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About Melbourne, Australia

[Melbourne] is Australia's second largest city, and the capital of the south-eastern state of Victoria, located at the head of Port Phillip Bay.

Melbourne is Australia’s cultural capital, with Victorian-era architecture, extensive shopping, museums, galleries, theatres, and large parks and gardens. Many of its 4 million residents are both multicultural and sports-mad.

Reasons to visit Melbourne include to attend major sporting events, to use it as a base for exploring surrounding regions such as Grampians National Park, The Great Ocean Road, and to visit Phillip Island to view the penguin parade. Many UK visitors come to Melbourne for tours of filming locations of soap opera Neighbours.

Yarra River and Melbourne skyline

Yarra River and Melbourne skyline

Districts

Central Melbourne

Metropolitan Melbourne

Melbourne Southbank

Melbourne Southbank

Understand

Climate

The city's climate has a notoriety for its changeability, often referred to as "four seasons in a day". Its climate can be described generally as temperate, with warm summers and cool winters. During the summer of December to February, temperatures hover around 26–30°C (79–86°F), but it is not out of the ordinary for the city to swelter through heatwaves of over 40°C (104°F). Humidity is rarely an issue, with mildly comfortable nights down to about 16°C (61°F). With approximately 600mm of rainfall annually, Melbourne gets only half as much rain as Sydney. October is typically the wettest month.

Winter (June–August) is usually cool with a mix of clear, sunny weather and cold & damp conditions. Temperatures in winter can range from chilly overnight lows as low 2 °C (36 °F) to daytime highs as high as 19 °C (66 °F) at times. Light snow has been recorded in and around Melbourne during the winter months only a couple of times over the last century, although the hills east of the city however usually see a snow shower or two every winter. You should consider visiting Melbourne in the autumn and spring — temperatures during these periods are usually very pleasant, without being unbearably warm with daytime highs are usually in the 20s °C (70s °F).

With such wild and unpredictable weather, it can be difficult deciding what to wear when planning a day out in Melbourne. A common tip is to wear layers of clothing, that can be removed or worn as the day goes on.

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 settlement was named "Melbourne" after William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, the British Prime Minister at that time. The first British lieutenant-governor, Charles La Trobe, arrived in 1839 – his Cottage still stands and can be visited in the 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 the gold rush 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 spacious parks and gardens and these remain to this day.

In 1901, the British colonies of Australia became an independent federation and Melbourne the temporary capital of Australia, with 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, with its mainly Anglo-Celtic population boosted by immigration from Europe, particularly from 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 gold rush 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 highrise buildings replaced many of Melbourne’s interesting old structures in the construction boom of the 1970s and 80s. Melbournians 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 some Melbournians with its introduction of a gambling culture. Melbourne’s development continues in the 2000s with the opening of the Melbourne Museum, Federation Square and the Docklands precinct.

St Michael's Uniting Church built in 1866

St Michael's Uniting Church built in 1866

Culture

Melbourne is often called the cultural capital of Australia, with its many art galleries, film festivals, orchestras, choral and opera productions, vibrant live music scene, and a strong food, wine and coffee culture. People in Melbourne tend to dress up more than in Sydney, partly due to the colder climate. Many bars and clubs have strict dress regulations, such as requiring collars and dress shoes for men.

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. There are also many 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.

Grimwade gardens, ground level of NGV

Grimwade gardens, ground level of NGV

Sport

Melbournians are sports enthusiasts and particularly passionate about Australian Rules football [http://afl.com.au/], a sport invented in Melbourne. In fact the Australian Football League (AFL) is not so much a sport as a religion in Melbourne, with 9 of the 10 Victorian teams being based in Melbourne. As a guide, the entire national competition only has 18 teams, meaning half the league is based in Melbourne alone. Horse racing 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], one of the world’s famous horse races. Cricket is the big summer sport and the Melbourne Cricket Ground (the 'MCG') [http://www.mcg.org.au/] is one of the world's leading grounds. The National Sports Museum (NSM) (including the Racing Museum) Australia’s only truly dedicated multi-sports museum is also located at the MCG.

Each January, Melbourne hosts tennis' [Australian Open], one of the world’s four Grand Slam championships. In March, Melbourne hosts the first race of the Formula One season, the [Formula One Grand Prix]. The race is held in Albert Park in South Melbourne. Two professional Association Football teams are based in Melbourne, Melbourne Victory and Melbourne Heart; the two teams now share the new Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, commercially known as AAMI Park also playing at Etihad Stadium . The city also boasts one professional team in each rugby code, with both also playing at AAMI Park. The Melbourne Storm play rugby league in the National Rugby League, with teams throughout Australia plus one in New Zealand. The Melbourne Rebels play rugby union in Super Rugby, which features four other Australian sides and five each in New Zealand and South Africa. 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 AFL games are played at both the MCG and Etihad Stadium.

