Melbourne is the capital of the state of Victoria, situated on the southeast coast of Australia.
There are several well-known towns and cities near Melbourne, two of the more notable are St. Kilda and Portsea, a popular holiday destination that is home to some of the most affluent families in Australia.
Climate and Geography
Located on the bay of Port Philip, Melbourne’s city center sits on the estuary of the Yarra River. The topography of the 8806 km² city varies, ranging from valleys (Yarra and Dandenong Creek) to lowland mountain ranges (Dandenong, Macedon), to bustling metropolitan sprawls, to flat volcanic plains, to beautiful beaches along Port Philip Bay (there are more than 36 for sun-worshippers to enjoy!).
The climate varies as wildly as the landscape. The city is said to experience “four seasons in one day.” Temperamental weather changes occur due to a clash between the warm inland climate and the cool southern ocean. Hail and heavy rain may occur suddenly in one area, while another area nearby remains dry. After storms rain-drenched areas will clear up and become sunny and calm, as if nothing had transpired. Melbourne’s oceanic climate produces warm winters and cool summers. The average daily temperatures range from 26°C in January to 15°C in August.
An international city that was voted the second-best place to live on the planet, Melbourne has a population of 4 million people. It attracts visitors from around the globe with its renowned festivals, fantastic shopping, alluring landscapes, colorful arts and culture scene, and major sporting events such as The Melbourne Cup, Formula One Grand Prix, and Australian Rules Football. Known as the sporting capital of Australia and the “Ultimate Sports City” of the world, adventure enthusiasts will be in their glory with an array of adrenaline-spiking activities to choose from.
One activity growing in popularity in the area is known as “adventure racing”. In this sport teams of 2 – 4 people test their endurance levels with intense bouts of kayaking, cycling, swimming, mountain climbing, hiking, and running. These competitions can last anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks. Other popular activities center on the plentiful beaches, where visitors can go kiteboarding, scuba diving, snorkeling, and boating.
Activities in the Melbourne Area
- Adventure racing
- Scuba diving
- Rock climbing
- Hot air ballooning (wildly popular)
- Horseback riding
- Hiking and trekking
- Whitewater rafting
- Aerobatic flying
- V8 Racecar driving
On a Budget?
- Melbourne hotels and hostels are designed to fit every traveler’s budget. Hostels range from $18-50 USD per person per night, and one can find many budget hostels and hotels near the State Library of Victoria and Melbourne Central. Campsites on the beach with a stunning view of Port Philip Bay are available near the city. There are also numerous sites tucked away in the wilds of Victoria, for travelers looking to get up close and personal with nature.
- Melbourne offers the daring diner many enticing options. It is known as the “foodie capital” of Australia (seems that Melbourne is #1 for many things in Australia). Due to the international flavor of the city, visitors will find restaurants with fare from all corners of the globe. On the cheap end, one can expect to pay around $8-13 USD per meal.
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