Melbourne, the capital and the second most populous city in Australia, is ideally located in the state of Victoria on Port Philip, a large natural bay with its city centre along the estuary of the Yarra River. Melbourne was first inhabited by the indigenous tribes of the region until the Europeans entered their land. Founded by the settlers from Van Diemen’s Land in 1835, the city then known as Bearbrass was renamed as Melbourne in 1837 and Queen Victoria declared it as a city in 1847. In 1851, it became the capital of the state of Victoria.
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In subsequent years, the Victorian gold rush made Melbourne one of the richest and the largest cities in the world. People from Ireland, China and other foreign countries migrated to Melbourne and population grew immensely. The gold rush led to the development of the city and the establishment of important buildings such as the Parliament House, Supreme Court, Treasury Building to name a few. Termed by UNESCO as the ‘City of Literature’, Melbourne today has become one of the largest cultural institutions with centers for education, commerce, arts, sport, entertainment and tourism.
The city hosts a number of annual cultural events that include film festivals, theatre and arts exhibitions among various other cultural programs. Major sporting events too are held in Melbourne regularly. The historic city centre comprises of intriguing lanes and arcades that consists of attractive cafés and shops. Melbourne is also known as the ‘Garden City of Australia’, as there are several parks and gardens in the city that one can visit. Melbourne also serves as one of the largest and the busiest ports in Australia, earning more than $75 billion in revenue each year through sea trade.
Melbourne is served by four airports with the Melbourne Airport in Tullamarine catering to international flights from across the globe. The city is also home to the largest tram network in the world. The city is accessible by train, car and bus while internal city transport is also very good. The climate of Melbourne can be described as oceanic due to its location on the border of the hot inlands and the cold southern ocean. The weather here is unpredictable, as one can experience a sudden change of climate within a few hours and hence it is said that Melbourne can have ‘four seasons in a day’. However, the city is worth paying a visit.