Melbourne is wonderfully altered since I last saw it. There are some very fair buildings in it now, and things are a little cheaper than they used to be.
Since 1840 to today, Melbourne has taken form from a small settlement to a vibrant city.
The Yarra River is not big by world standards. It runs for just 242 kilometres from its source on the flanks of Mt Baw Baw in the Yarra Ranges National Park to its mouth at the head of Port Phillip Bay in Newport. It is not very long, very wide, nor very deep. It is not even very clear. But this sepia-coloured river has had a big impact on shaping Melbourne – the city that grew up on its banks.
Melbourne’s first electric tram began operation on 14 October 1889 between Box Hill and Doncaster. The service was abandoned less than seven years later and it took until October 1906 for another electric service to begin, this time operated by the private North Melbourne Electric Tramway and Lighting Company.
n July 1983 the State Government decided to integrate the City’s three major forms of public transport – trams, buses and suburban trains – to create a coordinated public transport network. The operations of the Melbourne & Metropolitan Tramways Board were taken over by the Tram & Bus Division of a new government body, the Metropolitan Transit Authority.
The Met’s Tram & Bus Division consisted of 684 trams, 220km of track and some 5000 employees. ‘Tram green’ was developed into a distinctive dark green and bold yellow colour scheme for the new entity’s rolling stock and uniforms. The Met logo, symbolizing the three modes of transport, began to appear on all vehicles and uniforms in place of the M&MTB logo.
Queen Victoria Market is much more than the city’s fresh-food shopping mecca – it’s a historic landmark, a tourist attraction and a Melbourne institution. Spread over several city blocks, with more than 600 retailers, Vic Market is a true reflection of Melbourne’s cosmopolitan makeup. Shoppers can find everything from fruit and vegetables to local and imported gourmet foods, fashion and general merchandise.
Al fresco eateries, one-off shops and cosy litte bars all nestle side-by-side in laneways and arcades threading throughout the city. Each arcade has its own individual character and charm.
“I think Melbourne is by far and away the most interesting place in Australia, and I thought if I ever wrote a novel or crime novel of any kind, I had to set it here.”