November 23, 2001, Newsletter Issue #57: More Melbourne

Tip of the Week

Cultural Mix
The state`s capital city is home to a diverse mix of people, reflected in the cuisine of the city. Melbourne has numerous foreign restaurants often found in sectionalised districts: Lygon Street for Italian, Little Bourke Street for Chinese, Lonsdale Street for Greek, Victoria Street for Vietnamese, Sydney Road for Turkish and Middle Eastern, and Acland Street for Central European. Brunswick Street, in the trendy suburb of Fitzroy, is a good choice if you haven`t identified your craving and want a range of tastes from which to choose. St Kilda is the seaside hot spot with plenty of restaurants, cafés, bars and nightclubs just off the beach. You might want to head for Queen Victoria Market which has over 1,000 stalls selling a wide variety of edibles. The historic buildings, delightful food smells and crowds combine with plenty of atmosphere.
Chinatown, developed when Chinese prospectors joined the gold rush in the 1850s, survives as a flourishing Chinese community with an abundance of often excellent Chinese restaurants and supermarkets. You can see the story of Chinese contribution to Australia at the Museum of Chinese Australian History.

Museums and galleries
Be sure to visit the Museum of Victoria and, especially, the National Gallery of Victoria. Described as the most impressive art collection in the Southern Hemisphere, you can appreciate some impressive Aboriginal art and take a stroll in the outdoor sculpture garden. There is also the Polly Woodside Maritime Museum, and for a few darker, but interesting moments, there is the Old Melbourne Gaol, the last haunt of Ned Kelly, the infamous Australian outlaw. The Rialto Observation Deck is a good place to get a view of the city and Port Phillip Bay.
The Victorian Arts Centre, comprising a complex of buildings on the bank of the Yarra River, houses the National Gallery, the Concert Hall, as well as the Theatres Building, which has three theatres built below ground. The Victorian Symphony Orchestra, Opera, Ballet and Theatre Company, all put on productions at this venue. For more cultural entertainment and some architectural delight, take in a show at either the restored 19th-century Princess Theatre or the Regent Theatre.

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