Melbourne is the capital of Victoria and is the second most populated city in Australia. The name of the city is derived from urban agglomeration. This city is located on the natural Port Phillip Bay and stretches into hinterlands near the Macedon and Dandenong mountain Ranges, Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula. The city was founded by settlers in the year 1835 and was incorporated as a settlement of the Crown in the year 1837. Queen Victoria declared Melbourne an official city in the year 1847 post which it became the capital of the newly established Victoria Colony in the year 1851. The Victorian Gold Rush of the 1850s had a huge role to play in transforming Melbourne into one of the biggest and richest cities across the globe. Post the federation of Australia in the year 1927, the city served as the interim government seat for the nation till the year 1927.
Melbourne is one of the most liveable cities in the world according to several experts and studies on the same. The city is known for its education, health care, entertainment and research and development sectors in addition to sporting acumen and tourism. The city is one of the biggest Asia-Pacific financial zones and ranks amongst the best 30 global cities as per the Global Financial Centres Index. The city is sometimes referred to as the cultural capital of Australia and is known for having spawned Australian Rules football, dance styles like the Melbourne Shuffle, Australian impressionism and the Australian television and film industry. The city is listed as a City of Literature by UNESCO and is home to a vibrant street art, theatre and music scene.
Several iconic Australian cultural institutions like the State Library of Victoria, Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), National Gallery of Victoria and the Royal Exhibition Building are also located in the city. The latter is also a world heritage site as listed by UNESCO. The Melbourne Airport is the major airport in the city while the Port of Melbourne is a busy zone for cargo handling and container passage. The transport network in Melbourne is one of the best in the world including coaches and trains and trams as well. Melbourne has witnessed skyrocketing growth in both its population and business centres from the 1990s onwards. The Southbank, Melbourne Docklands, Port Melbourne and South Wharf are major urban centres in the city. The city has also extended further in recent years and is home to a booming property market which boasts of high prices and huge increases in rentals.
Melbourne has some beautiful beaches located along its south eastern suburban areas including Port Melbourne, Port Phillip Bay, Brighton, Albert Park, St Kilda, Sandringham, Elwood, Frankston and Mentone among others. The Central Business district is one of the busiest and most buzzing areas of the city and is home to several public and commercial developments along with office buildings. The city centre is peopled by multiple arcades and lanes in addition to cafes and shops. The Royal Arcade and Block Place are major hubs in this case. The Central Business District is home to several landmark buildings including the Eureka Tower which also possesses an observation deck at the top and the Rialto Tower which is the second tallest in the city.
There are several landmark buildings present in the Central Business District including the Parliament House, Royal Exhibition Building and the Melbourne Town Hall. Melbourne is one of the prominent garden cities in Australia. There are innumerable gardens and parks located in close proximity to the Central Business District and these are home to several rare and beautiful species of plants and other vegetation. There are parks present throughout the entire city and serve as lifelines for residents. Melbourne is known for its vibrant cultural life and produces stirring dramas, art, comedy, musicals, architecture, art, film and television work and literature on a regular basis. The buzzing nightlife and the beautiful waterfront location in addition to the pleasant climate make Melbourne one of the most attractive destinations in Australia. It is one of the most liveable cities in the country and celebrates several festivals and events every year including the Moomba community festival, Melbourne International Film Festival, Melbourne International Arts Festival, Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Melbourne Fringe Festival. The city gets approximately 2 million global visitors every year along with countless domestic visitors on an average.
The State Library of Victoria is another important cultural landmark that received due recognition upon Melbourne's accreditation as a UNESCO City of Literature. The State Library is one of the oldest cultural institutions in the city. There are innumerable bookstores in the city along with a booming publishing industry and several writing festivals like the Melbourne Writers Festival. The National Gallery of Victoria is one of the oldest museums for public art in Australia while the Heidelberg School is also a famous landmark here. The latter is known for being the birthplace of Australian Impressionism while the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art is also a major attraction in the city. Melbourne is also home to the Australian Ballet along with the Melbourne Theatre Company and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
There are multiple performance venues in the city along with halls and theatres. Some of the most well known among these include the Southbank Theatre, State Theatre, Playhouse, Melbourne Recital Centre and the Regent Theatre among others. The world's first ever feature film, The Story of the Kelly Gang was shot in Melbourne and the city is today home to some of the biggest Australian film and television studios and conglomerates including Village Road show Pictures and Docklands Studios Melbourne. Melbourne is also home to a mindboggling 460 venues for live music! Live music is a major entertainment and cultural attraction in the city that also has several pubs, bars, restaurants and other venues to match! The city is one of the biggest hotspots for tourists visiting Australia and should definitely witness further growth and cultural development in the near future.