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MELBOURNE & SURROUNDS
Situated on Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne is the 'Cultural Capital' of Australia and has the
distinction of being the seat of Federal Parliament from Federation in 1901 until 1927 when
national politics moved to Canberra.
It is a beautiful city with a rich history. Galleries, museums, impressive buildings,
parklands and gardens provide endless enjoyment. In the renowned Royal Botanical Gardens
at South Yarra you will find over 12,000 species of plants. Among the 41 hectares of lawns
and gardens are the National Herbarium of Victoria, the Shrine of Remembrance (1934) and
Governor La Trobe's Cottage, the first Government House in Australia (1840). It was
transported with La Trobe on the ship 'H.M.S. Ferguson' In Fitzroy Gardens (begun 1862)
you will find a scale model of an English Tudor Village; the carved 'Fairy Tree', and '
Captain Cook's Cottage'. In Royal Park, north of the city, is the famed Royal Melbourne Zoo,
third oldest in the world, and a must on your visit. (See separate story). In Russell St.
is the old Melbourne Gaol, now a museum tracing the early history of transportation to, and
incarceration in, the colony. In 1880 notorious bushranger
Ned Kelly was hanged there.
Nearby rests another famous Australian, Phar Lap, arguably the greatest horse that ever
lived. You will find him preserved in the National Museum.
In 1959 the Sidney Myer Music Bowl was opened in King's Domain to provide an open-air
entertainment venue for Victorians and visitors. Also in the Domain is a rockery garden,
commemorating the Pioneer Women of Victoria. Nearby, the Victorian Arts Centre with its
115 metre spire houses auditoriums, the National gallery,
the Melbourne Concert Hall, a Performing Arts Museum, restaurants and bars.
Melbourne has everything. In South Melbourne the Maritime Museum is home for the fully
restored barque 'Polly Woodside'. Built in Belfast in 1885 she plied the South American
trade route rounding Cape Horn 116 times. By 1962 she was the only commercial sailing
ship operating in Australian waters. Now, fully restored, she is the centrepiece of the
museum. Dozens of other places of interest will be found in and around the City of
Melbourne. The Healesville Sanctuary, Luna Park, and the beaches are only a few.
Melbourne is not only a city for browsing. each November the city comes alive for the
internationally renowned and contested Melbourne Cup at Flemington racecourse. Also each
year the Moomba Festival attracts thousands to the city for the festivities and the Royal
Melbourne Show is another highlight of a busy year. From 1996 Melbourne has been the host
for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix, held in Albert Park each March.
Melbourne is also known for its quaint, but efficient tram service. Trams seem to be
everywhere and they are a quick and economical way of getting around. Two of then oldest
trams have now been restored and run from the city to Hawthorn. Built in 1906 (V214) and
1930 (V676) leave the Princes St. terminal at 40 minute intervals during summer. Information
is available on (03) 9620 9444,
There are some of the country's finest restaurants and entertainment venues in the City of