There are so many interesting facts about Melbourne. Do you know what Melbourne used to be called? Or that we have one of the most interesting holidays? How about that we once had a gold rush? Keep reading for 15 things you didn’t know about Melbourne!
1. We used to be Australia’s capital.
Yeah, we used to run this place. When we became a federation in 1901, it was decided that Melbourne would be Australia’s capital city. This remained the case until 1927, when Canberra took the wheel.
2. We’ve been named most livable city 6 years in a row.
Since 2010, The Economist has annually ranked Melbourne as the most livable city in the world. We beat some very famous cities including Vienna, Paris, Rome, New York, and every other city in the world!
3. The highest temperature ever recorded here was 46.4℃ (115.5℉).
In January 2009, we had a heatwave in which temperatures soared over 43℃ (111.5℉) for three days straight. One month later, the highest temperature in Melbourne’s written history was recorded at an amazing 46.4℃.
4. Melbourne used to be called “Batmania.”
No, I’m not joking. In 1835, John Batman landed in Port Phillip Bay and our city was named in his honor for a while. Part of me wishes that I lived in Batmania….
5. Our tram system is the fourth largest in the world.
It stretches along 244 kilometers (152 miles) with 450 trams running throughout the city. Busy, busy people we are!
6. Melbourne holds the famous Formula One Grand Prix every year.
The Grand Prix has attracted champion motor races from across the world and has been held in Melbourne for 23 years.
7. We have fine dining experiences….held on trams.
Melbourne is home to a “tramcar restaurant”, and it’s exactly what it sounds like. You can dine on this tram as you are driven around the city. It’s called the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant and you should totally check it out!
8. We have the 10th largest stadium in the world.
Melbourne is home to one of the world’s biggest stadiums – the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The MCG holds over 100,000 spectators and is usually home to cricket games (obvs) and AFL games. However the G’s biggest moment in the limelight was when it held the Olympic Games in 1956.
9. Melbourne takes an entire day off in honor of the AFL grand final.
While the rest of the world has Christmas Eve, we count down to Grand Final Eve. No jokes. AFL is serious business in Australia – particularly in Victoria – and Melbourne comes to a standstill every year as of 2015 to commemorate this important occasion. Almost everyone is happy about it, and no one seems to care that the public holiday costs our city $1billion every year. Its one of the most interesting holidays and things you didn’t know about Melbourne!
10. Over a third of our current population was born overseas.
When people say Melbourne is a multicultural city, they aren’t exaggerating. 1 in 3 Melbournians weren’t born in Australia!
11. About 80% of the population live in Melbourne.
The vast majority of Victorians live in Melbourne city and its outer suburbs. As of 2012, Victoria’s population was 5.791 million, and only 1.704 million of those people live outside of Melbourne!
12. Melbourne has five international standard sporting facilities.
As you saw in fact #9, we’re pretty serious about sport. Melbourne is home to five international standard sporting facilities, including the MCG, Docklands Stadium, Rod Laver Arena, Hisense Arena and Olympic Park.
13. Melbourne was the first city to host the Summer Olympics outside of Europe and North America.
When the MCG became the main stadium of the Olympics in 1956, it was the first time a city outside of Europe or North America held the games. Melbourne definitely made its mark on the sporting world when it reached such a landmark occasion! The MCG used to look completely different, huh?
14. We experienced a gold rush in 1851, which increased our population by a lot.
Every Victorian child knows about the gold rush of the 1800s, but what it done to our population is less well known. In 1851, the gold rush increased Melbourne’s population by 15,000 people in several months. This might not sound like a lot by today’s standards, but Australia’s entire population was only 400,000 in 1850! One of the coolest things you didn’t know about Melbourne!
15. We love Vegemite!
American’s hate it, Australian’s love it. We love it so much that 80% of Australian households have it in their pantries. Vegemite spread was invented right here in Melbourne in 1922 – and Melbournian’s are so protective of their Vegemite that it continues to be manufactured in Port Melbourne and nowhere else in the world!
What are other things you didn’t know about Melbourne? Comment below and share the article!
Featured photo source: allianceabroad.com
Chloe Bullow is a Melbourne gal studying Arts at ACU. In her free time, Chloe works on a variety of writing projects and reads an unhealthy amount of YA fiction.