24 hours in Melbourne
Written by Max Veenhuyzen Illustration by Fernando Volken Togni
What was started in 1835 by a determined band of settlers has blossomed into a vibrant, worldly metropolis where residents and visitors alike embrace the city’s cosmopolitan lifestyle and appreciation of the arts.
Leading the voyage of discovery was Parramatta, NSW-born John Batman who, according to legend, dubbed the land ‘Batmania’, no doubt finding inspiration in his adopted home-state Tasmania.
While the flapping of the city’s bats’ wings can be heard in different pockets of Melbourne, the mania in town is today based on – but not limited to – food, wine, culture, art, and sport: all the good things a traveller looks for in a destination.
And, yes, there are many tourist attractions in this city by the Yarra River, but beyond the MCG, Federation Square, and Crown Casino’s fire-breathing columns that light up the night sky every hour, there lurks an edgy side to the country’s second largest city: one that doesn’t stay still for too long.
Melbourne is a truly international city, but not in the sometimes brash and impersonal manner of its northern brother Sydney.
Throughout the Victorian capital, there’s the sense of a shared appreciation for the arts: not in a snobby, big-note yourself sort of way, but in an enriching the everyday manner.
Much of the action in Melbourne is concentrated towards the eastern end of the city, but investing the time and energy to explore on foot – and you should walk around – will unearth plenty of discoveries throughout.
Finally, ‘Four Seasons in One Day’ isn’t just a Crowded House song title. Melbourne’s fickle weather can change in an instant, so always remember to pack a ‘brolly’ (umbrella).
Melbourne’s trams, one of the world’s largest tram networks, are a model of public transport efficiency and reliability, but can be tightly packed during peak hours.