Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. The name “Melbourne” refers to the area of urban agglomeration (as well as a census statistical division) spanning 9,900 km2 which comprises the broader metropolitan area, as well as being the common name for its city centre. The metropolis is located on the large natural bay of Port Phillip and expands into the hinterlands toward the Dandenong and Macedon mountain ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley.
Some interesting places to visit in Melbourne are such:
When Federation Square opened in 2002 to commemorate 100 years of federation, it divided Melburnians. There were those who loved it and those who hated it. Either way, it has become an integral part of the city and a great place for tourists to start their sightseeing. The ultra-modern design of open and closed spaces juxtaposes the surrounding Victorian architectural buildings. Hosting more than 2,000 events annually, tourists will always find entertainment in the central outdoor performance space and intimate indoor venues. Federation Square also houses the Ian Potter Gallery dedicated to Australian art and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. More commonly called “Fed Square”, it is also the largest free Wi-Fi site in Australia.
One of the top tourist attractions in the heart of green parkland extending south of the Yarra River, a short distance from the CBD, is the Royal Botanic Gardens. Established in 1846, the Royal Botanic Gardens is rated as one of the finest of their kind in the world. Covering an area of 40 hectares and with more than 50,000 plants, including many rare species, the gardens are visited by 1.5 million people annually. The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden is designed to encourage the next generation of gardeners and the Aboriginal Heritage Walk is a popular tour that looks into the rich heritage of indigenous Australians. In summer, live theater is a highlight of the gardens, and a moonlight cinema is set up under the stars.
With a capacity of 100,000 and a history dating back to 1853, the MCG is considered one of the world’s greatest stadiums. As the main stadium for the 1956 Olympic Games, the 2006 Commonwealth Games, birthplace of Test Cricket, and the home of Australian Rules Football, ‘the G’ is woven into the fabric of Melbourne, the sporting capital of Australia. Daily 75-minute tours take visitors for a trip down a memory lane of great moments in sporting history and incorporate the Australian Gallery of Sport and the Olympic Museum. Visitors can also catch a game of cricket in summer or football during winter. Directly opposite the MCG is Melbourne Park, the home of the Australian Open tennis tournament, held every January. Visitors can even hire a tennis court. The venue also doubles as a function center, and many concerts are held there during the year.
Located on the banks of the Yarra River, a short stroll from Flinders Street Station, this area is a culturally rich attraction for visitors. Southbank promenade is filled with indoor/outdoor cafés, restaurants, and live entertainment. An excellent arts and crafts market is held every Sunday, and the area is also home to many festivals held throughout the year. Easily recognizable by its spire, the Arts Centre incorporates a range of theaters and spaces including the State Theatre, Playhouse, Fairfax Theatre, and Hamer Hall, the premier performance space for the revered Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
The oldest public art gallery in Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria holds more than 68,000 works of art in two city locations. The international collection is housed in the St. Kilda Road building, originally opened in 1968 and extensively renovated in 2003. The building is renowned for The Great Hall where visitors are encouraged to lay on the floor and gaze at the colorful stained glass ceiling. The extensive Australian collection is held in the Ian Potter Gallery in Federation Square, featuring the history of Australian art from Aboriginal through to the Heidelberg School, and contemporary mixed media. One of the highlights is the large triptych format, The Pioneer by Frederick McCubbin.