Melbourne is a smorgasbord of a city that invites you to take a bite. A leafy bayside community on the 'upside-down', brown Yarra River, it is cosmopolitan, suburban, cultivated, conservative and a haven for the avant-garde. Visitors come for its shopping, restaurants, nightlife and sporting calendar, and most agree that it's one of the world's most liveable cities.In the last 10 years the city has undergone a renaissance. Innumerable hip boutiques, restaurants and bars crowd the alleys and Victorian-era arcades off the main streets. Its riverbanks and docklands have been tranformed into spruced-up sites for swanky waterside socialising.
Melbourne travel, Australia Tourist Attractions
Although mystery surrounds many aspects of Australian prehistory, it seems certain that the first humans came here across the sea from Southeast Asia around 50,000 to 70,000 years ago.
There were about 38 tribal groups living around Victoria when white people arrived. Aborigines were traditionally tribal people living in extended family groups and using the environment sustainably. It is believed that Aboriginal people were the first to make polished, stone tools, to cremate their dead and to engrave and paint representations of themselves and animals. Although their society was technologically simple, it was Melbourne travel culturally sophisticated, using complex ceremonies which integrated religion, history, law, art and codes of behaviour.
Aboriginal people around Victoria resisted white settlement (which began in 1803), and although some settlements had to be abandoned, the original inhabitants were really just postponing the inevitable. Soon after settlement, the Aboriginal people had been dispossessed of their lands and massacred in their thousands.Effiel Tower
Melbourne was established in 1835 by a group of Tasmanian entrepreneurs, and is the youngest city of its size in the world. Although the settlement was not named until 1837, its characteristic grid layout was imposed by military surveyor Robert Hoddle the same year, and by 1840 over 10,000 people had been attracted to the area. The Melbourne tourism colony of Victoria was formed in 1851, with Melbourne as its capital, neatly coinciding with the discovery of gold which swiftly and inexorably transformed them both.
Gold brought a huge influx of immigrants from around the world, and the wealth it generated created a city of extravagant proportions. In 30 years the designs of the city's architects, the skills of its many European tradespeople and the designation of large areas of the city for public parkland had established what was known as 'Marvellous Melbourne - the Paris of the Antipodes'. This progress was, however, temporarily halted in 1890 by the first of many devastating financial crashes which have afflicted the economically vulnerable city.
The ethnic mix of Melbourne's population has always been an important influence on the city's character: the Chinese and Irish diggers attracted by gold in the 19th century and the postwar arrival of refugees and migrants from all over Europe (particularly Greece, Italy, Yugoslavia, Turkey and Poland) and more Australia Tourist Attractions recently from Vietnam and Cambodia, have all Melbourne attractions contributed elements of their cultures to what could otherwise have been a conservative, passionless English society. These migrants have boosted Melbourne's population to 4 million and their influences are witnessed in Melbourne's robust and varied architecture, restaurants, festivals and entertainment.
After WWII, Melbourne went into a long period of stable, occasionally complacent, conservative government. Although the city's political establishment liked to think it was the centre of national gravity, in fact Sydney gradually took precedence on the national scale until it became clear, by the 1960s, that Melbourne's star had been eclipsed. Nevertheless, a strong rivalry between the two occasionally still surfaces.
Conservative dominance continued until the '80s, when the Labor party took office and the city hit boom times. Land prices just kept going up, and so did buildings, until 1990 when the whole thing fell in a heap. In 1992 radical conservative autocrat Jeff Kennett took the reins, provoking ire and admiration in seemingly equal doses. Under Kennett, Melbourne waved goodbye to Melbourne travel social services and healthcare, and gave a hearty hello to the Grand Prix and the Crown Casino.
Kennett's Liberal government was comprehensively ousted in 1999's state election, and a refurbished Labor party is now busily reinventing Victoria in the Blairite mould of moderately progressive, strongly pro-business centre-left government. Large construction projects have continued unabated, fuelling another one of those regular property booms that have created and decimated fortunes ever since the city was established. Many of the holes in the inner city business district are being redeveloped, one of the newest developments is Federation Square, an architecturally innovative if controversial use of public cultural space. The fringes of the Australia Tourist Attractions city are also growing apace, prompting the government to set limits for development that will hopefully slow, and in the long term halt, the city's unseemly sprawl. The city also continues to support a healthy cultural scene, especially in the fields of cinema and contemporary music.