Get in

By plane

Air is the most common method of reaching Melbourne, and if you're not in Australia, pretty much your only option. The city is served by two airports: Melbourne Airport, which has international and domestic flights, and the domestic-only Avalon Airport.

Melbourne Airport (MEL)

Main article: Melbourne Airport

[Melbourne Airport], also known as Tullamarine Airport, (IATA:MEL) is 22 km north-west of the city centre in the northern suburbs. There are regular flights from all major Australian and New Zealand cities, and there are direct international flights to many Asian hubs with onwards connections to Europe. There are direct flights to North America, South America and Europe.

Avalon Airport (AVV)

[Avalon Airport] (IATA:AVV), is situated in the Geelong outer suburb of Lara. The airport is located 55 km to the south-west of Melbourne, and is considerably further from Melbourne CBD than the Melbourne airport at Tullamarine. However, a shuttle to Southern Cross costs only $4 more than a shuttle from Tullamarine, and fares from Avalon are sometimes considerably cheaper. The terminal itself is about as simple as it gets, with just an ATM, car hire desks and baggage carousels in what looks like an old hanger at arrivals. The departure facilities are a little better, with a cafe and a bar, and a video arcade room.

Avalon Airport is serviced only by low-cost airline Jetstar. It also flies from Tullamarine, so be sure to double-check departure locations.

Options to get to the Melbourne CBD:

