Melbourne Dreaming

By Meyer Eidelson (Aboriginal Studies Press, $39.95)

Residents of Melbourne’s inner north would be familiar with The Builders Arms Hotel, but few would be aware that it was an integral social and political Aboriginal meeting place for a large part of the 20th century. This is just one insight that this recently updated guidebook to Melbourne provides.

Written by walking tour guide Meyer Eidelson, the book presents as an integral travel reference to 36 sites of historical and contemporary Aboriginal significance. Beginning with a historical overview for the region and its Indigenous peoples in general, it then moves into a more travel-oriented breakdown.

The sites are divided into precincts to allow readers to easily plan day tours, including points of interest like the Sunbury earth rings, Fitzroy Gardens’ scarred tree and Bunjils Cave at Cape Schanck. Including information such as available facilities, maps and how long a particular walk takes, Eidelson attempts to cover every relevant aspect of each site, making Melbourne Dreaming a useful resource for both tourists and locals seeking to rediscover the heritage beneath their feet.

Regardless of your familiarity with Melbourne’s indigenous cultural history, or the places themselves, there’s plenty to be discovered here.