Marvellous Melbourne is the cultural capital of Australia; the birthplace of Australian impressionism, contemporary dance, national film and television industries and Australian rules football. An inspired creative energy, celebrated multi-culturalism and welcoming people are all part of its charm.

A model city with well-connected public transport, low crime rates and first-rate universities, it is a reliable destination choice. It does harbour some secrets however, like back alleys where you’ll find the coolest bars and boutiques tucked away from the busy downtown streets.

The Victorian gold rush of the 1850s saw the city flourish into one of the world’s largest and wealthiest urban centres. Opportunists flocked south from Sydney, starting a rivalry between the two cities that exists today, though only on a friendly scale. It benefited economically from the financial and mining booms of the 1970s and remained Australia’s primary business centre until the late 1970s, when Sydney surpassed it.

Melbourne is referred to good-naturedly as having ‘four seasons in one day’. A mild, temperate climate means clear seasonal changes, with less rainfall than other major cities but changeable weather during the day. An aspect of the climate that is predictable though, are the long daylight saving hours afforded in summer, perfect for extending a day’s recreation well into the night.

The well-planned city is separated horizontally by the Yarra River. Northside emits artistic vibes from original terraced houses, while the south comprises affluent and coastal suburbs. Eastern suburbs of Greater Melbourne are more established, while those in the west are newer and more affordable. The population is currently 4.8 million but that is set to increase by roughly 10% over the next four years.

Melbourne was ranked the world’s most liveable city for seven years in a row until 2018. Plentiful jobs are encouraging high rates of international migration, which is pushing house prices up in the outer suburbs. Property values will reflect the strong economy and jobs growth but investors should bear in mind that Melbourne is one of the 10 fastest-growing large cities in the developed world, with a current shortage in housing supply.