Melbourne Travel Guide (VIC, 3000)

The world's most livable city

Melbourne, the capital of the state of Victoria, is set around the shores of Victoria's Port Phillip Bay and boasts a lively and cosmopolitan pulse, with chic boutiques, buzzing cafés and bars, immaculate gardens and festivals and popular sporting events. The city sits on the Yarra River, about five kilometres from the bay.

One glance at a map and it's obvious Melbourne is a planned city: a tidy, balanced grid of neatly angled streets. But beneath this sense of restraint lies a restless creative energy. Discover the work of talented local artists, architects and designers in stylish fashion boutiques, buzzing laneway cafés, hidden galleries and trendy bars.

Melbourne is a city of style and sophistication, with an inviting cosmopolitan atmosphere. It is a melting pot of cultures reflected in its microcosm of restaurants, cafés, bistros and bars. Melbourne's dining offers a dizzying spread of great cuisines, serving meals from the substantial and classic to the truly exotic.

From locally designed originals to the best of international fashion brands you'll be spoilt for choice in Melbourne's shopping precincts. Explore the inner city shopping centres and the city's myriad of arcades and laneways.

The CBD is made up of many precincts – enclaves with their own distinct flavour and charm. Some are just a lane or two, while others cover a suburb or a busy CBD street. Spend time experiencing the richness of Melbourne’s different cultures from the Greek Quarter around Lonsdale Street, Italian in Lygon street, Vietnamese in Victoria Street to the Chinese culture in Chinatown and the upmarket Paris End of Collins Street.

Captain Cook's Cottage, Fitzroy Gardens | Melbourne

This cottage of brick and stone was originally the home of Captain Cook's parents at Great Ayton, Yorkshire. It was purchased for the State of Victoria by Mr Russell Grimwade in 1933, brought from England, and re-erected in Fitzroy Gardens. The ivy on the walls is grown from a slip of the original ivy from Great Ayton. The Union Jack, which is sometimes flown from the flagpole, is as old as the c...

Exhibition Buildings, Carlton Gardens | Melbourne

The main hall of Melbourne's Exhibition Buildings of 1880 still survives as a proud monument to high Victorian optimism and belief in progress. The original complex of buildings covered an area of 8 hectares in Carlton Gardens complete with lakes and fountains. The buildings were used for the centennial exhibition of 1888. In 1901 the building was blazed with 10,000 electric lights to celebrate th...

Flagstaff Gardens, King Street | Melbourne

Melbourne's oldest public gardens were laid out in the 1840s. A plaque marks the site of the old signal which announced the arrival of ships at Williamstown.

Government House, Melbourne | Melbourne

Government House in Melbourne is probably the largest and most lavishly appointed house in Australia. The building was completed in 1876 by distinguished engineer and architect W. W. Wardell on a site of 11 hectares of landscaped gardens. The 48m high central tower is a central feature of Melbourne's skyline.

Old Melbourne Gaol, Cnr Russell and La Trobe streets | Melbourne

Old Melbourne Gaol, now an interactive museum, is the site where 136 people, including the notorious bushranger Ned Kelly, were hanged. The Old Melbourne Gaol – Crime and Justice Experience includes a visit to the Old Melbourne Gaol, the former City Watch House and Old Magistrate’s Court. The prison was also a focus during some of Australia’s most significant historical moments, including...

Old Treasury Building, Spring Street, Treasury Gardens | Melbourne

The treasury building is one of Melbourne's handsomest public buildings, it was erected from 1859 to 1862 and is an excellent example of Italian Renaissance.

Parliament House, Corner Spring and Bourke Streets | Melbourne

An Act of the Imperial Parliament, passed in the year 1850, decreed "that the district of Port Phillip should be separated from the Colony of New South Wales and should be named and designated as the Colony of Victoria", having a separate Legislative Council. But not until 1855, when the daily discoveries of gold and the rapid progress of the State were exalting public ideas, was a start made on t...

