Melbourne is a trendy city full of excellent restaurants, cafés and bars, artsy laneways, galleries and fashion boutiques, parks and gardens. Melbournians love sport, festivals and food, live entertainment, shopping and art.
- Capital city of Victoria in the south east of Australia
- Second most populated city in Australia
- Founded in 1835 by Batman… John Batman
- Population of 4.1 million Melbournians
- Extends from the Dandenong Ranges in the east to Werribee in the west
- Awarded Most Livable City 2011 by The Economist Intelligence Unit
- It’s tramway system is the fourth largest in the world
- Home of the world’s oldest amusement park, Melbourne’s Luna Park in St Kilda
- The central business district is arranged in a grid, called the Hoddle Grid
The first foreigners arrived in 1803 at a place near Sorrento but this settlement was abandoned due to a lack of resources.
In 1835, John Batman met with aboriginal elders of the Wurudjeri tribe and negotiated the purchase of 600,000 acres so that he could build a village. Two years later in 1837, plans for the Hoddle Grid were drawn up and Melbourne was officially named.
Prior to European settlement, the area was inhabited by three aboriginal tribes. Unfortunately, as Melbourne grew, the aboriginal tribes were pushed out to live in camps with terrible living conditions around Melbourne.
In 1847, Melbourne was officially declared a city by Queen Victoria.
If you like pleasant weather, the best time to visit is between October and April while the temperature wafts between 14°C and 30°C. The cold sets in at the beginning of May in preparation for chilly winter, which doesn’t ease off until mid to late September.
The weather is often unpredictable, with regular displays of four seasons in one day. Make sure you check the Bureau of Meteorology before heading out for the day and always be prepared!
Points of Interest
Parks and Gardens
- Royal Botanic Gardens – covers about 38 hectares and includes the Shrine of Remembrance, Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Queen Victoria Gardens and Alexander Gardens.
- Carlton Gardens – a World Heritage site located to the north of the city. It’s the home of the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Museum and IMAX Cinemas.
- Royal Park – The biggest park in Melbourne at 181 hectares and includes the Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens, as well as a golf course, soccer and footy field, cricket pitch and the State Netball and Hockey Centre.
- Fitzroy Gardens – 26 hectares of parkland located to the east of the city. Cook’s Cottage is one of the biggest attractions to the park, as well as Ola Cohn’s Fairies Tree and the Conservatory.
- Royal Exhibition Building – completed in 1880, it is a World Heritage Listed building and one of the world’s oldest exhibition pavilions.
- Melbourne Town Hall – officially opened in 1870, the Town Hall becomes a venue during the International Comedy Festival.
- Parliament House – located at the intersection of Spring Street and Bourke Street, the building was fully completed in 1929 after nearly 70 years of construction.
- The Mitre Tavern – built in 1837, it is the oldest building in Melbourne, and is now a great pub and steakhouse.
Activities & Attractions
Eureka Skydeck – http://www.eurekaskydeck.com.au/
Federation Square – http://www.fedsquare.com/
Docklands – http://www.thatsmelbourne.com.au/Placestogo/Docklands/
Melbourne Comedy Festival (March to April) – http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/
Queen Victoria Market – http://www.qvm.com.au
Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens – http://www.zoo.org.au/melbourne
Melbourne Aquarium – http://www.melbourneaquarium.com.au/home
Melbourne Museum – http://museumvictoria.com.au/melbournemuseum/
The Italian Strip – Lygon Street, Carlton
The Middle Eastern Strip – Sydney Road, Brunswick
Chinatown – Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
Chapel Street, South Yarra
Chapel Street, South Yarra
Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Acland Street, St Kilda
Collins Street & Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne
Visitor Information Centres
Melbourne Visitor Booth, Bourke Street
Public Transport System
Melbourne’s public transport system includes the world’s largest tram network, as well as bus and coach services and a railway network. You can also take advantage of the free city circle trams that travel around Melbourne, passing major tourist attractions and serve as a connection between other tram, train and bus routes. The trams run every 12 minutes from 10am to 6pm from Sunday to Wednesday and 10am to 9pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
For information on how to get where and timetables, visit Public Transport Victoria http://ptv.vic.gov.au/
Myki is Melbourne’s public transport ticketing system, and it involves a little plastic card that you ‘top up’ with your money. You have to ‘touch on’ or swipe the myki reader when you get on public transport to validate your myki, and you have to ‘touch off’ at the end of your journey to get the lowest fare.
You can get a myki card from any ‘premium’ train station, 7-Eleven outlet or the myki discovery centre at Southern Cross Station, and they cost $6 for a full fare card. You then have to ‘top up’ with some dollars before you travel.
For more information on myki and travel fares, visit http://www.myki.com.au/
Other ways to get around…
Melbourne Bike Share: a new form of public transport within the Melbourne CBD http://www.melbournebikeshare.com.au/
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