Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, Australia, derives its name from the Prime Minister in the early part of whose period of office it was founded. It occupies a fine, but not picturesque, site at the head of Hobson's Bay, a northern inlet of the large bay of Port Phillip, the actual city being 3 miles inland on the Yarra river; but the suburbs extend five miles on all sides of this centre, and line the shore for a space of 10 miles. The streets are laid out in the rectangular fashion adopted in America, are all broad and well built, with numerous parks and gardens. Among the handsome public buildings the Parliament Houses, Public Library, University, National Museum, Wilson Hall, Town Halls, and Exhibition Building, deserve notice, whilst hospitals, colleges, churches, and asylums abound. Both Anglicans and Roman Catholics have bishops here, and maintain cathedrals of architectural merit. Journalism is established on a secure basis, and the leading newspapers vie with those of London in value and ability. Railways afford ready communication with the suburbs, with Sydney, 500 miles distant to the N.E., with Gippsland, and with South Australia. The climate is healthy and equable, though hot winds from the interior occasionally raise the temperature and fill the air with dust. The shipping of Melbourne has developed enormously within the last thirty years, and the colony is in direct communication by steam or sail with every part of the world. Wool, preserved meat, wheat, gold, and some kinds of timber are the chief exports, the manufactured goods of Europe and the west being taken in exchange, though recently Victoria has made great strides in the matter of home industries. Until 1835 no white man had set foot in this land, yet in 1838 town lots were worth £250 an acre, and would be cheap now at 100 times that price. In 1841 there were 11,000 inhabitants, but the great impulse to the growth of the place was given by the discovery of gold in 1851. The population at once rose to 100,000, and the colony was made independent of New South Wales.