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If you haven't made a visit to Melbourne, do put it in your 'must do' basket. This is my home city, and I would like to share it with every one of you.

It caters for all ages, all interests, and is neither too big or too small. Geographically it is in the south of the continent, with a climate that has four distinct seasons, but lots more sunshine than UK, warmer in summer and not so cold in winter. It is situated on a large sheltered bay. The city looks a bit like any other city these days with high rise buildings, but there are still reminders of the boom years in the architecture of the late Victorian era, partly a result of the huge gold rush some decades earlier. The intriguing laneways are now full of cafes, and interesting small shops. It's easy to find your way around as the whole place is built on system of grids with parkland taking up large areas.

But it is the ever changing nature of festivals and events taking place all year around that will attract many people. There is the Comedy Festival (akin to the Edinburgh Festival), Melbourne Festival (cultural), Writers Festival and all sorts of indoor and outdoor musical events both in city and out in the vineyards. Talking about vineyards, one of Australia's premier wine producing areas, Yarra Valley, is less than hour out of Melbourne. You can catch a free tourist tram that will tour you free around the city itself, catch a train to regional cities (Bendigo, Ballarat, Geelong) each of which is more like a large country town of wide streets, old buildings and good art galleries and museums.

This is a city full of life, full of international students blending in with a truly diverse dynamic population. Although any city is not fully safe, you will find yourself relaxing in the friendly and laid back place that is Melbourne.

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