Melbourne Overview : Where To Go : What To Do
a population of more than three million, is Australia's second largest
city. It is regarded as the cultural and fashion capital of Australia
and renowned for its fine restaurants. It is a true multicultural
city with more than one quarter of Melbourne's inhabitants born
overseas. The city is extremely racially tolerant and very easy
to work and live in. Visitors enjoy a warm and friendly reception.
Whereas Sydney is bold and brassy, Melbourne is conservative and
refined and has an elegance that appeals to most visitors. The American
actess Ava Gardner, while visiting Melbourne in the '60s to make
the film On the Beach, pronounced Melbourne as a great place
to film the end of the world, but much has changed and Melbourne
is now arguably one of the great cities of the world. Its unparalleled
attractions are its gardens and parklands,
food precincts, arcades,
and great sporting facilities, including the Melbourne
Cricket Ground and Flemington Racecourse.
Most of these attractions are situated around the Central Business
District or within an easy tram or train ride. There are a number
of easy day walks within a few kilometres
of the CBD.
Melbourne is undergoing a lifestyle revolution whereby more
and more people are electing to live within a few kilometres of
the CBD. This is resulting in the transformation of docklands and
older inner-city areas into brash new residential areas.
Although Melbourne sprawls around much of Port Phillip, the
main focus for visitors is the Yarra River,
which, with its resplendent Victorian bridges, forms the southern
parameter of the CBD. The river separates the city from the Southbank
development and the parklands that surround the Royal
The Crown Entertainment Complex, accommodating
the Southern Hemisphere's largest casino, is situated on the banks
of the Yarra.
South of the Yarra River is St Kilda Road, a nine-kilometre boulevarde
lined with office buildings and English plane trees. To the west
of St Kilda Road is Albert Park Lake, which hosts the Australian
Grand Prix. The boulevarde runs up to St Kilda,
a bayside suburb once the haunt of prostitutes and drug addicts.
St Kilda, famous for its Acland Street
cake shops, has seen a remarkable resurgence over the past 20 years
and is now one of Melbourne's most fashionable areas to live and
North of the CBD are the Queen Victoria Victoria
Market and a host of parklands and gardens, including Fitzroy
Gardens, Flagstaff Gardens and Treasury
Although Melbourne has a good metropolitan train system, it is envied
by city administrators the world over for its excellently laid out
tramway system. A mix of new and old trams grace a network of tram
tracks that stretch far out into the suburbs. The city even has
a commercially run tramcar restaurant
that runs along the more interesting tram routes.