Melbourne is Australia's second largest city with a population of around three million, about half a million less than Sydney. It experienced its greatest period of development during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901), which is clearly evident from its Victorian-era architecture, stylish parks and tree-lined boulevards. European settlers only arrived in 1835, but within 50 years Melbourne was transformed from a village into a major city and is the youngest city of its size in the world.
Since World War Two, Melbourne's social diversity has been greatly enriched by an influx of immigrants from around the world. A building boom in the 1980s altered the city physically so that it is a striking blend of past and present. Today the city is probably best known for the cultural diversity and huge sporting events like the Melbourne Cup and the Melbourne Grand Prix. It is a mullti-cultural city which combines a passion for the arts with a love for sport, food and wine.