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We look forward to serving you when visiting the sporting capital of the world, Melborne Victoria Australia. Don't forget to visit the mighty Melbourne Cricket Ground when you are here.

 

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Melbourne is the second-largest city in Australia and the capital of the south-eastern state of Victoria. Located on the southern coast of Australia’s eastern seaboard, it is considered by many to be one Australia’s most cultured cities, the exclusive title to which Melbourne vies for with its great rival Sydney. The city’s features include Victorian-era architecture, many cultural institutions such as museums, galleries and theaters, and large parks and gardens. Melbourne's 3.8 million population is both multicultural (with large Greek, Italian, Jewish, Vietnamese and other immigrant communities) and sports-mad.

Australia's second largest city, Melbourne is a vast sprawl of suburbs, spreading southwards along the shoreline of Port Philip Bay, east towards the Dandenong Ranges, westwards towards the city of Geelong and northwards towards the plains of central Victoria.

Like any large city, Melbourne is divided up into many suburbs - not all will be of interest to travellers.

NB: The districts below do not necessarily correspond with the suburbs of the same name, and will often include neighbouring areas.

History

The settlement of Melbourne commenced in 1835 when settlers from Tasmania "purchased" land on Port Phillip Bay and the Yarra River from the local Aboriginal tribes. The streets of central Melbourne were carefully laid out in 1837, with some streets 30 metres wide. The first British lieutenant-governor, Charles La Trobe, arrived in 1839 – his cottage still stands and can be visited in Kings Domain. The year 1851 was a landmark for Melbourne - the colony of Victoria was separated from New South Wales and very soon after gold was discovered in Victoria, sparking a huge goldrush. Aspects of goldrush history can be seen at the Gold Treasury Museum, housed in the Treasury Building built in 1858. Gold was the catalyst for several decades of prosperity lasting through to the late 1880s and examples of the ornate Victorian-era structures built during this time still stand. In 1888 the property boom collapsed and Victoria suffered the depression of the 1890s. Throughout the gold and building booms Melbourne managed to retain its many and spacious parks and gardens and these remain to this day.

In 1901 the British colonies of Australia became an independent federation and Melbourne the de facto capital of Australia, the Federal Parliament meeting in the Parliament House of Victoria until 1927 when the new Federal capital of Canberra was founded. After World War II Melbourne grew rapidly, its mainly Anglo-Celtic population boosted by immigration from Europe, particularly Greece and Italy. Today Melbourne has the biggest Greek city population (over 800,000) outside Greece and the biggest Italian city population (over 230,000) outside Italy. The significant pre-war Jewish population was also boosted after the war. From the mid-70s many immigrants came from South-east Asia, particularly Vietnam and Cambodia. Melbourne has had a Chinese population since the goldrush of the 1850s and Chinatown has existed from that time but the population of Chinese and other East Asians has also been boosted by immigration in recent years.

New high-rise buildings replaced many of Melbourne’s interesting old structures in the construction boom of the 1970s and 80s. Melburnians belatedly recognised the loss of their architectural heritage and steps were taken to protect what was left. Construction of the huge Crown Casino (briefly the largest casino in the world) in the 1990s upset many Melburnians with its introduction of a crass gambling culture and the sucking of money from the rest of the city. Melbourne’s development continues in the 2000s with the opening of the Melbourne Museum, Federation Square and the Docklands precinct.
Culture

Melbourne considers itself the cultural capital of Australia, a boast supported by its many art galleries, film festivals, orchestras, choral and opera productions, vibrant live music scene and a strong food, wine and coffee culture. Particular events to note include the Melbourne International Film Festival in August, the International Art Festival in October, and the Melbourne Comedy Festival in April, as well as individual concerts and exhibitions throughout the year. In addition to the Melbourne Museum, there are special museums dedicated to subjects such as science, immigration, Chinese history, Jewish history, sport, racing, film and moving image, railways, police, fire brigades and banking.
Sport

Melburnians are sports enthusiasts and particularly passionate about Australian Rules football [2], a sport invented in Melbourne. In fact AFL is not so much a sport as a religion in Melbourne with 9 of the 10 Victorian teams being based in Melbourne, the only other being based in Geelong. As a guide, the entire national competition only has 16 teams, meaning over half the league is based in Melbourne. Horseracing is another passion, and the majority of the state has a public holiday on the first Tuesday of November for the racing of the Melbourne Cup [3], one of the world’s famous horse races. Cricket is the big summer sport and the Melbourne Cricket Ground (the 'MCG') [4] is one of the world's leading grounds. Each January Melbourne hosts tennis' Australian Open [5], one of the world’s four Grand Slam championships. In March, Melbourne hosts the first race of the Formula One season [6]. The race is held in Albert Park in South Melbourne. Melbournians have also taken Football (Soccer) to their hearts in recent times. The Melbourne Victory, playing in Australia's premier competition, the A-League, enjoy enormous crowds and colourful, boistrous support at their home ground, the Telstra Dome. Melbourne is the unquestioned sporting capital of Australia with the largest arenas and two of the major sporting administrations basing their operation in Melbourne: Cricket Australia is a stone's throw from the MCG, and the Australian Football League is based at the Telstra Dome.

Information courtesy of Wikipedia

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