Melbourne – Victoria.
Melbourne is the capital of the Australian state of Victoria. In the heart of city is the Federation Square, adorning the banks of the Yarra River with it plazas, bars, and restaurants In the Southbank area. The Arts Precinct is the site of the Melbourne Arts Centre – a performing arts complex – and the National Gallery of Victoria, with Australian and indigenous art. The greater Melbourne area has a population of 4.1 million and expected to grow to around 5 million by 2020.
Melburnians (as the locals refer to themselves), claim that they are the most cultured, and at the same time, most sports loving people in Australia, possibly with good reason, the most popular spectator sport is Australian rules football, a code which they have nurtured around Australia to the point of it now being a truly National sport. The city is also home to the Australian F1 Grand Prix and the world famous Melbourne Cup, held in November each year during their Spring Racing Carnival, it is the richest thoroughbred handicap race in the world with a prize pool of 6 million dollars. It is also the home of the worlds favourite Australian beers, Victoria Bitter (VB) and Fosters.
This world class city is located on Port Phillip Bay; a huge, natural body of water, providing the estuary of the Yarra River at the northernmost point of the bay. The metropolitan area then extends south from the city centre, along the eastern and western shorelines of Port Phillip, and expands into the hinterland. The city centre is known as the City of Melbourne and has a further 30 suburbs.
The settlement was founded in 1835, 47 years after the European settlement of Australia (Sydney), by settlers coming across Bass Strait from Launceston in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania). It was named by the then Governor of New South Wales Sir Richard Bourke in 1837, in honour of the British Prime Minister of the day,William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne.
in 1847, Melbourne was officially declared a city by Queen Victoria and in 1851, it became the capital city of the newly created colony of Victoria. During the Victorian gold rush of the 1850s, it was transformed into one of the world’s largest and wealthiest cities. After the federation of Australia in 1901, it served as the interim seat of government of the newly created nation of Australia until 1927.
Melburnians refer to their city as the “Garden City” or the “Cultural Capital of Australia”, with some cause, it’s the birthplace of cultural institutions such as Australian film, having been the birthplace of the world’s first full length feature film, “The Story Of The Kelly Gang”. They can also lay claim to Australia’s first television broadcast, Australian rules football, The Heidelberg School (Australian impressionist art movement), and Australian dance styles such as New Vogue and the Melbourne Shuffle. It is also a major centre for contemporary and traditional Australian music.
The city is also home to the world’s largest tram network. The main passenger airport, is the second busiest in Australia and the Port of Melbourne is Australia’s busiest seaport.
Today Melbourne is a creative, exciting, ever-changing city with extraordinary surprises to be discovered in every basement, rooftop and lane way. If you find time to venture off the beaten path, the the treasures you find in food, wine and culture will be your exciting reward. By all means visit the known delights, but find the time to explore the nooks and crannies, you will be rewarded.
Allow yourself as many nights in Melbourne as you can, and dine out on all of them. Melbourne has a dazzling array of world class restaurants, offering the food and dining experiences not only from Australia, but from the many cultures which make up this truly cosmopolitan city. If you tell travelled people you have been to Melbourne, they will ask “Where did you eat?”. It’s a Melbourne thing.
World Class Dining
Anthony Bourdain, American chef, author, and television personality, famously declared, ‘I’d rather eat in Melbourne than Paris.’ Many local chefs travel the world honing their skills, before returning to Australia to establish restaurants with their own personal stamp, in famous Melbourne venues. Many of the world’s best chefs establish Melbourne satellites or guest-chef at local favourites to complement the scene.
Eat your own adventure
Eating out in Melbourne can be an adventure, thanks to an increasing number of LA-style mobile food vans and their use of social media to advertise their changing locations. Sign up, track them down, and pig out.