzled by St Patrick’s Church, from the unusual octagonal cupola roof topping the tower to the stained-glass windows imagined by John Falconer, arguably Australia’s premier stained-glass artist. Visiting is a whirlwind of history and architecture, with much of the granite and sandstone building – including its decorative window and door dressings – unchanged since the 1870s when it was blessed and opened. If these walls could talk, they’d tell you stories like how Mrs Sarah Daly donated the bell in loving memory of her late husband John in 1923. Or about the inspirational Irish priest, Michael McAlroy, who was the driving force behind the church’s construction, and was known as the “Apostle of the South”.
Albury Town Hall
Bollard 10; Site 14
The Murray Art Museum Albury may be home to one of the state’s most progressive collections of art, but parts of its building have a long and storied history. The façade on Dean Street is the former Town Hall, an example of Federation Free Classical architecture designed to show the “energy, enterprise and grit” of the region, recovering from harsh times – although there were still more harsh times to come. After its opening, in 1908, the Town Hall served as a Red Cross depot during both World Wars. It was given its new look as in 2015, and today houses a glorious 2,400-piece collection spanning everything from photography and painting to sculpture and digital art.
Former Globe Hotel, Albury Post Office and Mate’s Building
Bollard 9; Sites 10, 11, 12
Before the 18-room Globe Hotel opened in 1860 – replete with stables – those passing through Albury were limited when it came to finding a place to rest their head or water their horses. An enterprising chap called John Roper saw the potential, and purchased a prime site on the corner of Dean and Kiewa streets for just shy of £14. For more than 50 years, the eye-catching globe that originally sat atop the building was missing – it was reinvented and returned in 2021.
If you worked for the Albury Post Office across Kiewa Street, you had your own accommodation on-site – a perk of the job. The heritage-listed 1861 building – which spent its early years as the Telegraph Office – is still owned by Australia Post to this day.
Cross Dean Street and you’re standing outside Mate’s Building. T. H. Mate purchased the site for £700 in 1860. Sadly, fire ravaged the building in the early 1900s, but it was rebuilt with modern horizontal and vertical lines, and remains an Albury icon. Don’t be surprised if you hear locals say: “Meet you at Mate’s.” Today, the building is home to a collection of retail stores.
Former Dalgety Farmers and Graziers Woolstore
Bollard 5; Site 6 & Bollard 6; Site 7
Standing outside this 1929 red-brick building, it’s hard to fathom that it was once the largest wool store in Australia. It was redesigned and expanded over the decades, and by 1962 it covered some 2.75 hectares – big enough to store 12,000 bales of wool. As you wander past, you get a real sense of just how important the wool trade was in building modern-day Australia. Today, it’s been completely renovated and transformed into serviced apartments managed by Quest.
Nearby, the Kia Ora was Albury’s first major commercial building, opening its doors as the Bank of New South Wales in 1858. It has since served as stock and station agency, music academy, and as part of the health service.
Albury Botanic Gardens
Bollard 7; Site 8
The planting of a single elm was how the Albury Botanic Gardens was opened in 1877, the grounds then fashioned to resemble the Union Jack. Some 145 years later, the space has grown into a wonderland of more than 1,000 plant species covering four hectares. Preserved slices of history include the 1890 octagonal timber band rotunda (the Albury Town Band were resident musicians) and the charming brick 1909 curator’s residence. History buffs can take a self-guided Heritage Walk around the gardens, discovering 19 sites of significance.
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You can explore more of Albury’s fascinating history and culture on this one-day itinerary.