Australian pronunciation is important. When you travel to Melbourne, one says the city’s name more like ‘Mel-bun,’ with the emphasis on the first syllable. If you say ‘Mel-born,’ you run the risk of being called a dag. This is a moderately abusive term for ‘goof,’ but is in actual fact a lump of a sheep’s waste embedded in the wool on the animal’s backside.
Melbourne, in the state of Victoria, is Australia’s second largest city. The state of Victoria Australia used to be the colony of Victoria Australia, and prior to that was part of New South Wales, where you find Sydney. The separation occurred in 1851 and shortly after, there was a gold rush in Melbourne that tapered off in the early 1860s. It is called the world’s longest gold rush, during which Australia’s population tripled!
If you don’t have a lot of time, there is a good walk to take in downtown Melbourne. Start at Flinders St. Station and find Swanston Walk, which is a pedestrian road shared with the trams. On the way you will find City Square with a statue of Burke and Wills, explorers who met a nasty end exploring the Outback. Once on Russell St. you can find the Old Melbourne Gaol and Chinatown.
On your way back to Flinders St. Station, make sure to check out the pub Young & Jackson. Not only is it a great place for a cold beer, but also it’s the home of Chloe, the famous nude painting that has been on the pub walls since 1909. She was painted by Jules Lefebvre in Paris in 1875. As with many Australian icons, there’s a good tall tale about Chloe‘s life in Melbourne.
Other Melbourne sites to catch include:
Melbourne Maritime Museum, which is home to the 1885 tall ship the Polly Woodside.
Melbourne Zoo is reputed to be the 11th oldest zoo in the world. It moved to the Royal Park site in 1862. Despite its age, the Melbourne Zoo is aggressive with its conservation agenda.
The National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne has been in existence since 1861. In the mid 1990s, the gallery realized the St Kilda Road building could no longer handle the collection. An extensive redevelopment was started and a second NGV building was established at Federation Square. The Collection is split between The Ian Potter Centre, home of Australian art, and NGV International at St Kilda Road, the newly refurbished building.
To see it all, check out Rialto Towers Level 55 Observation Deck. The Rialto Towers is the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest office structure. During your visit to Melbourne, make to take in the 360-degree views of Melbourne and the 60 km to the horizon.
Enjoy your Melbourne trip.