Melbourne Travel Guide
A useful Companion for Visitors
Melbourne, Australia is a magic city, adored by Australians and international visitors alike. It is a city of olde world charm with buildings from the Queen Victoria era still standing. Melbourne is built on the banks of theYarra River and has a plethora of restaurants, cafes and taverns dotted all over the city. There are many famous precincts which pay testimony to Melbournians craving for eating out, and in style. There are many eateries on the river banks offering al fresco dining. The city has a host of pubs and bars as well, and of course there is the entertainment mecca of Melbourne, Crown Casino right in the heart of the city.
Melbourne is a city with something for everyone. From chic fashion stores to buzzing laneway cafés and trendy bars, botanic gardens to sports stadiums, elegant Victorian-era streetscapes to Manhattan-style skyscrapers, film and food festivals to galleries and opulent theatres, Melbourne has an activity and attraction that will interest you and yours.
Enjoy some of Australia’s best eating and drinking, explore historic arcades and laneways lined with cafes and boutiques, and see sporting spectaculars, art exhibitions and performing arts productions throughout the year.
For more on this great Australian city link to Visit Melbourne, the official Web site for Melbourne, and your doorway to everything you need to know about Melbourne. The site can also link you to other sites dedicated to visitors form various countries such as Japan, Chian, France, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, the Middle East, New Zealand, North America, Singapore, Spain, the UK, and South Africa.
Melbourne possesses an inspiring collection of museums dedicated to the city’s people, places and events. Melbourne Museums depict the 1956 Olympics, policing, fire fighting, Melbourne’s immigration history and the maritime industry. Fascinating walks about town may lead you to the city baths and on to many famous historical buildings. Have a look at the ICI building which was the first structure to break the 132 foot building height limit in Melbourne or visit the six terraced house designed by Charles Webb. Some travellers dare to search for haunted ghosts in the Banana Alley Vaults. Federation Square is the new central square in the heart of Melbourne. Nestled by the Yarra River and across the road from Flinders Street Station is the National Gallery of Victoria and the Australian Centre for Moving Images.
The Central Business District and nearby attractions have been arranged here more-or-less on a route starting in the south-west of the city, proceeding east along Collins Street, covering Swanston Street from the Yarra River to Victoria Street in the north, then going through Chinatown to Spring Street and finishing back in the south-east of the CBD.
Colonial Tramcar Restaurant
This unique “best of Melbourne tour” is a showcase of Melbourne's charm. Since it's inception in 1983, the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant has become a star attraction in Melbourne. Dining is not only a culinary delight, but also a journey into a little piece of Victoria's past. The converted 1927 tram that has become a glossy, burgundy restaurant on wheels, the first travelling tramcar restaurant in the world and a delightful innovative approach to dining. As it cruises the scenic streets of Melbourne, diners can enjoy fine cuisine and drink the very best of Australian wines or make a selection of beverages from the fully stocked bar at an all-inclusive price. The atmosphere is cosy, the service friendly and the decor as inviting as the colonial period reflects.
To ensure a smooth ride whilst dining, stabilizers have been fitted so not even a glass trembles as the tram glides along. The food itself is prepared on the tram and the Maitre d' oversees traditional silver and white linen service. One-way glass windows have been installed, so diners can enjoy the passing scene without the gazes of the curious to distract them. This 1927 tram features all the modern conveniences you would expect to find in a first class restaurant, such as burgundy carpet underfoot and seats covered in velvet, beautiful brass fittings to cast a coy glow and tables decorated with fresh carnations, which are given to guests when they leave. The tram is air-conditioned for total comfort and piped music helps to create a unique mood on wheels that is the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant. Naturally, there are restroom facilities onboard.
Once you have been onboard, you will understand why it has been the winner of many coveted National Tourism Awards. Your Tramcar Restaurant experience may be combined with a scenic cruise on the Yarra River, an all-embracing look at Melbourne's sights, after a visit to the beautiful Blue Dandenongs National Park. Bookings are essential to avoid disappointment.
A new waterfront shopping and residential precinct which houses a mecca of outlets and the city's second major football stadium.
Victoria Police Museum
Victoria Police Centre, Concourse Level, 637 Flinders Street, west of Spencer Street, Melbourne. Opens Monday to Friday from 10:00 am to 04:00 pm. Free admission.
Corner King Street and Queens Wharf Road on the banks of the Yarra River, Melbourne. Phone 03 9923 5918. One 2.2 million-litre tank houses sharks, stingrays, fish and turtles. Wall mounted tanks of freshwater and saltwater marine species include marine jellyfish, a simulated coral atoll, and open displays of mangrove habitats, billabongs and rock pools. Oceanarium, fish feeding sessions and underwater photographic presentations encompass shark dives in the deep tank. The aquarium also features children's play area with games and soft stacking blocks, underwater simulator rides, café and souvenir shop. Opens every day from 09:30 am to 06:00 pm. Admission $AU22 adult and $AU12 child.
400 Flinders Street near William Street, Melbourne. Phone 03 9927 2700. Located in the Old Customs House building in the heart of the city, the Immigration Museum explores stories of people from all over the world who have migrated to Victoria from the 1800s through to the present day. Stories are brought to life through moving images, computer interactives, voices, memories and belongings. The result is an entertaining experience that engages all of the senses. Opens every day from 10:00 am to 05:00 pm except Good Friday and Christmas Day. Admission $AU6 adult, children are free.
The Rialto Towers are both the tallest reinforced concrete structure and the tallest office structure in the Southern Hemisphere. The Melbourne Observation Deck on the 55th floor provides a 360-degree panorama of the city with views on a clear day extending to the Dandenong Ranges and far out into Port Phillip Bay. If you want a bird's-eye view of Melbourne, there's no better, or more popular place. Admission includes a 20-minute film and use of high-powered binoculars. The Melbourne Observation Deck opens Sunday to Thursday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm, Friday & Saturday from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm. Admission $AU11.80 adult, $AU6.80 child.
ANZ Bank Museum
380 Collins Street corner of Queen Street, Melbourne. Housed in the late-19th century Gothic Revival ANZ Bank building. Opens Monday to Friday from 09:30 am to 04:00 pm excluding bank holidays, of course! Admission is free.
280-286 Collins Street, Runs between Collins Street and Elizabeth Street, Melbourne. Phone 03 9654 5244. Melbourne’s principal shopping arcade built in 1891. The grandest arcade of them all, featuring huge ceiling murals and intricate mosaic floors. Walking up and down this section of Collins Street in the late afternoon or on Saturday morning was a favourite pastime between 1870 and 1918. The Block is famous for its arcades, modelled on those of Paris, London and Milan.
Corner Collins Street and Russell Road, Melbourne. Gothic church built in 1873.
