Melbourne Travel Guide
It is a lesser known fact that before Victoria's capital received its present name, one of its former names was 'Batmania'. This came about because of its founder, John Batman, who, in 1835, negotiated its purchase from the Aboriginal peoples who had occupied the area for centuries. It is now Australia's second most populous city and our Melbourne travel guide will provide you with the tourism and travel information you will need if you are planning a visit to this vibrant and exciting capital city.
Melbourne officially received city status, as well as its name, from Queen Victoria in 1837 and it rapidly grew into one of the world's biggest and wealthiest cities, thanks to the Victorian gold rush of 1851. Nowadays it is considered throughout Australia to be its cultural capital, renowned for its arts, sports, commerce and tourism. Being the cultural capital, of course, means plenty of galleries.
In fact these are far too numerous to list in our Melbourne travel guide but must include the National Gallery of Victoria, The Metro, Melbourne Arts Rooms, the Savill and the ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image). These will give a delightfully broad glimpse into the cultural diversity celebrated in Melbourne. The palatial Royal Exhibition Building and gardens built in 1880 on the proceeds of the gold rush and modelled on Florence Cathedral is a truly sumptuous celebration of Melbourne's former glory. Another fascinating exhibition centre is the National Opal Collection with its fabulous jewellery displays and educative explanations of how opals are created.
Museums include the Melbourne Museum with its broad range of exhibits from prehistoric to present day, the Scienceworks Museum – just what you would imagine and hours of fun for all the family, and the Immigration Museum with its interactive displays charting early Australian occupation.
The 19th century Old Gaol and magistrates' court, where the infamous Ned Kelly served time, and Flinders Street Station are just two of the buildings of historical interest among a plethora of architectural wonders documenting Melbourne's exciting past. All over the city new discoveries await the adventurous traveller and the City Circle Tram is one of the best ways to get around them all.
And when you are cultured up to your chin, you will, of course, want to relax on one of Melbourne's many picturesque and idyllic beaches. Perhaps the most famous of these is St Kilda with its long sandy stretches and crystal clear waters catering for all needs and interests. And after cooling your toes you might feel ready to carry on with the treasury of delights which Victoria's capital city has been saving for your pleasure.