While it's taken some time, Melburnians have come to embrace Federation Sq, accepting it as the congregation place it was meant to be – somewhere to celebrate, protest, watch major sporting events or hang out on its deckchairs. Occupying a prominent city block, 'Fed Square’ is far from square: its undulating and patterned forecourt is paved with 460,000 hand-laid cobblestones from the Kimberley region in Western Australia, with sight lines to important Melbourne landmarks. Its buildings are clad in a fractal-patterned reptilian skin.
Set within the square are cultural heavyweights such as the Ian Potter Centre, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and the Koorie Heritage Trust, as well as restaurants and bars. Free public events are staged here most days, particularly at weekends. Highly recommended free tours depart Monday to Saturday at 11am; spaces are limited, so get there 10 to 15 minutes early.