St. Michael's Uniting Church
Corner Collins Street and Russell Road, Melbourne. Romanesque style church built in 1866.
Corner Swanston and Flinders Streets, Melbourne. Phone 03 9639 2800. Federation Square is a central and unifying public space, a landmark and a cultural magnet bringing together exquisite gardens, innovative architecture and engineering. Filling an entire city block, Federation Square's creative mix of attractions embody all that is wonderful about Victoria: fine art, fine hospitality, fine flora, bold design and vibrant events. Close by is the Ian Potter Centre incorporating the National Gallery of Victoria, ACMI, the Australian Thoroughbred Racing Museum, SBS, Melbourne Visitor Centre, cafes and restaurants.
Flinders Street Station
Corner Flinders Street and Swanston Street which becomes St Kilda Road, just north of the Princess Bridge over the Yarra River. Melbourne’s eqivalent to Central Station, designed by the winner of a 1899 competition. Melburnians use the clocks on the front of this grand Edwardian hub of Melbourne's suburban rail network as a favoured meeting place. When it was proposed to replace the famous clocks with television screens, uproar ensued. Today, there are both clocks and screens.
Victorian Arts Centre
100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Phone: 03 9281 8000. Although it lacks the architectural grandeur of Sydney's Opera House, the Southbank Arts Centre is Melbourne's predominant cultural landmark and the foremost venue for performances by the Australian Ballet, Australian Opera and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. It also encompasses the Melbourne Concert Hall, the Arts Complex, and the National Gallery of Victoria. At night, look for the Victorian Art Centre's spire; set on fire using brilliant fibre-optic cables, it creates a magical Melbourne spectacle. One-hour tours begin from the information desk at noon and 02:30 pm Monday through Saturday. On Sunday, a 90-minute backstage tour begins at 12:15 pm. Open to the public Monday to Saturday 09:00 am to 11:00 pm and Sunday 10:00 am to 05:00 pm. Admission for tour $AU10, backstage tour (no children) $AU13.50.
National Gallery of Victoria
Federation Square. Corner of Russell and Flinders Streets, Melbourne. Phone 03 8662 1553. The Ian Potter Centre, a stunning architectural triumph, houses the National Gallery of Victoria’s collection of Australian art. It is a collection of great depth and complexity, containing an outstanding holding of works produced by Australia's finest artists. On display are some of our country's best-known artworks. The National Gallery of Victoria’s international art collection is housed in the original National Gallery of Victoria’s building, south of the Yarra. Opens Monday to Thursday from 10:00 am to 05:00 pm, Friday from 10:00 am to 09:00 pm, Saturday & Sunday from 10:00 am to 06:00 pm. Admission is free.
Sunday's Market at the Art Centre
Corner St Kilda and Southgate Roads, Southbank. Phone 03 9281 8581. More than just another flea market, The Sunday Market showcases over 150 stalls of Victoria's finest artisans' work. Stallholders must be selected after passing strident examination for the quality and diversity of their work. Melbourne is a Mecca for artists of every genre painters; sculptors, visual artists, musicians, and thespians.
Gifted artisans and crafts people market their hand made wares from quaint shops, studios and bazaars where the artist, artisan, miner or crafts person by being on-hand, provides the visitor with the opportunity to buy, first hand. Do something daring buy original and be different. Every lady still drawing breath will fall in love with Melbourne's shopping; language is no barrier as most staff are multilingual. She will discover unique jewellers who create from rare diamonds coloured with hues of rose & champagne. Look on as the jeweller turns and polishes opal then facets gemstones. Tour Melbourne’s Markets and unearth aromatic leatherwear of distinction, alluring pelts taken from the kangaroo, crocodile, barramundi, emu and flamboyant sea snakes. Artwork may be found everywhere on canvas, ceramics, glass, metals, textiles, earthenware, stoneware, terracotta and clay pots. Hideaway antiques stores and photo galleries must be prospected for that special little, "stumble upon". Rainforest timbers with richly coloured grains are shaped and sculptured as you watch on. Stylish boutiques and market stalls offer garments reflecting the colours, culture and lifestyle of Melbourne. Souvenir an inexpensive t-shirt or treat yourself to a one-off, hand sewn creation by a local couturier.
All stalls are under cover and the markets trade every Sunday of the year. The market is located over two levels, along St Kilda Road between the Concert Hall and Theatres building as well as in the undercroft of the Concert Hall.
St Paul's Cathedral
Corner Swanston Street and Flinders Street, Melbourne. Phone: 03 9650 3791. Gothic Revival cathedral. This 1892 headquarters of Melbourne's Anglican faith is regarded as one of the most important works of William Butterfield, a leader of the Gothic Revival style in England. The interior is highly decorative, right down to the patterned floor tiles. The English organ is particularly noteworthy. Outside the cathedral is a statue of Matthew Flinders, the first seaman to circumnavigate the Australian coastline, completing the voyage between 1801 and 1803. Opens weekdays from 07:00 am to 06:00 pm, Saturday from 08:30 am to 05:00 pm and Sunday from 08:00 am to 07:30 pm.
Swanston Street between Flinders Lane and Collins Street, Melbourne.
Melbourne Town Hall
Corner Swanston Street and Collins Street, Melbourne. Built in 1870. Free tours Monday to Friday at 11:00 am & 01:00 pm, first Saturday of each month at 11:00 am, noon, 01:00 pm and 02:00 pm. You need to book a minimum of one day ahead on phone 03 9658 9658.
Manchester Unit Building
Corner Swanston Street and Collins Street, Melbourne. This 1930s Gothic building was once Melbourne’s tallest.
Bourke Street Mall
Between Swanston Street and Elizabeth Street, Melbourne. Melbourne’s main department stores are located here along with street performers and buskers performing throughout the mall area.
355 Bourke Street, south side of the mall, Melbourne. Built in 1870. Melbourne’s oldest shopping mall. Despite alterations, it retains an airy, graceful elegance, that touch of class notably lacking in more modern shopping centres. Walk about 10 metres into the arcade, turn around, and look up to see the statues of Gog and Magog, the mythical monsters that toll the hour on either side of Gaunt's Clock. At the far end of the arcade is a wrought-iron portico from the same period, one of the few remaining examples of the many verandas that once adorned Melbourne’s city centre.
State Library of Victoria
Swanston Street between Little Lonsdale and La Trobe Streets, Melbourne. Built in stages commencing in 1854, boasts a classical revival façade. Opens Monday to Thursday from 10:00 am to 09:00 pm, Friday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 06:00 pm.
