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Melbourne travel guide — Melbourne tourism and travel information

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Melbourne travel guide

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about Melbourne

Melbourne is the capital and largest city of the state of Victoria, and the second largest city in Australia, with a population of 3,366,542 (census 2001). The city's name is pronounced "MEL-buhn" (SAMPA: ["mElb@n], IPA: [ˈmɛlbən]) and sometimes mispronounced as "mel-BORN".

The locals are known as 'Melburnians'. Interestingly, this word is derived from the Latin name of Melbourne, and contains no letter 'o'. The city's motto is the Latin "Vires acquirit eundo" which means "we gather strength as we go".

Melbourne geography

Melbourne is located in the south-eastern corner of mainland Australia, and is the southernmost mainland capital city. It looks out on to Port Phillip, its suburbs sprawling to the east, following the Yarra River out to the Yarra and Dandenong Ranges, south-east to the mouth of the bay, and following the Maribyrnong River and its tributaries west and north to flat farming country. The central business district (the original city) is laid out in the famous mile-by-half-a-mile Hoddle Grid, its southern edge fronting on to the Yarra.

Melbourne is a large commercial and industrial centre, with many of Australia's largest companies, and many multinational corporations (approximately one-third of the 100 largest multinationals operating in Australia as of 2002) headquartered there. It is home to Australia's largest seaport, seven universities (the University of Melbourne, Monash University, Deakin University, Victoria University, La Trobe University, RMIT University, and Swinburne University), and much of Australia's automotive industry (including the engine manufacturing facility of Holden, and the Ford and Toyota manufacturing facilities) amongst many other manufacturing industries.

Melbourne sights

Melbourne attracts large numbers of tourists, particularly young backpackers. It also hosts a disproportionately large number of spectator sports.

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Melbourne's restaurants are numerous, and are generally of reasonable quality and good value. Below are some of the major restaurant strips, however there are many other restaurants not in these locations which offer similar or better-quality food and usually at lower cost. The Age newspaper produces two "Good Restaurant" guides - one for low-cost eating and another for more elaborate restaurants.

As one would expect from a city its size, Melbourne contains all manner of pubs, bars, and nightclubs. The CBD contains a wide variety of venues, from the ubiquitous faux-Irish pubs proliferating around the world, to some very upmarket establishments (such as the Supper Club, which offers all manner of exclusive wines at exclusive prices), serious jazz venues on Bennetts Lane, fashionable nightclubs and dance venues, and massive pickup joints (of which The Metro on Bourke Street is perhaps the biggest). The restaurant strips, particularly Brunswick Street have their own bars, some of which are the best rock venues in Melbourne. King Street, on the southern side of the CBD, was traditionally a nightclub strip and still hosts several, but many are now exotic dancing venues (a final note on this topic, small brothels are legal in Victoria and are found discreetly dotted throughout the suburbs). Chapel Street, Prahran, is perhaps the trendiest, most upmarket (and most expensive) nightlife strip. Another area of note is St Kilda, background for the TV show The Secret Life of Us, which is the home of several huge music venues including the famous Esplanade Hotel (known as 'the Espy'), the Prince of Wales, and The Palace. On its beachside setting, it also combines the upmarket with the grungy.

The recent influx of city-dwellers have given rise to the numerous underground bars and sidewalk cafes in the alleys between Flinders Street - Flinders Lane and Bourke Street - Lonsdale Street Notable alleys include Block Arcade/Block Place (off Little Collins Street), Degraves Street (off Flinders Lane), and Hardware Lane (between Bourke and Lonsdale Streets).

Melbourne is a reasonably cheap and easy place to shop. There are innumerable clothing shops for every budget, though bargain hunters may wish to try the outlet stores in Bridge Road, Richmond.

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Melbourne history

Melbourne was founded on 10 May 1835 by a group of free settlers led by John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner, unlike many of Australia's capital cities which were founded as penal colonies (Adelaide is another notable exception). With the discovery of gold in central Victoria in the 1850s, leading to the Victorian gold rush, Melbourne quickly grew as a port to service the necessary trade. During the 1880s, Melbourne was the second largest city in the British Empire, and came to be known as "Marvellous Melbourne". Melbourne today is home to the largest number of surviving Victorian Era buildings of any city in the world other than London.

Melbourne became Australia's national capital at Federation on 1 January 1901. The first Federal parliament was opened on 9 May 1901 in the Royal Exhibition Building. The seat of government and the national capital remained in Melbourne until 9 May 1927 when the provisional Parliament House was opened in the new capital city of Canberra.

Melbourne continued to expand steadily throughout the first half of the 20th century, particularly with the post-World War II influx of immigrants and the prestige of hosting the Olympic Games in 1956. This was the first time the Olympic Games had ever been held in the Southern Hemisphere (the only other time was when Sydney hosted the Games in 2000). Throughout the 1990s, the Victorian state government of Premier Jeff Kennett (Liberal) began a campaign with aggressive development of new public buildings (such as the Crown Casino, the Melbourne Museum, and the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre) and publicising Melbourne's merits both to outsiders and Melburnians. This has continued under the government of current Premier Steve Bracks (Labor).

Melbourne is split into various Local Government Areas each with their own Councils. One of these is the City of Melbourne - covering the central business district. The City's current Lord Mayor is John So, who was inaugurated in 2001, after the first direct election of a Lord Mayor for the city.

Melbourne is built on the land of the Kulin nation, the original Aboriginal inhabitants of the area.

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Melbourne travel services

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cheap flights to Melbourne

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Melbourne real estate

City Travel Guide comes with Melbourne real estate guide with several tips on home valuation, realtors comparison, secrets on finding the "right" home, loans guide and other helpful real estate advices. Our partners also maintain Melbourne property for sale and rental listings, real estate laws and reviews. We will try to help you with buying property in Australia, choosing real estate agents, property finders, relocation help, and information for English speakers wanting to buy real estate in Melbourne.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Melbourne".

This city is also known as: Melbourne.

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