A Multicultural city, Melbourne with its European feel finds itself very often in the the list of most livable cities. Read along and you will know why….
Melbourne is the capital of the Australian state of Victoria. It is the second most populous city in Australia. The original inhabitants of this place were the Kulin people.
The discovery of gold in Victoria in mid-1851 resulted in the gold rush and ,Melbourne the colony’s major port; experienced rapid growth. International migrants from both Europe and China soon arrived . However the poor working conditions of the miners and lack of facilities lead to the Eureka Rebellion, a mass movement of the people .With the wealth brought in from the gold rush and the subsequent need for public buildings, a program of grand civic construction soon began. When Australia became a commonwealth, Melbourne was its capital till 1927 when Canberra was made the capital. The post world war II years also saw Melbourne grow rapidly ,boosted by post war immigration to Australia.
The city is intricately connected with the Yarra River, which flows all along the city. You will never find a dearth of things to do in this city. You can explore the wonderful galleries, stroll through its green gardens, cruise on the Yarra river or hop on to a heritage tram to discover the magic here.Another of Melbourne’s claim to fame lies in its sports activities.
Highlights of Melbourne:
This is an observation deck on top of the Eureka Tower, a residential skyscraper. At a height of 975 ft, and 91 storeys above the ground and a basement , it was the world’s tallest residential complex when it was built. Subsequently it has been overtaken by others around the world. Its design represents the Eureka Rebellion against the gold rush ;with the building’s gold crown representing the gold rush and a red stripe representing the bloodshed during the revolt.
The observation deck occupies the entire 88th floor of the Eureka Tower.The Skydeck features twenty viewfinders that help visitors to pinpoint numerous significant landmarks around all parts of Melbourne, along with several free binoculars.
Eureka Tower and Skydeck
Views of Melbourne city from the Skydeck
The Sealife Aquarium
Located on the banks of the Yarra River, its main feature is an ‘oceanarium in the round’ …. a huge tank with sharks and more than 2000 species of marine life swimming around .
The exhibits are in four levels and a self guided tour takes one around this wonderland.
The exhibits that attracted us were the Penguins…gentoo and king penguins. We got to see the penguins being fed and weighed.
The King Penguins
Baby Penguins swimming around and excited children chasing them outside
City Circle Tram Tour
One great way to sight see Melbourne is to take the City Circle Tram . It is free and with a commentary, this hop on hop off service passes many historic buildings and major attractions.
The City Circle Tram
Known as Melbourne’s newest waterfront entertainment area, it is filled with cafes, restaurants and parks . Melbourne Star, the giant observation wheel is located here.
The Melbourne Star observation wheel
Yarra River and Trail
You will find the Yarra river crisscrossing your path in this city. A cruise on the river offers great views of the city. The River front near the Central Business District is beautifully done up with benches to relax by the riverside. A host of restaurants pubs and other utilities line the waterfront making it an interesting place to unwind.
Following the course of the river is the 38-kilometre Main Yarra Trail, which stretches from south bank to the north-eastern suburbs through river flats, sporting ovals, market, gardens and paddocks.
Federation Square:Federation Square is the city’s public square which opened in 2002. Melbourne’s central city grid was originally designed without a central public square, long seen as a missing element. The proposal to have a central square started in 1960.
The design of the building which is a mix of open and closed areas, stands in contrast to the Victorian architecture around. This area offers both outdoor and indoor entertainment options with performances held all year round. Plenty of cafes and restaurants dot the area making it a great outdoor escape for the locals.
Several museums and galleries dedicated to the original inhabitants are located here.
The Federation Square
Melbourne Cricket Ground:
Known locally as” The G”, it is the largest stadium in the Southern Hemisphere.
The MCG’s most famous moment in history was as the main stadium for the 1956 Olympic Games, hosting the opening and closing ceremonies, track and field events, and the finals in field hockey and soccer.
The MCG was the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2006 Commonwealth games and the Cricket world cup in 1992 and 2015.
With a history dating back to 1853, the MCG is the largest and oldest sports venue in Australia. Daily tours take people back in history at the National Sports Museum and the Australian Gallery of Sport and Olympic Museum located close to the MCG.
Melbourne Cricket Ground
The MCG and National Sports Museum
Brighton Beach is one of the more famous of the beaches in Melbourne, lying along the Port Philip bay. An iconic picture of Melbourne is the brightly colored huts or “bathing boxes”on Brighton beach. These date back to the Victorian era when sunbathers used them to change in private. These boxes are made of wood and are heritage protected. They are still in use. Many of them are leased out and the owners use them to store their beach requirements . They add color to the beach alright! The beaches in this area are calm and provide great opportunities for swimmers.
Brighton Beach with the colored bathing boxes
Crisscrossing the maze of lanes and window shopping is another activity that is interesting. The area around Flinders and Collins streets are particularly great shopping places. You will find everything from opulent shopping arcades for window shopping to the more affordable smaller shops here. When you are tired of walking, hop onto a tram and get dropped a couple of streets away. There is no dearth of such lanes and reaching the correct street can be quiet a challenge….
Staying at a hotel in Albert park, the lake and walking trails at Albert Park were walking distance from our hotel. We spent a lot of our free time lazing on the benches in Albert Park by the lake enjoying the sights of the locals running, walking, dog walking or picnicking there.
Albert Park is part of the cultural landscape in the traditional country of the Bunurong People. They were the original inhabitants of this area. Located 4 km from the Central Business District . Albert Park is home to a plethora of events, from fun runs to cycling events, pet-friendly meetups and the iconic Australian Grand Prix.
Some Pictures :
Another beautiful park close to Albert park, this park is a favourite haunt of the locals. With walking tracks and benches under the shade of trees, it is a green oasis in the metropolis.
I hope you have got a feel of this great city. From Melbourne,we did some great trips. One of them was to The Great Ocean Road…a beautiful road skirting the ocean…
See you at this great destination next week…
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