It’s the city of inspiring street art, alternative beatnik flair and coffee that rivals Italy’s best.
Boasting a musical genius at every turn of a graffitied laneway, the artistic hub is rife with unearthed talent.
Gastronomes salivate at the sound of a new restaurant opening its doors, and sporting nuts quiver with excitement as they hear the roar of the mighty Grand Prix.
In celebration of Victoria’s capital being crowned World’s Most Livable City for the fourth year running, not to mention World’s Friendliest City (all in the one week, may I add), we take a look at some interesting titbits you may not know about magnificent Melbourne—compiled by a proud Melburnian, herself.
Superhero lovers, rejoice! Thanks to one of its founding fathers, John Batman, the city was once going to be named ‘Batmania’. (Fully gown men in Batman-costumes the city over are still mourning the decision to go with Melbourne.)
The Eureka Tower is the second-tallest building in Australia, standing in at 297 metres in height. (The Q1 skyscraper in Queensland is currently standing at a smug 348 metres high.)
In 1956 Melbourne became the first host of the Olympic Games outside of Europe and North America, cementing the city as Australia’s sporting capital.
4. Little Italy/Little Greece
Melbourne has the highest Italian city population outside Italy and highest Greek city population outside Greece. (This may or may not also contribute to the population’s passion for food. Hello, Brunetti cannolis!)
5. Stained Glass
The National Gallery of Victoria boasts the world’s largest stained glass ceiling, measuring in at 51 metres long by 15 metres wide.
6. Fun Parks
St Kilda’s Luna Park (otherwise known as the “face” of Melbourne…gettit?!) is the world’s oldest amusement park under private management.
7. The Horses
Just five horses have won the world famous Melbourne Cup horse race more than once—Makybe Diva, Archer, Peter Pan, Rain Lover and Think Big.
The nation’s most popular export—Vegemite—was invented in Melbourne and continues to be produced from its home in a Port Melbourne factory (much to the dismay of disgusted Americans).
Melbourne can claim a lot of “Australia firsts” including traffic lights (at the Collins and Swanston Streets intersection), seat belts, breathalisers, Olympic Games, pizza, beer, tennis balls and trains… just to name a few.
10. And it’s sunnier than you think
Despite what certain neighbouring cities may believe, Melbourne is not Australia’s wettest capital city. Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin and Perth all receive much higher annual rainfalls than Melbourne. (However, Melbourne does have the highest number of rainy days in a year…but we’re not shouting about that one).
Featured image by Chris Phutully