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Melbourne is Australia's second largest city, and a capital of Victoria. 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.

Spend some time in Melbourne's various precincts and discover the wealth of the city's many cultures. Look at the treasures in Melbourne's famous laneways and historic arcades and get drawn in a few of the many ways to enjoy the city's engaging cultural life. The home of social dining, Melbourne has thousands of restaurants serving up a range of exotic flavours. Catering for all fashion trends, Melbourne is the ultimate shopping destination.

Melbourne with its fashion stores and trendy cafes and bars, botanic gardens and sports stadiums, film and food festivals and galleries and theatres, has and activity and attraction that you will want to indulge in. Some of Australia's best restaurants and bars can be found here.

While in melbourne you can engage in numerous activities.

  • Walk or cycle - Melbourne and its surrounds offer numerous trails designed for walking and riding.
  • Canoe or kayak - canoes and rowing boats can be hired from boathouses along the Yarra.
  • Ballooning and scenic flights.
  • Swimming and fishing - there are many popular beaches along the shore, including Port Melbourne, South Melbourne, Middle Park, St Kilda, Elwood, Hampton, Brighton, Sandringham, and Williamstown
  • Boating and sailing - you can charter yachts to sail yourself.
  • Golfing - Four of Australia's top 10 courses are located in Melbourne's south-east strip.