Melbourne is the second most populous city in Australia. It is located on the large natural bay of Port Phillip, with its City Centre situated at the northernmost point of the bay – near to the estuary of the Yarra River.The metropolitan area extends south from the City Centre, along the eastern and western shorelines of Port Phillip, and expands into the hinterlands – toward the Dandenong and Macedon mountain ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. There is an abundance of parks and gardens in Melbourne which caused it to be coined the Garden State.
Melbourne was declared a city by Queen Victoria in 1847. In 1851 it became the capital city of Victoria. During the Victorian gold rush of the 1850s, it became one of the world's largest and wealthiest cities.
It is a leading financial centre in Australia, as well as the Asia-Pacific region,and has been ranked the world's most livable city from 2011-2013.
Melbourne has all the benefits of a modern metropolitan city. Aside from the usual popular entertainment options, there is also high profile sporting events, major theatrical events, great shopping, mouth watering food, the most palatable wines, and some of the finest arts & performing artists in the world.
Melbourne is a centre for the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, sport and tourism. The city centre is well known for its historic and attractive lanes and arcades which contain a variety of shops and cafés.
Melbourne's major bayside beaches are located in the south-eastern suburbs along the shores of Port Phillip Bay, in areas like Port Melbourne, Albert Park, St Kilda, Elwood, Brighton, Sandringham, Mentone and Frankston and in the western suburbs of Altona and Williamstown. The nearest surf beaches are located 85 kilometres (53 mi) south-east of the Melbourne CBD in the back-beaches of Rye, Sorrento and Portsea.
Melbourne is colder than other mainland Australian state capital cities in the winter. Melbourne experiences frosts and fog in winter. Melbourne summers are notable for occasional days of extreme heat.
The main passenger airport serving the metropolis and the state is Melbourne Airport, which is the second busiest in Australia, and the Port of Melbourne is Australia's busiest seaport for containerised and general cargo. Melbourne has an extensive transport network. The main metropolitan train terminus is Flinders Street Station, and the main regional train and coach terminus is Southern Cross Station. Melbourne also has the world's largest tram network.