Melbourne, the gateway to Victoria, sits astride the Yarra River and is positioned at the very top of Port Phillip Bay. It is Australia's second largest city, with a mix of modern high rise towers, preserved Victorian historic architecture and attractive parks and gardens.
A Melbourne holiday is a "must do" experience for both Australians and overseas visitors. Sports events, theatres, exhibitions, casino... Melbourne has it all. The city is home to the most cosmopolitan mix of ethnic groups and backgrounds of all the Australian cities.
Dating from the days of assisted passage after World War 2, the influx of immigrants that has done so much to shape and enhance Australian society is very evident in Melbourne. Dining in Melbourne offers an huge variety of different cuisines.
The choices of Melbourne hotels and apartments are many and varied, ranging from 5 star luxury to accommodation for the budget conscious. Melbourne has a great selection of smaller boutique hotels. Visitors should note that the city hosts many major events and festivals and accommodation can be difficult to find at those times. Advance bookings are always recommended for Melbourne accommodation.
Melburnians love their sport and are keen patrons of the major events. The Australian Open Tennis, Formula One Grand Prix, Australian 500cc Motor Cycle Grand Prix, the Melbourne Cup horse race and spring racing carnival all attract major crowds.
Things To Do In Melbourne
Popular with locals and visitors alike are Melbourne's yellow and green trams which faithfully move the population around the city. A free City Circle tram service is available for visitors who will find there is lots of things to do in Melbourne.
Flinders Street Station with its clocks, where for generations, people have arranged to meet. Take a tram ride to St Kilda and visit the pier and Pavilion. Try your luck at the huge Crown Casino. Australia's most diverse ethnic mix. Anglo Saxon, Greek, Italian, Chinese, Vietnamese are just some of the cultures to be found in Melbourne's shops and restaurants. Put a note in your diary for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival in March - April.
Art lovers should visit the National Gallery of Victoria, the Victorian Arts Centre and the Myer Music Bowl. Have a drink with Chloe at Young & Jacksons Hotel as part of a walking tour. Also take in St Pauls Cathedral. Visit the Rialto Towers observation deck on the 55th floor. For a change of pace, visit the Queen Victoria Market and see the produce vendors in action. Make time to tour the lanes and alleys of Melbourne to experience some of the arts and cuisines that dares to be different, in settings that date back to the earliest days of the city.
Go to a football match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and experience the crowd atmosphere. The ground serves as a home for cricket during the summer and in winter it is the headquarters for the AFL (Australian Football League) also known as "Australian Rules" football. The final of the AFL football league attracts crowds up to 100,000.
Tour historic sites such as Captain Cook's cottage in Fitzroy Gardens, or the Como Homestead overlooking the river in South Yarra. There's also Ripponlea near St Kilda. The Old Melbourne Gaol is a popular tour with visitors who want to see where Ned Kelly, Australia's most famous bushranger, met his end.
Travel to the southern fringes of Melbourne and tour Werribee for its Werribee Park Zoo, Werribee Park Mansion and gardens, and the adjoining Victorian State Rose Garden. Pay a visit to the Air Force Museum at Point Cook.
Many of the attractions associated with Melbourne lie in the nearby towns and regions around Port Phillip Bay. These areas have their own page.