Melbourne is state capital of Victoria and the second-most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Melbourne consists of 31 municipalities with a population of around 4.5 million approximately 19% of the national population and its inhabitants are called Melburnians.
Melbourne rates highly in education, entertainment, health care, research and development, tourism and sport, making it the world’s most livable city—for the seventh year in a row in 2017, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. The climate, waterfront location and nightlife make it one of the most vibrant destinations in Australia.
It is a leading financial centre in the Asia-Pacific region, and ranks among the top 15 cities in the world in the Global Financial Centres Index.
Referred to as Australia’s “Cultural Capital”, it is the birthplace of Australian impressionism, Australian rules football, the Australian film and television industries, and Australian contemporary dance. It is recognized as a UNESCO City of Literature and a major centre for street art, music and theatre.
It is home to many of Australia’s largest and oldest cultural institutions such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the National Gallery of Victoria, the State Library of Victoria and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building.
Melbourne was founded in 1835 when settler John Batman declared at a point on the northern bank of the Yarra River (at the end of where William Street is now) would be “the place for a village”. In 1837, surveyor Robert Hoddle designed Melbourne’s central grid pattern which was aligned with the Yarra River and consisted of main thoroughfares 30 metres wide with narrower east-west service lanes. This grid became Melbourne’s central business district, bounded by La Trobe Street, Spring Street, Flinders Street and Spencer Street. This created a spacious layout for the city centre which has allowed Melbourne’s tram network to remain in place despite demand for road space.
The suburbs immediately surrounding Melbourne (starting from the north and going around clockwise) are North Melbourne, Parkville, Carlton, Fitzroy, East Melbourne, Richmond, South Yarra, Prahran, St Kilda, Albert Park, South Melbourne, Southbank, Docklands and West Melbourne.
Melbourne’s city centre is characterised by spacious, tree-lined streets, many with tram lines running along them. The retail precinct includes the Melbourne Central Shopping Centre complete with its own underground railway station, the Bourke Street Mall, the Swanston Street Mall, and Collins Street which is home to exclusive fashion and jewellery stores. Chinatown, located along the eastern end of Little Bourke Street, features traditional Chinese shopping and dining experiences, established during the gold rush of the 1850s. A well-know landmark is Federation Square which is situated across the road from Flinders Street Station and opens out onto the Yarra River and adjacent parkland, featuring cafes, restaurants and a large central square.
Melbourne is a mix of old and new. Exclusive shopping arcades and the bustling Queen Victoria Market, along with historical landmarks from centuries ago, blend in with modern office towers. The Rialto Towers in Collins Street is the central business district’s tallest building, rising to a height of 251 metres. Views of Melbourne’s city skyline can be enjoyed from the taller Eureka Tower across the Yarra River in neighbouring Southbank or the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel at Docklands. Across the Yarra River is Melbourne Park and Olympic Park, featuring international standard sporting and entertainment arenas.
We visit the largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere, the Queen Victoria Market sampling lots of local foods, we learn all about the foods the indigenous people used to eat – bush food, at the South Melbourne Organic Store, we visit iconic Neighbours TV Show set, we take a ride on the only Tramcar Restaurant in the World, The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant, experience afternoon tea at The Hotel Windsor renowned for its tea tradition. As many Asians populate the city today, there are lots of Asian eateries so we pay a visit to one of many dumpling houses followed by a trip to the Yarra Valley Wine Region to visit a local winery and the famous Yarra Valley Chocolaterie.
Everywhere you turn there’s something special to see and do in Victoria – from sandy beaches and snow-capped mountains, to zoos and aquariums, historic sites, bars and cafes, white-water rafting, spas, wildlife and wineries, or drives along Victoria’s breathtaking coastline.
The Yarra Valley
Less than an hour from Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is a whole life experience away, offering quality local food and wine, breathtaking scenery, romantic hideaways and indulgent adventures.
The Yarra Valley is recognised as one of the world’s premier wine growing regions with over 80 sensational cellar doors, superb restaurants serving fresh regional produce, luxury accommodation, iconic scenery and stunning artwork. The Yarra Valley is a cool climate region with average temperatures of:
Summer – 26.6°C
Autumn – 20.4°C
Winter – 14.1°C
Spring – 19°C
The State & National Parks in the Yarra Valley are free to enter. Recognised as one of the world’s great cool climate wine producing regions, the Yarra Valley not only has a rich history of wineries but also a significant history with beer and cider production dating back to early 1800s.
The Yarra Valley has over 90 cellar doors, plus many more vineyards. Along with the famous Domaine Chandon (Moet & Chandon’s Australian winery), De Bortoli and Yering Station, there are many other mid-size and boutique cellar doors that provide an intimate wine experience, unlike many other wine regions.
Yarra Ranges Tourism Address: PO Box 903, Lilydale VIC 3140
Phone No: 8739 8000
The South Melbourne Organic Store (within South Melbourne Market)
Trading since 1995. Your local organic foodstore and greengrocer.
A dynamic, organic foodstore with seasonal, certified organic fruit and veg, groceries, dairy, dried fruits, nuts, grains, bread, coffee, herbs, spices and lots more. It’s all so delicious; you’ll walk out with much more than you came for.
Address: Stall Number: 51, Coventry St, South Melbourne
Owner Julie is a Nutritionist & Wellness Consultant. About 17 years ago after studying Naturopathy, the seed of NATIF was sewn. Owning a 25acre herb farm, Julie lived the ‘naturopathic way’ for 3 years and after reading books on Australian Native Foods, it made sense to her then that she should plant and grow them. She had travelled the outback, visiting National Parks from Darwin to Perth, North Queensland to Uluru and across the southern and eastern borders, walked hundreds of kilometers into remote parts of Australia looking for bush foods and amazing landscapes and felt a connection, a belonging and understood how Indigenous people must feel about this land and the ‘Dreamtime’. After studying Human Nutrition and Nutritional Medicine and in her spare time studying and researching the nutritional benefits of Australian native foods, her intuition was telling her to use and work with native foods.
The following fresh foods were demonstrated in the bamboo bowls:
Fresh Quandongs, Muntries fresh and freeze-dried, Fresh Kakadu Plum, Freeze dried Riberries, Whole dried Pepperberries.
In the glass containers there were dried native foods:
Rivermint, Quandong halves, Pepperberries, Mountain Pepperleaf, Sultana dried Riberries, Saltbush, Lemon Myrtle, Aniseed Myrtle, Strawberry Gum, Peppermint Gum, Cinnamon Myrtle, Davidson Plum pieces, Bush Tomato, Saltbush and Sea Parsley.
The packaged 20g zip-lock bags in the persplex display were some of the NATIF Range of herbs, spices, fruits, teas and seeds as follows:
Fruits: Davidson Plum powder, Desert Lime powder, Kakadu Plum powder, Quandong powder, Riberry Powder
Herbs & Spices: Aniseed Myrtle, Bush Tomato, Cinammon Myrtle, Lemon Myrtle, Mountain Pepperleaf and Pepperberries, Peppermint Gum and Strawberry Gum, Quandong halves, freeze-dried Riberry, Saltbush, Sea Parsley, Salty grape.
Seeds: Wattleseed Grind 120g and Wattleseed 20g.
Julie sources Australian native foods from all over Australia from Indigenous and non-Indigenous harvesters and growers.
Name: Julie Merlet (Natif Foods)
Phone No: 61 418125349
Address: Stall Number: 51 (South Melbourne Market Organic Store), Coventry St, South Melbourne