About Melbourne

Melbourne is set around the shores of Port Phillip Bay. The city itself, laid out in a large rectangle and boasting a lively and cosmopolitan pulse, sits on the northern banks of the Yarra River, about five kilometres from the bay.

One glance at a map and it’s obvious that Melbourne is a planned city: a tidy, balanced grid of neatly angled streets. But beneath this sense of everything in its place restraint lies a restless creative energy constantly pushing back at the city’s seeming conservatism. The CBD is made up of precincts – distinct enclaves each with its own flavour and charm. Some are just a lane or two, while others cover the banks of the Yarra River or a busy CBD street.

Extending around the bay are a number of inner suburbs, each with its own distinct character and personality. A short tram ride from the city centre, Melbourne’s suburban neighbourhoods are a must see for anyone wanting to experience what life here is really all about.


Melbourne, Victoria
Activities and attractions in Melbourne
Visitor Centre - Royal Botanic Gardens
Melbourne is a city with something for eveyone. From chic fashion stores to buzzing laneway cafes and trendy bars, botanic gardens to sports stadiums, elegant Victorian-era streetscapes to Manhattan-style skyscrapers, film and food festivals to galleries and opulent theatres, Melbourne has an activity and attraction that will interest you.

Where else can you enjoy Australia’s best eating and drinking? Explore historic arcades and laneways lined with cafes and boutiques? Or see sporting spectaculars, art exhibitions and performing arts productions throughout the year? Melbourne, that’s where.

Make the most of your time here. Use the links or search box below and experience Melbourne’s endless supply of things to see and do.


Federation Square
Federation Square Explore this creative mix of architecture, restaurants, attractions and open public spaces
Dining at Docklands Visit NewQuay, a bustling harbourside eating, drinking and shopping precinct
Sailing Take a leisurely cruise down the Yarra River or head over to Williamstown on a ferry
Cafe E Cucina - Chapel Street Experience Melbourne's coffee culture as you linger over a latte in one of the laneway cafes
Martini Head to one of the city's renowned hidden laneway bars and groove the night away
Shopping on Collins Street - Melbourne Explore the maze of Melbourne's laneways and arcades and discover their great shopping secrets
Princess Theatre Catch a show in style at one of Melbourne's spectacular theatres
Fitzroy Gardens Conservatory Enjoy a picnic or stroll through the beautiful and historic Botanical Gardens
Melbourne Zoo
Melbourne Zoo Come face-to-face with the animals at the award-winning Melbourne Zoo
The National Gallery of Victoria
National Gallery of Victoria Spend some time in the oldest and most visited public art gallery in Australia
St Kilda
National Gallery of Victoria Take a walk along St Kilda's beautiful tree-lined foreshore or enjoy a latte in Acland Street
Wine regions around Melbourne
Melbourne - Australias leading wine city Visit one of the five wine regions within an hour and a half of the city
Australian Rules Football
Cheering on the Saints - AFL Football at Telstra Dome Be a part of the action and catch an Australian Rules football game at the MCG in winter
Melbourne Observation Deck
Melbourne Observation Deck Catch a different view of the city from the Melbourne Observation Deck
Melbourne Museum
Big Box See the set of Neighbours at the largest museum complex in the southern hemisphere


Food and wine
Breezes restaurant at Crown Entertainment Complex - Melbourne
Melbourne is a melting pot of cultures, a fact reflected in its microcosmos of restaurants, cafes, bistros and bars. Fashionable, eclectic and eccentric – Melbourne’s dining spots offer a dizzying spread of the world’s great cuisines, serving meals from the substantial and classic to the truly exotic.

In the city, you can settle into the genteel surroundings of a nineteenth-century hotel, where afternoon tea can be enjoyed in a starched table-clothed timewarp reminiscent of bygone times, watch and be watched in buzzing laneway cafés and bars, or handpick a bottle of Yarra Valley chardonnay at the latest über-chic hangout. Alternatively, head out a little further and explore one of Melbourne’s specialist eating destinations – Richmond for cheap and cheerful Vietnamese dishes, Carlton for Italian classics, Fitzroy for tantalising Spanish tapas.

From the simple presentation of a sushi bar to the fine dining finesse of an award-winning restaurant, Melbourne’s eateries are renowned for their superb food, atmosphere and service.


Melbourne called 'Batmania'

Melbourne was briefly named 'Batmania' after one of its founders, John Batman. Other proposed names included Bearbrass, Bareport, Bareheep, Barehurp and Bareberp.

In 1837 the town was officially granted a seal of approval and in 1851 the colony of Victoria was formed and formally separated from New South Wales. The colony was named 'Victoria' after the reigning English monarch Queen Victoria and the main town 'Melbourne' in honour of Lord Melbourne, Queen Victoria's most dedicated Prime Minister.

The price for Melbourne

In 1835, John Batman and his associates paid members of the Wurundjeri clan 40 blankets, 30 axes, 100 knives, 50 scissors, 30 mirrors, 200 handkerchiefs, 100 pounds of flour, and six shirts for Melbourne (the government later refused to recognise the deal). Batman returned to Launceston boasting "I am the greatest landowner in the world"

Sister Cities

Melbourne's Sister cities are currently:

Milan - Italy
Osaka - Japan
St Petersburg - Russia
Thessaloniki - Greece
Tianjin - China