Early history and foundationhave lived in the Melbourne area for at least 40,000 years. When European settlers arrived in the 19th century, at least 20,000 from three distinct language groups — the , Bunurong and — resided in the area. It was an important meeting place for the clans of the alliance and a vital source of food and water.Isabel Ellender and Peter Christiansen, ''People of the Merri Merri. The Wurundjeri in Colonial Days'', Merri Creek Management Committee, 2001 In June 2021, the boundaries between the land of two of the groups, the Wurundjeri and Bunurong, were agreed after being drawn up by the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council. The borderline runs across the city from west to east, with the , and Hawthorn included in Wurundjeri land, and Albert Park, St Kilda and on Bunurong land. The first British settlement in Victoria, then part of the of , was established by Colonel in October 1803, at Sullivan Bay, near present-day . The following year, due to a perceived lack of resources, these settlers relocated to (present-day ) and founded the city of . It would be 30 years before another settlement was attempted. In May and June 1835, , a leading member of the in Van Diemen's Land, explored the Melbourne area, and later claimed to have negotiated a purchase of with eight Wurundjeri elders. Batman selected a site on the northern bank of the , declaring that "this will be the place for a village" before returning to Van Diemen's Land. In August 1835, another group of Vandemonian settlers arrived in the area and established a settlement at the site of the current . Batman and his group arrived the following month and the two groups ultimately agreed to share the settlement, initially known by the native name of Dootigala. Batman's Treaty with the Aborigines was annulled by , the (who at the time governed all of eastern mainland Australia), with compensation paid to members of the association. In 1836, Bourke declared the city the administrative capital of the of New South Wales, and commissioned the first plan for its urban layout, the , in 1837. Known briefly as Batmania, the settlement was named Melbourne on 10 April 1837 by Governor after the , , whose was in the of , . That year, the settlement's officially opened with that name. Between 1836 and 1842, Victorian Aboriginal groups were largely dispossessed of their land by European settlers. By January 1844, there were said to be 675 Aborigines resident in squalid camps in Melbourne. The British Colonial Office appointed five Aboriginal Protectors for the Aborigines of Victoria, in 1839, however, their work was nullified by a land policy that favoured who took possession of Aboriginal lands. By 1845, fewer than 240 wealthy Europeans held all the pastoral licences then issued in Victoria and became a powerful political and economic force in Victoria for generations to come. of , issued on 25 June 1847, declared Melbourne a city. On 1 July 1851, the Port Phillip District separated from to become the Colony of Victoria, with Melbourne as its capital.
Victorian gold rushThe discovery of gold in Victoria in mid-1851 sparked a gold rush, and Melbourne, the colony's major port, experienced rapid growth. Within months, the city's population had nearly doubled from 25,000 to 40,000 inhabitants. Exponential growth ensued, and by 1865 Melbourne had overtaken as Australia's most populous city. An influx of intercolonial and international migrants, particularly from Europe and China, saw the establishment of slums, including and a temporary "tent city" on the southern banks of the Yarra. In the aftermath of the 1854 , mass public support for the plight of the miners resulted in major political changes to the colony, including improvements in working conditions across mining, agriculture, manufacturing and other local industries. At least twenty nationalities took part in the rebellion, giving some indication of immigration flows at the time. With the wealth brought in from the gold rush and the subsequent need for public buildings, a program of grand civic construction soon began. The 1850s and 1860s saw the commencement of Parliament House, the Treasury Building, the Old Melbourne Gaol, Victoria Barracks, Melbourne, Victoria Barracks, the State Library of Victoria, State Library, University of Melbourne, Melbourne GPO, General Post Office, Immigration Museum, Melbourne, Customs House, the Melbourne Town Hall, St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne, St Patrick's cathedral, though many remained uncompleted for decades, with some still not finished . The layout of the inner suburbs on a largely one-mile grid pattern, cut through by wide radial boulevards and parklands surrounding the central city, was largely established in the 1850s and 1860s. These areas rapidly filled with the ubiquitous terrace houses, as well as with detached houses and grand mansions, while some of the major roads developed as shopping streets. Melbourne quickly became a major finance centre, home to several banks, the Melbourne Mint, Royal Mint, and (in 1861) Australia's first Australian Securities Exchange, stock exchange. In 1855, the Melbourne Cricket Club secured possession of its now famous ground, the MCG. Members of the Melbourne Football Club codified Australian football in 1859, and in 1861, the first Melbourne Cup race was held. Melbourne acquired its first public monument, the Burke and Wills expedition, Burke and Wills statue, in 1864. With the gold rush largely over by 1860, Melbourne continued to grow on the back of continuing gold-mining, as the major port for exporting the agricultural products of Victoria (especially wool) and with a developing manufacturing sector protected by high tariffs. An extensive radial railway network spread into the countryside from the late 1850s. Construction started on further major public buildings in the 1860s and 1870s, such as the Supreme Court of Victoria, Supreme Court, Government House, Melbourne, Government House, and the Queen Victoria Market. The central city filled up with shops and offices, workshops, and warehouses. Large banks and hotels faced the main streets, with fine townhouses in the east end of Collins Street, contrasting with tiny cottages down laneways within the blocks. The Aboriginal population continued to decline, with an estimated 80% total decrease by 1863, due primarily to introduced diseases (particularly smallpox), frontier violence and dispossession of their lands.
