Melbourne

Melbourne: Undeniably Australia's most urban-trendy and artistic cities, is shaped by a dynamic population, ever-ravenous for a bite of global culture. Whether you're getting lost in the labyrinthine laneways with it's hidden café's and street jazz bands, or spending your days shopping in the ornate Victorian-era suburb of St Kilda, Melbourne will amaze you with it's enigmatic contemporary style. Keeping to their artistic nature, Melburnians still keep their urban frenzy to a deliciously sedate place, making it the perfect place for you to roam the streets, block out the noise and make heart-to-heart contact with this charming city.

Population: 3.8 Million

Airport: Melbourne (Tullamarine), Melbourne (Avalon)

Attractions: Melbourne Cricket Ground is one of the World's greatest sporting venues. In 1877 is was the venue for the first Test Match between Australia and England and in 1956 is was the central stadium for the Melbourne Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Melbourne's first railway station was built in 1854, winning two railway workers the design tender. On any weekday, over 100,000 people weave through this famous landmark, which in its day hosted an array of fabulous facilities including a concert hall, library and ballroom. Stand under the clocks and experience its wonder for yourself.

With over 600 traders, the Queen Victoria market is the largest open air market in the southern hemisphere, attracting thousands of shoppers weekly. The site was originally a burial ground but is now home to the city's freshest produce including organic and Asian specialties, delis, meat and fish halls. Breakfast to the sounds and shows of buskers on a Saturday morning, or shop for clothes and knick-knacks on a Sunday.

Transport Around City: Free City Circle Tram, Metlink: Trams, Trains, Buses. Trains available to Sydney & Adelaide.

Recommended Restaurants: Punch Lane (CBD), The Stokehouse (St Kilda), Tutto Bene (Italian, Southbank).

Recommended Bars: Moo Bar (CBD), The Prince (St Kilda), Bar Lourinha (CBD), Charlie's Bar (CBD)

Recommended Hotels: Crown Towers, Grand Hyatt, Park Hyatt Melbourne, Langham Hotel, Paramount Apartments, Novotel St Kilda.

Climate: All part of its charm, Melbourne is famous for it's often changeable weather and ability to have 'four seasons in a day'. Summer (December to February) is Australia's wet season, with June, July and August bringing the cold weather. While it doesn?t snow in Melbourne itself, you don't have to travel far to experience some of Australia's most beautiful snowfall with Mt Doona Buang is just two short hours away.

Cultures: Melbourne draws on Australia and world culture, but is particularly famous for its emphasis on the performing, culinary and visual arts. As the fashion capital of Australia Melbourne plays host to the L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival, bringing international fashion trends and putting Australia on the map. Melbourne is home to the famous Melbourne Cup Spring Racing Carnival as well as devout sports fans who are fanatic about local AFL teams.

Best time of year to travel: All Year Round.