Melbourne is Australia’s second largest city and the capital of Victoria, located around Port Phillip Bay. It has a population of about 3.8 million (2007 estimate), including its suburbs. Melbourne is the world’s southernmost millionaire city. Area: 8806 km². Coordinates: 37°49′14″ S. 144°57′41″ E. Time zone: UTC+10, in summer UTC+11. The city’s official website is melbourne.vic.gov.au
History of Melbourne
Before the arrival of Europeans, these lands were inhabited by the Australian aborigines Wurungeri. In 1803 the English made the first attempt to establish a colony here. However, the idea was not successful.
In 1835 Europeans again began to develop this land. In 1836 the city was declared the center of Port Phillip County. The following year the city received its present name. In 1851, Melbourne became the capital of Victoria. The “gold rush” encouraged an influx of population and money into the city. In 1861, Melbourne boasted the country’s first stock exchange.
In the 1880s Melbourne was one of the largest cities in the British Empire. But in 1891 the city was hit by a crisis. In 1901, Melbourne was declared the temporary capital of Australia. During World War II, the city received many orders, which allowed the economy to grow. The growth of the city continued after the war.
Melbourne is one of Australia’s major industrial, commercial and cultural centers. The city is also a major port with an annual turnover of about AUD$75 billion. There are Ford and Toyota car plants in Melbourne and there is a well-developed modern technology industry. An important source of income in the city is tourism. According to the index of the world commercial centers of MasterCard Melbourne takes 34th place in the list of the world financial centers.
Public transport in the city is represented: streetcars, trains, buses. But it is worth noting that only 7.1% of Melbourne’s population moves by public transport. The city has four airports, but international flights provide only two of them.
Attractions in Melbourne
The city is full of interesting places. A striking example of colonial classicism is the State Library building. The Flinders Street Station is considered Melbourne’s calling card. It is the oldest railway station on the continent and is protected by the Victorian government. Civic architecture can be seen in the Victoria Parliament building.
The Royal Exhibition Centre (1880) is popular. This building has UNESCO World Heritage status. The small stone cottage of Captain James Cook is of interest. Gambling enthusiasts will love the entertainment center “Crown Casino”.
In the center of the city is the Melbourne Aquarium, which showcases the marine and river life of the continent.
The Melbourne Museum is the largest museum in the southern hemisphere. It houses a collection devoted to the history of Australia and the city of Melbourne. The same building houses a theater, an auditorium, and an IMAX movie theater.
Other Melbourne attractions include the Memorial Monument, Immigration Museum, Yarra Quay, National Gallery of Victoria, Rialto Tower, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Eureka Tower, Melbourne Arts Centre, Queen Victoria Market, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.