Federation Square's bizarre - but pleasant - collection
of architectural styles.
Melbourne Guide | Melbourne Map | Melbourne Driving Distances
Originally a gold-rush town in the mid 1800s, Melbourne is Australia's
second largest city at 3.5 million, a cultured and cosmopolitan
place on the banks of the Yarra river in the far south-east
of the country.
The city's Victorian architecture is impressive and mostly blends
well with some ultra-modern buildings, plentiful green spaces
and picturesque riverside walks.
Melbourne City activities, whether cultural, sporting or pure entertainment
are creative, varied and interesting, bars are buzzing and restaurants
are superb - especially for Asian cuisine, while both live music
and club scenes are thriving.
Around Melbourne there's plenty of action too - massive beaches
(one of them is 90 miles long) with fine surfing, excellent
wildlife parks (e.g. Hall's Gap), the spectacular Great Ocean
Road (GOR) driving route, great hiking in the Grampian Highlands
and skiing in the winter.
Yarra riverside, loaded with eating places on the promenade
to the right, servicing the city workaholics from across the
Like other major Australian cities Melbourne is park and water-oriented.
The Yarra is the main focus with rowing and river cruises figuring
high in things to do around the centre - apart from eating and
drinking of course, while further downstream the Docklands provide
a new focal point for more conspicuous consumption.
The Royal Botanic Gardens on the banks of the Yarra nearby are
beautifully laid out, diverse and interesting, just one of the
city's grand green spaces, along with huge bird-packed Albert Park Lake, a couple of miles out of the centre.
The suburb of St Kilda is a classic seaside resort with pier,
pavilion, amusement park, market, beach and endless establishments
to service the hordes that descend on the town on warm sunny
are inevitably made with Sydney, particularly since the two
cities were such equal contenders for the title of Australia's
capital in the early 20th century that the government was unable
to decide which was more suitable, so they built a new capital
in the middle of nowhere - Canberra.
about everything in Melbourne is cheaper than Sydney, tourist
herds far less obtrusive and there's a free circular tram. Melbourne
is more dynamic, Sydney more relaxed. Melburnians claim that
their city is one of the world's most liveable; could that imply
that Sydney may be one of the most visitable?
Sydney certainly outshines Melbourne in two tourist areas. It
has a more immediate, unique charm due to its wonderful harbour
setting and those world famous icons - the Harbour Bridge and
the Opera House, while the climate is somewhat better. Winter
in Melbourne is colder than Sydney though both cities can have
excessively hot summers.
On the other hand, Melbourne is the gateway to the Great Ocean
Street with its funky shops and eateries.
Travellers seeking a more off-the-wall shopping and partying
environment than central Melbourne should take the first tram
to lengthy Brunswick St where weird needs are more likely to
be met than elsewhere. Goth central, new wave, neo-hippies and
quite up to Sydney's delights as far as tourism is concerned
Melbourne nevertheless offers a dynamic, hard working and cultured
ambience. It's also the start of the Great
The Mornington Peninsula near Melbourne. Next, Great
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