Land boom and bustThe 1880s saw extraordinary growth: consumer confidence, easy access to credit, and steep increases in land prices led to an enormous amount of construction. During this "land boom", Melbourne reputedly became the richest city in the world, and the second-largest (after London) in the British Empire. The decade began with the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880, held in the large purpose-built Royal Exhibition Building, Exhibition Building. A telephone exchange was established that year, and the foundations of St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne, St Paul's were laid. In 1881, electric light was installed in the Eastern Market, Melbourne, Eastern Market, and a generating station capable of supplying 2,000 incandescent lamps was in operation by 1882. The Melbourne cable tramway system opened in 1885 and became one of the world's most extensive systems by 1890. In 1885, visiting English journalist George Augustus Henry Sala coined the phrase "Marvellous Melbourne", which stuck long into the twentieth century and has come to refer to the opulence and energy of the 1880s, during which time large commercial buildings, grand hotels, banks, coffee palaces, terrace house, terrace housing and palatial mansions proliferated in the city. The establishment of a hydraulic facility in 1887 allowed for the local manufacture of elevators, resulting in the first construction of high-rise buildings. This period also saw the expansion of a major radial rail-based transport network. Melbourne's land-boom peaked in 1888, the year it hosted the Centennial Exhibition. A brash boosterism that had typified Melbourne during this time ended in the early 1890s with a severe economic depression, sending the local finance- and property-industries into a period of chaos. Sixteen small "land banks" and building societies collapsed, and 133 limited companies went into liquidation. The Melbourne financial crisis was a contributing factor in the Economic history of Australia, Australian economic depression of the 1890s and in the Australian banking crisis of 1893. The effects of the depression on the city were profound, with virtually no new construction until the late 1890s.
''De facto'' capital of AustraliaAt the time of Australia's Federation of Australia, federation on 1 January 1901 Melbourne became the seat of government of the federated Commonwealth of Australia. The first federal parliament convened on 9 May 1901 in the , subsequently moving to the Victorian Parliament House, where it sat until it moved to in 1927. The Governor-General of Australia resided at Government House, Melbourne, Government House in Melbourne until 1930, and many major national institutions remained in Melbourne well into the twentieth century.
Post-war periodIn the immediate years after World War II, Melbourne expanded rapidly, its growth boosted by post-war immigration to Australia, primarily from Southern Europe and the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean. While the "Paris End" of Collins Street began Melbourne's boutique shopping and open air Coffeehouse, cafe cultures, the city centre was seen by many as stale—the dreary domain of office workers—something expressed by John Brack in his famous painting ''Collins St., 5 pm'' (1955). Up until the 21st century, Melbourne was considered Australia's "industrial heartland". Height limits in the CBD were lifted in 1958, after the construction of ICI House, transforming the city's skyline with the introduction of skyscrapers. Suburban expansion then intensified, served by new indoor malls beginning with Chadstone Shopping Centre. The post-war period also saw a major renewal of the CBD and St Kilda Road which significantly modernised the city. New fire regulations and redevelopment saw most of the taller pre-war CBD buildings either demolished or partially retained through a policy of Facadism#Melbourne, facadism. Many of the larger suburban mansions from the boom era were also either demolished or subdivided. To counter the trend towards low-density suburban residential growth, the government began a series of controversial public housing projects in the inner city by the Housing Commission of Victoria, which resulted in the demolition of many neighbourhoods and a proliferation of high-rise towers. In later years, with the rapid rise of motor vehicle ownership, the investment in freeway and highway developments greatly accelerated the outward suburban sprawl and declining inner-city population. The Henry Bolte, Bolte government sought to rapidly accelerate the modernisation of Melbourne. Major road projects including the remodelling of St Kilda Junction, the widening of Hoddle Highway, Hoddle Street and then the extensive 1969 Melbourne Transportation Plan changed the face of the city into a car-dominated environment. Australia's financial and mining booms during 1969 and 1970 resulted in establishment of the headquarters of many major companies (BHP and Rio Tinto (corporation), Rio Tinto, among others) in the city. Nauru's then booming economy resulted in several ambitious investments in Melbourne, such as Nauru House. Melbourne remained Australia's main business and financial centre until the late 1970s, when it began to lose this primacy to Sydney. Melbourne experienced an economic downturn between 1989 and 1992, following the collapse of several local financial institutions. In 1992, the newly elected Jeff Kennett, Kennett government began a campaign to revive the economy with an aggressive development campaign of public works coupled with the promotion of the city as a tourist destination with a focus on major events and sports tourism. During this period the moved to Melbourne from Adelaide Street Circuit, Adelaide. Major projects included the construction of a new facility for the Melbourne Museum, Federation Square, the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, Crown Melbourne, Crown Casino and the CityLink Toll road, tollway. Other strategies included the privatisation of some of Melbourne's services, including power and public transport, and a reduction in funding to public services such as health, education and public transport infrastructure.
Contemporary MelbourneSince the mid-1990s, Melbourne has maintained significant population and employment growth. There has been substantial international investment in the city's industries and property market. Major inner-city urban renewal has occurred in areas such as Southbank, Victoria, Southbank, Port Melbourne, Melbourne Docklands and more recently, South Wharf, Victoria, South Wharf. Melbourne sustained the highest population increase and economic growth rate of any Australian capital city from 2001 to 2004. From 2006, the growth of the city extended into "green wedges" and beyond the city's urban growth boundary. Predictions of the city's population reaching 5 million people pushed the state government to review the growth boundary in 2008 as part of its Melbourne @ Five Million strategy. In 2009, Melbourne was less affected by the late-2000s financial crisis in comparison to other Australian cities. At this time, more new jobs were created in Melbourne than any other Australian city—almost as many as the next two fastest growing cities, Brisbane and Perth, combined, and Melbourne's property market remained highly priced, resulting in historically high property prices and widespread rent increases. In 2020, Melbourne was classified as an Alpha city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Out of all major Australian cities, Melbourne has been worst affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and has endured the most days of lockdown restrictions out of any city in the world.
