Melbourne

Places to see in Melbourne

John Batman, the son of a Sydney convict, arrived in what is now known as the Port Phillip district in 1835 and met with Aboriginal tribes of the Kulin, from whom he "purchased" the land. In just over two decades Melbourne grew from a small tent encampment to a sprawling metropolis. Today it is thriving as the second-largest city in Australia. The enormous wealth generated by the gold rush led to the construction of grand public buildings. This development continued throughout the land boom of the 1880s, earning the city the nickname "Marvelous Melbourne". By the end of the 19th century, the city was the industrial and financial capital of Australia. It was also the home of the national parliament until 1927, when it was moved to purpose-built Canberra.

Fortunate enough to escape much damage in World War II, Melbourne hosted the summer Olympics in 1956. Dubbed the "Friendly Games", the event generated great changes in the city's consciousness. The postwar period also witnessed a new wave of immigrants who sought better lives here. Driven by the will to succeed, they introduced Melbournians to a range of cultures, transforming the British traditions of the city. This transformation continues today with the arrival of immigrants from all parts of Asia.

Melbourne holds many surprises: it has the most elaborate Victorian architecture of all Australian cities; it has a celebrated range of restaurant cuisines and its calendar revolves around hugely popular spectator sports and arts events. While the climate is renowned for its unpredictability, Melbournians still enjoy an outdoor lifestyle, and the city possesses a unique charm that quietly bewitches many visitors.

GETTING AROUND

Melbourneis organized informally into precincts. Collins Street is a business centre and the site of the city's smartest stores. To the east is the parliamentary precinct. Swanston Street contains some fine Victorian architecture. The south bank of the river is arts-orientated, including the Victorian Arts Centre. The city also devotes much land to parks and gardens. Despite the comprehensive transport system of trams, trains, buses and the Met, many Melbournians use cars for commuting.

This has resulted in a network of major roads and highways that lead in all directions from Melbourne's central grid through inner and outer suburbs. CityLink is a tollway linking several of the city's major access routes; drivers must purchase a pass in advance of travelling on CityLink roads. The city's flat landscape is also well suited to bicycles.

SIGHTS AT A GLANCE

Historic Streets and Buildings
» Brunswick Street& Fitzroy
» Chapel Street
» Chinatown
» ComoHistoric House and Garden
» Federation Square
» Fitzroy & Acland streets
» Flinders StreetStation
» General Post Office
» Lygon Street
» Melbourne Town Hall
» No. 120 Collins Street
» No. 333 Collins Street
» Old Magistrate's Court
» Old Melbourne Gaol
» Regent Theatre
» Rippon Lea
» RoyalExhibition Buildinga
» Royal Mint
» Supreme Court

Shops and Markets
» Block Arcade
» Queen Victoria Market
» Royal Arcade

Parks and Gardens
» Albert Park
» MelbournePark
» RoyalBotanic Gardensand Kings Domain

Museums and Galleries
» Australian Gallery of Sport and Olympic Museum
» GoldTreasury Museum
» Melbourne Aquarium
» Melbourne Maritime
» Museum
» MelbourneMuseum
» Museum of ChineseAustralian History
» National Gallery of Victoria

Churches and Cathedrals
» St Francis' Church
» St James' Old Cathedral
» St Paul's Cathedral
» Scots' Church