Since its founding at Port Philip 178 years ago on 30 August 1835, Melbourne has accomplished several remarkable milestones that have transformed it into one of the world’s most incredible cities. Rapid population growth, fueled by the Victoria gold rush of the 1850s and 1860s, allowed Melbourne to surpass Sydney in 1865 as the largest city in Australia. Victoria’s gold rush helped to further stimulate Australian immigration as people from around the globe moved to the Melbourne area to strike it rich. By the late-1880s, the gold rush had made Melbourne the wealthiest city in the world! Thus, when the six British colonies joined together in 1901 to form the federation of Australia, as the largest and richest city in the new country, Melbourne was selected as its first national capital.
Not only does Melbourne have an impressive history of major achievements; today Melbourne continues its amazing progress as one of the leading cities in Australia and the world. For example, the respected Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranked Melbourne as the #1 “Most Livable City in the World” three years in a row (in 2011, 2012 and again in 2013) out of the 140 cities that were evaluated around the globe. Although Melbourne (population 4,137,432) was eventually replaced by Sydney (population 4,627,345) as the largest city in Australia, and even though Canberra became the current national capital, Melbourne is said to be Australia’s center for culture plus it also boasts the country’s busiest cargo port. Throughout its interesting history, four major waves of Australian immigration have resulted in Melbourne becoming one of the most multicultural cities on Earth. Melbourne’s cosmopolitan character is reflective of this dynamic country’s increasingly diverse demography deriving from sustained Australian immigration. In fact, approximately 200,000 foreign nationals immigrate to Australia every year. With its high standard of living, thriving economy, multicultural population and much to see and do, it is understandable why so many people refer to this vibrant city as marvelous Melbourne!