Princess Theatre, 163 Spring Street | Melbourne

The Princess Theatre is the second building on the present site. In 1857, the amphitheatre was renovated and the facade extended, then re-opening as the Princess Theatre and Opera House. The theatre re-opened, again, on 18 December 1886, with a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado. The marble staircase and foyer was hailed as equal to that of the Paris Opera, the Frankfurt Stadt and ...

Royal Mint, William Street | Melbourne

The Melbourne Mint, a branch of the British Royal Mint, was established by order of Council on 10th August 1869, and it was opened on 12th January 1872 to meet the problems created by the large discoveries of gold in Australia. Nowadays the Mint does not produce gold coins, and has become the Hellenic Museum. From the closing down of the Sydney Mint in 1926, the Royal Melbourne Mint became the m...

St Patrick's Cathedral, Cnr Gisborne St., & Cathedral Place | East Melbourne

The Government granted this area of land on Eastern Hill to the Roman Catholic Church in 1849. The present cathedral, the third building on the site, was designed by W. W. Wardell, an eminent architect who had studied under Pugia giving to Melbourne many of its Gothic monuments, Wardell also designed St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney. St Patrick's Cathedral, in early Gothic style, is cruciform in pla...

St Paul's Cathedral, Corner Swanston and Flinders Streets | Melbourne

With its tall spires rising against the background of commercial Melbourne, St Paul's Cathedral casts its shadow over the city's busiest intersection. It is built to a Gothic cruciform plan. The foundation-stone was laid in 1880 by the Governor, the Marquess of Normanby; but the cathedral was not opened for worship until eleven years later. The central spire, which rises to a height of 95 metres, ...

Supreme Court, Cnr Williiam & Lonsdale Streets | Melbourne

The Supreme Court of Victoria is the superior court for the State of Victoria, The Court was founded in 1852, and is a superior court of common law and equity, with unlimited jurisdiction within the state. The main buildings for the Supreme Court are located at the corner of William and Lonsdale Streets in Melbourne and in nearby buildings.

Town Hall, Swanston Street | Melbourne

It is recorded that "the laying of the foundation-stone of the new Town Hall on 29th November 1867 by the Duke of Edinburgh was one of the most brilliant functions that has ever taken place in Melbourne". At the conclusion of the ceremony the Duke was presented with a gold trowel. The trowel was made of 22 carat gold, weighed 24 ounces, and the handle was surmounted by a ducal coronet set with dia...

Royal Arcade, Melbourne | Melbourne

Royal Arcade is the oldest of Melbourne's arcades. Designed in 1869. The large clock was added in 1892

Treasury Building, Melbourne | Melbourne

The Treasury Building erected between 1857 and 1862 is the finest example of Italian renaissance style in Australia. The design of the building was the work of J. J. Clark, a 19 year architect in the public works office.

Collingwood Town Hall | Melbourne

The Town Hall, Courthouse and Post Office complex in Collingwood were erected between 1885 and 1890 and is reminiscent of Sydney's Town Hall.

Governor La Trobe's Cottage | Melbourne

Governor La Trobe's Cottage was a pre-fabricated wooden structure sent from England in 1840. The house was re-erected at the Domain in the vicinity of the present Government House.

Morell Bridge, Melbourne | Melbourne

Morell Bridge formally known as Anderson Street Bridge was the first large reinforced concrete structure erected in Victoria. The bridge crosses Yarra River in three equal spans of monier arch edged with delicate balustrades of cast iron. The bridge was built on dry land and on completion in 1899 the river diverted to flow underneath.

Rippon Lea, Elsternwick | Melbourne

Situated in the Melbourne suburb of Elsternwick is Rippon Lea. Erected in 1868, the 33 room mansion was completed in 1887. Features include towers and a miniature crystal palace

St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, Melbourne | Melbourne

Construction on St Patrick's Cathedral commenced in 1858. Built with bluestone, the cathedral is undoubtedly William Wilkinson Wardell's masterpiece and is recognised as one of the purest and most complete gothic revival churches in the world.