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...

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.

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...

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, ...

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...