  • A taxi from the airport to Melbourne CBD will cost up to $100.
  • SITA coaches [http://www.sitacoaches.com.au/avalon/rates_avalon.shtml] operates coach shuttle service to Melbourne's Southern Cross Station at $22 per adult and $10 per child one way. The buses meet every Jetstar arrival. An additional $7 per person charge is made for a transfer to city hotels. Only cash is accepted, not credit cards. Bikes can be carried only if boxed.Trains from there to Southern Cross station in Melbourne CBD run hourly, and cost $5.60. Children 17 years and under are half price. During off-peak times up to two children travel free with every adult. You will need to get a taxi to Lara station, as there is no public transport connection. A taxi should cost around $15, so there is no cost or time benefit for a single adult of the train over the shuttle. Bicycles are carried free on the V/Line train at Lara, the road between Lara station has no shoulder or cycle facilities.City Loop . Some services stop at Flinders St Station immediately prior to Southern Cross, which is a nice gateway to the city centre. [Journey Planner] can suggest the best way to get from point A to point B, with schedules, maps and connections. Melbourne has a reputation for a well-planned road system, although traffic can be disastrous in the peak period. [Public Transport Victoria] coordinates public transport and provides timetables, maps and a journey planner. An app is available for iOS, otherwise there is a mobile-optimised website [http://metlink.mobi].Myki is a reloadable smartcard that can be used for travel on trains, trams and buses. Myki cards can be purchased from staffed railway stations, machines at all train stations and large tram stops and various retail stores such as newsagencies and 7-Eleven. Cards can also be purchased online. Myki cards can be topped up at the same places, including some other retail outlets. They cannot be purchased in trams, buses or trains! Standard adult Myki cards can be purchased or topped up at Melbourne Airport, at the north end of T2 near the restrooms and T1 (the Qantas/Jetstar domestic terminal).Metcard system has been retired. Unused Metcards can be converted into Myki credit at any staffed station.Metro Trains Melbourne with blue signage used for stations. A partly-underground "City Loop" forms the basis of the network, with all the other lines branching off to the suburbs like spokes of a wheel. The lines are named after the station at the end of the line. [City Circle] (Number 35) trams run around the CBD perimeter, covering Flinders St, Spring St, Nicholson St, Victoria St, La Trobe St and Harbour Esplanade along with the new Docklands Precinct. It is a vintage style tram, easily recognisable by its maroon colour. The tram stops along the route are sign posted with City Circle. They run in both directions every 12 minutes every day except Good Friday and Christmas Day from 10–6PM, and until 9PM Thursday–Saturday during daylight savings. Several of the trams on this service are equipped with recorded commentary about attractions passed. Tourist information is often available on board either from brochures or from a city guide person. These trams are geared to visitors and provide access to sites of interest to the tourist. They are a fun introduction to central Melbourne and a free way to have a tram experience, but they tend to be painfully slow and packed full of local commuters. [View the number 35 tram route] . [Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle] bus service stops at key tourist destinations in and around the city centre. The buses run at 15 minute intervals between 9:30AM and 4:30PM daily. A complete circuit takes 45 minutes, and there is on-board commentary."hook turn to turn right due to tram tracks running down the centre of the road. Follow the signs, pull to theleft of the intersection if you are turning right, as far forward as possible, wait, and when the light for the street you are turning into turns green (the traffic on the street you are on stops) make the turn. [13CABS] (☎ 13-CABS/132227) and [Silver Top] (☎ 131008), both of which — despite the names — are also yellow in colour. Fares are standardised so that the meter starts ticking at $3.20 and clocks up $1.617/km, meaning that short hops within the centre can go for under $10, but longer hauls get pretty expensive pretty fast. Midnight-5AM is 20% more, booking by phone or taking a taxi from the airport costs $2 extra and sitting in traffic is $0.56/min. Between 10PM and 5AM, taxi fares areprepaid : you pay an estimated sum to the driver in advance and the fare is corrected on arrival. [Astor Theatre] in St Kilda. There are several moonlight cinema programmes in summer. The Melbourne International Film Festival [http://www.melbournefilmfestival.com.au] is on in August.Comic's Lounge [http://www.thecomicslounge.com.au/] has shows for $10–25 including a show filmed for Channel 31 on Mondays, or dinner and show for $45. The [Comedy Club] has dinner and show for $32 and shows only beginning at $7 (discount ticket price). [Suga] . Around lunch time is a good time to see (and sample!). There is a store at Queen Victoria Market, but if you visit the Royal Arcade location, you can also watch chocolate making next door at [Koko Black]. [AFL football] at the MCG or Etihad Stadium during the winter, or a [Cricket Match] during the summer.cafes in the CBD (Degraves St, The Causeway, and other laneways are fantastic for this), South Yarra (Chapel Street) or Fitzroy (Brunswick Street, Smith Street). [Melbourne Museum] and [National Gallery of Victoria] often have interesting temporary exhibitions. [University of Melbourne] and [Monash University] . There are opportunities for international students to enroll in these universities, either in their degree programmes or through exchange agreements with foreign universities, and these are opportunities for foreigners to live in Melbourne for an extended period of time.Little Collins Street is home to some of the world's top designers and fashion houses;Collins Street also boasts other high end shops such as Louis Vuitton and Hermès.Brunswick Street (Fitzroy), and the southern end ofChapel Street in Prahran/Windsor, have clusters of stores selling an eclectic mix of vintage, rave, retro and alternative gear such as Shag, Fat Helen's and Beaut Vintage to shop around.Melbourne Central is another shopping mall based in the city, adjacent to the underground station of the same name. TheBourke Street Mall with the department store David Jones, as well as the flagship store of Myer, Australia's largest department store chain, is another city-central shopping hub.Chapel Street in South Yarra is a favourite among the locals, with its spread of exclusive boutiques, cafes and well established chain stores.High Street in Armadale, Stonnington andSydney Road in Brunswick, Moreland are the two main clusters for bridal apparel and accessories.Greville Street in South Yarra, Stonnington orSmith Street and surrounds in Yarra.Victoria Market . You'll find all you need there and the price is usually a half or a third