Melbourne Travel Guide

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Melbourne is the capital city of Victoria in south-eastern Australia. It is the second largest city in Australia, after Sydney. Located on the Port Phillip Bay at the mouth of the Yarra River , Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia and a major commercial and financial centre.


There is lots of industry, including shipbuilding, textiles and electrical goods. Melbourne has a population of over 3.5 million in the metropolitan area, with a population of approx. 69,000 in the central city area.


The Melbourne area was originally occupied by the Kulin people and was then settled by Europeans in 1835 who were settlers from Tasmania (which at that time was called Van Diemen’s Land ) It was named in 1837 after William Lamb who was the 2 nd Viscount of Melbourne ( Derbyshire , UK ) and British Prime Minister. The city was the capital city, and seat of the Australian government from 1901 for just over 25 years when it was transferred to the new capital city of Canberra . Initially it was the capital of the district of New South Wales known as Port Phillip, and later of the Victoria colony. In the 1850s the gold rush made Melbourne a very important area. Melbourne residents are known as Melburnians.


Melbourne is ethnically diverse and has lots of culture, with festivals, art galleries, museums and a yearly comedy festival. There are many excellent buildings from the Victorian era. Although the population was once mainly British, since the Second World War there has been considerable immigration from countries in south and eastern Europe, and also Asia . There are large communities of Italians, Greeks, Chinese, Vietnamese, Jewish and Arabic-speaking people.


Melbourne is also a university city , with several campuses, including the University of Melbourne , Melbourne Technical College and the Australian Ballet School . The city has many lovely parks, including the Royal Botanic Gardens. There is also a wonderful Planetarium, Observation Deck, Aquarium, several museums and a Zoo. There are river cruises on the Yarra river. Melbourne enjoys a temperate climate with temperatures ranging from 13-19C from July-Oct, 21-25C from Nov-Feb and 23-14C from Mar-June.


Melbourne is known for its many famous sporting events and attractions, including the Australian Formula One Grand Prix motor race, the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival and Melbourne Cup horse races, tennis – with the Australian Open championship, and AFL football.


The city centre is a lively place with bars, shops, cafes, arcades and parklands. The Queen Victoria Market is a busy and popular place on a Sunday to hunt for bargains or quality and low cost fruits and vegetables. The outskirts of the city are made up of many boroughs, which are all different depending upon the people who live there.

Melbourne has the reputation for being Australia ’s garden city and Victoria the garden state for its large areas of parks and gardens. For nature enthusiasts there is plenty to keep every moment occupied, with the nearby Upper Yarra Valley where some of the worlds highest plants and ancient ferns can be found, as well as kookaburras, cockatoos and parrots


Victoria offers plenty of winter sports activities, with many ski areas being within reach of Melbourne . The closest are The Yarra Valley, Dandenongs and The Ranges which offer good cross-country skiing, tobogganing and other activities. Gippsland is great for snowboarding, tobogganing, or skiing for all levels of skier. Some of the main ski areas include Mount Buller , Mt. Hotham and Falls Creek. Mount Buller is only three hours from Melbourne , Mt. Hotham offers a wide variety of Terrain, and Falls Creek is the largest area. For the less experienced and beginners, Mt. Buffalo , Dinner Plain and Mt. Stirling have less demanding areas and good cross-country trails.


Melbourne has something for everyone. For shoppers there are fashionable boutiques and shops, cafes and bars to spend time in. There is plenty of nightlife for those who have energy left over after exploring all the attractions. Within less than two hours drive away are some lovely wine growing areas. Once you have seen Melbourne , you can take a trip for the day to Philip Island where you can see penguins, and admire the breathtaking coastal views. There are also day trips of the area organized by the tourism office to make sure you do not miss anything.



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