Wide streets and an abundance of parks and gardens characterize Melbourne, capital of the state of Victoria, Australia, as the Garden City (population 4.5 million). Sleek modern designs easily co-exist with yesteryear’s impressive structures such as St. Paul’s Anglican and St. Patrick’s Cathedrals, the Windsor Hotel and Exhibition Building, and most prominently, Flinders Station (the central train station). Federation Square’s hip design inspires strong reactions and makes for a striking contrast to nearby Town Hall, the domed State Library and the colorful City Baths. Southbank’s Arts Center spire, glowing in alternate colors after dark, has become a popular landmark. Nearby, on the outskirts of town visitors can watch the nightly penguin movement on Phillip Island. A trip to the Yarra Valley delivers opportunities for bushwalking and winery tours. Diners can choose from excellent international fare from Melbourne’s large Greek, Italian and Chinese communities. Melbourne has the largest Greek population of any city after Athens!
Before Federation Square, Flinders Street Station was Melbourne’s favourite gathering space, where locals would “meet under the clocks. As Australia’s oldest train station, it is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register and its characteristic yellow façade and green copper dome remain one of the city’s most recognizable icons. It boasts the fourth-longest railway platform in the world and is the busiest suburban railway station in the Southern Hemisphere with more than 1,500 trains and 110,000 commuters passing through each day. Underneath the station there are changing exhibitions that line Campbell Arcade while the upstairs houses a library, a lecture hall and a gym.