Melbourne is considered by many to be the cultural capital of the country and its artistic life continues to thrive. This is evident in the success of the Melbourne Festival which takes place in the last two weeks in October and its more diverse counterpart, the Fringe Festival. The city is also very proud of its literary contribution to Australia culminating in the Writers Festival which runs in tandem with the other two festivals. The explosion of culture is not limited to certain times of the year, however. There are wonderful classical music and theatre seasons throughout the year and a fine selection of small galleries. Melbourne is also famous for its love of sport, particularly Aussie Rules Football which has a fanatical following and great pride is still taken in the hosting of the Olympics in 1956. To see most of the better attractions you wont have to travel too far beyond the city's suburbs. However, to get a true feel for Melbourne you should venture beyond the city centre. One great, inexpensive way to explore is to take a tram ride for a distinctly Melbourne experience.
Corner of Victoria and Peel Streets, Melbourne, Australia
Since its opening in the 1870’s the market has remained in its original location, just north of the city centre. The city’s multi-cultural character is mirrored in the colourful fruit, vegetable and delicatessen halls.
100 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne, Australia
The Victorian Arts Centre in the fulcrum of the city’s arts scene, housing several concert halls, a performing arts museum and the National Gallery of Victoria, which contains the country’s finest Aboriginal art. Tours at noon & 2.30pm weekdays & 10.30am and noon on Saturdays, $8.
Between the Yarra River and St. Kilda Road, Melbourne, Australia
A beautifully landscaped garden in the city centre which features a fern gully, a herb garden and a massive lake with black swans. Plays are frequently performed there in the summertime.
Yarra Park, Melbourne, Australia
You can get a tour of the most famous cricket ground in Australia which also hosts Aussie Rules matches. The MCG was also the central stadiumfor the 1956 Olympics and will figure prominently in the 2006 Commonwealth Games, which wil be hels in Melbourne. It also contains two interesting sporting museums which contain thousands of item of sporting memorabilia. Open weekdays 10am-4pm. Admission free.
, Melbourne, Australia
The left bank of the Yarra is a lively place on sunny weekends, with people strolling, cycling and boating. Bicycles can be rented by the river and cycle paths can be followed along the banks.
Russell Street, Melbourne, Australia
This dank, eerie gaol now houses a penal museum. In all over a hundred prisoners were hanged there. One of the most impressive things on show is the infamous Ned Kelly’s armour. Open from 9.30am-4.30pm daily, adm Adults $8, students $6, Children $ 5.
2 Booker Street, Melbourne, Australia
Here you’ll a number of fascinating displays and you could spend hours examining old machinery and learning loads of wacky facts and figures. Open daily from 10am to 4.30pm. Adm. $8 adults, $4 children.
13 Selwyn Street, Elsternwick, Melbourne, Australia
A small but detailed museum with pictures, documents and memorabilia from the Nazi death camps of World War Two. The museum guides are survivors from the camps. Grim but important. Open Mon-Thurs 10am-2pm amd Sun 11am -3pm. No entry but donations are expected.
Building C, World Trade Centre, Melbourne, Australia
Contains a small but interesting display of Victoria’s police history. Open weekdays from 10am to 4pm. Entry is free.