Melbourne City Baths
Corner Swanston Street and Franklin Street, Melbourne. This Edwardian building circa 1903 still functions as a health and fitness center, containing a high calibre gymnasium and a plethora of other sporting facilities which complement the existing swimming pools. Casual rates for a swim are $AU4 adult, $AU3.20 student and $AU2 pensioner.
Queen Victoira Markets
513 Elizabeth Street, Corner of Elizabeth Street and Victoria Street, Melbourne. Phone 03 9320 5822. Over 1000 stalls selling just about everything. Melbourne's shopping Mecca. This historic landmark and tourist attraction is the largest open-air markets in the southern hemisphere. Officially opened 20th March 1878. Market building sells meat products, the open air sheds sell fruit and vegetables, clothing, shoes, baggage, toys, pets, travel goods, jewellery and souvenirs all at bargain prices. Experience the fervour and pace of Melbourne's most cosmopolitan market. See website for night market dates, tours, events and cooking school details. Operates Tuesdays and Thursdays from 06;00 am to 02:00 pm, Fridays from 06:00 am to 06:00 pm, Saturday from 06:00 am to 03:00 pm and Sunday from 09:00 am to 04:00 pm.
Old Melbourne Gaol
Russell Street between Victoria Street and La Trobe Street, Melbourne. Phone: 03 9663 7228. Built in 1841, now a penal museum run by the Victorian branch of the National Trust. The building has three tiers of cells with catwalks around the upper levels. Its most famous inmate was the notorious bushranger Ned Kelly, who was hanged here in 1880. His scaffold, death mask and one of the four suits of armour used by his gang are displayed in a ground-floor cell. Evening candlelight tours are a popular with both locals and visitors who truly enjoy this touch of macabre Melbourne nightlife. Allow up to an hour for your visit. Opens every day from 09:30 am to 04:30 pm except Good Friday and Christmas Day. Night tour performances Wednesday and Sunday evenings when the suggested age minimum is 12 years. Self guided day tours admission price $AU12.50 adult and $AU7.50 child; candlelight night performances $AU18.70 adult and $AU11 for chidren under 16 years. Reservations are essential.
National Postmaster Gallery
321 Exhibition Street, enter from La Trobe Street, Melbourne. The collection includes Australia’s National Philatelic Collection. Opens Tuesdays to Fridays from 10:00 am to 05:00 pm, Saturday to Monday from noon to 05:00 pm. Admission is free.
Little Bourke Street between Swanston Street and Spring Street, Melbourne. Phone 03 9658 9658. Situated on Little Bourke Street and the neighbouring lanes between Spring and Swanston Streets, restaurants, cafes and Asian grocery stores dominate the precinct. Chinatown is a bustling thoroughfare with people sounds and smells to invite and entice. Chinese medicine, music, restaurants, gold and jewellery, unique and exotic gifts, cinema, events and festivals, the museum and karaoke are all major features of Chinatown.
Museum of Chinese History
Aka the Chinese Museum: 22 Cohen Place, Melbourne. The museum runs 2-hour walking tours of Chinatown by appointment, costing $AU15 adult, $AU10 child. Opens Sunday to Friday from 10:00 am to 04:30 pm, Saturday from noon to 04:30 pm. Admission for self guided tours $AU5 adult and $AU3 child.
Lonsdale Street adjacent to Chinatown, Melbourne. Greek cafes and shops.
Parliament House of Victoria
Spring Street opposite Bourke Street, Melbourne. Free half-hour tours Monday to Friday when parliament is not sitting. Built between 1856 and 1879. Australia’s Federal Parliament sat here between 1901 & 1927. Tours commence at 10:00 am, 11:00 am, noon, 02:00 pm, 03:00 pm and 03:45 pm.
163 Spring Street, Melbourne. Phone: 03 9299 9800. Designed by one of Australia’s most creative architects, William Pitt. An elaborate ornate building, circa 1886, a wedding cake style edifice with a trumpeting angel atop the entrance. Refurbished in the late 1980s for the long running production of “Phantom of the Opera” which was a runaway blockbuster success. Said to be haunted by the ghost of the actor Frederici. Home of the Marriner Theatre Group. The theatre located directly across the road from Parliament Gardens, is one of Melbourne's Broadway-style venues, along with the Regent Theatre on Collins Street.
103 Spring Street between Bourke Street and Little Collins Street, Melbourne. Phone 03 9633 6000. Opened in 1883 as The Grand Hotel. Whilst the Windsor has undergone a name change it remains the city’s grandest historic hotel. Not just a grand hotel, the Windsor is home to one of Melbourne's proudest institutions, the ritual of afternoon tea served daily between 03:30 pm & 05:30pm. Ask about themed buffet teas served on weekends, such as the Chocolate Indulgence with a vast selection of chocolates, chocolate cakes and chocolate desserts. Although the Grand Dining Room, a belle-époque extravaganza with a gilded ceiling and seven glass cupolas is open only to private functions, try to steal a look; it is well worth the effort and subterfuge.
25 Collins Street the eastern, “Parisian” end of Collins Street, Melbourne. The floor-to-ceiling windows in the men’s toilets of Le Restaurant on the 35th floor offer “busy’ men, panoramic views of the city.
Old Treasury Building and Gold Treasury Museum
Corner Spring Street and Macarthur Street, Melbourne. Phone 03 9651 2233. Built in 1858, the city’s first Italian Renaissance building with the majority of Melburnians considering that its elegance has not been surpassed by anything built in Melbourne since. The neoclassical bluestone and sandstone building was built to hold the gold that was pouring into Melbourne from the Ballarat and Bendigo mines. Architect J. J. Clark designed the building when he was only 19 years of age, incorporating subterranean vaults protected by iron bars and foot-thick walls. The Melbourne Exhibition occupies the entire ground floor, taking you from Melbourne’s Aboriginal times to the present with relics from Melbourne past, borrowed from public and private collections. Not to be missed is the “Built on Gold” show staged in the vaults themselves. Opens Monday to Friday from 09:00 am to 05:00 pm, Saturday & Sunday from 10:00 am to 04:00 pm. Admission $AU8.50 adult and $AU5 child.
Parliament, Spring, and Nicholson Streets, Melbourne. Stop here for a breath of cool green air in the center of the city. The gardens have a modern fountain and an excellent view of the handsome yellow Princess Theatre across Spring Street. The gardens are also home to the lovely St. Peter's Church. Opens daily from dawn to dusk.
St Peter's Church
Corner Albert and Nicholson Streets, Melbourne. Two years after St. Peter's was built in 1846, Melbourne was proclaimed a city from its steps. The church, one of Melbourne's oldest buildings, is at the top end of Parliament Gardens.
Behind the Treasury Building. Features a memorial to John F Kennedy.
