Melbourne is the coastal capital of the southeastern Australian state of Victoria. At the city’s centre is the modern Federation Square development, with plazas, bars, and restaurants by the Yarra River. In the Southbank area, the Melbourne Arts Precinct is the site of Arts Centre Melbourne – a performing arts complex – and the National Gallery of Victoria, with Australian and indigenous art.
stalls. The city’s 19th-century “laneways” and shopping arcades are lined with cafes, galleries and boutiques. The riverside Royal Botanic Gardens shelter 10,000-plus plant species, and Yarra Park is home to the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
- Popular events include the Australian Open tennis finals (Jan),
- The LBGT-focused Midsumma Festival (Jan–Feb).
- Also drawing crowds are the Moomba arts festival (Mar), known for its parade and carnival;
- The Royal Melbourne Show (Sep), an agricultural fair;
- The Melbourne Festival (Oct), with many free performances. Melbourne’s climate is temperate but quite variable, with cool temperatures during winter (Jun–Aug).