ProsOne can't help but be impressed by the generosity and warmth of Melbournites. A visitor only has to open a map for a split second to find someone willing to help them. One need never be lost in Melbourne. The City is clean, bright and vibrant - but above all it feels safe; an important 'must' for everyone.
Can a negative be found when visiting Melbourne? At the height of the summer, it can be crowded (but then so can any tourist spot). When it does actually rain - it really rains! But when the sun shines - it is glorious.
A warning needs to be issued for all travellers! Beware of St Kilda! This suburb of Melbourne is renowned for it's cake shops. To stroll along past the shops is a mouth watering experience but one that causes the traveller untold stress. How to choose just one cake. Tables and chairs crowd along the pavements allowing visitors to sit and enjoy a coffee/tea with their cake; time stands still as the cream creations are marvelled over and enjoyed.
Melbourne magic works on the traveller from the moment the plane touches down at the airport. To the newbie traveller, it is a delight to see the Geelong 'bollards' guarding the airport exit and from this moment Melbourne stamps it's place on the travellers heart.
Golden-bricked Flinders Station stands proudly against a backdrop of sky-scrapers superbly encapsulating Melbourne's past and future; burgundy and green trams criss-cross the city as its reliable inter-linking life blood and the glistening Yarra river quietly and stately flows past shops, restaurants and tea-rooms.
Visitors from Europe may be used to seeing pigeons and squirrels squabbling over corn and nuts thrown by enthusiastic children in parks. However, Melbourne creates it's magic by turning them into galahs and possums.
The Docklands area has been successfully regenerated and well worth a visit, if only to see the cow in a tree!
Ned Kelly wouldn't recognise the majestic city that Melbourne now is; find out more about his adventures at Melbourne Gaol (www.oldmelbournegaol.com.au). To honour Melbourne's past visit Captain Cook's cottage which provides a glimpse of old-world England but also visit the Immigration Museum to place Melbourne's growth in context.
Magic and majestic, warm and welcoming. Too complimentary? No, is the straight answer. Visit the City, experience the City but be prepared for it to capture your heart.