Fitzroy Gardens and Captain Cook's Cottage
Lansdowne Street and Wellington Parade, Melbourne. Located on the other side of Lansdowne Street from the Treasury Gardens. Features the Pacific navigator Captain James Cook’s Cottage, the modest home was transported stone by stone from Great Ayton in Yorkshire and re-erected in the lush Fitzroy Gardens in 1934. It's believed that Cook lived in the cottage between voyages. The interior is simple and sparsely furnished, a suitable domestic realm for a man who spent much of his life in cramped quarters aboard small ships. This 65-acre expanse of tree-lined paths, artificial lakes, manicured lawns and flowerbeds is Melbourne's most popular central park. Among its highlights is the Avenue of Elms, a majestic stand of 130-year-old trees that remain one of the few stands left in the world that have not been devastated by Dutch elm disease. This English-style 19th-century park forms an exquisite backdrop for the Exhibition Buildings that were erected in 1880 and are still used for trade shows. The gardens are on the northeast edge of the city center, bounded by Victoria Parade and Nicholson, Carlton, and Rathdowne Streets. The outstanding Museum of Victoria was relocated here from its former home next to the State Library. Opens daily from 09:00 am to 05:00 pm. Admission is free.
Shrine of Remembrance
St. Kilda Road, Melbourne. Phone 03 9654 8415. Melbourne's War Memorial located within the King's Domain Gardens. Dedicated in 1934 to commemorate the fallen in World War I and has since grown to recognize service in World War II, Korea, Malaya, Borneo, Vietnam, and the Gulf War. The temple-style structure is designed so that at 11:00 am on Remembrance Day, the 11th day of the 11th month, when in 1918 armistice was declared terminating World War, a beam of sunlight passes over the Stone of Remembrance in the Inner Shrine. In the forecourt is an eternal flame. Opens daily from 10:00 am. Admission is free however donations are gratefully accepted.
St Patrick's Cathedral
Corner Gisborne Street and Cathedral Place, between Macarthur Street and the north end of Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne. Phone: 03 9662 2233. Ireland supplied Australia with many of its early immigrants, more than ever during the Irish potato famine during the middle of the 19th century. Melbourne's Roman Catholic cathedral is closely associated with Irish Catholicism in Australia. A statue of the Irish patriot Daniel O'Connell stands proudly in the courtyard. Construction of the Gothic Revival building began in 1858 and took 82 years to complete. Opens weekdays from 6:30 am to 05:00 pm and on weekends from 07:15 am to 07:00 pm.
Fire Services Museum Victoria
39 Gisborne Street, corner of Victoria Parade, Melbourne. Opens Fridays from 09:00 am to 03:00 pm and Sunday 10:00 am to 04:00 pm. Admission is free.
Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
Jolimont Terrace, Melbourne. Phone 03 9657 8867. A visit to the M.C.G is an absolute must for those with a desire to understand Melbourne’s sporting obsession. The M.C.G. is home to the Australian Gallery of Sport and Olympic Museum. The famous Long Room, usually accessible only through membership to the Melbourne Cricket Club, for which there is a 20-year waiting list, the M.C.C. Cricket Museum and Library and a birds-eye view of the Great Southern Grandstand and pictorial walkways. The cricket related memorabilia, is some of the best in the world. The ground is a pleasant 10-minute walk from the city center or a short tram ride to Jolimont Station. Daily tours commence on the hour, opens from 10:00 am to 03:oo pm, except on event days. Admission $AU16.
Telstra Dome. Docklands, Melbourne. Phone 03 8625 7700. Sport matches and events. Take a behind the scenes tour of Telstra Dome. Visit the change rooms, coach’s box, and corporate suites.
Along the Yarra River
Melbounre Ricver Cruises
Leave from Princess Walk, just east of Princess Bridge on Swanston Street and from the Southbank Lower Promenade, Melbourne. The timetable is subject to tidal conditions and river closures. Fare $AU16.50 adult and $AU8.80 child.
A popular walk is from the corner of Batman Avenue and St Kilda Road, near the Princess Bridge and Federation Square eastward along the riverbank then crossing the Morell Bridge and returning to Princess Bridge either along the riverbank or through the Botanic Gardens and Alexandra Gardens.
Southbank & South Melbourne
Southgate Leisure Project
Maffra Street and City Road, Melbourne. Phone: 03 9699 4311. On the river's edge next to the Victorian Arts Center, the development of Southgate successfully refocused Melbourne's attention on the scenic Yarra River and revitalized a sadly neglected part of the city. Opened in 1992, stylish, cosmopolitan Southgate is a reflection of Australia's cultural diversity, with a distinct Melbourne flavour. Southgate has so much to offer overseas visitors, city workers and day-trippers alike. Restaurants, bars and cafés, 39 unique stores, a riverside Food Court, exciting entertainment programs, secure undercover parking. It's a prime spot for scenic walking being especially vibrant with throngs of people including many street theatre performers.
Attractions listed from west to east
Polly Woodside Maritime Museum
Lorimer Street East near the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. The museum features the restored 1885 sailing ship "Polly Woodside". Opens every day from 10:00 am to 04:00 pm. Admission $AU10 adult and $AU7 child.
May be reached from the CBD by an arched footbridge located behind the Flinders Street Station. Three levels of restaurants, cafes and bars all overlooking the river.
Melbourne Exhibition Centre
2 Clarendon Street, Melbourne.
Crown Casino & Entertainment Complex
8 Whiteham Street, Melbourne. Phone 03 9292 8888. One of the largest gaming facilities in Southern Hemisphere, featuring 350 gaming tables and 2,500 slot machines. A genuine Las Vegas-style gambling palace, encompassing restaurants, upmarket boutiques, nightclubs, two hotel towers, a cinema complex, and floorshows. Open 24 hours except Christmas Day, Good Friday and Anzac Day when it is closed from 04:00 am to noon.
Scienceworks & Planetarium
2 Booker Street, Spotswood. Phone 03 9392 4800. Push it, pull it, spin it, and bang it. Through hands-on exhibits, live demonstrations, tours, activities and shows, you will find science has never been quite this much fun. Revel exploring the mysteries of science and technology. It's a great value day out for curious minds and active bodies. The Planetarium uses the latest in digital technology to recreate the night sky upon a 15m-domed ceiling.
St Kilda Road immediately south of Princess Bridge and adjoining Southgate, Melbourne.
Between the east side of St Kilda Road and the Yarra River is a series of gardens and parks
Queen Victoria Gardens
Features memorials to Queen Victoria and King Edward VII, sculptures and a floral clock built from over 7,000 plants.