GeographyMelbourne is in the southeastern part of mainland Australia, within the state of . Geologically, it is built on the confluence of Quaternary lava flows to the west, Silurian mudstones to the east, and Holocene sand accumulation to the southeast along Port Phillip. The southeastern suburbs are situated on the Selwyn fault which transects Mount Martha, Victoria, Mount Martha and Cranbourne, Victoria, Cranbourne. Melbourne extends along the towards the and the Dandenong Ranges to the east. It extends northward through the undulating bushland valleys of the Yarra's tributaries—Moonee Ponds Creek (toward Tullamarine Airport), Merri Creek, Darebin Creek and Plenty River—to the outer suburban growth corridors of Craigieburn, Victoria, Craigieburn and Whittlesea, Victoria, Whittlesea. The city reaches southeast through Dandenong, Victoria, Dandenong to the growth corridor of Pakenham, Victoria, Pakenham towards West Gippsland, and southward through the Dandenong Creek valley and the city of Frankston, Victoria, Frankston. In the west, it extends along the Maribyrnong River and its tributaries north towards Sunbury, Victoria, Sunbury and the foothills of the Shire of Macedon Ranges, Macedon Ranges, and along the flat volcanic plain country towards Melton, Victoria, Melton in the west, Werribee at the foothills of the You Yangs granite ridge south west of the CBD. The Little River, Victoria, Little River, and the township of the same name, marks the border between Melbourne and neighbouring Geelong city. Melbourne's major bayside beaches are in the various suburbs along the shores of Port Phillip Bay, in areas like Port Melbourne, Albert Park, St Kilda, Elwood, Victoria, Elwood, Brighton, Victoria, Brighton, Sandringham, Victoria, Sandringham, Mentone, Victoria, Mentone, Frankston, Victoria, Frankston, Altona, Victoria, Altona, Williamstown, Victoria, Williamstown and Werribee South. The nearest ocean surface wave, surf beaches are south of the Melbourne CBD in the back-beaches of Rye, Victoria, Rye, and Portsea, Victoria, Portsea.
ClimateMelbourne has a temperate oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification ''Cfb''), bordering on a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification ''Cfa''), with warm to hot summers and mild winters. Melbourne is well known for its southerly buster, changeable weather conditions, mainly due to it being located on the boundary of hot inland areas and the cool southern ocean. This temperature differential is most pronounced in the spring and summer months and can cause strong cold fronts to form. These cold fronts can be responsible for varied forms of severe weather from gales to thunderstorms and hail, large temperature drops and heavy rain. Winters, however, are usually very stable, but rather damp and often cloudy. Port Phillip is often warmer than the surrounding oceans and/or the land mass, particularly in spring and autumn; this can set up a "bay effect", similar to the "lake-effect snow, lake effect" seen in colder climates, where showers are intensified leeward of the bay. Relatively narrow streams of heavy showers can often affect the same places (usually the eastern suburbs) for an extended period, while the rest of Melbourne and surrounds stays dry. Overall, Melbourne is, owing to the rain shadow of the Otway Ranges, nonetheless drier than average for southern Victoria. Within the city and surrounds, rainfall varies widely, from around at Little River, Victoria, Little River to on the eastern fringe at Gembrook, Victoria, Gembrook. Melbourne receives 48.6 clear days annually. Dewpoint temperatures in the summer range from . Melbourne is also prone to isolated convective showers forming when a cold pool crosses the state, especially if there is considerable daytime heating. These showers are often heavy and can include hail, squalls, and significant drops in temperature, but they often pass through very quickly with a rapid clearing trend to sunny and relatively calm weather and the temperature rising back to what it was before the shower. This can occur in the space of minutes and can be repeated many times a day, giving Melbourne a reputation for having "four seasons in one day", a phrase that is part of local popular culture. The lowest temperature on record is , on 21 July 1869. The highest temperature recorded in Melbourne city was , on Black Saturday bushfires, 7 February 2009. While snow is occasionally seen at higher elevations in the outskirts of the city, it has not been recorded in the Central Business District since 1986. The average temperature of the sea ranges from in September to in February; at Port Melbourne, the average sea temperature range is the same.
Urban structureMelbourne's urban area is approximately 2,453 km2, slightly larger than that of London and Mexico City, while its is 9,993 km2 (3,858 sq mi)–larger than Jakarta (at 7,063 km2), but smaller than New York City (at 11,875 km2). The , a grid of streets measuring approximately , forms the nucleus of Melbourne's central business district (CBD). The grid's southern edge fronts onto the Yarra River. More recent office, commercial and public developments in the adjoining districts of Southbank, Victoria, Southbank and Melbourne Docklands, Docklands have made these areas into extensions of the CBD in all but name. A byproduct of the CBD's layout is its network of lanes and Arcade (architecture), arcades, such as Block Arcade, Melbourne, Block Arcade and Royal Arcade, Melbourne, Royal Arcade. Melbourne has become Australia's most densely populated area, with approximately 19,500 residents per square kilometre, and is home to List of tallest buildings in Australia#Cities with the most skyscrapers, more skyscrapers than any other Australian city, the tallest being Australia 108, situated in Southbank. Melbourne's newest planned skyscraper, Southbank by Beulah, Southbank By Beulah (also known as "Green Spine"), has recently been approved for construction and will be the tallest structure in Australia by 2025. The CBD and surrounds also contain many significant historic buildings such as the , the Melbourne Town Hall and Parliament House. Although the area is described as the ''centre'', it is not actually the demographic centre of Melbourne at all, due to an urban sprawl to the south east, the demographic centre being located at Glen Iris, Victoria, Glen Iris. Melbourne is typical of Australian capital cities in that after the turn of the 20th century, it expanded with the underlying notion of a 'quarter acre home and garden' for every family, often referred to locally as the Australian Dream. This, coupled with the popularity of the private automobile after 1945, led to the auto-centric urban structure now present today in the middle and outer suburbs. Much of Metropolitan area, metropolitan Melbourne is accordingly characterised by low-density sprawl, whilst its inner-city areas feature predominantly medium-density, transit-oriented urban forms. The city centre, Docklands, St. Kilda Road and Southbank areas feature high-density forms. Melbourne is often referred to as Australia's garden city, and the state of Victoria was once known as ''the garden state''. There is an abundance of Melbourne parks and gardens, parks and gardens in Melbourne, many close to the Melbourne Central Business District, CBD with a variety of common and rare plant species amid landscaped vistas, pedestrian pathways and tree-lined avenues. Melbourne's parks are often considered the best public parks in all of Australia's major cities. There are also many parks in the surrounding suburbs of Melbourne, such as in the municipalities of City of Stonnington, Stonnington, City of Boroondara, Boroondara and City of Port Phillip, Port Phillip, south east of the central business district. Several national parks have been designated around the urban area of Melbourne, including the Mornington Peninsula National Park, Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park and Point Nepean, Victoria, Point Nepean National Park in the southeast, Organ Pipes National Park to the north and Dandenong Ranges National Park to the east. There are also a number of significant state parks just outside Melbourne. The extensive area covered by urban Melbourne is formally divided into hundreds of suburbs (for addressing and postal purposes), and administered as local government areas 31 of which are located within the metropolitan area.
