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20 Facts you did not know about Melbourne

Updated: Mar 6, 2021

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Melbourne is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second-most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Though many may think they know plenty about this spectacular city, there are still many interesting features of Melbourne you might not have discovered yet!

1. Exposure to a wide range of temperatures

The maximum temperature ever recorded in Melbourne was 46.4 degrees Celsius in 2009, and the minimum was -2.8 degrees Celsius in 1869. This is due to the city’s geographical position at the intersection of a vast hot continent and the Southern Ocean. For instance, when there is a cold southern front, there would usually be strong northerly wind ahead of it bringing down that hot air.

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2. Fox Capital of the World

Melbourne has between 6 and 23 foxes per square kilometre within its urban sprawl. Red Foxes were introduced to Australia in the 1870s. By the 1890s they had become widespread feral pests. They thrive in fragmented urban habitats and introduce disease to native wildlife, such as wombats and dingoes.

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3. Melbourne has the highest number of cafes per number of people than any other city in the world.

It was back in 1788 that coffee first came to this lovely country with the First Fleet sailing from Britain. Due to the 1820s Temperance Movement which banned alcohol, coffee cafés began to spring up in the 1830s. However, the Australian coffee revolution took off in the 1950s, when European immigrants who emigrated to Australia missed authentic European coffee.

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4. Sporting pioneer

In 1956 Melbourne became the first host of the Olympic Games outside of Europe and North America. Additionally, Melbourne is the sporting capital of the world, hosting the Australian Open, the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix among others. Furthermore, Melbourne is the only city in the world with five international standard sporting facilities on the fringes of the CBD, with the likes of Hisense Arena.

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5. Lots of trams

Melbourne’s tramway system is the largest outside Europe and the fourth largest in the world, stretching along 244km of track and boasting 450 trams. In addition, the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant, a top restaurant, – is a tram taking you around the city circle route, passing by most major spots, while you eat delicious meals.

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6. Lots of immigrants

38% of the population in Melbourne were born overseas as of 2013. In addition, Melbourne is home to the highest Italian and Greek populations in the world outside their own countries. This stems from the fact that there was a massive wave of migrants emigrating from Europe to Australia in search of a better life after World War II.

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7. Architectural mix-up

Reportedly, Flinders Street Station was actually intended for Mumbai and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai was meant for Melbourne, but the plans from the same firm were accidentally switched, resulting in a Gothic style station in India and an East-Indian inspired station in Melbourne.

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8. Vegemite

Fisherman’s Bend, Port Melbourne is the only place in the world that makes Vegemite, a thick, dark brown food spread made from leftover brewers' yeast extract with various vegetable and spice additives. It was developed by Cyril Callister in Melbourne in 1922.

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9. Pioneers of safety

In 1970, Victoria became the first place in the world to enforce seat belt legislation. Additionally, Melbournian Dr David Warren invented the Black Box flight recorder in 1958, inspired by his father’s death in a plane crash. Furthermore, Australia’s first traffic lights were installed in Melbourne in 1912.

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10. No drinking!

Until 1966, it was illegal for pubs in Melbourne to be open after 6pm. This was implemented during the First World War partly as an attempt to improve public morality and partly