Between St. Kilda and Domain Roads, Anderson Street and the Yarra River, Melbourne. This expansive stretch of parkland includes Queen Victoria Gardens, Alexandra Gardens, the Shrine of Remembrance, Pioneer Women's Garden, the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, and the Royal Botanic Gardens. The floral clock in Queen Victoria Gardens talks tells time and provides a brief recorded history of the gardens in and around Melbourne. It is opposite the Victorian Arts Centre on St. Kilda Road within one of the Domain's many informal gardens.
Governor La Trobe's Cottage
Victoria’s first govenor Charles La Trobe brought this prefabricated house with him when he came to Australia in 1839. Opens Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundaysfrom 11:00 am to 04:00 pm.
Sidney Myer Music Bowl
Built in 1959, in summer it is used for concerts and in winter as an ice-skating rink.
A landmark, rarely open to the public. Botanic features include the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden and a fern grotto.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Birdwood Avenue, Melbourne. Phone 03 9252 2429. A 15 minute walk from CBD. The present design and layout were the brainchild of W. R. Guilfoyle, curator and director of the gardens from 1873 to 1910. Within its 100 acres are 12,000 species of native and imported plants and trees, sweeping lawns, and ornamental lakes populated with ducks and swan that love to be fed. You can discover the park on your own or by joining guided walks that leave from the visitor center. A highlight is the Aboriginal Heritage Walk, led by an Aboriginal cultural interpreter, which explores the culture of the indigenous people of Melbourne. The main entrance to the gardens is on Birdwood Avenue, opposite the Shrine of Remembrance. During summer there are alfresco performances of classic plays, usually Shakespeare, along with children's classics such as “Wind in the Willows” and the highly popular Moonlight Cinema series. Opens every day November to March from 07:30 am to 08:30 pm, April to October from 07:30 am to 05:30 pm. Admission is free.
Carlton and Fitzroy
Just north of Victoria Street & Victoria Parade and between Rathdowne Street and Nicholson Street, on the fringe of the CBD, Melbourne. Within its grounds are forty acres of tree-lined paths, artificial lakes and flower beds in this English-style 19th-century park forming a picturesque backdrop for the Exhibition Buildings that were erected here in 1880 and are still used for trade shows. The outstanding Museum of Victoria was also relocated here from its former home next to the State Library.
Royal Exhibition Building
Built for the Great Exhibition of 1880.
11 Nicholson Street, Melbourne. Phone 131 102 or 03 8341 7777. An innovative museum which opened in its new building in the year 2000.
Hands on multi media, performances, activities, interactive displays, living forest gallery, Imax theatre, Aboriginal performances and so much more. Guided tours available in Italian, Greek, Vietnamese, Chinese, Arabic, Croatian, Japanese, Spanish and English. See website for details of special exhibitions and additional information. Opens every day from 10:00 am to 05:00 pm. Admission $AU6 adult, children are free.
Rathdowne Street, Melbourne. Films screen every day on the hour, every hour. Opens from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.
Parklands and sporting facilities
Royal Melbourne Zoo
Elliott Avenue, Parkville. Phone 03 9285 9300. Zoo souvenir shop, licensed bistro, take away food outlets, lockers, umbrella, wheelchair and pusher hire, conference and function facilities, picnic pavilions, special animal feeding times, keeper presentations, multi lingual information. Free guided tours available, and guide mobile tours (for elderly and disabled people). Bookings essential. A very popular Melbourne attraction maintaining a large collection of native Australian and exotic animals, birds and butterflies. Average visit takes approximately 4 hours to complete. Opens every day from 9:00 am to 05:00 pm. Opens till 09:30 pm on selected summer evenings. Admission $AU18 adult and $AU9 child.
Australian Native Plants Garden
Part of the Royal Park complex.
Following World War II Carlton became an Italian neighborhood, then being known locally as “Little Italy”. In the 60s and 70s it transformed into an intellectual and bohemian area. In the 80s renovations and reformations again took place, today Lygon Street is a perfect example of Melbourne's successful multiculturalism. Where once you would have seen only Italian restaurants, there are now Thai, Afghan, Malay, Caribbean and Greek coffee shops, cafes and restaurants. Toto's Pizza House at No.101 claims to be Australia's first pizzeria. Whether or not the boast is true, Toto's has served Melburnians with delicious inexpensive pizza for almost half a century. Jamaica House at No.106 is a popular local haunt. At Casa del Gelato No.161, you can enjoy some of the city's best ice cream. For Southeast Asian fare, Lemongrass Restaurant at No.189, serves a more sophisticated and understated strain of Thai food than the boisterous curries of other Thai restaurants. Nyonya Malaysian Restaurant at No.191 is good for reasonably priced, well-prepared dishes from the Malaysian peninsula. Near Grattan Street is a local institution, the University Café at No.257. Tiamo No.303 has been a trysting place for generations of Melbourne lovers, who come for the cosiness, wholesome food, and good coffee. The legendary Jimmy Watson's Wine Bar at No.333 is the spot for a convivial glass or two downstairs, or a more formal meal upstairs. The area has great colour, particularly at night when the sidewalks are thronged with diners, sightseers and a procession of high-revving muscle cars rumbling along the strip.
When the bohemian lifestyles left Carlton, they moved to Fitzroy. Brunswick Street has a mixture of weird and interesting shops, clothes and food.
St Kilda & Elsternwick
Lower Esplanade, St Kilda. Historic amusement park built in 1912. Opening Friday from 07:00 am to 11:00 pm, Saturday from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am to 06:00 pm. Open more days and hours during school holidays.Admission is free; single rides $AU7.00 13+ years, $US5.50 4-12 years, $AU3 3 years and under; unlimited rides $AU33.95 13+ years, $AU23.95 4-12 years, $AU12.95 3 years and under.
St Kila Pier
Popular spot for fishing and strolling.
St Kilda Foreshore
Fine place for walking, skating, sunbathing and on Sundays shopping at the Esplanade’s Sunday markets.
St Kilda Botanic Gardens
Blessington Street, St Kilda. First planted in 1859.
Jewish Museum of Australia
26 Alma Road, St Kilda. Opens Tuesday to Thursdays from 10:00 am to 04:00 pm, Sundays from 11:00 am to 05:00 pm. Admission $AU7 adult, $AU4 student or concession and $AU16 family.
JJewish Holocaust Museum
13 Selwyn Street, Elsternwick. Melbourne. Opens Monday & Wednesdays from 10:00 am to 04:00 pm, Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays from 10:00 am to 02:00 pm, Sundays from 11:00 am to 03:00 pm, closed on Jewish religious holidays.
Woodlands Historic Park
Located immediately north of Melbourne Airport. Entrances are off Somerton Road, Oaklands Road and Providence Road. Contains an 1840s homestead, a walk up Gellibrand Hill and a nature reserve.
