What’s So Great About Melbourne?

The Economist’s Intelligence Unit conducts a liveability survey  of cities around the world every year, and for the fourth time this year, Melbourne was crowned as the Most Liveable City. When I read the news, what struck me first was the question about what is it that makes a place ‘liveable’ in the first place?

So I investigated the parameters that were used in the survey, and this is what it says: “The survey rated cities out of 100 in the areas of healthcare, education, stability, culture and environment and infrastructure. Melbourne received an overall score of 97.5 out of 100, scoring a perfect rating for healthcare, education and infrastructure.”

In terms of healthcare, all Australians are covered by Medicare, a public health insurance scheme, while almost half also have private health insurance. As someone who spent most of her childhood in and out of hospitals, I know how valuable this is.

Australian education is well known world over, although it did get a notorious tint to it a few years ago with the attacks on Indian students. Nevertheless, the education itself isn’t something to be scorned at.

As for environment and infrastructure… while  was researching for this post, I came across this photo of a birds eye view of Melbourne, and let me tell you, I was blown away.  The city is divided into neat little blocks and straight roads, with residential blocks a little away from the downtown area, and it all looks like a child’s delightful little building blocks scene! I know that my fellow Indians would understand the novelty of this, and it’s no wonder that the survey takers gave Melbourne a perfect score for its environment and infrastructure.

But wait…

Isn’t this all becoming a little too theoretical? You could always go read Wikipedia for all this, couldn’t you?

Besides all of the above obvious features, what would make someone fall in love with Melbourne? Well, I went sniffing, and here are little tidbits of all that I found:

Mailbox 141

How would you like to view art in a mailbox (aka ‘post box’)? Because that’s exactly what Mailbox 141 is! Located at 141 Flinders Lane, Mailbox 141 is a space that encourages new artistic experimentation and work which been specially created for the strip of restored mailboxes at the entrance foyer of 141 Flinders Lane.

A row of re-purposed mailboxes for artwork. (Source)
Melbourne’s smallest art gallery at 141, Flinders Lane. (Source)

Besides the novelty of the experience, that’s bound to be a central attraction, the displays are changed every once in a while, you you can keep visiting over and over again.

The Lift

Located next to 707, Collins Street, this lift sounds like something right out of The Chronicles of Narnia. You get on the lift at Collins Street, and when you get off, you’re at Village Street Docklands, below. Here are photos of Collins Street and the Docklands to give you a better picture of how awesome this lift truly is:

The Lift ↓

Takes you from ↓

Little Collins Street (Source)

to ↓

The Docklands (Source)

How cool is that?!

Central Deborah Gold Mines

The Australian Gold Rushes began in 1851, and went on up till sometime around the early 1900s. It was during the gold rush in the 1900s that the Central Deborah Gold Mines were created. The mines operated from 1939-1954 during which time almost a ton of gold was extracted from the ground. It was only in 1971 that the mines were opened for public viewing, and in 2011, the Nine Levels of Darkness tour was launched, where visitors could explore Level 9 of the mine, 228 meters underground!

Nine Levels of Darkness – The Central Deborah Gold Mines (Source)

Squeaky Beach

Like the name suggests, the rounded grains of sand on Squeaky Beach, well, squeak when you walk on them! You can experience walking on sand with all your senses now 😉 It’s also a great place to spot wombats, which frequent the rock formations at the north end of the beach.

(source)

Street Art

“Melbourne is known as one of the world’s great street art capitals for its unique expressions of art on approved outdoor locations. Street art includes stencils, paste-ups and murals and does not include graffiti or tagging which is illegal.” There are street art tours done by artists themselves, where you get to visit significant street art spaces and get an overview of the Melbourne street art scene.

This is honestly my favourite of all the attractions in Melbourne! It’s so great that such artistic contributions by residents are encouraged by the city, all in an effort towards making their home a more beautiful place. On a sidenote, it’s also great that no one takes advantage of it and resorts to graffiti.

(source)
(source)

And that’s all folks! But like I said earlier, this is just a little tidbit of what Melbourne has to offer. Check out more of them here! And if you want to have a glimpse of what travelling in Melbourne would look like, check out the video below. You can find more of them on Youtube.

So tell me, which of these places would you want to visit in Melbourne and why? The best answer will win a gift voucher worth Rs. 500/-. The contest ends on 4th Jan 2015.

This post is written as part on a Indiblogger contest courtesy Tourism Victoria.

