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.