Melbourne. The city of the laneways.
The most livable city in the world. The cultural capital of Australia. Melbourne is a painting on a giant canvas. A melting pot of people, culture and nationalities. Being painted since the 1800s, Marvellous Melbourne has now become a modern abstract masterpiece, while still having a vintage feel to it.
1. History of Melbourne
Melbourne was established in 1835. The establishment of the city was largely only to keep the French from occupying more territory. The discovery of gold in the state of Victoria, in 1841, led to the Victorian Gold Rush. Everyone rushed to Victoria to try out their luck. Melbourne served as the major port and provided most-services during that period. Consequently, the city grew rapidly, soon was at par with Sydney.
2. Night Life in Melbourne
In recent years, the nightlife at Melbourne has seen a complete change. Streets which were once quiet after dark are now full of cheery, quirky bars and clubs. Great nightclubs can be found on Swanston Street and King Street. The most happening parts of the city are the Collingwood and Fitzroy district. Some of the city’s best bars are on the Brunswick Street and Johnson Street.
3. Safety in Melbourne
Melbourne is very safe. Street crimes are infrequent and even less are directed towards tourists. One does not hesitate to wander alone at night. Tourists would be advised to be careful, though. Keeping your guard up is a healthy precaution.
4. Living Expenses in Melbourne
It might be one of the most livable cities, but that comes with a price. It is the sixth most expensive city to live in.
Buying a studio apartment in a good neighbourhood can cost upto $300,000 (USD 212,013). Buying the same in a posh locality costs around $700,000 (USD 494,697).
Renting a one bedroom apartment in a good locality can be as high as $300 (USD 212) per week.
Budget hotels have tariffs around $94 (USD 67) per night. Luxury hotels can charge as high as $623 (USD 440) per night.
5. Cuisines in Melbourne
Melbourne has become a serious culinary hotspot. From food trucks to fine dining, Italian, French, regional Spanish or Mexican, you will find it all here, in the restaurant lined up along the streets and laneways.
Pho, burgers, bores, crepes, ramen or sushi. Food trucks and cheap eateries only set you back by about $10 (USD 10) for a very fulfilling meal.
Melburnians are serious about their coffee. It’s pretty hard to find bad coffee in the city. Don’t forget to experience the city’s wonderful cafés.
6. Statistics of Melbourne
The second most populous city in Australia with over 5 million citizens is highly diverse with residents from over 180 countries. It is well spread out over an area of 9,990 sq. km, resulting in a population density of 430/sq. km.
English is the staple language. Though, only around 2/3rd of the population speaks English in their homes. Chinese is the second most widely spoken language at homes, followed by Greek, Italian and Vietnamese.
Australian citizens get visa-free entry to upto 167 countries.
7. Public Transport in Melbourne
It has Australia’s second busiest international airport, Melbourne Airport at Tullamarine.
The city has Australia’s most extensive freeway network and the world’s largest urban tram network. Myki cards can be used to traverse trains, trams and buses.
A full fare myki Visitor Value Pack costs $14 and includes $8 myki money for travel. A concession, child or seniors myki Visitor Value Pack costs $7 and includes $4 myki money for travel.
Melbourne also has a bicycle sharing system with marked road lanes and segregated cycle facilities.
Pollution in Melbourne – For a major city, Melbourne’s air quality is surprisingly healthy, thanks to the low population density and a favorable climate. The main polluting sources are motor-vehicles. The PM 2.5 levels in Melbourne average at about 30, compared to Delhi’s 130 and Beijing’s 70 in 2015.
8. Weather of Melbourne
It has a temperate oceanic climate. Situated in between hot-inland areas and the cool southern sea, Melbourne is famous for its drastic weather changes in a single day.
Summer: December to February (Yes. Melbourne has summers in December. Welcome to the southern hemisphere). The season brings in warm, hot days. Temperatures can get as high as 46 degrees C. The average hovers around 25 degrees C.
Autumn: March to May. The city starts cooling down and the leaves turn golden. Temperatures average at 12 degrees C.
Winter: June to August. Temperatures drop down to as low as 0 degrees C. The average remains around 9 degrees C.
Spring: September to November. Spring brings in temperate climate with a moderately cold temperature (10-20 degrees C)
The city witnesses rainfall through May to October. The annual rainfall averages at about 600mm.
Tourists will be advised to carry some warm gear and umbrellas. Melbourne is famous for its fickle weather. The best times to visit the city would be during autumn and spring.
9. Culture of Melbourne
Over 63% of the residents were born in Australia. The second largest percentage is from the UK (3.4%), followed closely by India(2.7%), China (2.3%), Italy (1.7%) and New Zealand (1.7%).
According to the 2006 census, over 55% of the population is Christian and 20% followed no religion. Buddhists, Muslims, Jews and Hindus accounted up to a total of 7.5%.
10. Places to Visit in Melbourne
Must Do: Shop at the Melbourne City Centre, take a walk along the Great Ocean Road, look around the Queen Victoria Market, board a train from Flinders Street railway station, visit the historic Melbourne Cricket Ground, visit the Shrine Of Remembrance and the Old Melbourne Gaol, bask in the sun on the warm sands of the St. Kilda Beach, pray at St. Paul’s Cathedral, take a ride in the City Circle Tram, take a walk through the artistic laneways of the city, watch the Australian Open or the Grand Prix, have a cup of coffee in one of the vibrant cafes and, of course, have a drink in an open bar.
Attraction for Kids: The kids (and you) would love the balloon flight at sunrise which takes you to the Melbourne skyline for a breathtaking sunrise. There is also the Puffing Billy Steam Train, the Luna Park, The Melbourne Star and the Eureka Skydeck. The kids would also like the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Zoo, Healesville Sanctuary.
Places Nearby: The Yarra Valley wineries are a short distance (90 km) from the city. The Dandenong Ranges are a shorter (35 km) from the city. Phillip Island and back is an overnight trip. The Twelve Apostles are a 3 hour drive. If you take the Great Ocean Road, you can also visit Apollo Bay and Lorne (tiny, beautiful coastal towns) which provide a wonderful getaway.
Offbeat: Head down further from the Apostles towards the Bay Of Islands. The Bay is dominated by cliffs, rocks and deserted beaches. There is also Tower Hill on the Grand Ocean Road. Peninsula Hot Springs are Australia’s only natural hot springs. The Central Deborah Gold Mines allow you to go as deep as 61 m under the ground. One can also take a drive out to Victoria’s own volcanic plains for a nice picnic.
Melbourne lives up to the hype. The food is delicious, the sites are magnificent, the people are great. The city washes down over you like a torrential downpour and you do not want to get to a dry place.
|Area||9,990.5 sq. km|
|Population||4.5 million (approx.) as of January 2016|
|Currency||Australian Dollar (AUD) (1 USD = 1.41 AUD as of 28th January, 2016)|
|Time Zone||Australian Eastern Standard Time (UTC +10)
Australian Eastern Daylight Time (UTC +11)
|Driving||Left Hand Traffic, Right Hand Drive vehicles|
|Helpline||Emergency – 000, Emergency (Speech Impairment) – 106, Floods and Storms – 132 500|
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