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6 thoughts on “What’s So Great About Melbourne?

  1. Great post! After reading your post & watching all the videos, I’d most like to visit the Dandenong Ranges for it’s scenic beauty, breathtaking view and cool breeze blowing through my hair. 😛 I’d give anything away for driving through the winding roads which are present throughout the ranges. I’d love to stay at one of the bed and breakfast cottages and go on frequent excursions in the forests with my camera which provides excellent views. And not to forget the famous ride in the Puffing Billy, a day reserved especially for that. To add to that, there are also several picnic spots for me and my friends to spend a fun-filled day and the ranges are a perfect spot for hiking and cycling.

    Pingback: https://cruxrebels.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/melbourne-the-place-to-be-see/

    Wish you and your blog a happy new year! :D

  2. I would like to see following places in Melbourne-
    1) Peninsula Hot Springs – to enjoy hot spring spa
    2)the Penguin Parade – for watching penguins,
    3) Hot Air Balloon ride – for enjoying the scene and thrill
    4) the worlds’s greatest street art capital – as I love paintings specially done on buildings.
    5) MCG – for cricket
    6) Queen Victoria Market – for shopping

  3. What an amazing country !! Frankly, I have seen and heard a little about Australia it’s cities, but seeing it through these videos makes me WANT to visit these places a lot more. Truly mesmerizing !! My next international vacation is no doubt AUSTRALIA. I loved each and every place for its own individuality, amazingness, beauty, culture and all other good reasons. But I would like to be slightly partial and pick a few favourites, like for instance, “The Great Ocean Road”, I can very much imagine going for a drive on that road, the scenery is to die-for, I am completely a beach and ocean/sea person by heart, this drive will be memory for life. I was also impressed by “The Queen Victoria Market”, I am a shopaholic and foodie by nature, I also believe that when visiting a country or city, you must visit the local markets, because that is where you get to experience their true culture and products. I also make it a point to shop whether I need or not but to have something for memory, this market seems to be perfect for that. I got super excited seeing “The Puffing Billy”, I thought steam engines where ‘extinct’, it is so cool that even after 100 years they have maintained it so well and in a working condition. A ride on that train would be so much fun and memorable. Another cute favourite of mine is “The Penguin Parade”, I think penguins are the more adorable creature on Earth, building houses for them to nestle and lay eggs is really a great thing to see and would never want to miss this opportunity. I hope to to visit this beautiful country soon.

    Sneha
    viswanath.sneha03@gmail.com

  4. Great post! After reading your post & watching all the videos, I would definitely want to visit all those amazing places when I get to visit Melbourne 🙂 But of all, my top pick would be a visit to Yarra valley for a beautiful sunrise balloon flight. After seeing the video, I can’t stop myself from dreaming a romantic magical flight above the scenic vineyards and watching the sunrise from up above! Throw in my favorite wine, I will doubly enjoy the ride sipping my glass and taking sensational selfies all the way 🙂 Now I can’t think of a better way of spending a vacation!!

    Next of course, cruising through the great ocean road in a open-top car to enjoy the coastal scenery and the iconic 12 apostles for the nature’s amazing work at play. Then a ride around the city in the vintage trams to enjoy its urban splendor and the legendary puffing billy to enjoy its natural splendor. Finally a day at the hot springs to unwind and totally rejuvenate myself 🙂

  5. Nice post, you have detailed the Melbourne beautifully…. All the best for the contest, Hope you win it….
    After watching all the videos I would like to visit ‘Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm’.
    I’m fond of strawberries and I have a special liking towards farms cause I love the silence and the fresh air. The green scenery is also breathtaking. So I fall for that place.
    Arpita- http://shinningappy.blogspot.in/

  6. What I loved best in your post is the info-nuggets for the art lover in me.

    Yes, I’d love to visit Melbourne more for the public art displays, the wall art, the street artists, the art galleries, and the way nature plays with it in artistic ways than for any other thing. No, it isn’t that mall visits or shopping doesn’t interest me, it is just that art makes me swoon in wonder and appreciation.

    So I will be off and seeing, grasping, learning, wondering, and sketching and clicking all art points in Melbourne.

    So I’ve decided that a walk by the Yarra river-side will one thing I am not going to miss… visits to the museums and galleries in trams will be a great idea… walking through contemporary and modernistic architecture will be wondrous… and even going up to the Skydeck will give me a different view of the art scene, I’m sure.

    Arvind Passey
    http://www.passey.info

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