Saturday, 20 December 2014

Mel ‘bourne’ – A global destination

The word “bourne” means “a limit or boundary”. Indeed Melbourne is the limit for a tourist who wants to enjoy the most serence places in the world- from thrilling world class events and renowned architecture, to café-lined streetscapes and verdant parklands, there’s always something new and exciting to discover in Melbourne.

Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The name "Melbourne" refers to an “urban agglomeration area” (and census statistical division) spanning 9,900 square kms.(3,800 square miles) that comprises the greater metropolis – as well as being a common name for its metropolitan hub, the Melbourne City Centre. It is a leading financial center in Australia, as well as the Asia-Pacific region, and has been ranked the world's most livable city (no mean feat!) since 2011 (and among the top three since 2002), according the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). In 2013 the EIU also ranked Melbourne the fourth most expensive city in the world, tying with Oslo, Norway. Melbourne is rated highly in the areas of education, entertainment, healthcare, research and development, tourism and sports.

Melbourne is located on the large natural bay of Port Phillip, with its City Centre situated at the northernmost point of the bay – near to the estuary of the Yarra River. The metropolitan area extends south from the City Centre, along the eastern and western shorelines of Port Phillip, and expands into the hinterlands – toward the Dandenong and Macedon mountain ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. The City Centre is located in the municipality known as the City of Melbourne, and the metropolis consists of a further 30 municipalities. Melbourne has a population of 4.35 million. Inhabitants of the city are called Melburnians.

Founded on 30 August 1835 (in what was then the Colony of New South Wales), by settlers from Launceston in Van Diemen's Land, it was incorporated as a Crown settlement in 1837. It was named "Melbourne" by the Governor of New South Wales, Sir Richard Bourke, in honour of the British Prime Minister of the day, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne. It was declared a city by Queen Victoria in 1847, before becoming the capital city of the newly created Colony of Victoria in 1851. During the Victorian gold rush of the 1850s, it was transformed into one of the world's largest and wealthiest cities. After the federation of Australia in 1901, Melbourne served as the interim seat of government for the newly created nation of Australia until 1927.

So, if you are a tourist who wants to have a first-hand information of what's in store for you in the amazing place called Melbourne, here's a sneak peek through their tourism website:

An international centre for performing and visual arts, Melbourne is often referred to as Australia's cultural capital. It is the birthplace of Australian dance styles; the Melbourne Shuffle and New Vogue, the Australian film industry (including the world's first feature film! ), Australian impressionist art (known as the Heidelberg School), Australian rules football, and the Australian television industry. In more recent years, it has been recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature and a major centre for street art. It is home to many of Australia's largest and oldest cultural institutions such as the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne Museum, Melbourne Zoo, the National Gallery of Victoria and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building.

The main passenger airport serving the metropolis and the state is Melbourne Airport, which is the second busiest in Australia, and the Port of Melbourne is Australia's busiest seaport for containerized and general cargo. Melbourne has an extensive transport network. The main metropolitan train terminus is Flinders Street Station, and the main regional train and coach terminus is Southern Cross Station. Melbourne has the world's largest tram network.

Stylish, arty Melbourne is a city that’s both dynamic and cosmopolitan, and proud of its place as Australia’s cultural capital. Its stately Gold Rush–era architecture and a multicultural make-up reflect the city’s recent history, while edgy street art, top museums and sticky-carpeted band venues point to its present-day personality.

Melbourne is best experienced as a local would, with its character largely reliant upon its collection of inner-city neighbourhoods. Despite a long-standing north–south divide (flashy St Kilda versus hipster Fitzroy), there’s a coolness about its bars, cafes, restaurants, festivals and people that transcends the borders. The city centre has meanwhile reinvented itself with chic laneway eateries and rooftop bars opening in former industrial buildings.

Sport is also crucial to the fabric of the town, taking on something of a religious nature here. Melburnians are passionate about AFL football ('footy'), cricket and horse racing, and also love their grand-slam tennis and Formula One Races.

To explore how much fun and lively city Melbourne is, watch this playlist of "Come alive in Melbourne"videos:

Top Five things to do in Melbourne:

1. Visit Melbourne Museum :

This museum provides a grand sweep of Victoria’s natural and cultural histories, with exhibitions covering everything from dinosaur fossils and giant squid specimens to the taxidermy hall, a 3D volcano and an open-air forest atrium of Victorian flora. Become immersed in the legend of champion racehorse and national hero Phar Lap in the Marvellous Melbourne exhibition. The excellent Bunjilaka, on the ground floor, presents Indigenous Australian stories and history told through objects and Aboriginal voices with state-of-the-art technology. There's also an IMAX cinema on site.

