Melbourne, Australia

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Though Sydney gets much credit for being the most lucrative and financially important city in Australia, Melbourne is a metropolitan masterpiece all its own. As the second most populous city in the mostly barren Australia, Melbourne has always stood in the shadow of Sydney and its immaculate Opera House but this treasure trove in the state of Victoria is far from Sydney on the southern tip of Australia near Tasmania. This distance makes all the difference for the more than four million people who call Melbourne home and the vast variety of exciting sights the city has to offer will quickly make you forget about the rest of Australia.

A visit to the Melbourne of today will show you the technological prowess that has helped the city become a tour de
force in the twenty-first century but few people know that the same land where Southbank and the Hoddle Grid sit was once the home of tribal hunter-gatherers over forty thousand years ago! It wasn’t until many, many millennia later, in the 1800s, that Melbourne became a semblance of the city it is today. Since that time, Melbourne has grown into a metropolis in much the same way that some of the biggest cities in America have. Melbourne didn’t skyrocket in growth until a gold rush came along in the 1850s, not unlike what happened in California. During that time, an unprecedented amount of white settlers came in and started claiming land for themselves in spite of the indigenous
population that called the area home. In much the same way that English settlers wiped out the Native American population, English people destroyed the tribes around Melbourne in record time to make room for businesses.

The similarities between Melbourne and many American cities don’t end with the Gold Rush, though. In the twentieth century the notion of a quarter acre of land for every family became “the Australian dream”. This is not a far cry from the American dream and during the same time Melbourne began its urban sprawl to include suburbs and outer suburbs. For this reason, many Americans find comfort and familiarity when visiting Melbourne. It isn’t only Americans that love Melbourne, though. Each year millions of people flock to the city because of the one thing that it does have over Sydney: Melbourne is considered the number one city in Australia for culture and sports. The city is the capital of music in the country as well as the premier city for movie making. Melbourne in fact is the site of the first motion picture ever made. The largest sports arena in Australia, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, is in Melbourne as is the
country’s first and biggest art gallery, the National Gallery of Victoria. Melbourne is more than just a cultural epicenter, though. The city has also won the top honors three times in the competition for the world’s most livable cities. Not bad for a city that was originally founded by British expatriates! If you have been considering a trip to Sydney but can’t afford it, consider Melbourne. The vast amount of excitement contained within Melbourne easily rivals any city in the world, much less Australia!

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