Melbourne is the Capital City for the
State of Victoria. It is very pleasantly situated beside the beautiful Yarra River. The
Yarra River many years ago was a bit of a disgrace and heavily polluted. However that is not
the case now.
Melbourne has many tourist attractions for a visitor (locals can't afford them) - zoos -
marine aquarium - galleries, churches, parks, restraurants, but probably the main one is the
beautiful old buildings which blend very well with the present day architecture. Melbourne is
a great place for a holiday. Talking about old buildings you must see Captain Cook's Cottage
which is in the Fitzroy Gardens. Captain James Cook discovered Australia. If you go to
the Australian Songs music page, there is some information about Captain Cook as well as one of our
folk tunes entitled "Botany Bay", the first line is "Farewell to old England
Melbourne is famous for Australia's premier horse race "The Melbourne Cup" held the
first Tuesday in Novenber at approximately 3pm at Flemington Racecourse. It is a public
holiday in Melbourne, and in the rest of Australia and now in many parts of the world people
stop work just to listen to this race. Horses from all over the world come here to participate. The
Queen entered a horse in this race a few years ago - it did not win. Generally it will be won
by a horse that has been bred in New Zealand.
Beat that Sydney and not only that we have "Phar Lap" Australia's very own super-horse stuffed
here in Melbourne in our new museum. All of Australia will be pleased to know that he has his very
own, very special room. His very own, very special display case. This case is surrounded with
a very special plush red velvet. Every day the public line up to oggle at him. The Opera House
and The Coathanger pale in signifance. By the way Phar Lap was foaled in New Zealand.
Three cheers for New Zealand.
It is probably better not to mention exactly what happened to "Phar Lap" in America
- except to say he won his first and only race in Mexico the Agua Caliente Handicap and died shortly
afterwards in very mysterious and suspicious circumstances. A very sad and bitter day which
Australians will not easily forget or forgive. You must see this horse and you can only see
him in Melbourne. By the way his heart is also roaming around somewhere - New Zealand we
think, (it had been preserved in a bottle or some sort when we last saw it) but the thing is that it
is huge compared to other racehorses - could even be the largest in the world. It is really a
shame to separate the two, but we will never never hand over his body. It would have to be
horse-napped and the trouble it would cause - just don't even contemplate doing this. He won
the 1930 Melbourne Cup carrying extra weight of 62.2 kilograms. He raced 51 times and had 37
Victoria is also referred to as the Garden State, and Melbourne in particular has some very
beautiful parks. The Dandenong Ranges is a wonderful place in which to see some of the most
beautiful private gardens, that are open to the public, and also beautiful rain forest and many
colourful native birds.
Melbourne's weather is a bit of a joke among other States, but if you live here you will know
that it can never be called boring. As long as you take a warm cardigan with you wherever you
go (and this includes summer) you will be okay.
Victorians are considered to be a little straight laced and more reserved in their general attitude
to life. This perception is absolutely and totally untrue.
We can party with the best of them - and we do.