Organ Pipes National Park
A small national park located just to the northwest of Melbourne on the way to Bendigo. Contains walking trails and rock formations including the “organ pipes”, hexagonal columns of basalt, the Rosette Rock, a radial array of basalt columns like the spokes of a wheel and the Tessellated Pavement, the tops of basalt columns.
Amphibian Research Centre
Merlynston. Phone 03 9354 4718. Collects lost and stray frogs from almost anywhere in Victoria. Research is undertaken to both cure and to prevent diseases from spreading. Lobbyist for the welfare of the frog and toad.
37 O'Connell Street, North Melbourne. Phone 03 9329 6333. Deals with most animal welfare and animal rights issues. Animals Australia is the Australian arm of the Australian and New Zealand Federation of Animal Societies Inc.
Australian Platypus Conservancy
Whittlesea. Phone 03 9716 1626. An independent organization dedicated to conserving the platypus and its freshwater habitats. Platypus Insight Tours are offered at Toorourrong Reservoir Park, near Whittlesea.
Blackburn Lake Sanctuary
Central Road, Blackburn. Phone 131 638. Indigenous bushland, lake, extensive walking tracks and visitor's centre. Blackburn Lake Sanctuary is one of the few remaining areas of natural bushland in Melbourne.
Pearcedale Conservation Park. 550 Tyabb-Tooradin Road, Pearcedale. Phone 03 5978 7935. See Australia's wildlife at night. Endangered native nocturnal animals, wetlands, animals that have become extinct from the wild, native animals such as kangaroos and emus, souvenirs, art and crafts, café, educational programs. Guided tours available from dusk. Tour Bookings essential.
Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens
Elliott Avenue, Parkville. Phone 03 9285 9300. Zoo souvenir shop, licensed bistro, take away food outlets, lockers, umbrella, wheelchair and pusher hire, conference and function facilities, picnic pavilions, special animal feeding times, keeper presentations, multi lingual information. Free guided tours available, and guided mobile tours (for elderly and disabled people). Bookings essential. A very popular Melbourne attraction maintaining a large collection of native Australian and exotic animals, birds and butterflies. Average visit takes approximately 4 hours to complete. Opens every day from 9:00 am to 05:00 pm. Opens till 09:30 pm on selected summer evenings. Admission $AU18 adult and $AU9 child.
Little River Earth Sanctuary
Little River-Ripley Road, Little River. Phone 03 5283 1602. Discover rare native Australian animals on a Wildlife Adventure Walk at dusk. Explore the lavish lives of pastoral families from a bygone era on a tour of the heritage listed Mt Rothwell Homestead. The film set used in the 2003 production of Ned Kelly can be toured with the township of Greta still onsite. Bookings essential for all tours.
Koala Conservation Centre
Off Phillip Island Tourist Road, Cowes. Phone 03 5952 1307. Part of the Phillip Island Nature Park. Natural woodlands park, featuring 30 koalas, raised boardwalk for treetop viewings, visitor information centre, souvenirs and interpretation centre.
Badger Creek Road, Healesville. Phone 03 5957 2800. Opened in 1934, Healesville Sanctuary features Australian wildlife with more than 200 species of native birds, mammals and reptiles, displayed in a beautiful bushland setting. A visit to Healesville Sanctuary is a truly Australian experience and a great way to immerse yourself in the sights, scents and sounds of the Australian bush.
Bimbimbie Wildlife & Picnic Park
523 Paternoster Road, Mount Burnett. Phone 03 5942 7238. Meet our friendly farmyard animals, reptiles, snakes, kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, dingoes, native birds and a cast of thousands. 7 acres of picnic and barbeque grounds with shelters, tearooms, souvenirs and craftwork.
Victoria's Open Range Zoo
K Road, Werribee. Phone 03 9731 1311. Special guided tours available including raising rhino, canoe safari, behind the scenes and photographic safari. See website for special events, including the ever popular twilight evenings and Rhythm of Africa tours. Bookings advisable for groups more than 20 and those with special needs. (Melbourne Travel Guide)
History of Melbourne
Before the arrival of European settlers, the area was occupied for an estimated 31,000 to 40,000 years by under 20,000 hunter-gatherers from three indigenous regional tribes: the Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung and Wathaurong. The area was an important meeting place for clans and territories of the Kulin nation alliance as well as a vital source of food and water. The first European settlement in Victoria was established in 1803 on Sullivan Bay, near present-day Sorrento, but this settlement was abandoned due to a perceived lack of resources. It would be 30 years before another settlement was attempted.
In May and June 1835, the area that is now central and northern Melbourne was explored by John Batman, a leading member of the Port Phillip Association, who negotiated a transaction for 600,000 acres (2,400 km2; 940 sq ha) of land from eight Wurundjeri elders. Batman selected a site on the northern bank of the Yarra River, declaring that "this will be the place for a village", and returned to Launceston in Tasmania (then known as Van Diemen's Land). However, by the time a settlement party from the Association arrived to establish the new village, a separate group led by John Pascoe Fawkner had already arrived aboard the Enterprize and established a settlement at the same location, on 30 August 1835. The two groups ultimately agreed to share the settlement. It is not known what Melbourne was called before the arrival of Europeans. Early European settlers mistranslated the words "Doutta-galla" which are believed to have been the name of a prominent tribal member, but said by some to also translate as "treeless plain". This was nevertheless used as one of the early names for the colony.
Batman's Treaty with the Aborigines was annulled by the New South Wales government (then governing all of eastern mainland Australia), which compensated the Association. Although this meant the settlers were now trespassing on Crown land, the government reluctantly accepted the settlers' fait accompli and allowed the town (known at first by various names, including 'Bearbrass' to remain.
In 1836, Governor Bourke declared the city the administrative capital of the Port Phillip District of New South Wales, and commissioned the first plan for the Hoddle Grid in 1837. Later that year, the settlement was named Melbourne after the British prime minister William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, who resided in the village of Melbourne in Derbyshire, and the General Post Office opened under that name on 13 April 1837. Melbourne was declared a city by letters patent of Queen Victoria, issued on 25 June 1847.
Melbourne was declared a city by Queen Victoria in 1847, and became the capital of Victoria when the district was declared a separate colony from New South Wales in 1851.
When gold was discovered in the district during the 1850s (which sparked the Victorian gold rush) Melbourne was transformed into a wealthy metropolis.
Migration to Melbourne, particularly from overseas including Ireland and China, caused a massive population increase. Slums developed including a temporary "tent city" established on the southern banks of the Yarra, the Little Lonsdale district and at Chinatown.
