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Melbourne Fun Facts: 25 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Hanny Carillo



Welcome to Melbourne, the vibrant and dynamic capital city of the state of Victoria in Australia. Known for its cosmopolitan atmosphere, stunning architecture, rich history, and thriving arts and culture scene, Melbourne is a city that never fails to captivate its visitors. From its fascinating Aboriginal heritage to its modern-day sporting events and culinary delights, there’s no shortage of interesting facts to uncover about this remarkable city.


Melbourne has a fascinating history that dates back thousands of years. It was originally inhabited by the Wurundjeri people, one of the many Aboriginal tribes that have lived in the region for more than 40,000 years. Their deep connection with the land can still be felt today, as Melbourne is home to a significant Indigenous population and hosts various cultural events and festivals throughout the year.


European settlement in Melbourne began in 1835 when settlers sailed from Tasmania to establish a settlement on the northern bank of the Yarra River. The city quickly grew into a major port town during the Victorian gold rush of the 1850s, attracting adventurers from all over the world seeking their fortune.


Today, Melbourne is a melting pot of different cultures, with a diverse population that includes people from over 200 countries. This multiculturalism is reflected in the city’s incredible food scene, which offers a wide array of international cuisines to tantalize your taste buds.


One of the most notable features of Melbourne is its laneways, which are hidden alleys that weave through the city’s central business district. These laneways are filled with vibrant street art, trendy cafes, boutique shops, and hidden bars, creating an atmosphere unlike any other.


Melbourne is also famous for its love of sports, particularly Australian Rules Football (AFL). The city comes alive during AFL season, with fans flocking to iconic stadiums like the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) to cheer on their favorite teams.


Indulge in Melbourne’s rich arts and culture scene by exploring its numerous galleries, museums, and theaters. From the National Gallery of Victoria to the Melbourne Theatre Company, there’s always something to inspire and entertain.


As we delve into the 25 fascinating facts about Melbourne, get ready to discover a city that is as eclectic as it is captivating, where history and modernity seamlessly intertwine to create an unforgettable experience. So, let’s begin our journey through the wonderful city of Melbourne.


Origin of Melbourne

The origin of Melbourne can be traced back to the early 1800s when European settlers arrived in the area. In 1835, a group of Tasmanian settlers, led by John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner, established a settlement on the northern bank of the Yarra River. This area would later become the central business district of Melbourne.


2. Aboriginal history of Melbourne


Prior to European settlement, the land on which Melbourne now stands was inhabited by the Wurundjeri people, who are part of the Kulin nation. They have a deep connection to the land and their traditional practices and culture continue to be celebrated and honored in Melbourne today.


3. European settlement in Melbourne


European settlement in Melbourne began with the arrival of the Tasmanian settlers in 1835. The city quickly grew, thanks in part to the Victorian gold rush in the 1850s, which attracted people from around the world in search of fortune. Melbourne became a major port and economic hub during this time.


4. Melbourne’s founding fathers


The city of Melbourne was founded by John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner. Batman, a Tasmanian grazier, negotiated a treaty with the local Aboriginal people for the purchase of land, while Fawkner, a Hobart businessman, established the first permanent settlement. Their contributions laid the foundation for the city’s growth.


5. The meaning behind the name “Melbourne”


The name “Melbourne” was chosen in honor of William Lamb, the 2nd Viscount Melbourne and the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Lord Melbourne was known for his support of the arts and sciences, and his name was bestowed upon the new settlement as a gesture of gratitude.


6. Melbourne’s geographical location


Melbourne is located in the southeastern part of Australia, on the northern banks of the Yarra River. It is positioned on the eastern shore of Port Phillip Bay and is known for its stunning views of the bay and its surrounding hills.


7. Melbourne’s diverse population


Melbourne is a cosmopolitan city with a diverse population. People from over 200 countries call Melbourne home, making it one of the most multicultural cities in the world. This diversity is celebrated through various cultural festivals, events, and cuisines.


8. Melbourne’s official emblem and flag


The official emblem of Melbourne is the Coat of Arms, which features a shield divided into four quarters. Each quarter represents an important aspect of Melbourne’s history and identity, including the city’s Indigenous heritage, European settlement, the Eureka Rebellion, and the city’s global connections.


9. Melbourne’s climate and weather patterns


Melbourne has a temperate oceanic climate, characterized by mild to cool winters and warm to hot summers. The city is known for its changeable weather, with the saying “four seasons in one day” often used to describe Melbourne’s unpredictable climate.


10. Melbourne’s famous laneways


One of Melbourne’s unique features is its laneways. These hidden alleys and arcades are filled with vibrant street art, boutique shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants. Exploring Melbourne’s laneways is like discovering a secret world within the city.


11. The Yarra River: a vital part of Melbourne


The Yarra River is a vital part of Melbourne’s identity and history. It flows through the heart of the city, providing a picturesque backdrop and recreational opportunities. The river is also an important cultural site for the Indigenous community.


12. Melbourne’s iconic trams


Melbourne is famous for its extensive tram network, which is the largest in the world outside of Europe. Trams have been an integral part of Melbourne’s public transportation system since the late 19th century and continue to be a beloved mode of transport for locals and visitors alike.


