Without any shadow of a doubt Melbourne is the cosmopolitan hub of Australia. The city itself has a certain refinement and panache that cannot be found in any other city in the country. Everything from trendy cafes, fine dining restaurants, grungy eateries flooded with locals, beautiful architecture and an eclectic mix of inhabitants.
Melbourne is the capital city of the state of Victoria, and is Australia's second largest city. It has the largest number of company head offices than any other state, and is also the finance capital of the country, being the home of all the big four banks. The metropolitan urban sprawl consumes nearly 10,000 square kilometres, and almost 4.4 Melburnians call it home.
The city is located on the fringe of Port Phillip Bay, whilst other city areas lay on the banks of the Yarra River. The metropolitan area then stretches into the hinterlands of the Macedon and Dandenong Ranges, Yarra Valley and the Morning Peninsula. Melbourne was discovered in 1835 by settlers from a colony in Launceston, Tasmania. In 1847 Queen Victoria pronounced it as a city, and formerly known as the Colony of Victoria.
The race for the precious yellow metal, gold, then hit Melbourne in the 1850's, and the city rapidly became one the most wealthiest in the country.
Many people make sure that Melbourne is at the top of their places to see whilst exploring Australia. You will never be caught short for something to do in this beautiful city. Jump on a tram and take in the hustle and bustle of the city, visit the Melbourne Zoo, the Shrine of Remembrance, the Old Melbourne Gaol at night for a ghost tour, St Pauls Cathedral, the Victoria Street Market, Flinders Street Railway Station, Werribee Open Range Zoo, and the list goes on forever.
You will also find Melbourne an absolute epicurean and gastronomical feast. Any and every cuisine imaginable is all right there. Take a stroll down Little Bourke Street at night into Chinatown, where you will find some of the best Asian food you've ever eaten. If you are confused with the huge number of restaurants in this area, head to either Flower Drum for great Chinese, or Sawasdee for awesome Thai.
Lygon Street just on the fringe of the CBD is the Italian food capital of Melbourne. It is a lovely street to take a leisurely walk down at dinner time. Most of the restaurants have greeters out on the footpath that will try there hardest to cajole into dining with them. Once again, you will be astounded at the number of Italian restaurants in such a small precinct. Need a recommendation? Try Borsari's s or Santino's.