Australia seems to be uppermost in my mind these days since I've been asked to talk about it for two separate events. Of course, as you know, whenever you're asked to talk about something you're passionate about, it's usually very easy.
Melbourne, Australia has a lot to offer but it's a really tough question confirming whether it's better known for the events it holds vs. its' wonderful coffee, culinary, and wine scene. Of course, ultimately, it has so very much for everyone. (Republica Restaurant pic courtesy of Visit Victoria)
From a sport lover's perspective, events held in Melbourne include the Australian Tennis Open, that happens to be on right now. Also very popular are the Australian Grand Prix for Formula 1 followers and also the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix. The Melbourne Cup, held in November (similar timing as the Grand Prix races in their spring), is Australia's premier Thoroughbred horse race, claimed to be "the richest '2 mile' handicap in the world and one of the richest turf races". (Melbourne Cup pic courtesy of Tourism Australia / Time Out Australia)
Not to be forgotten, they also have their popular cricket and Aussie Rules football that are held in the largest stadium in the southern hemisphere locally known as "The G", that is, The Melbourne Cricket Ground. (Pic courtesy of Melbourne Cricket Ground)
From a culinary perspective, Melbourne is also considered "Australia's Coffee Capital". Hundreds of independent cafes are located all over the city, many of them roasting their own coffee. (Duke's Coffee Roasters pic courtesy of Tourism Australia / Time Out Australia)
There's also a tremendous wine scene in Melbourne, considering its proximity to some great wine regions of Australia including the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula, in particular. (Pic courtesy of Feathertop)
As to the restaurant and bar scene, Melbourne has even been touted as the "Culinary Capital of Australia" as well. Five of the top 10 restaurants in Australia are located in and around the Melbourne area including Attica, Brae, Cutler & Co., Laura, and Dinner By Heston Blumenthal. (Pic courtesy of Visit Victoria)
They have an amazing Chinatown established in the 1850's during the Victorian gold rush. It's actually the longest Chinese settlement in the Western World and the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere.
Melbourne also has some fabulous rooftop bars including Naked in the Sky in Fitzroy, "Rooftop Bar" gracing Curtin House in the heart of Melbourne, and Madame Brussels. (Naked in the Sky Bar courtesy of Visit Victoria)
Not only does Melbourne have all that's mentioned above, but you mustn't miss a drive along the spectacular Great Ocean Road while you're there!
All in all, Melbourne is a wonderful city to visit with so very much to see and experience that you must ensure to get there at some point in your future, if you haven't already been! And, if you've already been, you still need to go again, since it's an ever changing city with more and more wonderful things to offer.