13. Melbourne’s renowned coffee culture


Melbourne is known worldwide for its thriving coffee culture. The city is home to countless cafes and specialty coffee shops, where baristas take pride in serving the perfect cup of coffee. Melbourne’s coffee scene is a testament to the city’s appreciation for quality and craftsmanship.


14. Melbourne’s love for sports


Sports are a significant part of Melbourne’s culture and identity. The city is often referred to as the “Sporting Capital of Australia” and hosts major sporting events, including the Australian Open tennis tournament, the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, and the Melbourne Cup horse race.


15. Australian Rules Football (AFL)


Australian Rules Football, or AFL, is a football code that originated in Melbourne in the late 1850s. It is a unique and highly popular sport in Australia, with Melbourne being home to some of the biggest and most successful AFL teams.


16. Melbourne’s major sporting events


Melbourne hosts a range of major sporting events throughout the year. Aside from the Australian Open and the Melbourne Cup, the city also hosts the Boxing Day Test cricket match, the Melbourne Marathon, and the AFL Grand Final, among others.


17. Melbourne’s vibrant arts and culture scene


Melbourne is renowned for its vibrant arts and culture scene. The city is home to numerous galleries, museums, theaters, and cultural institutions that showcase both local and international talent.


18. Melbourne’s street art and graffiti


Melbourne is a haven for street art and graffiti. The city’s laneways and buildings are adorned with colorful and thought-provoking artworks, created by both local and international artists. Guided street art tours are a popular way to explore this unique form of artistic expression.


19. Melbourne’s thriving music industry


Melbourne has a thriving music industry and is known for its live music scene. The city has produced renowned musicians across various genres, and you can catch live performances at the many music venues and bars scattered throughout Melbourne.


20. Melbourne’s culinary delights


Melbourne is a paradise for food lovers, with a diverse range of culinary delights to satisfy every palate. From fine dining restaurants to trendy cafes and bustling food markets, Melbourne offers a gastronomic experience like no other.


21. Famous landmarks in Melbourne


Melbourne is home to several famous landmarks that are must-visit destinations. The iconic Flinders Street Station, Federation Square, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Shrine of Remembrance are just a few of the landmarks that symbolize the city’s rich history and architectural beauty.


22. Royal Exhibition Building: a UNESCO World Heritage Site


The Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built in 1880, it is one of the world’s oldest remaining exhibition pavilions and a prime example of 19th-century architecture.


23. Melbourne’s extensive parks and gardens


Melbourne is renowned for its extensive parks and gardens, which provide a green escape from the bustling city. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Fitzroy Gardens, and Carlton Gardens are just a few of the beautifully landscaped spaces where locals and visitors can relax and unwind.


24. Beaches near Melbourne


Although Melbourne is not directly on the coast, it is well-connected to several stunning beaches just a short drive away. St Kilda Beach, Brighton Beach, and Sorrento Beach are popular destinations for sunbathing, swimming, and water activities.


25. Haunted places in Melbourne


Melbourne has its fair share of haunted places, adding a touch of mystery to the city. Locations like the Old Melbourne Gaol, the Victoria Hotel, and the Princess Theatre are rumored to be haunted, making them intriguing spots for those seeking a paranormal experience.



In conclusion, Melbourne is a city that offers a unique blend of history, culture, arts, sports, and culinary delights. From its humble beginnings as a settlement along the Yarra River, Melbourne has grown into a thriving metropolis that attracts tourists from all over the world.


With its rich Aboriginal heritage, Melbourne honors and celebrates its Indigenous roots. The city’s European settlement history has shaped its modern identity, while the iconic trams, stunning street art, and famous laneways showcase Melbourne’s vibrant and creative spirit.


Melbourne’s diverse population contributes to its multiculturalism and is evident in its food scene, where you can embark on a culinary journey around the world without ever leaving the city. The love for sports is ingrained in Melbourne’s DNA, with Aussie Rules Football (AFL) taking center stage during the sporting season.


The arts and culture scene in Melbourne is thriving, with world-class galleries, museums, and theaters showcasing local and international talent. The city’s commitment to street art and graffiti has turned its laneways into open-air art galleries.


Melbourne’s music industry is a testament to its creative energy, producing talented musicians who entertain locals and visitors alike. And let’s not forget the city’s famous landmarks, from the iconic Flinders Street Station to the Royal Exhibition Building, each contributing to Melbourne’s architectural beauty.


Surrounded by parks and gardens, Melbourne offers a balance of urban exploration and natural retreats. And if you’re craving a beach getaway, pristine coastal destinations are just a short drive away.


Last but not least, Melbourne has its fair share of haunted places that add a touch of mystery to the city’s allure. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a sports fan, an art lover, or a foodie, Melbourne has something to captivate and inspire you.


So, come and experience the wonders of Melbourne for yourself. Immerse yourself in its vibrant atmosphere, indulge in its culinary delights, explore the hidden laneways, and embrace the rich history and culture that make this city truly remarkable.