HousingMelbourne has minimal public housing and high demand for rental housing, which is becoming unaffordable for some. Public housing is managed and provided by the Victorian Government's Department of Families, Fairness and Housing, and operates within the framework of the Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement, by which both federal and state governments provide funding for housing. Melbourne is experiencing high population growth, generating high demand for housing. This housing boom has increased house prices and rents, as well as the availability of all types of housing. Subdivision (land), Subdivision regularly occurs in the outer areas of Melbourne, with numerous developers offering house and land packages. However, since the release of Melbourne 2030 in 2002, planning policies have encouraged Medium-density housing, medium-density and High density housing, high-density development in existing areas with good access to public transport and other services. As a result of this, Melbourne's middle and outer-ring suburbs have seen significant Brownfield land, brownfields redevelopment.
ArchitectureOn the back of the 1850s gold rush and 1880s land boom, Melbourne became renowned as one of the world's great Victorian-era cities, a reputation that persists due to its diverse range of Victorian architecture. High concentrations of well-preserved Victorian-era buildings can be found in the inner suburbs, such as Carlton, Victoria, Carlton, East Melbourne, Victoria, East Melbourne and South Melbourne, Victoria, South Melbourne. Outstanding examples of Melbourne's built Victorian heritage include the World Heritage Site, World Heritage-listed (1880), the General Post Office, Melbourne, General Post Office (1867), Hotel Windsor (Melbourne), Hotel Windsor (1884) and the Block Arcade, Melbourne, Block Arcade (1891). Comparatively little remains of Melbourne's pre-gold rush architecture; St James Old Cathedral (1839) and St Francis' Church, Melbourne, St Francis' Church (1845) are among the few examples left in the CBD. Many of the CBD's Victorian boom-time landmarks were also demolished in the decades after World War II, including the Federal Coffee Palace (1888) and the APA Building, Melbourne, APA Building (1889), one of the tallest early skyscrapers upon completion. List of heritage-listed buildings in Melbourne, Heritage listings and Heritage Overlay, heritage overlays have since been introduced in an effort to prevent further losses of the city's historic fabric. In line with the city's expansion during the early 20th century, suburbs such as Hawthorn and Camberwell, Victoria, Camberwell are defined largely by Federation architecture, Federation and Edwardian architecture, Edwardian architectural styles. The City Baths, Melbourne, City Baths, built in 1903, are a prominent example of the latter style in the CBD. The 1926 Nicholas Building is the city's grandest example of the Chicago school (architecture), Chicago School style, while the influence of Art Deco is apparent in the Manchester Unity Building, completed in 1932. The city also features the Shrine of Remembrance, which was built as a memorial to the men and women of Victoria who served in World War I and is now a memorial to all Australians who have served in war. Residential architecture is not defined by a single architectural style, but rather an eclectic mix of large McMansion-style houses (particularly in areas of urban sprawl), apartment buildings, condominiums, and townhouses which generally characterise the medium-density inner-city neighbourhoods. Freestanding dwellings with relatively large gardens are perhaps the most common type of housing outside inner city Melbourne. Victorian terrace housing, townhouses and historic Italianate, Tudor revival and Georgian architecture, Neo-Georgian mansions are all common in inner-city neighbourhoods such as Carlton, Fitzroy and further into suburban enclaves like Toorak, Victoria, Toorak.
CultureOften referred to as Australia's cultural capital, Melbourne is recognised globally as a centre of sport, music, theatre, comedy, art, literature, film and television. For much of the 2010s, it held the top position in ''The Economist Intelligence Units list of the World's most liveable cities#World's Most Liveable Cities, world's most liveable cities, partly due to its cultural attributes. The city celebrates a wide variety of annual cultural events and festivals of all types, including the Melbourne International Arts Festival, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Melbourne Fringe Festival and Moomba, Australia's largest free community festival. The State Library of Victoria, founded in 1854, is one of the world's oldest free public library, public libraries and, as of 2018, the fourth most-visited library globally. Between the gold rush and the crash of 1890, Melbourne was Australia's literary capital, famously referred to by Henry Kendall (poet), Henry Kendall as "that wild bleak Bohemia south of the Murray River, Murray". At this time, Melbourne-based writers and poets Marcus Clarke, Adam Lindsay Gordon and Rolf Boldrewood produced classic visions of colonial life. Fergus Hume's ''The Mystery of a Hansom Cab'' (1886), the fastest-selling crime novel of the era, is set in Melbourne, as is Australia's best-selling book of poetry, C. J. Dennis' ''The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke'' (1915). Contemporary Melbourne authors who have written award-winning books set in the city include Peter Carey (novelist), Peter Carey, Helen Garner and Christos Tsiolkas. Melbourne has Australia's widest range of bookstores, as well as the nation's largest publishing sector. The city is also home to the Melbourne Writers Festival and hosts the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards. In 2008, it became the second city to be named a UNESCO . Ray Lawler's play ''Summer of the Seventeenth Doll'' is set in Carlton, Victoria, Carlton and debuted in 1955, the same year that Dame Edna Everage, Edna Everage, Barry Humphries' Moonee Ponds housewife character, first appeared on stage, both sparking international interest in Australian theatre. Melbourne's East End Theatre District is known for its Victorian era theatres, such as the Athenaeum, Melbourne, Athenaeum, Her Majesty's Theatre, Melbourne, Her Majesty's and the Princess Theatre, Melbourne, Princess, as well as the Forum Theatre, Forum and the Regent Theatre, Melbourne, Regent. Other heritage-listed theatres include the art deco landmarks The Capitol, Melbourne, The Capitol and St Kilda's Palais Theatre, Australia's largest seated theatre with a capacity of 3,000 people. The Melbourne Arts Precinct, Arts Precinct in Southbank is home to Arts Centre Melbourne (which includes the State Theatre (Melbourne), State Theatre and Hamer Hall, Melbourne, Hamer Hall), as well as the Melbourne Recital Centre and Southbank Theatre, home of the Melbourne Theatre Company, Australia's oldest professional theatre company. The Australian Ballet, Opera Australia and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra are also based in the precinct. Melbourne has been called "the live music capital of the world";Donoughue, Paul (12 April 2018)
