Melbourne is about the same size as Sydney, but there the similarity ends. Where Sydney is a jumble of hills and inlets, Melbourne spreads over a flat plain. Its pace is steadfast and sedate. Tree-shaded parks and gardens, a quiet bay and a proud stateliness become this capital of culture and the arts. Grand municipal buildings and splendid Victorian edifices, which sprang up in the wake of the gold rush, stand proudly along broad avenues.
The heart of the inner city, called the Golden Mile, contains the government and commercial hub of Melbourne, its main shopping street, major hotels and theatres. Many of the city’s landmarks are within walking distance of each other. As Australia’s major fashion centre, Melbourne boasts a number of upscale department stores and designer boutiques.