The population growth and flow of gold into the city helped stimulate a program of grand civic building beginning with the design and construction of many of Melbourne's surviving institutional buildings including Parliament House, the Treasury Building and Treasury Reserve, the Old Melbourne Gaol, Victoria Barracks, the State Library, Supreme Court, University, General Post Office, and Government House, the Melbourne Town Hall, St Paul's, St Patrick's cathedrals and several major markets including the surviving Queen Victoria Market. The city's inner suburbs were planned, to be linked by boulevards and gardens. Melbourne had become a major finance centre, home to several banks, the Royal Mint to Australia's first stock exchange in 1861.
Before the arrival of white settlers, the indigenous population in the district was estimated at 15,000, but following settlement the number had fallen to less than 800, and continued to decline with an estimated 80% decrease by 1863, due primarily to introduced diseases, particularly smallpox.
By the 1880s, Melbourne's boom was peaking. The city had become the second largest in the British Empire (after London), and the richest in the world. Melbourne hosted five international exhibitions at the large purpose-built Exhibition Building in the decade of prosperity.
During an 1885 visit, English journalist George Augustus Henry Sala coined the phrase "Marvellous Melbourne", which stuck long into the twentieth century. Growing building activity culminated in the "Land Boom" which in 1888 reached a peak of speculative development fuelled by consumer confidence and escalating land value. As a result of the boom, large commercial buildings, coffee palaces, terrace housing and palatial mansions proliferated in the city, and the establishment of a hydraulic facility in 1887 paved the way for elevators and high-rise buildings to dramatically change the city's skyline. This period also saw the expansion of a major radial rail-based transport network.
The brash boosterism which typified Melbourne during this time came to a halt in 1891 when the start of a severe depression hit the city's economy, sending the local finance and property industries into chaos during which 16 small banks and building societies collapsed and 133 limited companies went into liquidation. The Melbourne financial crisis helped trigger the Australian economic depression of the 1890s and the Australian banking crisis of 1893. The effects of the depression on the city were profound, although it did continue to grow slowly during the early twentieth century
At the time of Australia's federation on 1st January 1901, Melbourne became the temporary seat of government of the federation. The first federal parliament was convened on 9 May 1901 in the Royal Exhibition Building, where it was located until 1927, when it was moved to Canberra. The governor-general remained at Government House until 1930 and many major national institutions remained in Melbourne well into the twentieth century. While Sydney had overtaken Melbourne in size, Melbourne's transport networks were more extensive. Flinders Street Station was the world's busiest passenger station in 1927 and Melbourne's tram network overtook Sydney's to become the worlds largest in the 1940s. During World War II, Melbourne industries thrived on wartime production and the city became Australia's leading manufacturing centre.
After the war, Melbourne expanded rapidly, its growth boosted by an influx of immigrants and the prestige of hosting the Olympic Games in 1956. The post-war period saw a major urban renewal of the CBD and St Kilda Road which significantly modernised the city. New Melbourne City Council fire regulations and redevelopment saw most of the taller pre-war CBD buildings demolished, despite the efforts of the National Trust of Victoria and the Save Collins Street movement. Many of the larger suburban mansions from the boom era were either demolished or subdivided. The signs of Whelan the Wrecker became a symbol of Melbourne's progressive spirit during this era. To counter the trend towards low-density suburban residential growth, the government began a series of controversial "slum reclamation" public housing projects in the inner city by the Housing Commission of Victoria which resulted in demolition of many neighbourhoods and a proliferation of high-rise towers. In later years, increasing motor traffic led to major freeway development, causing the city to sprawl outwards. The Henry Bolte Victorian government sought to rapidly modernise Melbourne. Major road projects including the remodelling of St Kilda Junction, the widening of Hoddle Street and then the extensive 1969 Melbourne Transportation Plan changed the face of the city into an automobile dominated environment.
Australia's financial and mining booms between 1969 and 1970 resulted in establishment of the headquarters of many major companies (BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, among others) in the city. Nauru's then booming economy fuelled several ambitious investments in Melbourne, such as Nauru House. Melbourne remained Australia's business and financial capital until the late 1970s, when it began to lose this primacy to Sydney.
As the centre of Australia's "rust belt", Melbourne experienced the worst of Victoria's economic slump between 1989 to 1992, following the collapse of several of its financial institutions. In 1992 the newly elected Kennett Coalition government began a campaign to revive the economy with an aggressive development campaign of public works centred on Melbourne and the promotion of the city as a tourist destination with a focus on major events and sports tourism, attracting the Australian Grand Prix to the city. Major projects included the Melbourne Museum, Federation Square, the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre, Crown Casino and CityLink tollway. Other strategies included the privatisation of some of Melbourne's services, including power and public transport, but also a reduction in funding to public services such as health and education.
Melbourne is a centre for arts, commerce, education, industry, sports and tourism. Since 2002, it has been consistently ranked in the top three 'World's Most Livable Cities' by The Economist. In 2008, it was also recognised as a beta world city+ in the World Cities Study Group’s inventory by Loughborough University.
The city is notable for its distinct blend of Victorian and contemporary architecture, expansive parks and gardens and multicultural society. It is also home to the World’s largest tram network. It is recognised as Australia's 'cultural and sporting capital' and is home to some of the nation’s most significant cultural and sporting institutions. In 2007, it was also ranked in the top five university cities in the Global University Cities Index by RMIT, and was classified as a City of Literature by UNESCO in 2008.
Melbourne has also played host to a number of significant international and national events, including: the Parliament of Australia's first sitting in 1901, 1956 Summer Olympics, Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 1981, World Economic Forum in 2000, 2006 Commonwealth Games and G20 Summit in the same year (Wikipedia).
Melbourne Weather & Climate (Year-round)
Melbourne enjoys a temperate climate with warm-hot summers; spring and autumn are balmy and mild, the winters cool. Melbourne is seldom unbearably cold or unbearably hot, temperature extremes when they do occur see the hotter realms of the thermometer causing more problems than the colder.
There is a reputation for rain in the city, which is statistically unfounded as Melbourne receives only 50 percent of the average rainfall of either Brisbane or Sydney. Perhaps it can sometimes be a little unpredictable, however, it is a comfortable environment to be in whatever the season. In fact it is a great place to watch the seasons change, they are so clearly defined and so highly visual within the many parks and gardens of autumn and spring, giving rise to all of natures spectacular beauty and charms within the confines of a great city.
Melbourne lays within the southern hemisphere where the seasons are reversed to those in Europe, North America and most of Asia. Melbourne’s changes of seasons are renown for starting late, the “official” first day of summer is 21st December, but it rarely feels like summer until mid January or even later. During the summer months outdoor activities in particular the fabulous Melbourne beaches are popular with both locals and visitors.