SportsMelbourne has long been regarded as Australia's sporting capital due to the role it has played in the development of Australian sport, the range and quality of its sporting events and venues, and its high rates of spectatorship and participation. The city is also home to Sport in Victoria#Melbourne 2, 27 professional sports teams competing at the national level, the most of any Australian city. Melbourne's sporting reputation was recognised in 2016 when, after being ranked as the world's top sports city three times biennially, the Ultimate Sports City Awards in Switzerland named it 'Sports City of the Decade'. The city has hosted a number of major international sporting events, most notably the 1956 Summer Olympic Games, the first Olympic Games held outside Europe and the United States. Melbourne also hosted the , and is home to several major annual international events, including the , the first of the four Grand Slam (tennis), Grand Slam tennis tournaments. First held in 1861 and declared a public holiday for all Melburnians in 1873, the Melbourne Cup is the world's richest handicap horse race, and is known as "the race that stops a nation". The Formula One has been held at the Albert Park Circuit since 1996. Cricket was one of the first sports to become organised in Melbourne with the Melbourne Cricket Club forming within three years of settlement. The club manages one of the world's largest stadiums, the 100,000 capacity (MCG). Established in 1853, the MCG is notable for hosting the first Test cricket, Test match and the first One Day International, played between Australia cricket team, Australia and England cricket team, England in 1877 and 1971, respectively. It is also the home of the National Sports Museum, and serves as the home ground of the Victoria cricket team. At Twenty20 level, the Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades compete in the Big Bash League. , Australia's most popular spectator sport, traces origins of Australian rules football, its origins to matches played in Yarra Park, parklands next to the MCG in 1858. Its first laws were codified the following year by the Melbourne Football Club, also a founding member, in 1896, of the Australian Football League (AFL), the sport's elite professional competition. Headquartered at Docklands Stadium, the AFL fields a further eight Melbourne-based clubs: Carlton Football Club, Carlton, Collingwood Football Club, Collingwood, Essendon Football Club, Essendon, Hawthorn Football Club, Hawthorn, North Melbourne Football Club, North Melbourne, Richmond Football Club, Richmond, St Kilda Football Club, St Kilda, and the Western Bulldogs. The city hosts up to five AFL matches per round during the home and away season, attracting an average of 40,000 spectators per game. The AFL Grand Final, traditionally held at the MCG, is the List of sports attendance figures, highest attended club championship event in the world. In soccer, Melbourne is represented in the A-League by Melbourne Victory FC, Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City FC and Western United FC. The rugby league team Melbourne Storm plays in the National Rugby League, and in rugby union, the Melbourne Rebels and Melbourne Rising compete in the Super Rugby and National Rugby Championship competitions, respectively. North American sports have also gained popularity in Melbourne: basketball sides South East Melbourne Phoenix and Melbourne United play in the National Basketball League (Australia), NBL; Melbourne Ice and Melbourne Mustangs play in the Australian Ice Hockey League; and Melbourne Aces plays in the Australian Baseball League. Rowing (sport), Rowing also forms part of Melbourne's sporting identity, with a number of clubs located on the Yarra River, out of which many Australian Olympians trained.
EconomyMelbourne has a highly diversified economy with particular strengths in finance, manufacturing, research, IT, education, logistics, transportation and tourism. Melbourne houses the headquarters of many of Australia's largest corporations, including five of the ten largest in the country (based on revenue), and five of the largest seven in the country (based on market capitalisation) Australia & New Zealand Banking Group, ANZ, BHP, the National Australia Bank, CSL Limited, CSL and Telstra, as well as such representative bodies and think tanks as the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Council of Trade Unions. Melbourne's suburbs also have the head offices of Coles Group (owner of Coles Supermarkets) and Wesfarmers companies Bunnings, Target Australia, Target, Kmart Australia, K-Mart and Officeworks. The city is home to Australia's second busiest Port of Melbourne, seaport, after Port Botany in . provides an entry point for national and international visitors, and is Australia's second busiest airport. Melbourne is also an important financial centre. In the 2018 , Melbourne was ranked as having the 15th most competitive financial centre in the world. Two of the Big Four (banks), big four banks, the ANZ and National Australia Bank, are headquartered in Melbourne. The city has carved out a niche as Australia's leading centre for Superannuation in Australia, superannuation (pension) funds, with 40% of the total, and 65% of Industry superannuation, industry super-funds including the AU$109 billion-dollar Federal Government Future Fund. The city was rated 41st within the top 50 financial cities as surveyed by the MasterCard Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index (2008), second only to Sydney (12th) in Australia. Melbourne is Australia's second-largest industrial centre. It is the Australian base for a number of significant manufacturers including Boeing Australia, truck-makers Kenworth and Iveco, Cadbury as well as Alstom and Jayco, among many others. It is also home to a wide variety of other manufacturers, ranging from petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals to fashion garments, paper manufacturing and food processing. The south-eastern suburb of Scoresby, Victoria, Scoresby is home to Nintendo Australia, Nintendo's Australian headquarters. The city also has a research and development hub for Ford Australia, as well as a global design studio and technical centre for General Motors and Toyota Australia respectively. CSL Limited, CSL, one of the world's top five biotech companies, and Sigma Pharmaceuticals have their headquarters in Melbourne. The two are the largest listed Australian pharmaceutical companies. Melbourne has an important Information and communication technology, ICT industry that employs over 60,000 people (one third of Australia's ICT workforce), with a turnover of AU$19.8 billion and export revenues of AU615 million. In addition, tourism also plays an important role in Melbourne's economy, with about 7.6 million domestic visitors and 1.88 million international visitors in 2004. Melbourne has been attracting an increasing share of domestic and international conference markets. Construction began in February 2006 of an AU$1 billion 5000-seat international convention centre, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotel and commercial precinct adjacent to the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre to link development along the with the Southbank, Victoria, Southbank precinct and multibillion-dollar Melbourne Docklands, Docklands redevelopment. The Economist Intelligence Unit ranks Melbourne as the fourth most expensive city in the world to live in according to its worldwide cost of living index in 2013.
