Melbourne is the country’s second largest city and the capital of Victoria. The city itself sits on the northern banks of the Yarra River, about five kilometres from Port Phillip Bay. Melbourne’s suburbs extend around Port Phillip Bay, into the plains to the west and east and out to the foothills of the Dandenongs.
Founded in 1835 on the banks of the Yarra River just north of the tip of Port Phillip Bay, the city grew quickly as a port due to the close proximity of the gold fields to the north and west. Many of Melbourne's wide, tree lined streets were laid out during the wealthy gold rush times, resulting in a high amount of mansions and terrace housing that still dominates the CBD area today. Melbourne's CBD is easy to reach and simple to navigate due to the grid street layout and relatively flat terrain. The streets in the city centre are wide, and cater greatly for the unique large fleet of trams that service the CBD and surrounding suburbs. In addition, the city is riddled with many tall and elegant buildings, a seemingly endless shopping & commercial precinct and several large parks (including the Royal Botanic Gardens) that almost surround the city centre.
Other highlights include the Eureka 88 Skydeck, Rialto Towers (which featured Melbourne's first skyscraper public observation deck, that operated between 1994 and 31 December 2009), Flinders St Station, the Victorian Arts Centre, the Crown Casino and the Queen Victoria Markets. To the south, just over the Yarra River lies the popular precinct of Southbank. The walk from Princes Bridge west to Spencer St Bridge offers great shopping, dining with several interesting fountains, sculptures and cafes - cruises along the Yarra River can also be embarked upon from Southbank. Also within the vicinity of the CBD are Docklands Stadium (1km west), Melbourne Cricket Ground (2km east), Albert Park (Grand Prix - 3km south) and the National Tennis Centre/Olympic Park (2km east). Certainly a great place to visit and explore - the city is also a good base to explore the wonderful Dandenong Ranges to the east, Phillip Island & Mornington Peninsula to the south and the goldfields region to the west & north-west.
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Corner of Elizabeth and Collins Streets in Melbourne, with Flinders St station in the distance, 2003.
Image © Jamie Scuglia
Ubiquitous A1-Class Tram outside Melbourne Park on Batman Av, 2003.
Image © Jamie Scuglia
1 Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2016 Census QuickStats
Last updated: 02-Dec-2019 1:01
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