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.

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...

Prahran market, 163 Commercial Road | South Yarra

Prahran Market, the oldest continuously running market in Australia. Known as "the food lovers market" because of the quality and range of our food Prahran Market is known as as the best food in Melbourne at all price points. For those looking for a special item, Prahran Market is the place to find those hard to get specialties including heritage varieties of fruit and veg. For those looking for...

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...

Shrine of Remembrance, Royal Domain | Melbourne

The Shrine of Remembrance stands on the summit of a low hill in the Royal Domain, clearly visible from almost every part of Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay. It was erected in 1933 to commemorate the sacrifices of Australians in World War I and now contains a forecourt dedicated to the memory of the servicemen and women of World War II. The Shrine is a good example of classical Grecian architecture...

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, ...

State Library of Victoria, Swanston Street | Melbourne

This institution, which began as the old Melbourne Public Library, is now known to scholars the world over. It contains more than 800,000 volumes and a notable collection of Victoriana-including more than 18,000 paintings, drawings, prints, and artefacts. © LBH

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...

Yarra River | Melbourne

From its source in the Yarra Ranges, it flows 242 km west through the Yarra Valley which opens out into plains as it winds its way through Greater Melbourne before emptying into Hobsons Bay in northernmost Port Phillip. Today, the mouth and including Swanston and Appleton Docks are used for container shipping by the Port of Melbourne, the busiest on the continent.

Heide Museum of Modern Art | Bulleen

Heide Museum of Modern Art is a unique space - a synthesis of indoor and outdoor environments, a place of modern and contemporary art and design and a rich colourful art heritage and social history. Located just 15 minutes from Melbourne's CBD, Heide is one of Australia's leading public art museums and offers a tranquil surprising and always stimulating place to visit. Website: www.heide.com.au

Royal Arcade, Melbourne | Melbourne

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

Royal Botanic Gardens, Victoria | Melbourne

The distinguished botanist, Baron Von Mueller, arranged the first planting of the extensive variety of native and exotic trees and plants that now form the basis of Melbourne's spectacular Royal Botanic Gardens. William Guilfoyle took over work on the gardens in 1873 introducing beautiful water moor lake areas to create a sense of infinite space in an area of only 35 hectares in the centre of Melb...

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.

Emu Bottom | Tullamarine

Beyond Tullamarine Airport-and only about 24 kms north-west of downtown Melbourne, Emu Bottom is a pioneering homestead of the 1830s, restored to its original style, including furnishings of the period. This is a "working model" homestead. Here you can see sheep sheared by hand blades and a blacksmith working his metal, using century-old methods. Recipes once prepared for pioneer families are coo...

Essendon Airport | Essendon

Essendon Airport, once the primary airport for Melbourne, is now used for General Aviation. The airport is located 14km from the city centre and 4km from Melbourne (Tullamarine) Airport.