A Closer Look At Melbourne

    Melbourne, the capital city of the state of Victoria, boasts the second highest population in Australia. With 4.1 million inhabitants known as Melburnians, the city is a thriving hub of culture, sports and natural beauty.

    The area around the city is home to some of the most amazing wildlife in Australia, with Wilsons Promontory National Park and Phillip Island (with its penguin parade) just a short drive from the city. The stunning mountain ranges of the Grampians are nearby, with their waterfalls and wealth of history.

    The Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne
    The Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne

    The city itself has something to offer all ages. From its world renowned sporting stadiums to cultural festivals and chic boutiques, you will always find something to see or do! Why not take in the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, held in March every year. Local chefs, winemakers and restaurateurs as well as world-renowned chefs and artisans gather to create internationally renowned food and a great atmosphere!

    Having shared top position three times in the Economist’s survey for The World’s Most Liveable Cities, Melbourne is a mecca for art and culture lovers worldwide. The Melbourne International Film Festival, established in 1952, is held yearly in July, showcasing the best in local and international film-making talent as well as tributes and retrospectives.

    There are three major international sports events held yearly in Melbourne: The Australian Open, The Australian Grand Prix and The Melbourne Cup (horse racing). The city is a great place to visit for sports fans, with cricket and football (Australian rules!) the most popular sports. Each week in Melbourne, up to five Australian Football League matches are played, attracting around 40,000 spectators per game.

    To visit Melbourne together with its surroundings, many travellers choose to rent a car, which is the most convenient mode of transport in most Australian cities. Popular global car rental companies have depots in Melbourne, including brands like Avis, Hertz, Budget and Europcar. You can compare rates offered by these and other car hire providers throughout Melbourne on this site.

    For animal lovers, Melbourne Zoo and Aquarium are must-sees! Just five minutes from the city centre, Melbourne Zoo is home to over 320 species from across the globe. From penguins and seals to orangutans and tigers, there is something for children and adults alike to enjoy. Melbourne Aquarium features a ground-breaking Antarctica exhibit, providing the opportunity for a face-to-face experience with a Gentoo or King penguin! Seahorse Pier is home to the largest collection of seahorses in the world – a truly beautiful and unique sight. A little further afield, why not take a Phillip Island Little Penguins Parade tour in the evening for an opportunity to see the smallest species of penguin in existence!

    Why not hop on the City Circle Tram for a great, free way to see the city. Tourists and locals alike use the tram to see all the major Melbourne attractions and it’s a great way to keep costs down when travelling with the whole family. If that wasn’t enough of a tram experience for you, then visit the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant, a 1927 tram which has been converted into a cosy, colonial-style restaurant. As it travels leisurely through the streets of the city, diners can enjoy a range of delicious local specialities and wine.

    No visit to Melbourne is complete without a trip to the Eureka Skydeck 88. Take a walk into “The Edge”, a glass cube projecting 3 metres out from the building, suspended 300 metres above the ground! At 285m high, the Skydeck is the highest vantage point in the Southern Hemisphere. The views of Melbourne from the top are simply breathtaking.

    Melbourne at night
    Melbourne at night

    Peter lives in New Zealand and loves travel and writing about Australian, New Zealand and Pacific destinations.

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