A village was founded next to the Yarra River in 1835, but less than 20 years later gold was discovered in Ballarat. A sudden influx of immigrants followed, and incredible riches quickly propelled Melbourne to the status of city. Just a few short years after its foundation, it was being called ‘the Paris of the south’, with wide boulevards and elegant buildings. It was a thoroughly modern city, and it has been claimed that Melbourne was the first metropolis in the world to have been illuminated by electric lights.
Today, part of Melbourne’s charm is its quiet tattiness. It is not a neat city. In fact it’s more like an old sofa, worn and faded, with the stuffing coming out. But you could never throw it away—you could comfortably live with it for the rest of your life.