2. China Town

Chinese miners arrived in search of the ‘new gold mountain’ in the 1850s and settled in this strip of Little Bourke St, now flanked by traditional red archways. The Chinese Museum here does a wonderful job of putting it into context with five floors of displays, including artefacts from the gold-rush era, dealings under xenophobic White Australia policy and the stunning 63m-long, 200kg Millennium Dragon that bends around the building; in full flight it needs eight people just to hold up its head alone.

Here you’ll find an interesting mix of Chinese and Asian restaurants; come here for yum cha (dim sum) or explore its attendant laneways for late-night dumplings or cocktails. Chinatown also hosts the city’s vibrant Chinese New Year celebrations annually in January or February.

3. Flagstaff Gardens

Originally known as Burial Hill, these gardens were the site of Melbourne's first cemetery, where eight of the city’s early settlers were buried. Today its pleasant open lawns are popular with workers taking a lunchtime break. The gardens contain trees that are well over 100 years old, including Moreton Bay fig trees and a variety of eucalypts, including spotted, sugar gums and river red gums. There are plenty of possums about, but don't feed them.

The hill once provided one of the best views out to the bay, so a signalling station was set up here: when a ship was sighted arriving from Britain, a flag was raised on the flagstaff to notify the settlers. The Wurundjeri people also found it significant for the same useful vista, which stretches as far as Mt Macedon.

4. Melbourne Cricket Ground

With a capacity of 100,000 people, the 'G' is one of the world’s great sporting venues, hosting cricket in the summer, and AFL footy in the winter – for many Australians it's considered hallowed ground. Make it to a game if you can (highly recommended), but otherwise you can still make your pilgrimage on non-match-day tours that take you through the stands, media and coaches’ areas, change rooms and out onto the ground (though unfortunately not beyond the boundary). In 1858 the first game of Aussie Rules football was played where the MCG and its car parks now stand, and in 1877 it was the venue for the first Test cricket match between Australia and England. The MCG was the central stadium for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. It was also used as army barracks during World War II. The MCG houses the state-of-the-art National Sports Museum.

5. Melbourne Street Art Tours

Three-hour tours exploring the street-art side of Melbourne. The tour guides are street artists themselves, so you'll get a good insight into this art form.

And here's lot more fun for you! An awesome contest where you could win a shopping voucher upto Rs. 500! Doesn;t that sound just great? So watch these hilariously awesome videos and decide for yourself, that which of these places would you like to visit in Melbourne and why? The best answer will be chosen by the Judges (Me! :-P) Awaiting your smart reply!! :-P
And finally, your splendid time in Melbourne must eventually come to an end, and it can be a difficult reality to accept. In ways many past and graduating international students can truly identify with, of their time in Melbourne and what it means to return to the “old life” as a markedly changed version of your former self.
The contest for shopping voucher Rs. 500 has ended and the winner is Words of Innocence for her wonderful comment.


  1. I would like to visit following places in Melbourne -
    to witness the Penguin Parade - which I have never seen before,
    the Peninsula Hot Springs - to enjoy the spa,
    take drive through the Great Ocean Road - I like long drives
    and see 12 Apostles from the sky - for thrill and aerial view of rocks.

    1. @ D D: Thanks for your lovely comment! Indeed great choices! These are certainly some great places one would like to visit apart from the ones mentioned above! :)

  2. Melbourne is a wonderful place and no doubt another place of heaven. I am in age of 60s so the peaceful things attract me a lot. I wish to visit Collingwood Children's Farm, I will be happy to spend my time with my family and do those activities which I & my grandson & granddaughter hardly did in their childhood.

    Then I will sure visit some Indian restaurants because tasting Indian food in Melbourne style will be a great experience for all of us.

    Royal Botanic Gardens, a place I can take deep breathe and give peace to my mind. This old woman needs a place where she can walk and see the beauty of nature. See the art of God which is consolidated in Royal Botanic Garden.

