City 02/18

Melbourne down under

Australia's capital of sport and culture is an inspiration

Melbourne started life as a small colony and developed as a result of the gold rush boom to become the second-largest city in Oceania. It is now one of the “most liveable cities” in the world, as many rankings confirm. And that is not all: Melbourne has been regarded as a pioneer in the transport sector for a long time too. The southern port city is also famous for its literary and artistic history.

Located on the traditional territory of the Kulin nation, one of the indigenous tribes in Australia, Melbourne was founded by European settlers in 1835. The small colony, which was named after a British prime minister, expanded quickly to become an impressive city in the 1850s. This growth was mainly due to the gold rush at the time; it not only attracted Europeans, but also many Chinese settlers and the city attracted the name “Marvellous Melbourne”. It has been home to one of the oldest “Chinatowns” in the world since then. This cultural district was joined by an Italian one from the 1920s onward and a Greek one after 1945. From the very outset, Melbourne has always been a city of intercultural encounters and interaction. There are about 140 different cultures among the residents now and they each leave their mark on the cityscape.

Well networked
This diversity in Melbourne is due to its natural harbour, Port Phillip; it has turned the city into Australia’s main port of call for international goods. Melbourne is in an excellent position internally too; it has the world’s largest tram network covering about 250 kilometres. Visitors can even discover the city free of charge on a special “City Circle” route. There are also the national railway and bus networks and water taxis – and the ferries that link Melbourne with the island of Tasmania situated off its coast. “Ports and airports are two of the main reasons why Rhenus Australia selected Melbourne as the base for its business activities. The city’s enthusiasm and positive energy are absolutely contagious for our colleagues,” says Chris Brown, Commercial Manager at Rhenus Logistics Australia Australia.

A city of literature and the arts
Countless galleries, bookshops and museums make Melbourne a mecca for lovers of art and culture. It has been a UNESCO City of Literature since 2008 and various literature festivals take place every year, supported by the largest publishing house sector in Australia. However, music, art and films play an important role too: the National Gallery of Victoria is Australia’s oldest and most visited public art museum. Many works from the Heidelberg School, an art movement founded in the 19th century and also known as Australian Impressionism, are on display here. The street art works found all over the city are also a very special treasure. Those who prefer going to the theatre will not be disappointed either – more than 460 event sites for music and top-class theatre encourage visitors to listen and watch. The importance of the film industry, which has gained fame primarily because Melbourne is the main base of Village Roadshow Pictures and Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Bush or Chris Hemsworth are “Melbournian” actors, can be traced through the world’s first long film called “The History of the Kelly Gang”. The 70-minute black-andwhite movie was shot in and around Melbourne in 1906, is part of the UNESCO World Documentary Heritage and is an example of an “Australian western”.

In a league of its own
In addition to the city’s architectural landmarks like St Paul’s Cathedral, Parliament House or the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens, Melbourne Cricket Ground is a byword for the city. The rules for Australian football, the forerunner of rugby, were drawn up at the headquarters of the Australian Football League here in 1859. So-called “footy” is traditionally played on an oval field or often at cricket grounds too. Sports-mad residents and visitors regularly look forward to the Australian Open and the famous Melbourne Cup horse races. “Melbourne is also the sports capital of Australia. Footy is a major activity for us whether we play, watch or talk about it,” Chris Brown recounts. However, he advises visitors to bring flexible clothing with them, whether they are watching a sports event outside or going for a stroll through the city. “As we say here, we often experience four seasons in one day here in Melbourne. So bring everything with you a raincoat, sandals, a scarf and your swimming trunks!”

Rhenus Australia was founded in 2017 following the acquisition of O’Brien Customs & Forwarding and it operates its central office in Melbourne. It offers freight services, transport operations and customs services for various industries, including the automotive, fitness & leisure, electronics, fashion and engineering sectors, from here.

SehenswertWorth seeing
The Immigration Museum at the old customs house on Flinders Street interactively tells the story of all those who call Melbourne their home today and illustrates the city’s multicultural character. Tip: Many city parks, including the Botanical Gardens, encourage people to spend time there. Visitors can discover beaches and limestone coastlines or mountains and uplands in the region’s national parks, like the Grampians or the 12 Apostles.

Essen & TrinkenEating and drinking
The restaurants along the southern bank of the Yarra River, which makes its way through the centre of Melbourne, provide a wide variety to satisfy every taste. Tip: People can most comfortably enjoy the Yarra Valley, which is well-known for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, by taking a wine-tasting tour – with Wild Wombat or Wine Tours Victoria, for example.

nullNight life
The rooftop bars and cinemas scattered throughout the city, where visitors can experience the city jungle at the Carlton Palmz Deck or drink cocktails in 1950s vintage style at Madame Brussels, are a really well-kept secret. Tip: Enjoying an evening meal at Attica in the suburb of Ripponlea is not exactly cheap, but is a real experience. Star chef Ben Shewry provides his magical dishes at one of the best restaurants in the world. Ideally, you need to make your booking early!

Queen Victoria MarketShopping
The Queen Victoria Market is situated just 50 metres from the offices of Rhenus Australia and is famous for its fresh goods, culinary delicacies and hot jam donuts! Tip: The Royal Arcade in the city centre is not just an ideal place to enjoy shopping. Opened in 1870, it is also Australia’s oldest arcade. The huge mythological sculptures at the southern entrance are a real eyecatcher.

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