When people think of Australia it usually the landmarks of Sydney that spring to mind, i.e. their harbour, bridge and opera house, and that’s criminal. Yes Sydney is a smashing city but can it lay claim to being Australia’s greatest city? No it cannot, that right is reserved for Melbourne.
Melbourne is one of those unique places where history and cutting-edge meet, and the results are fantastic. The city will be even greater if they do launch a bid for the 2028 Olympics. So what does this 4,347,955 populated city have to offer?
It is unavoidable to go to Melbourne and avoid sport, it was onc
e the world’s sporting city but now occupies second place behind the UK, according to Australian politician John Eren.
The first sporting port of call would be the world famous Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) which houses over 100,000 spectators. The biggest stadium in Britain is Lords which holds a paltry 30,000. “The G” is the most famous cricket stadium in the world and also plays host to both codes of rugby, football and Aussie Rules, but cricket is its main love, especially when England are in town. There is no other place in Australia that showcases the Australian sporting passion like the MCG. Whilst the fact it was opened in 1853 makes it a historical landmark in its own right. If you want to see how Australia are doing then follow the link for the latest cricket news. Other sporting events in the city include the Australian Open (tennis) and the Australian Grand Prix (F1).
Besides sport there is Melbourne Zoo, which like the MCG is the oldest in Australia. Opened in 1862, the zoo is modelled on the iconic London Zoo and currently houses over 320 animal species. Some of the more popular exhibitions on show currently are the gorillas, pygmy hippos, Sumatran tigers, elephants and small cat alley. The zoo, located 4km north of the city centre, is set in over 55 acres of land and makes for the perfect day out.
A prime example of old meets new is at Flinders Street station. The main train station of the city has rapidly modernised internally but its exterior has kept the same ornate yellow façade since its opening in 1854. Much like the Opera House is iconic to Sydney, Flinders Street station is iconic to the natives of Melbourne – its prominent dome, arched entrance and namely the clocks that line the entrance are revered. You should at some point pass through Flinders Street and when you do just take it all in, train stations like that are becoming ever more of a rarity.
Federation Square is the polar opposite of Flinders Street, it is as cutting edge and modern as it comes. It is an amalgamation of glass and sandstone cladded buildings that jut out at crazy angles, a little like some of the buildings made for the 2012 Olympics. It does look like something from a warped architects mind but it works brilliantly and has some great feng shui.
Melbourne is new and old, sporting and innovative, and the best city in Australia.
To visit this best city you need to have Australia visa