    1. Suman Lata: Thanks for the comment..Indeed Melbourne has some great gardens and parks for people looking to spend peaceful time in serenity! Check out the Flagstaff gardens for an eternal peace time with your family.. :)

  3. Wonderful post and interesting videos that make me feel that
    Melbourne invites the eternal romantic in me to hold hands with my beloved and go see the Twelve Apostles .Go on long drives on the great ocean road. In the middle of nowhere in a vineyard spread a table and enjoy a meal and a glass of wine with my dear one. Enjoy the sunsets holding hands and do lots of shopping at the Queen Victoria Market and see all the graffiti being created at the hosier lane.
    Great Post and interesting videos watching them I am sure to visit Sovereign Hill for spending some time in the era gone by. The lure of gold and panning for some nuggets is a temptation that is too much to resist. After I have found the gold I am bound to celebrate it with some wine so I will visit the vineyards and enjoy some great wine from the Yarra region .Visit the Pannys Phillip Island Chocolate Factory and have my fill with this yummy delight.

    1. Hemaaa : Thanks for your wonderful comment! Melbourne has great atmosphere and perfect to spend time with your family. The chocolate from Philip Island chocolate factory are delight for the tummy! :) Also you have a wonderful blog..would like to read more of you.. :)

  4. MCG, the Australian mecca for cricket lovers. I would definitely like to be in Australia when either Indian team or the English team happens to be on tour, the nest time. Will be a memorable experience to watch the rivalry unfold right in front of my eyes, sitting right in the middle of MCG.

    - Ranjith (

    1. Ranjith : Thanks for your comment. MCG is not called the "Mecca of Australian Cricket" without reason. Many cricketing greats have learnt the fine nuances of the game on this very ground. Definitely a great idea to watch the action unfold on MCG !!

  5. After watching the videos of Rohan and Tanmay enjoying Melbourne, I am really feeling jealous of them and I would definitely love to visit the lovely places which they visited at least once in lifetime. One ride which I don't want to miss is
    hot air balloon rider over lush vineyards and breathtaking mountains . Wow! Its like moving in heaven.

    1. Thanks for your wonderful comment! Yes Melbourne is an unexplored treasure of great places to visit. For best view of Melbourne choose a cool day with gentle breeze blowing your mind away and you will find eternal bliss! :)

  6. Great post.Just loved your blog post. I am in love with driving and road trips, The Great Ocean Road is the ideal place for the people like me. I will surely visit that place in Melbourne and enjoy the sea shore, sunrise and gorgeous mesmerizing view.

    1. Style on Streets: Thanks for your wonderful comment! Yes Melbourne is an unexplored treasure of great places to visit. Road trip and chilling on the beach sounds like really cool ideas and promises lots of fun! Do not forget to explore Melbourne street art tours :)

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  8. Hi!

    We know beauty never need words but without words it cannot be explained and when you get wordless after seeing it... your mouth still get open wide and WOW comes out. Dear! Your explanation about Melbourne is wonderful and picturesque description. I am a person who always attracted to nature first of any place so I would love to see the Melbourne Nature & Wildlife. The 12 Apostles rock formations is world famous rocks which changes its color in sunrise and sun set. And then I will see the Phillip Island Nature Park where I want to see the animals which I hardly see in India. I never saw Penguins, Koala and other animals.

    Driving on a smooth road with natural beauty around you, it always gives you a feeling of heaven on Earth. I would love to drive on Great Ocean Road which is also famous in world to give you a scenic experience and the pleasure of that driving is amazing!! Kudos!

    1. Words of innocence : Thanks for your comment! Indeed beautifully described the feeling when you ride through the amazing streets of Melbourne!! Looking forward to reading more of you.. :)

  9. I would love to visit St. Kilda beach in Melbourne and also enjoy watching the Penguin parade there..The serene beauty of the beach coupled with watching the cute penguins in their natural surroundings is sure to make my visit a memorable one! Ofcourse I am going to carry a camera and click lots of pictures to capture all the happy moments there :)
    -Nikita @Njkinny's World of Books & Stuff

  10. Being a person who loves to travel this place has struck my eye.
    And here, Eureka Skydeck 88 is going to be first on my list.. i can just imagine the view after reading about it and i feel its going to be awesome.
    Then the St. Kilda Beach,the long walk on the beach during the sunset will be just perfect.. And finding gold is also there.. :D
    why not get my pockets filled with some tresure hunt..Laneways and Arcades is going to be the place to explore my "Lara croft" skills.. :D :D
    Melbourne is going to be a great place to visit and enjoy a holiday..