Often referred to as the cultural capital of Australia, the second largest Australian city of Melbourne has a population of over 4 million residents.
It is the lively center for contemporary and traditional music, and famed for the great street art found throughout the metro area amid the exciting mix of architecture that ranges from traditional buildings from the 19thcentury to futuristic and modern structures. Melbourne is a party place, with festivals and cultural celebrations taking place year round! It’s the home to the Melbourne International Arts Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Melbourne Fringe Festival. Packed houses enjoy performances by the Australian National Ballet and the State Symphony Orchestra, and it’s also home base for Opera Australia.
Like most Aussies, Melbourne residents are sports enthusiasts and embrace the outdoor lifestyle in this beautiful city, filled with parks and green spaces with amenities for biking, hiking and recreation. There are abundant venues where you can enjoy a family day outside and be part of the enthusiastic fans that take in professional sports in Melbourne’s party atmosphere. The Melbourne Cricket Ground is Australia’s largest, oldest and most popular sporting ground. Melbourne Park is the host for some of the world’s greatest tennis stars at the internationally-famed Australian Tennis Open. In March, it’s all about speed and power at the Australian Grand Prix in Albert Park, and November brings the Melbourne Cup – the world’s richest horse race.
Kids love unique adventures and Melbourne delivers! The Werribee Open Range Zoo is an opportunity to get an up-close look at native Australian species, and the more traditional Melbourne Zoo is a fun day with both native and exotic animals.
Older teens and folks with a yen for thrills will like Melbourne Skydive Centre, but beware if you’re afraid of heights! The aim here is to jump from 14,000 feet and have the activity recorded on DVD for bragging rights later!
History is alive and well at the Immigration Museum – where kids can step back in time to walk the road to the gallows in a 19thcentury prison at the Old Melbourne Goal. They’ll even “arrest” you at a modern day Police Station or let you go on trial to experience the workings of justice! It’s intriguing, and just scary enough to fascinate kids and give them a lesson in Australia’s immigration roots that they’ll never forget.