Victoria capital - Melbourne

Victoria capital - Melbourne overview

Melbourne geographic(al) coordinates: 37*40'S/144*51'E
Melbourne population 2,955,335 (2004)

Victoria capital Melbourne is known as Australia's cultural centre. Melbourne, located in Victoria State at the southeaster part of Australia, is a major port and an important commercial and cultural center. Melbourne is also famous for its cafe culture, public gardens, architecture, and cosmopolitan atmosphere. Getting to and around the city is easy with a modern transport system that includes trams, trains, buses, and taxis.

It maintains an air of old-world grace and refined dignity with spacious tree-lined boulevards and expansive parks. The prosperous lifestyle of its people is both cosmopolitan and sophisticated. Quaint trams rumble through the downtown area past verdant gardens and impressive high-rises, in a city that has never lost its endearing charm.

The heritage of more than 100 different cultures contributes to Melbourne's richly international character. This diverse ethnic mix is exemplified by its range of over 15,000 dining venues offering around 60 cuisines.

Beyond urban outskirts, gracious homes and gardens lie amid the tranquil splendor of the scenic Dandenong Ranges.

Melbourne, Australia's second largest city, is a rail and air hub and financial and commercial center. Wool and raw and processed agricultural goods are exported. The city is heavily industrialized; industries include shipbuilding and the manufacture of farm machinery, textiles, and electrical goods. Included in the Melbourne urban agglomeration are many coastal resorts.

Victoria capital - Melbourne history

Settled in 1835, it was named (1837) for Lord Melbourne, the British prime minister. From 1901 to 1927 the city was the seat of the Australian federal government. The population, once primarily British, has changed since World War II with immigration from E and S Europe and, more recently, Asia.

Victoria capital - Melbourne main attractions

Melbourne has campuses of several universities, including the Univ. of Melbourne (1853), Monash Univ. (1958), and La Trobe Univ. (1964). Melbourne Technical College, the Australian Ballet School, the National Gallery of Victoria, the Melbourne Museum, and the galleries and theaters of the Victorian Arts Centre also are in the city.

Melbourne is the seat of Roman Catholic and Anglican archbishops. Attractive parks, including the notable Royal Botanic Gardens and Melbourne Zoo; the bustling Queen Victoria Market; and the cultural and commercial Federation Square complex draw both tourists and residents. The Melbourne Cup horse race is run annually at Flemington Racecourse, and the city hosts a Formula One Grand Prix race. Melbourne was the site of the 1956 summer Olympic Games.

Many are attracted to Melbourne for its sporting events, such as the Australian Open international tennis tournament, the car racing Grand Prix and Australian Rules football. In addition, throughout the year there are a variety of cultural events featuring a wide assortment of music, food, and performance activities.

There are also theatres, galleries and displays for you to view. In addition, there are many markets for you to explore, both in the city and throughout rural Victoria, selling everything from fresh produce to art and craft to second hand goods.

Australia's "Garden City" rejoices in its greenery, from the Fitzroy Gardens to the magnificent Royal Botanical Gardens. Hiding behind the sky-scrapers along the Yarra River are the graceful 19th-century mansions of the city's Gold Rush years. Sample one of the sixty different international cuisines, which make Melbourne the food capital of Australia.

The National Gallery of Victoria on St Kilda Road, located opposite Melbourne Botanic Gardens, houses a fine Australian art collection; a permanent display of Aboriginal art, old-master paintings, prints, drawings and antiquities.

Located next to this gallery is the Victorian Arts Centre. The centre comprises theatres, the Melbourne Concert Hall, the Performing Arts Museum, the Westpac Gallery and the Sidney Myer Music Bowl located across St Kilda Road.

Visit Cook's Cottage in Fitzroy Gardens. This 1755 cottage was shipped from Captain James Cook's home in England and commemorates his voyage. Other historic homes built in the 19th century include Como in South Yarra and Rippon Lea mansion in Elsternwick.