Melbourne's weather by the month:
JANUARY & FEBRUARY
It is high summer in Melbourne during January and February, a typical day is warm and sunny with a freshening sea breeze arriving from the south in the afternoon. A few days are cool and cloudy, a maximum temperature below 20ºC being recorded about once a week. There are always hot days and the year's highest temperature of about 40ºC is usually recorded during these two months. Some of the hot days are accompanied by an unpleasant north wind, which can be quite strong. Mostly there are only one or two hot days in a row. Occasionally hot weather may continue for three or more days, when the daily appearance of that cool refreshing, north bound sea breeze in the afternoon, becomes that day’s most welcome visitor. The year's warmest night, with a minimum temperature of about 24ºC, is also recorded during these two months. Hot weather normally ends with an abrupt cool change when the mercury may fall by 10ºC in only twenty minutes. Some of these changes are dry and arid; showers and thunderstorms accompany others. High levels of humidity create discomfort on very few days, mostly towards the end of a hot spell. It is not uncommon for a fortnight to pass without rain. On occasions prolonged heavy rain can fall.
March is a transitional month between summer and autumn. Hot weather can be experienced in the first fortnight, when the month's highest temperature of about 35ºC is usually recorded; it may well be accompanied by a strong northerly wind during the day. The hot weather usually comes to an end with a sharp wind change to the southwest and a rapid fall in temperature. Humidity is uncomfortable on about one day only. Many days are mild and sunny although some days are cool and cloudy. A maximum temperature below 20ºC is recorded about twice a week. The afternoon sea breeze is not near as strong as in mid-summer. Nights are noticeably cooler than in the preceding month. Towards the end of March, it is quite common for the overnight temperature to fall below 10ºC on one or two occasions. The month is fairly dry however prolonged heavy rain, falls occasionally.
April is a pleasant month, often with spells of fine sunny weather lasting several days during which the temperature occasionally exceeds 25ºC. Every second year 30ºC is exceeded. The nights are quite cool with temperatures falling below 10ºC several times a week. Once in every five years an overnight minimum temperature below 5ºC is recorded. Fog occurs during the early morning on a few occasions but clears to a sunny day. There are usually several days of strong wind; mostly from the north but the average wind speed of 9 kilometres per hour is the lowest of any month. Prolonged heavy rain falls occasionally. In April 1960, 172 mm fell within three days. On the other hand, April 1923 is the only rainless calendar month on record.
May is an appreciably cooler month. The last instance until spring of temperatures in the low 20s usually occurs in the first fortnight. In May 1904 the temperature exceeded 20ºC on all but two of the first fifteen days. The first frosts of the year occur in the outer suburbs late in the month. In the city itself, the coldest night of the month usually has a minimum temperature of 4ºC, a little too high for frost. Fog occurs on several mornings but both frost and fog are usually followed by a fine and sunny day. This late autumn, early winter period is notable for extended periods of very light winds in Melbourne, although there are a few days of strong wind, mostly from the north. Cloudy and showery weather may persist for some days at a time, but prolonged heavy rain is rare.
The weather in June is cold, often with spells of fine and calm weather. There are more days with very light winds in June than in any other month. It is also the foggiest month. Fog usually forms in the late evening and clears by mid-morning, occasionally it may persist for most of the day. Many days are cloudy, June being the cloudiest month of the year. Nights are cold with occasional frosts, mostly in the outer suburbs, the lowest temperature for the month in the city usually being about 2ºC. Rain falls on one day in two and sometimes it is in the form of drizzle in the morning which clears to a fine day. Heavy rain is rare.
JULY & AUGUST
The windiest time of the year in Melbourne begins in July. There may be several days in succession of strong, cold north to northwest winds, often with cloud and some light rain. The weather is frequently cold and cloudy. The few days of calm sunny weather are accompanied by cold nights with frost or fog. Fog usually forms late in the evening and clears by mid-morning, but occasionally persists for the whole day during July. There are usually a few very cold days with strong southerly winds and showers, light snow may fall on the hills within 35 km of the city centre. On rare occasions, snow even falls in the city. The year's coldest day, with a maximum temperature of about 9ºC, usually occurs during July. Some rain falls on an average of one day in two; on some of these days there may be only a little drizzle or a light shower. The highest number of wet days in any one-month in the city is twenty-seven, in August 1939. However, heavy rain is rare at this time of the year. In late August there are some warmer days, when the temperature usually reaches 20ºC for the first time since May.
September is the first month of spring, which is the most changeable season of the year. A full range of weather may be experienced within a few days, from warm, calm and sunny to cold, windy and showery. There are several cloudy to overcast days. September is another windy month. Most strong winds are from the north, these often occur on the warmer days. There also are occasionally strong cold southwest winds with showery weather. The temperature usually reaches the mid-20s for the first time since April. Nights are cool, frost is fairly rare, and the lowest temperature for the month in the city being about 4ºC. Fog is uncommon. Rainfall is higher in spring than in winter, falling on one day in two. There are days with only a little drizzle or a light shower but heavy rain falls occasionally.
The changeable weather of spring continues in October, there is greater contrast between the warmer and colder days than in the preceding month. The maximum temperature exceeds 25ºC once a week. However, it also fails to reach 15ºC once a week. There are several cloudy to overcast days and many days are windy. Most strong winds are northerly and warm, but there are occasionally strong cold southwest winds bringing showery conditions. Warm windy weather may be followed by a sudden change to colder conditions with showers. Rain falls on almost one day in two, some of it heavy.
Changeable and windy weather continues in November. There is often great contrast in the temperature from day to day. Warm to hot and sunny days and cold and showery days may follow each other in rapid succession. There are also some cloudy to overcast days. Nights are usually mild. Many days are windy. Most strong winds are northerly and warm, however cold showery weather with strong southerly winds can occur. The month's warmest day registers a maximum temperature of about 34ºC while the month's coldest day experiences a maximum temperature of only 16ºC. Some of the most severe storms with gales and rain have occurred at this time of the year.
The weather is less changeable in December than it is in November, although it still can be quite varied. Cool and cloudy conditions can prevail for some days at a time during which the temperature remains below 20ºC. There are also some hot days, temperatures exceeding 30ºC on about six occasions, but hot weather does not often last for more than two days at a time. There have, however, been occasions when it persisted for much longer. Hot days are sometimes accompanied by an unpleasant north wind, which can be quite strong. On about two days high temperatures are associated with high humidity and there may be thunderstorms in the late afternoon on these occasions. Hot weather often comes to an end with an abrupt cool change when the temperature may fall by about 10ºC in twenty minutes. Some of these changes are accompanied by showers and thunderstorms then followed by strong and cold southwesterly winds. Nights are usually mild yet during hot weather the temperature overnight may not fall below 20ºC. Heavy rain falls on occasions. (Melbourne Travel Guide)