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The Charm of Melbourne
19 Dec

Its charms tend to be a little subtler as compared to her flasher northern sister city, Sydney. Melbourne is a city that is characterized with many rewards for tours and travels enthusiasts. Even those not enthusiastic about touring new places will surely start having the zeal of touring places once they give Melbourne a try. If you have never been optimistic about travels, it is a high time to borrow a leaf from Aesop’s words, “Adventure is worthwhile.”

Unlike most of the other travel destinations that are only a buzz during a specific season or time of the year, Melbourne is a year-round city. With a temperate climate, travelers from the northern hemisphere have a spot to escape to during their winter in the name of Melbourne. On average, January is the hottest month with a temperature average of 21C while July with an average temperature of 10C being the coldest.

Important things to Know before Going
The locally used language is English thus it’s important to acquaint yourself with it or organize for a translator when and if necessary. The hotels tend to be quite expensive during the New Year and Christmas vacations as well as during main school holidays. In addition, if you aren’t a sports enthusiast, try avoiding the city during major sport event times such as the Formula 1 Grand Prix in March and the Open Grand Slam that comes in January.

Best of Melbourne
I am a frequent visitor and just like most of the Melbourne visitors, am always based within the city center whenever I am here. The main reason behind this is the fact that almost all the buzz in Melbourne is in the city center. The restaurants, theaters, shops, hotels, bars and museums have been responsible for making this commercial heart of the city a place of preference. The transport options that I always have include buses, biking, tram or train. With the city being easily navigable, with most of its attractions being within walking distances, I always have no choice but to spend most of my stay within the city.

Is it true that “Not all those who wander are lost?” This is a question that I was only able to answer after my first visit to Melbourne. It is after driving in to the city, that I was able to discover the flavors and the distinct fortes of this city’s destinations. Spending time at the city center was the key to the discovery of the neatly organized city, divided into small pockets worth my exploration. The Bourke and Collins streets have always been real retail therapy for any of my budgets with the Yarra Precinct together with the Docklands delivering perfect waterside views.

Things to do
History and Heritage
There are lots of reminders of the rich history of Melbourne found in the numerous monuments and historical buildings scattered around the city. Comprised of five Aboriginal languages, Melbourne, which is the native of the Kulin nation began as a tent city with 50 original settlers but quickly had its population grow to about 700,000 within just 35 years, by 1870. The journey through the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne reveals the thriving culture of the natives of this place. The evidence of the strong and closely knit aboriginal community is very much evident in the award winning Bunjilaks, which is found within the Koorie Heritage Trust of the Melbourne Museum.

The striking interior of the Royal Exhibition Building, which is a listed world heritage, has often offered exploration tales of the Old Melbourne Gaol prison life. On the other side, the reconstructed Cook’s Cottage, which was captain James Cook’s childhood home helps one to have a feel of Melbourne’s maritime past.

Things to do in a nutshell
1. Aboriginal Heritage Walk: This is one of the most popular activities or rather tour associated with the Royal Botanic Gardens of Melbourne and is known to offer a vibrant cultural experience
2. Koorie Heritage Trust: Since this is a trust that was set to preserves as well as promote the native culture of the indigenous people of south-eastern Australia, it is a must visit site for any historian.
3. Bunjilaka: This offers a collection of the Aboriginal cultural heritage artifacts and items. It is complemented with exhibitions, meeting spaces and a series of performances.

Nature & wildlife
For a more natural appreciation, forget about the city of over four million people, slow down and get to enjoy Mother Nature in the gardens, the lavish parks and the waterways. With age old trees and manicured lawns surrounding you, there is abundant wildlife in the small calm and tranquil pocket at the heart of this hustling and bustling city.

The tree-lined pathways that pass through the great Fitzroy and Treasure gardens are there for anyone’s enjoyment. At the shoulder of Rive Yarra is the Birrarung Marr, the newest garden in Melbourne designed with sculptured terraces for a finer look.

Numerous beaches surround Melbourne thus giving you an opportunity of not only appreciating but also enjoying the aquatic habitat. I specifically love the popular swimming Elwood and St Kilda spots as well as the Mordialloc, Sandringham, and Hampton beaches which are very boat friendly.

Tours
The most common tours include the Penguin Parade, the Phillip Island tour, the Four-Day Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road Short Break, the Melbourne city tour, the wonderful Chiltern, the 12 Apostles Lodge Walk, Fitzroy tour, Fitzroy Crime Tour, and the Pentridge Prison Ghost Tour among others.

In Review
Water sports, cycling, ballooning & scenic flights, fishing, walking, and golf, spectacular sports among other adventures are all the unending options that I always have whenever I am in this historical city. Even if I visited Melbourne a thousand times, I will not lack something ecstatic and entertaining to do or to experience. It is a city worth traveling to.