TourismMelbourne is the second most visited city in Australia and the seventy-third most visited city in the world. In 2018, 10.8 million domestic overnight tourists and 2.9 million international overnight tourists visited Melbourne. The most visited attractions are Federation Square, Queen Victoria Market, Crown Melbourne, Crown Casino, Southbank, Victoria, Southbank, Melbourne Zoo, Melbourne Aquarium, Docklands, Victoria, Docklands, , Melbourne Museum, Melbourne Observation Deck, The Arts Centre, Arts Centre Melbourne, and the . Luna Park, Melbourne, Luna Park, a theme park modelled on New York's Coney Island and Seattle's Luna Park, Seattle, Luna Park, is also a popular destination for visitors. In its annual survey of readers, the Condé Nast Traveler magazine found that both Melbourne and Auckland were considered the world's friendliest cities in 2014. The magazine highlighted the connection the city inhabitants have to public art and the many parks across the city. Its high liveability rankings make it one of the safest world cities for travellers.
DemographicsIn 2018, the population of the Melbourne metropolitan area was 4,963,349. Although Victoria's net interstate migration has fluctuated, the population of the Melbourne statistical division has grown by about 70,000 people a year since 2005. Melbourne has now attracted the largest proportion of international overseas immigrants (48,000) finding it outpacing Sydney's international migrant intake on percentage, along with having strong interstate migration from Sydney and other capitals due to more affordable housing and cost of living. In recent years, Shire of Melton, Melton, City of Wyndham, Wyndham and City of Casey, Casey, part of the Melbourne statistical division, have recorded the highest growth rate of all Local government in Australia, local government areas in Australia. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Melbourne was on track to overtake in population by 2028. The Australian Bureau of Statistics, ABS has projected in two scenarios that Sydney will remain larger than Melbourne beyond 2056, albeit by a margin of less than 3% compared to a margin of 12% today. After a trend of declining population density since World War II, the city has seen increased density in the inner and Western Suburbs (Melbourne), western suburbs, aided in part by Victorian Government planning, such as Postcode 3000 and Melbourne 2030, which have aimed to curtail urban sprawl. As of 2018, the CBD is the most densely populated area in Australia with more than 19,000 residents per square kilometre, and the inner city suburbs of Carlton, Victoria, Carlton, South Yarra, Fitzroy, Victoria, Fitzroy and Collingwood, Victoria, Collingwood make up Victoria's top five.
Ancestry and immigrationAt the 2016 census, the most commonly nominated ancestries were: 0.5% of the population, or 24,062 people, identified as Indigenous Australians (Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders) in 2016. Melbourne has the Foreign born#Metropolitan and Urban regions with largest foreign born populations, 10th largest immigrant population among world metropolitan areas. In Greater Melbourne at the 2016 census, 63.3% of residents were born in Australia. The other most common countries of birth were India (3.6%), Mainland China (3.5%), England (3%), Vietnam (1.8%) and New Zealand (1.8%).
LanguageAs of the 2016 census, 62% of Melburnians speak only English at home. Mandarin Chinese, Mandarin (4.1%), Greek language, Greek (2.4%), Italian language, Italian (2.3%), Vietnamese language, Vietnamese (2.3%), and Cantonese (1.7%) were the most common foreign languages spoken at home by residents of Melbourne as of 2016.
ReligionMelbourne has a wide range of religious faiths, the most widely held of which is Christianity. This is signified by the city's two large cathedrals—St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne, St Patrick's (Roman Catholic), and St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne, St Paul's (Anglican). Both were built in the Victorian era and are of considerable heritage significance as major landmarks of the city. In recent years, Greater Melbourne's irreligious community has grown to be one of the largest in Australia. According to the 2016 Census, the largest responses on religious belief in Melbourne were Irreligion, no religion (31.9%), Catholic Church in Australia, Catholic (23.4%), none stated (9.1%), Anglicanism in Australia, Anglican (7.6%), Eastern Orthodox (4.3%), Islam (4.2%), Buddhism (3.8%), Hinduism (2.9%), Uniting Church (2.3%), Presbyterian, Presbyterian and Reformed (1.6%), Baptist (1.3%), Sikhism (1.2%) and Judaism (0.9%). Over 180,000 Muslims live in Melbourne. Muslim religious life in Melbourne is centred on more than 25 mosques and a large number of prayer rooms at university campuses, workplaces and other venues. , Melbourne had the largest population of Polish Jews in Australia. The city was also home to the largest number of Holocaust survivors of any Australian city, indeed the highest per capita outside Israel itself. Reflecting this vibrant community, Melbourne has a plethora of Jewish cultural, religious and educational institutions, including over 40 synagogues and 7 full-time parochial day schools, along with a Australian Jewish News, local Jewish newspaper.
