Melbourne scores the highest possible mark for all categories, including infrastructure, housing, education, access, environmental focus, crime rate, culture and cultural events, diversity and climate.
Although Melbourne’s weather can be changeable, it scores the highest climate mark of any Australian city, partly because of its dry summer heat. Melbourne has a thriving cafe culture and offers its residents virtually unlimited dining and cultural opportunities. The shopping certainly rivals Sydney’s and there are a huge number of parks and gardens around the city. Melbourne also plays host to the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix, the Australian Tennis Open, and, in Golf, the Heineken Classic and Australian Open.
Melbourne was founded in 1835 when settler John Batman declared at a point on the northern bank of the Yarra River (at the end of where William Street is now) would be "the place for a village". In 1837, surveyor Robert Hoddle designed Melbourne's central grid pattern which was aligned with the Yarra River and consisted of main thoroughfares 30 metres wide with narrower east-west service lanes. This grid became Melbourne's central business district, bounded by La Trobe Street, Spring Street, Flinders Street and Spencer Street. This created a spacious layout for the city centre which has allowed Melbourne's tram network to remain in place despite demand for road space.
Today, Melbourne is known for trams, excellent restaurants and cafes, the Melbourne Cup and the international F1 racing event held annually. It also claims the best shopping in Australia, a great interest in the arts as well as festivals and events throughout the year.
East Melbourne is a suburb that lies 2 km east of Melbourne's Central Business District. One of Melbourne's earliest suburbs, East Melbourne has long been home to many significant government, health and religious institutions, including the Parliament of Victoria and offices of the Government of Victoria in the Parliamentary and Cathedral precincts, which are located on a gentle hill at the edge of the Melbourne's Hoddle Grid, known as Eastern Hill. The world famous Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is located in Yarra Park, in the East Melbourne. East Melbourne is served by major tramlines on Wellington Parade and Victoria Parade, both connecting with the CBD in the western edge of the suburb.
North Melbourne is a suburb that lies 2 km north-west of Melbourne's Central Business District. Formerly known as Hotham, it was essentially a working class area, with some middle class pockets, and was one of the first towns in Victoria to be granted Municipal status.
Today it continues to undergo gentrification, noted for its Victorian architecture, cosmopolitan demographic, commercial and older industrial areas.
The main shopping strip of Errol Street is located around the old North Melbourne Town Hall. Since the 1990s it has become something of an upmarket strip, home to a number of popular cafes and boutiques.
From the vibrant Stonnington to historic Dandenong, South East Melbourne is essentially a self contained city of more than one million people. Oakleigh, a suburb located 15km south-east of the Melbourne's CBD along the Princes Highway, is home to a thriving shopping district with butchers, bakeries, specialty sweets shops and more. Carrum is located on the mouth of the busy Patterson River on Port Phillip Bay about halfway between Melbourne and the tip of the Mornington Peninsula. Langwarrin is a large rural and residential district, one of the fastest on the Mornington Peninsula, home to many beautiful parks and reserves - 45km south east of Melbourne, 5kms from Frankston.
West Melbourne is a suburb that lies 3 km north-west of Melbourne's Central Business District. West Melbourne is bounded by Victoria Street and the Sunbury/Werribee railway lines in the north, Footscray Road, the Moonee Ponds Creek and the Yarra River in the south. Peel Street and the Flagstaff Gardens help form the eastern boundary, with the western boundary defined by the Maribyrnong River and Coode Island.
Being largely an industrial area, a significant portion of West Melbourne is occupied by the Port of Melbourne, the Dynon Railway Yards and the Melbourne Markets. These include the Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable and Fish Markets, as well as the National Flower Centre.
It also contains a small pocket of residential and commercial properties, consisting of a mixture of Victorian single and double storey terrace houses and converted warehouses at the north-west corner of the Melbourne CBD. It is also adjacent to the Queen Victoria Market, located on corner of Victoria and Peel Streets.