World's Most Liveable City'
A vibrant cosmopolitan city, situated on the magnificent
Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne is the state capital and cultural heart
of Victoria. The locals’ claim that it is ‘the best
city in the world to live in’ may rankle their rivals in Sydney
but few would dispute that it is indeed a extremely interesting
place to visit.
In fact, the traditional rivalry between Melbourne
and Sydney, which covers every sphere of life from business to culture
and sport, has resulted in a proud, dynamic city that strives to
be the best in all things.
All state roads lead into Melbourne and Victoria’s unique
geography means that it is possible to spend the
morning on the coast, ski in the afternoon in the Victorian Alps
and enjoy an aperitif at a winery, before returning to the city
to take in a show at 1 of the many theatres.
The banks of the Yarra River, home to Aborigines
for 1000's of years, attracted British settlers who founded Port
Phillip Bay in 1835. The settlement rapidly expanded and by 1851,
the city, named after Queen Victoria’s Prime Minister, Lord
Melbourne, was born. In the same year, gold was discovered near
Bendigo and Ballarat, to the west of Melbourne, and the ensuing
gold rush turned the city into a powerful financial centre, as well
as the 1st political capital, until Canberra was established in
Several gardens and parks give
a pleasant, open feel to the city, whose skyline mixes elegant spires
with dazzling modern skyscrapers, which dwarf the elegant Victorian
era buildings that are dotted along leafy streets. However, Melbourne
is defined more by its diverse population than by its architecture.
Immigration at the end of World War II
transformed the city into a thriving cultural melting pot, totalling
over 3 million people, with sizeable Italian, Greek and Chinese
communities each carving out their own quarter. In fact, large scale
immigration has made Melbourne home to the largest Greek community
outside Greece and the influx of Vietnamese and Lebanese has contributed
to Melbourne’s claim to be the cultural capital of Australia.
The introduction of European and Asian
communities has resulted in an energetic and eclectic
blend of music, theatre, art and literature. The international population
has also brought a wealth of various cuisine, served up in a wide
range of restaurants, from the outdoor cafés along the Crown
Promenade overlooking the Yarra River, to the pizzerias in Carlton,
the Chinese banquet halls in Chinatown and the fine seafood restaurants
in trendy St Kilda Beach.
1 topic that is guaranteed to be discussed over dinner is the weather.
The city has 4 distinct seasons and usually enjoys a pleasant, temperate
climate. However, summers usually see some swelteringly hot days,
and winters can get chilly. Sometimes, all 4 seasons occur in 1
day. The ever optimistic locals joke that if one does not like the
weather, one just have to wait 10 minutes and it will change.