of the prices in the souvenir shops downtown. Make sure to try a bratwurst dog and check out the cheese stalls while you're there.Brunetti's is open late and always packed.Atomica cafe (268 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, tel +61 3 9417-4255) serves a strong, but well-balanced mix of coffee and silky smooth milk. Atomica also has seats on the footpath, if the upbeat music is too much for your coffee buzz and, on a warm sunny day, it is an ideal spot to mix it with the Brunswick Street crowd.The Green Refectory (115 Sydney Rd, Brunswick, tel +61 3 9387-1150), Easy to miss, but better you don't. Serves great value homemade food, and quality Illy coffee to accompany it. The crowd is eclectic mix of the Brunswick artsy crowd, university students and young professionals pushing prams. Despite its nondescript exterior (look for the 'Illy' coffee sign that juts out from the front windows), the difficulty of locating this place hasn't affected its popularity at all.7 grams (505 Church St, Richmond, ☎ +61 3 9429-8505) has a 'best in show' coffee. The cafe itself is unpretentious, with an understated decor and a row of black-topped, chrome-legged stools along a mirror bar.65 Degrees (309 Exhibition St, ☎ +61 3 9662-1080) is itself a recent addition, but its owners have a long history of accolades. Champion barista, world latte artist and award winning coffee blend, gridlock coffee. Fast, friendly service and some of the finest coffee around.Image Superstore Cafe (690 Elizabeth St, ☎+61 3 9349-5529) serves great coffee with superb staff where you can enjoy high tea surrounded by funky New York and Paris inspired interior design. What makes this cafe even unique is you can have your photo taken by a professional photographer on the spot.Claremont Guest House , in an historic 1886 building. Rated a 3 Star Guest House by AAAT, and is a multiple winner of Hostelworld's monthly 'Best Hostel in Australia' award as voted by backpackers. Free Wi-fi. Free breakfast. Public transport at the door. [http://www.hotelclaremont.com]CityTempo Apartments , compact CBD apartments on Queen Street near the Queen Vic Markets. 4 Stars (AAA Tourism), all linen/towels provided with kitchenettes. Some apartments include clothes washer/dryer. 353 Queen Street, Melbourne. Free call within Australia:☎ 1800 248 983 [http://www.citytempo.com.au]Jika International Motel – Melbourne – Fairfield. [http://www.jika.com.au] ☎ +61 3 9481-2822 Fax +61 3 9489-8819 [http://www.jika.com.au].Golden Chain Motels – Melbourne has many locations in Melbourne and surrounding area serving quality accommodation at affordable prices. [http://www.goldenchainmotels.com.au/vic/category?cid=265]Travelodge Southbank Melbourne Hotel , 9 Riverside Quay, Southbank. Great location, quality accommodation at affordable prices. Parking available.☎ +61 3 8696-9600, Facsimile: +61 3 9690-1160 [http://www.travelodge.com.au/Travelodge-southbank-melbourne-hotel/home?gclid=CLf7vNvhzagCFQP1bwodODsSgw]e:FiftyFive ( 55 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne) is like a huge basement lounge room that feels more like a bar than an internet cafe. Great DJs, comfortable couches and dirt-cheap $2/hour internet access when you buy a drink attract plenty of travellers and will make writing that email home an enjoyable experience.VA (Bourke Street, Melbourne) is one of the countless but arguably the best internet/LAN gaming cafes in Melbourne, which is packed full of "hardcore gamers" on Sunday afternoons (sponsored competition day). Non-member rates start at $3.50/hour while membership costs a mere $15 (includes $12 credit) and benefits include play offers such as $4/2 hours, $5/3 hours and $6/4 hours, as well as day and night packages.Cydus (Victoria Street, North Melbourne) large range of internet usage services every day and at any time (including most public holidays). Non-member rates start at $3/hour while membership costs $10 (includes 2 hours free play) and membership rates are $2/hour while member offers include "Endurance Pass" (5 hours play + $2.80 snack voucher) and "Survival Pass" (10 hours play).State Library [http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/]. Offers free internet at many workstations and does not require membership (limited to 15 minutes or 1 hour per session, no session limits). You can get a free membership for access to free wireless web access, however, the wireless access is limited and you may not be able to access some sites and services. Printing facilities are also provided for a fee.Melbourne Central shopping centre (corner of Swanston and La Trobe St) has free wireless internet access.Australia on Collins shopping centre (on Collins St) has free wireless internet access.Federation Square (corner of Flinders Street and Swanston Street, outside Flinders Street railway station) is supposedly Australia's largest free outdoor wireless hotspot.Safety Zones while on stations at night. These are marked with yellow lines and are usually well lit and have emergency buttons as well as about 4 cameras pointed at the area. Robberies on trains are rare, but it occasionally happens (and when it does, at night). Railway police patrol most services. In early 2010, there were attacks on Indian students, sometimes claimed to be racially motivated.scams are rare in Melbourne, be wary ofreal estate agents (especially if you have newly arrived and plan to stay only for the short term). There have been many cases of real estate agents preying upon overseas students in particular. Common scams include charging tenants for costs that don't exist (such as charges for 'advertising' when tenants move out) and deducting costs for non-existent reparations and cleaning from the bond. Be sure to consult the [Tenants Union of Victoria] and know your rights when you are charged for anything and move in and out.extreme care when crossing tram tracks in and around Melbourne. Trams tend run very fast in Melbourne to avoid disruption with the traffic. There have been recent cases of pedestrians being hit by trams, which can cause life-threatening injuries or even instant death. Even if a tram has passed, look on the other side in case there is another tram approaching, as trams often run practically nose-to-tail, especially in Elizabeth Street.Melbourne gangland war that claimed many lives is now over and despite anything you see on the media having to do with it, violent criminal occurrences are very rare and isolated. As long you are not involved with Melbourne's underworld, you do not have anything to worry about.VicLink''' public transport system. Regular train journeys leave from Southern Cross station. Regional attractions include:

Myki fare table (January 2013)
colspan="3" width="40%"| Adultcolspan="3" width="40%"| Concession/Child
Zone 1Zone 2Zone 1+2Zone 1Zone 2Zone 1+2
Daily$7$4.84$11.84$3.50$2.42$5.92
2 hour$3.50$2.42$5.92$1.75$1.21$2.96

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Name: melbourne
AccentCity: Melbourne
State/Region: Victoria
Country: Australia , Short Name: au
Continent: Oceania

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