Melbourne City Guide

by Bob Sheth on August 12, 2007

in Australia Travel

melbourne200The capital of the state of Victoria is Melbourne. The city is a city of seconds, as it is the second largest and second most populous city in the country. Melbourne sits in the southeast region of the Port Philip Bay thus making the city filled with both natural and man-made attractions. The city is also loaded with cultural and industrial treasures and these exhibit themselves in the architecture, cuisine, business and art.

Melbourne is also acclaimed as the garden city of Australia. The city’s Central Business District is flanked on all sides with many parks and gardens, making for a relaxed and tranquil backdrop to the rich commerce that the city engages each day. The main problem though in the city is the water supply, as it is currently undergoing the longest drought in its history.

Residential Places in Melbourne

The city has many attractions and most notable among them are Block Place and the Royal Arcade. These are home to many shops and cafes in the middle of the Central Business District. One facet of the city is the absence of any height limits for construction. This was fully utilized as six of the tallest buildings in the country is located in Melbourne, with the tallest being Eureka Tower in Southbank. The second tallest is the Rialto Tower and stands the tallest in the old central district of Melbourne.

One of the features of Melbourne residential areas is the concept of “quarter acre home and garden”. There is so much available land area in Melbourne mainly due to the low density sprawl. There is also an abundance of parks, landscaped vistas, tree-lined avenues and pedestrian pathways in the city and the surrounding areas of Melbourne. The most picturesque of these areas can be found in Stonnington, Borroondara and Port Philip.

The most important tourist destinations in the country are Dandenong Ranges, Port Phillip Bay and the central Victoria plains. The price is determined by the location and the city locations are more expensive compared to the suburban area residences.

There are many suburbs surrounding the city of Melbourne. If you wish to be right in the middle of the hubbub of the city, then Melbourne’s Central Business District is the place to be.   You can choose from areas such as Prahran, South Yarra and Albert Park. If you want a place that is much simpler, then you can find a home in the suburbs of Collingwood, Tullamarine, Epping and Yarraville. If you are in the market for art pieces, the St. Kilda would provide you all your needs.

Hospitals and Universities in Melbourne

There are two major educational institutions in the city of Melbourne are the University of Melbourne and Monash University. The latter one is the largest university in the country. Both are well-renowned with the University of Melbourne ranking second among the universities in Australia in the 2006 THES rankings. It is also the oldest University in Victoria and second oldest in the country. The campus is located in Parkville just off the Central Business District.

Monash University ranks 38th while the University of Melbourne ranks 22nd best in the world. Overall, Melbourne was hailed as the fourth best university city in the world after London, Boston and Tokyo. Other notable universities in the city are the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and the La Trobe University, Swinburne University of Technology, Deakin University, Victoria University, Australian Catholic University and University of Ballarat.

As for the health of the residents of Melbourne, the Victoria State Government’s Department of Human Services manages the thirty public hospitals in the Melbourne city area and the thirteen health service organizations operating in the metropolitan area.

The Royal Melbourne Hospital is one of the best health facilities in the city providing tertiary health care and clinical research. Attached to the Hospital are the North West Dialysis Service and the North Western Mental Health. A similar institution is Austin Hospital located in Heidelberg. Established in 1892 as a mental facility, it was refocused to handle hospital care in the 1960s. Their expertise has branched into research and teaching service, with extension services in the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital and the Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Center. Other hospitals in the city include the Alfred Hospital, St. Vincent’s Hospital and Epworth Hospital.  The St. Vincent’s Hospital is located in Fitzroy and was called the Sisters of Charity Health Service specializing in surgical and mental health.

Commercial Places in Melbourne

There are many commercial areas dotting the city. Fashionistas would want to gallivant about the many shops and retail stores can be found. Myer Melbourne is one of the largest stores in the city and is also at part with the Galleria Shopping Plaza. There are many other shops found on Collins Street namely Collins, Sportsgirl Center and Block Arcade. Other options include Bourke Street Mall and the Walk Arcade. Queen Victoria Market offers many novelty goods, indigenous crafts and local artwork. The flea markets can be located at the Camberwell suburb. On the Upper St. Kilda Esplanade you can find bargain and antique stores. Other shopping stores include Centrepoint Shopping Center, Southgate Complex and Melbourne Central.

Great Cuisine

Melbourne is also home to world-class cuisine and fine wine and this area is centered around the Hofbrauhaus Melbourne. As for delicious pizza and pastries, these can be found at the Automatic Café in Southbank. Stathi’s Athenian Tavern is also a great place to have dinner with the band playing at the backdrop. Do remember, you also need to unwind if you are on business or pleasure.

Service Establishments of Melbourne

Melbourne Water manages the water source and supply for all the city’s residents. The company also manages the sewer systems and water catchments for the city. The largest reservoir in the area is the Thomson River Dam holding 60% of all Melbourne city’s water needs. The supply is backed up with the Upper Yarra Dam and the Cardinia Reservoir.  As for gas supplies, the distribution is overseen by the Melbourne Metropolitan Gas Company and the supply is provided by the Gas and Fuel Corporation of Victoria. There are many companies that provide electricity to Melbourne with many small power stations located on Spencer Street and Richmond in 1951 and was incorporated into the State Electricity Commission of Victoria or SECV located at Yallourn and La Trobe Valley. As for telecommunications companies, there are many terrestrial and mobile service providers. These are being improved with the government focus on the development of broadband connection within the country.

Embassies in Melbourne

The British Embassy is located on the 17th floor of 90 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000. Mr. Peter West is currently the Consul-General handling all UK trade, investment, transfer and migration and visitation activities. Consular reception is available from Monday to Friday from 10 am up to 4 pm. The switchboard is also open during weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm.  Here are the contact numbers: Trade enquiries 03 9652 1670Consular enquiries 039652 1600Fax 03 9650 2990

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