Melbourne, Victoria and

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

South Island
North Island


Melbourne, with a population of over 3 million, is a cultural melting pot and a center for international exhibitions and sporting events. It is often referred to as the Cultural Capital of Australia due to its myriad of cultural and artistic institutions and its extensive street-art laden laneways.

This portion of our trip included our time in bustling Melbourne, and the 670 kilometer drive through long stretches of natural areas to Canberra.

Melbourne's city center is a grid of streets north of the Yarra River. Across a pedestrian bridge is Southbank, an entertainment and shopping area.

The Federation Square precinct is a conglomerate of attractions including 3 art galleries and an open-air amphitheatre.

The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology gallery is one of the ten outstanding contemporary art galleries in the city.

Flinders Street train station is the transportation hub and gateway to the city.

Victorian era buildings are preserved by setting modern skyscrapers back from the street.

Historic Queen Victoria Market is the largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere. Hundreds of stalls offer produce, meat, clothing, and souvenirs.

The Old Melbourne Gaol  contains death masks and artifacts of prison life of the 19th century. (onyo, Wikivoyage)


The Melbourne Royal Botanical Garden, established in 1846, is a vast area of trees, gardens, lakes, lawns and glass houses. (Raffi Kojian,

St. Kilda is a seaside suburb 6 kilometers from the Melbourne CBD. It is famous for its esplanade where historic sea baths and boom-time mansions are reminders of its past as a glitzy resort area.

The city of Melbourne has an ambitious project to promote innovative architecture and public art. There are dozens of sculptures, murals and ceramic street artworks in Melbourne's Central Business District and surrounding gardens.

40 kilometers east of Melbourne lies the cool high country of the Dandenong Ranges National Park, with its mountain ash forests and lush tree-fern gullies.

 Canberra, the capital city with a population of 310,000, was a planned community. Streets radiate out from Capital Hill in concentric circles. Millions of planted trees and the creation of Lake Burley Griffin give Canberra a park-like feel.

Built in 1988, Parliament House is Canberra's focal point. A highlight is walking in the park on its roof to view the surrounding embassies which are built in the architectural styles of their home countries.

The National Museum uses creative architecture and interactive exhibits to highlight Australian history and society.

The "tent embassy," erected in 1972 on the lawn between Old Parliament House and the War Memorial, draws attention to aboriginal land claims.  It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Exhibits in the National Museum include displays of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories.

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This site was last updated 01/12/21