EducationSome of Australia's most prominent and well-known schools are based in Melbourne. Of the top twenty high schools in Australia according to th
MediaMelbourne is served by thirty digital free-to-air television channels: # ABV (TV station), ABC # ABC HD (Australia), ABC HD (ABC broadcast in High-definition television, HD) # ABC TV Plus, ABC TV Plus/KIDS # ABC ME # ABC News (Australia), ABC News # SBS (Australian TV channel), SBS # SBS HD (SBS broadcast in High-definition television, HD) # SBS Viceland # SBS Viceland HD (SBS Viceland broadcast in High-definition television, HD) # Food Network (Australia), SBS Food # SBS World Movies # National Indigenous Television, NITV # HSV (TV station), Seven # 7HD (Seven broadcast in HD) # 7Two # 7mate # 7mate HD # 7flix # Racing.com # openshop # GTV (Australia), Nine # 9HD (Nine broadcast in HD) # 9Gem # 9Go! # 9Life # 9Rush # ATV (Australia), 10 # 10 HD (10 broadcast in HD) # 10 Bold # 10 Peach # 10 Shake # TVSN # Spree TV # C31 Melbourne (Melbourne's community TV station) Three daily newspapers serve Melbourne: the ''Herald Sun'' (tabloid), ''The Age'' (compact) and ''The Australian'' (national broadsheet). Six free-to-air television stations service Greater Melbourne and Geelong: ABC Television (Australian TV network), ABC Victoria, (ABV (TV station), ABV), Special Broadcasting Service, SBS Victoria (SBS), Seven Network, Seven Melbourne (HSV (TV station), HSV), Nine Network, Nine Melbourne (GTV (Australia), GTV), Network 10, Ten Melbourne (ATV (Australia), ATV), C31 Melbourne (MGV) – community television. Each station (excluding C31) broadcasts a primary channel and several multichannels. C31 is only broadcast from the transmitters at Mount Dandenong and South Yarra. Hybrid digital/print media companies such as Broadsheet and ThreeThousand are based in and primarily serve Melbourne. A long List of radio stations in Australia#Melbourne, list of AM and FM radio stations broadcast to greater Melbourne. These include "public" (i.e., state-owned ABC Radio (Australia), ABC and SBS Radio, SBS) and Community radio#Australia, community stations. Many Commercial broadcasting, commercial stations are networked-owned: Nova Entertainment has Nova 100 and Smooth 91.5, Smooth; Australian Radio Network, ARN controls Gold 104.3 and KIIS 101.1; and Southern Cross Austereo runs both Fox FM (Melbourne), Fox and Triple M Melbourne, Triple M. Stations from towns in regional Victoria may also be heard (e.g. 93.9 Bay FM, Geelong). Youth alternatives include ABC Triple J and youth run 3SYN, SYN. Triple J, and similarly 3PBS, PBS and 3RRR, Triple R, strive to play under represented music. 3JOY, JOY 94.9 caters for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender audiences. For fans of classical music there are 3MBS and ABC Classic FM. Light FM is a contemporary Christian station. AM stations include ABC: 774 ABC Melbourne, 774, Radio National, and ABC NewsRadio, News Radio; also Fairfax Media, Fairfax affiliates 3AW (talk radio, talk) and Magic 1278, Magic (easy listening). For sport fans and enthusiasts there is SEN 1116. Melbourne has many community run stations that serve alternative interests, such as 3CR (Melbourne), 3CR and 3KND (Indigenous). Many suburbs have low powered community run stations serving local audiences. There are also an assortment of online magazines and social media resources that cover the city. For example food and travel websit
GovernanceThe governance of Melbourne is split between the government of Victoria and the Local Government Areas of Victoria#Municipalities of Greater Melbourne, 27 cities and four shires that make up the metropolitan area. There is no ceremonial or political head of Melbourne, but the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne often fulfils such a role as a first among equals. The local councils are responsible for providing the functions set out in the ''Local Government Act'' 1989 such as urban planning and waste management. Most other government services are provided or regulated by the government of Victoria, Victorian state government, which governs from Parliament House in Spring Street, Melbourne, Spring Street. These include services associated with local government in other countries and include public transport, main roads, traffic control, policing, education above preschool level, health and planning of major infrastructure projects.
InfrastructureIn 2012, Mercer Consulting ranked Melbourne's infrastructure 34th in the world, behind Sydney (ranked 8th in the world), and Perth (ranked 25th in the world) .
HealthThe Victorian Government's Department of Health (Victoria), Department of Health oversees about 30 public hospitals in the Melbourne metropolitan region and 13 health services organisations. There are many major medical, neuroscience and biotechnology research institutions located in Melbourne: St. Vincent's Institute of Medical Research, Australian Stem Cell Centre, the Burnet Institute, Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, Victorian Institute of Chemical Sciences, Brain Research Institute, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, and the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre. Other institutions include the Howard Florey Institute, the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute and the Australian Synchrotron. Many of these institutions are associated with and are located near universities. Melbourne also is the home of the Royal Children's Hospital and the Monash Children's Hospital. Among Australian capital cities, Melbourne ties with Canberra in first place for the highest male life expectancy (80.0 years) and ranks second behind Perth in female life expectancy (84.1 years).
