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Melbourne: Australia's second city

By Greg Goodsell
April 1st, 2010
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

There's an old witticism about Australia's two major cities that isn't entirely true. "Nature has done everything for Sydney, man nothing; man has done everything for Melbourne, nature nothing." While Melbourne features a muddy river in place of Sydney's glistening seaside harbor, there are still many natural wonders to enjoy in Australia's second city.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) – While some feel that Mother Nature shortchanged the city of Melbourne with natural beauty, its citizens have risen tot he task in making Melbourne the national hub of theater, art, fashion and culture. There are countless art galleries, museum, theaters and shops for the visitor to enjoy.

Melbourne features many European, or continental features as well. The city is blessed with many graceful examples of Victorian architecture. Civilized man has also brought nature to the area in the form of verdant parks and colorful gardens, taking up nearly one quarter of the city's space. For many, the jewel in Melbourne's crown is the 88-acre Royal Botanic Gardens, a splendid example of 19th-century English landscaping.

In spite of this, Melbourne remains a steadfastly Australian city. According to National Geographic correspondent Luba Vangelova, "the city´s sophistication is offset by a refreshingly relaxed attitude. Only "footy" (Aussie Rules football) and other sporting contests can reliably impassion your typical Melburnian. The annual Melbourne Cup horse race, held in November, even merits a statewide public holiday."

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