If you ask someone to name cities in Australia, there is a high chance that people will say Melbourne or Sydney before they say the name of the capital city, Canberra. But while Canberra may be the political capital of Australia, Melbourne is often seen as the sports, culinary, art, and coffee capital of Australia. Here are some interesting facts about Melbourne that will help you learn more about this extraordinary city.
Historical Facts About Melbourne
Melbourne became a city back in 1847, which makes it one of the oldest cities in Australia. Here are some historical facts about Melbourne.
Melbourne Was Once The Capital Of Australia
If you think that Melbourne is the capital of Australia, then you are not alone. One of the reasons that people mistake Melbourne to be country’s capital is because it actually was the capital of Australia for 26 years, from 1901 to 1927. In reality, the capital city of Australia is Canberra.
Melbourne Was Once The Richest Cities In The World
In 1851, gold was discovered in Melbourne, which started the Australian Gold Rush. The economy of Melbourne flourished so much after the discovery of gold that Melbourne became the world’s richest city in 1880.
The Traffic Signals In Melbourne Could Have Looked Really Different
The first traffic signals in Australia were installed in Melbourne in 1928. However, an engineer by the name of Charles Marshall wasn’t happy with the old traffic signals in Melbourne, and he invented his own design of a traffic signal called the Marshalite.
The design didn’t work that well, which is why you won’t find it in many places. However, there are still some traffic signals in the world that are based on the design of the Marshalite. If you want to see the Marshalite, then you can make your way to the Melbourne Museum to learn more about it and discover other information on Melbourne.
It Was Originally Called Batmania
If you are looking for a fun fact about Australia to make your friends chuckle, tell them Melbourne was originally called Batmania — it’s true!
In 1835, the Australian explorer John Batman named the settlement after himself. However, the name was changed to Melbourne in 1837 based on the name of the former British Prime Minister William Lamb, who was also known as Lord Melbourne.
Cultural Facts About Melbourne
Melbournians Love Coffee
Melbourne has a very strong coffee culture that goes back to the 19th century. In the 1880s, there was a social change when people started preferring coffee over alcohol. Some also believe that the coffee culture got even stronger after World War II when a large population of Italians started migrating to Melbourne.
Regardless of how it happened, there are now over 2000 coffee cafes and roasteries in the city. This is certainly one of the exciting facts about Melbourne for cafe lovers. If you’re looking for a good cup of coffee and more information about Melbourne from the locals, make sure to put some amazing cafes on your itinerary!
Street Painting In Melbourne
Street painting culture is very big in Melbourne thanks to American artist Keith Haring, who painted several murals there in 1984. You will find murals all over Melbourne that have been painted by artists from all over the world. After you check out Haring’s murals, swing over to Hosier Lane or Caledonian Lane to see street art from both emerging and experienced street artists.
Sporting Capital Of Australia
Whether you are a serious fan looking to brush up on your facts about Melbourne sporting events or a casual sports enthusiast, the city offers a diverse range of sports and events that cater to all fans. Melbourne’s iconic sporting venues, such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Rod Laver Arena, have witnessed countless memorable moments and hosted major international tournaments.
Melbourne is also the city that hosts the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournaments. The Melbourne Cup horse race and the Australian Football League are some of the other popular sporting events that happen in the city.
The National Gallery Of Victoria Is Located In Melbourne
One of the most beautiful Australian landmarks is the National Gallery of Victoria. The gallery is located in Melbourne, and it is known to have the largest stained glass ceiling in the world. Over 40 exhibitions related to art and fashion take place at the gallery every year.
Melbourne Is The Culinary Capital Of Australia
If you want to visit some of the most exquisite restaurants in Australia, don’t miss out on Melbourne. The city has over 3500 restaurants where you can find great Australian food as well as international cuisine. The Food and Wine Festival in Melbourne hosts over 300,000 people annually.
Simple Facts About Melbourne For Kids
There Are A Lot Of Foxes In Melbourne
Australia is known for having some of the weirdest spiders and other creatures. However, one animal that can be found in large numbers in Melbourne is foxes. According to an estimate, there are around a whopping 1.7 million foxes in Australia, most of which are found in Melbourne.
