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Melbourne is considered the cultural capital of Australia and is the country’s second largest city. Many tourists go to Melbourne for the multitude of sporting events held there and also, bizarrely enough, to see the set of the soap opera Neighbours which is filmed in Melbourne. The weather in Melbourne is usually pleasant in the summer months between December and February. However the weather can also be quite changeable and heat waves are often recorded during which the temperature gets up into the forties Celsius. That said, the winters are damp and cool and you'll be forgiven for thinking you're back hoe i9f you travel in June and July.
Melbourne is a coastal city based around Port Phillip Bay as well as the Yarra River. To the north of the river is the financial and commercial district while to the south is an upmarket neighbourhood which is good for eating out and shopping. Meanwhile the Port Phillip Bay suburb of St Kilda is a hip young neighbourhood which holds an art market and has many youth hostels. Other interesting districts to see are the bohemian quarter of Fitzroy (though the district of Brunswick is being called the new Fitzroy), North Richmond (known as Little Vietnam) and the shopping district of Prahran. Head out of the city too, along the coast to see the Twelve Apostles, a series of twelve sea stacks which stand proudly off the coast.
Sports lovers in Melbourne can either go to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) or Albert Park where the Melbourne lap of the Grand Prix is held in March. Arguably the biggest event is the horse racing classic; the Melbourne Cup. Taking place on the first Tuesday of November the Melbourne Cup is such an institution that a public holiday is given for it. With the Grand Slam tennis event and the Australian Open being held in Melbourne in January, along with the local love for Aussie Rules Football, there really is something to suit every sporting taste in Melbourne whatever time of year it is.
To get from Melbourne Airport to the city centre is a 22 kilometre journey and having a Rhino car is the best way to do this. Having a car will save you a $45 dollar charge on hiring a taxi as the meters often run high in traffic.
You can also fly into nearby Avalon Airport and pick up your car, though this is three times as far away, to the south west of Melbourne. Flying to Melbourne Airport you will probably have to do a stop in a South East Asian country such as Hong Kong. If you are leaving from Melbourne Airport there are three terminals and the North Terminal (Terminal 1) is used by national carrier Qantas.
– Melbourne experience wild storms and flooding over the weekend and as such the city’s beaches have been left in a poor condition for swimming. This is unusual and is a result of dramatic weather conditions with 32mm of rain falling in Melbourne on Monday morning.
- Melbourne is renowned for its cuisine and fine wine. The city now organises an annual food and drink festival which takes place in the autumn outdoors. It's great fun and for ten dollars or so, you can sit down with hundreds of others to great meals washed down with fantastic local wine.