Melbourne is the state capital and largest city in the Australian state of Victoria, and the second-largest city in Australia, with a population of approximately 3.7 million (2006 estimate). Melbourne is the southernmost city in the world to have a population of over one million people. Edit this section or read more
Hotels and lodgingEdit
Melbourne’s many museums include: the Natural History of Victoria Museum, which houses an extensive collection of Australian hand-made articles; the Keeping Place Aboriginal Gallery; the experimental Children’s Museum and the Old Melbourne Gaol, a prison built in 1850 and closed in 1929, a period, during which 136 prisoners were sentenced to death.
The Women in Prison section of the Gaol is particularly interesting: evening plays are performed, which combine theatrical art with the cruelness of the prison setting.
The Nautical Museum, on Polly Woodside contains old Irish sailing boats. Melbourne is the seat of the National Gallery of Victoria, that houses collections of European art from the 15th century through to the 18th Century (Flemish, Dutch, Italian, French and English), modern art (from Impressionist through Post-impressionist to Contemporary) and Australian art. The Performing Arts Museum has collections from some of the world’s major theatres.
Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens: thirty-five hectares of gardens with thousands of species of plants, gathered from Australia and the rest of the world. Melbourne Zoo, the oldest in Australia, has a fine African rain forest exibition, complete with gorillas and orang-utan, an interesting butterfly collection and various animal species typical of the Australian continent.
The Moomba Festival, held during the month of March, has interesting theatrical productions. There are many good quality theatre restaurants, including Last Laugh Theatre at 64 Smith Street and the Naughty Nineties at 675 Glenferrie Road. The city’s night life rotates around rock- pubs, such as Bombay Rock and the Station Hotel. Jazz enthusiasts should visit La Brasserie, the Victoria Hotel or the Anchor and Hope.
Maps and transportationEdit
Getting to MelbourneEdit
Melbourne offers a free bus service for tourists! If you look for tourquoise colored bus stops, you can hop on, with no ticket. Buses come every 15 minutes.
Philipp Island, a fascinating landscape of unspoilt nature and old-fashioned villages, is situated 90 minutes drive south-east of the city, at the entrance of Western Port Bay.
It houses a natural park and numerous other attractions, including the Penguin Parade, which takes place every evening at dusk, when the smallest penguins in the world emerge from the sea and waddles up the beach towards their nests among the sand dunes.
Bellarine Peninsula forms the western side of Port Philipp Bay and is a popular holiday destination for the inhabitants of Melbourne. The seaside town of Queenscliffe boasts some extravagant buildings, reminders of the Gold Rush Era, which today have been restored to the original splendor.
Fort Queenscliffe, built during the Crimean War to protect Melbourne from Russia invasion, now houses a Military Museum.
Travelling the scenic route from Melbourne to Ballarat, allows the visitor to stop off and to observe and walk among the animals and magnificent Australian vegetation.
Sovereign Hill is an open air museum, situated 110 km. from Melbourne. The museum tells the story of life in Ballarat during the Gold Rush Period. The streets in Sovereign Hill swarm with people dressed in period costume, busy in their daily activities, in the town’s shops, hotels and schools. Here in Sovereign Hill it is still possible for the visitor, armed with pan, to try his luck at searching for gold. The museum is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm
Practical information and resourcesEdit
Currency : Australian Dollar
Electric supply: 240/250 volts, 60 hertz. The plug is flat three-pinned and necessitates the use of an adaptor
Language : English
Opening hours : Shops are open from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5:30 pm; Saturday, 9 am to Midday. Banks are open Monday to Thursday, from 9:30 am to 4 pm; Friday, from 9:30 am to 5 pm Public Offices are open from Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm
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