The Oldest Theme Park In Australia
The Luna Park was opened in 1912 in St. Kilda, making it the oldest theme park in Australia. The park also has one of the oldest roller coasters in the world. Interestingly, it is said that the roller coaster stayed operational even during the First World War when the rest of the park was closed.
The Largest Tram System In The World
At around 245 kilometers, Melbourne holds the record for having the largest tram system in the world. This tram system has over 1800 stops and 28 lines.
Previously, St. Petersburg held the same title at around 340 kilometers. However, due to some line closures, the total length was reduced to 205.5 kilometers, leaving Melbourne to be the largest.
Useful Melbourne Facts For Travelers
Millions of people travel to Melbourne every year. Some of them are local travelers, while many come from other parts of the world. Here are some fun facts about Melbourne that are helpful for travelers visiting the city.
World Heritage Sites In Melbourne
The Royal Exhibition Building and the surrounding Carlton Gardens are Melbourne’s World Heritage Sites. The Royal Exhibition Building was constructed in 1879, and its beautiful architecture is a testament to Melbourne’s rich heritage. Many international exhibitions have happened at the Royal Exhibition Building, but the first political event to happen at the venue was the opening of the first Parliament of Australia.
The adjacent Carlton Gardens, with its beautiful landscaping and lush greenery, provides a tranquil escape in the heart of the city and serves as a popular gathering spot for locals and visitors alike. It is a great place for barbeque and family picnics.
There Are Many Hidden Bars In Melbourne
One of the exciting facts about Melbourne for night owls is that the city is home to over 20 hidden bars and clubs that add an element of intrigue to its nightlife. Jungle Boy, for example, is hidden behind a fake fridge in the back of a sandwich shop. Loch and Key, perhaps the oldest pub in Melbourne, is hidden up a set of creaky old stairs.
Melbourne Has A Great Quality Of Life
Melbourne was ranked number one in the Global Liveability Index for eight years, from 2010 to 2017. The Global Liveability Index started publishing rankings in 2002, and since then, Melbourne has always been one of the top 10 cities, so it is safe to say that Melbournians enjoy a great quality of life. This is also why many people move to Melbourne from other parts of Australia and from other countries as well.
Common Facts About Melbourne
Foster’s Beer Was Founded In Melbourne
One of the most popular products to come out of Melbourne is Foster’s Beer. The founders of the company were actually American brothers who moved to Melbourne and started their own brewery. They founded the company together in 1888, and it’s grown to be a beloved beer all over the world.
‘Under The Clock’ Expression In Melbourne
The “Under the Clock” expression in Melbourne refers to a popular meeting spot located in the central business district. This spot is situated beneath the historic Flinders Street Station clock, which has become an iconic symbol of the city. The expression “meet me under the clock” has been used by generations of Melbournians as a convenient and easily recognizable meeting point.
Melbourne Has Very Unpredictable Weather
It is said that you can experience four different types of weather in a single day in Melbourne. This is because it is situated right between warm land to the north and cold ocean in the south. Due to this, freak storms and temperature drops are quite common.
Other Interesting Facts About Melbourne
The Black Box Was Invented By A Melbournian
If you have ever heard the news of a plane crash, then you might have heard people talk about recovering the black box. The black box is a sort of instrument or a program that records all the flight data. Not only does it keep a record of all necessary flight data, but it also records the conversation between the pilots. In case of an unfortunate event, people can recover the black box and see what actually went wrong with the plane.
David Warren was an Australian inventor whose father died in an airplane disaster when he was a little boy. When he grew up, he joined Melbourne Aeronautical Research Laboratory and invented the black box. These essential inventions are some of the proud facts of Australia.
The First Feature Film Was Made In Melbourne
This interesting Melbourne fact is for the movie lovers out there. The first-ever feature film in this world was made in Melbourne. It was an hour-long film called The Story of Kelly Gang, and it was released in 1906. The venue for the first screening was Athenaeum Theatre, which is also located in Melbourne.
Discovering More Fun Facts About Melbourne
Melbourne is one of the few cities in the world that can be labeled as a complete package. The people are friendly, the quality of life is excellent and the food is as delicious as it can get. There is plenty to explore and discover in the beautiful city of Melbourne.
Whether you are just a traveler or you are looking to move to another place to restart your life, Melbourne can be a great choice. You are sure to uncover more fascinating facts about Melbourne when you visit.