Melbourne is the state capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second-most populous city in Australia and Oceania. The name “Melbourne” covers an urban agglomeration spanning (9,993 KM/3,858 square mi), which comprises the broader metropolitan area, as well as being the common name for its city centre.
The first European settlement in Victoria was established by Colonel David Collins in October 1803, at Sullivan Bay, but this settlement was relocated to what is now Hobart, Tasmania, in February 1804, due to a perceived lack of resources. It would be 30 years before another settlement was attempted. Since the mid-1990s, Melbourne has maintained significant population and employment growth. There has been substantial international investment in the city’s industries and property market. Major inner-city urban renewal has occurred in areas such as Southbank, Melbourne Docklands and more recently, South Wharf. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Melbourne sustained the highest population increase and economic growth rate of any Australian capital city in the three years ended June 2004.
Melbourne is also an important financial centre. In the 2017 Global Financial Centres Index, Melbourne was ranked as having the 21st most competitive financial center in the world. Two of the big four banks, NAB and ANZ, are headquartered in Melbourne. The city has carved out a niche as Australia’s leading centre for superannuation (pension) funds, with 40% of the total, and 65% of industry super-funds including the AU$109 billion-dollar Federal Government Future Fund. The city was rated 41st within the top 50 financial cities as surveyed by the MasterCard Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index (2008), second only to Sydney (12th) in Australia. Melbourne is Australia’s second-largest industrial centre. It is the Australian base for a number of significant manufacturers including Boeing, truck-makers Kenworth, Cadbury as well as Bombardier Transportation and Jayco, among many others.
Places to visit
Flinders Street Railway Station Arguably the defining landmark of Melbourne, colonial era railway station at the junction of Flinders Street and Swanston Street. The main entrance is known for several clocks hanging over it, and is a popular meeting spot for locals.
Queen Victoria Market The largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere, Vic Market as it’s nicknamed is huge and colourful with an assortment of fresh and dry produce, souvenirs and other things.
Things to do
See interesting films at the Art Deco-styled repertory cinema Astor Theatre in St Kilda. There are several moonlight cinema programmes in summer.
The Black Light Mini Golf is located at the Docklands. This is an 18-hole mini golf range designed around an Australiana theme. It is under black light with a light and sound system and featuring fluorescent colours.