TransportLike many Australian cities, Melbourne has a high dependency on the automobile for transport, particularly in the outer suburban areas where the largest number of cars are bought, with a total of 3.6 million private vehicles using of road, and one of the highest lengths of road per capita in the world. The early 20th century saw an increase in popularity of automobiles, resulting in large-scale suburban expansion and a tendency towards the development of urban sprawl–like all Australian cities, inhabitants would live in the suburbs and commute to the city for work. By the mid 1950s there was just under 200 passenger vehicles per 1000 people, and by 2013 there was 600 passenger vehicles per 1000 people. Today it has an extensive network of freeways and arterial roadways used by private vehicles including freight as well as public transport systems including buses and taxis. Major highways feeding into the city include the Eastern Freeway, Melbourne, Eastern Freeway, Monash Freeway and West Gate Freeway (which spans the large West Gate Bridge), whilst other freeways circumnavigate the city or lead to other major cities, including CityLink (which spans the large Bolte Bridge), EastLink, Melbourne, Eastlink, the Western Ring Road, Melbourne, Western Ring Road, Calder Freeway, Tullamarine Freeway (main airport link) and the Hume Freeway which links Melbourne and Sydney. Melbourne has an integrated public transport system based around extensive train, tram, bus and taxi systems. was the world's busiest passenger station in 1927 and Melbourne's tram network overtook Sydney's to become the world's largest in the 1940s. From the 1940s, public transport use in Melbourne declined due to a rapid expansion of the road and freeway network, with the largest declines in tram and bus usage. This decline quickened in the early 1990s due to large public transport service cuts. The operations of Melbourne's public transport system was privatised in 1999 through a franchising model, with operational responsibilities for the train, tram and bus networks licensed to private companies. After 1996 there was a rapid increase in public transport patronage due to growth in employment in central Melbourne, with the mode share for commuters increasing to 14.8% and 8.4% of all trips. A target of 20% public transport mode share for Melbourne by 2020 was set by the state government in 2006. Since 2006 public transport patronage has grown by over 20%. The Melbourne rail network dates back to the 1850s gold rush era, and today consists of List of Melbourne railway stations, 218 suburban stations on 16 lines which radiate from the City Loop, a mostly-underground subway system around the CBD. , Australia's busiest transportation hub, rail hub, serves the entire network, and remains a prominent Melbourne landmark and meeting place. The city has rail connections with regional Victorian cities, as well as direct interstate rail services which depart from Melbourne's other major rail terminus, , in Docklands. ''The Overland'' to Adelaide departs twice a week, while the New South Wales XPT, XPT to Sydney departs twice daily. In the 2017–2018 financial year, the Melbourne rail network recorded 240.9 million passenger trips, the highest ridership in its history. Many rail lines, along with dedicated lines and rail yards, are also used for freight. Trams in Melbourne, Melbourne's tram network dates from the 1880s land boom and, as of 2021, consists of of double track, 475 trams, List of Melbourne tram routes, 25 routes, and 1,763 tram stops, making it the largest in the world. In 2017–2018, 206.3 million passenger trips were made by tram. Around 75 per cent of Melbourne's tram network shares road space with other vehicles, while the rest of the network is separated or are light rail routes. Melbourne's trams are recognised as iconic cultural assets and a tourist attraction. W-class Melbourne tram, Heritage trams operate on the free City Circle tram, City Circle route, intended for visitors to Melbourne, and heritage Colonial Tramcar Restaurant, restaurant trams travel through the city and surrounding areas during the evening. Melbourne's bus network consists of almost List of Melbourne bus routes, 300 routes which mainly service the outer suburbs and fill the gaps in the network between rail and tram services. 127.6 million passenger trips were recorded on Melbourne's buses in 2013–2014, an increase of 10.2 percent on the previous year. Ship transport is an important component of Melbourne's transport system. The is Australia's largest container and general cargo port and also its busiest. The port handled two million shipping containers in a 12-month period during 2007, making it one of the top five ports in the Southern Hemisphere. Station Pier on Port Phillip Bay is the main passenger ship terminal with cruise ships and the TT-Line Company, Spirit of Tasmania ferries which cross Bass Strait to Devonport, Tasmania, Devonport, docking there. Ferries and water taxis run from Berth (moorings), berths along the Yarra River as far upstream as South Yarra and across Port Phillip Bay. Melbourne has List of airports in the Melbourne area, four airports. , at Tullamarine, is the city's main international and domestic gateway and second busiest in Australia. The airport is home base for passenger airline Jetstar and cargo airlines Australian airExpress and Toll Group#Global Express, Toll Priority, and is a major hub for Qantas and Virgin Australia. Avalon Airport, located between Melbourne and Geelong, is a secondary hub of Jetstar. It is also used as a freight and maintenance facility. Buses and taxis are the only forms of public transport to and from the city's main airports. Air Ambulance facilities are available for domestic and international transportation of patients. Melbourne also has a significant general aviation airport, Moorabbin Airport in the city's south east that also handles a small number of passenger flights. Essendon Airport, which was once the city's main airport also handles passenger flights, general aviation and some cargo flights. The city also has a bicycle sharing system that was established in 2010 and uses a network of marked road lanes and segregated cycle facilities.
UtilitiesWater storage and supply for Melbourne is managed by Melbourne Water, which is owned by the Victorian Government. The organisation is also responsible for management of sewerage and the major water catchments in the region as well as the Wonthaggi desalination plant and North-South Pipeline, North–South Pipeline. Water is stored in a series of reservoirs located within and outside the Greater Melbourne area. The largest dam, the Thomson River Dam, located in the Victorian Alps, is capable of holding around 60% of Melbourne's water capacity, while smaller dams such as the Upper Yarra Dam, Yan Yean Reservoir, and the Cardinia Reservoir carry secondary supplies. Gas is provided by three distribution companies: * AusNet Services, which provides gas from Melbourne's inner western suburbs to southwestern Victoria. * Multinet Gas, which provides gas from Melbourne's inner eastern suburbs to eastern Victoria. (owned by SP AusNet after acquisition, but continuing to trade under the brand name Multinet Gas) * Australian Gas Networks, which provides gas from Melbourne's inner northern suburbs to northern Victoria, as well as the majority of southeastern Victoria. Electricity is provided by five distribution companies: * Citipower, which provides power to Melbourne's CBD, and some inner suburbs * Powercor, which provides power to the outer western suburbs, as well as all of western (Citipower and Powercor are owned by the same entity) * Jemena, which provides power to the northern and inner western suburbs * Alinta, United Energy, which provides power to the inner eastern and southeastern suburbs, and the * AusNet Services, which provides power to the outer eastern suburbs and all of the north and east of Victoria. Numerous telecommunications companies provide Melbourne with terrestrial and mobile telecommunications services and wireless internet services and at least since 2016 Melbourne offers a free public WiFi which allows for up to 250 MB per device in some areas of the city.
CrimeMelbourne has a moderately low crime rate, ranking 18th for Personal Security in ''The Economists 2021 Safe Cities Index, putting it in the second best category of "high safety" level. Reports of crime in Victoria fell by 7.8 per cent in 2018 to its lowest in three years, with 5,922 cases per 100,000 people. Melbourne City Centre, Melbourne's city centre (CBD) reported the highest incident rate of local government areas in Victoria.
See also* Melway (the native street directory and general information source in Melbourne) * voy:Melbourne, Melbourne, the travel article at sister project Wikivoyage
Lists* List of Melbourne suburbs * List of museums in Melbourne * List of people from Melbourne * List of songs about Melbourne * Local government in Victoria
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