From chic fashion stores to buzzing cafes and trendy bars, botanic gardens to sports stadiums, elegant Victorian-era streetscapes to Manhattan-style skyscrapers, film and food festivals to art galleries and opulent theatres. Melbourne has something for everyone.
Whether Melbourne is your intended destination or just a brief stopover on the way to your new home, we have compiled this guide to help you get your bearings on arrival. To obtain more details about the city check out the websites listed at the end of this profile.
Melbourne has an estimated population of 3,800,000 and is a city of rich cultural diversity with a high proportion of residents (41%) born overseas. It is Australia’s second largest city and is regarded as the cultural and fashion capital of Australia.
Nestled within the Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne is built around the beautiful Yarra River which winds its way gently through the city’s inner suburbs north towards the Yarra Valley. Dotted with well-tended public parks and gardens, the landscape of the region is level and noticeably planned.
The city has four distinct seasons and usually enjoys a pleasant, temperate climate. However, winters can get chilly and summers usually see some swelteringly hot days.
Melbourne offers a wide range of housing with a great number of suburbs in which to choose to live. In the older part of metropolitan Melbourne, terrace houses and tree-lined streets preserve a way of life and a slice of history.
The Victorian economy is larger than that of Singapore, Malaysia or New Zealand, and constitutes 25% of the national economy. Historically, this area has been the home to gold and coal mining and offshore oil drilling. Nowadays, manufacturing, service and agricultural businesses dominate Melbourne’s and Victoria’s economy. Major export agricultural activities include beef and dairy cattle, wool and lamb production and wheat (primarily in the drier western half of the state), with irrigated fruit and vegetable growers around Melbourne and along the Murray River.
The city has an integrated system of trains, trams and buses known as The Met. Melbourne’s efficient train system covers city and suburban destinations and trams are the main form of transport throughout the Central Business District.
Melbourne has long been recognised as Australia’s shopping and fashion capital. The city’s funky laneways and tree-lined streets are a haven for small boutiques specialising in Australian designers, jewellery, accessories and international fashion.
Many of Melbourne’s precincts have a culinary character all of their own, from the Greek atmosphere of Lonsdale Street or Carlton’s ‘Little Italy’, to the wide choice of Chinatown around Little Bourke Street. Melbourne’s cuisine is a mix of European, Asian and the ‘Mod- Oz’ concept – perfectly prepared local ingredients with a hint of traditional techniques.
Melbourne is a city where people see, breathe and live the arts and is home to world-class art and cultural heritage, cutting edge design and internationally recognised visual artists and performing arts companies. Small theatre companies produce edgy and innovative plays, contemporary dance and physical theatre, while the city streets are alive with buskers and public art. Each year Melbourne hosts a range of arts and cultural festivals and events, including the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the Melbourne Fringe Festival and the Melbourne International Arts Festival.
Melbourne is famous for its world-class sporting facilities and has hosted many major events such as the 2006 Commonwealth Games. There are five winegrowing regions within 90 minutes of the city. A days skiing is only 2 hours away as Melbourne is very close to the Victorian Alps.
Melbourne is rightly known as a university city and with eight major tertiary institutions, it is recognised as Australia’s intellectual capital. Education and learning for people of all ages is an important part of Melbourne’s commitment to creating a knowledge city.
Melbourne City Council
Average maximum temperature in Summer
Average maximum temperature in Winter
Bright sunshine hours per year
Mean annual rainfall
25.5 degrees Celsius
14 degrees Celsius
Melbourne operates on Eastern Standard Time which is 10 hours ahead of GMT