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Melbourne: A City of Character
Melbourne is the capital city of the state of Victoria and while the confines of Melbourne are home to only 65,000 people, the surrounding metropolis is home to over 1 million people. Situated at the head of Port Philip in the South East of Australia, Melbourne is a buzzing city with more than a little flavour of the multicultural.

The centre of the city itself was laid out by John Batman who is the only Australian born explorer to found a state Capital. Batman was so far ahead of his time that he even wanted to compensate the aboriginals for the use of their land. Among one of the prospective name for Melbourne was Batville or Batmania... Luckily they stuck with Melbourne. One thing that will stick with visitors to Melbourne is the trees as most streets are tree lined. It is a tribute to the design of Melbourne that today the streets are so rich with trees.

The centre of Melbourne is laid out in a grid formation, ten grids across by ten grids tall. It is a bustling city centre with pedestrian shopping streets and trams running ever two blocks. If you are driving through Melbourne City Centre, be forewarned about turning right when there are tram lines present. You cannot make a standard right turn as the nose of the car will be on the tram tracks. Rather you indicate right, but park in front of the traffic to your left which is queuing to go straight on. When your lights go red you complete your turn. My advise would be to watch this carefully from the footpath before trying it with a car.

The Queen Victoria Market is as much a market as a tourist attraction as a market. It is a vast complex offering everything from fruit and vegetables to clothes, fine coffees and local produce. The market is open every week from Tuesday to Sunday and is within easy reach by foot from the centre of Melbourne.

From this central area of Melbourne, the other sections of Melbourne radiate at angles. Among them is the fashionable area of Carlton. This is a fashionable area that is famous for its restaurant lined streets of typically Greek or Italian nature. This is a great place to walk in the evening as the restaurants vie for every piece of prospective business the passes by.

Among the other fashionable districts of Melbourne is St Kilda. It is easily reached by tram and offers not just scenic views over the bay, but also a mish mash of cafes, restaurants and luxury home made items. While St Kilda is now a fashionable area, it wasn't always that way as it was associated with drug addicts and prostitutes. While this reputation it not justified, there are still prostitutes working in St Kilda today.

No visit to Melbourne should be undertaken without renting a car and heading out the great ocean road to see the 12 Apostles. The 12 Apostles is a rock formation which consists of 12 rock stacks which stand independently. The views are spectacular as the mist from the South Sea rises as it hits land. While making this trip there are a number of fashionable holiday towns that are worth stopping in for a night or simply for dinner.
About the Author
Ronan Menton is the webmaster for a number of travel related websites and has been for some time in Ireland, associated with search engine optimisation in the Irish travel industry. He spends two months a year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and now sees it as his second home. For further information check: hotels in Melbourne.
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